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Fantasy Buccaneers: Defense and Special Teams

Previewing a much different Bucs defense ahead of your 2018 fantasy football draft.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Minicamp Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense looks very different this year than it did in 2017. The addition of many players, young and old, and the arrival of new defensive line coach Brentson Buckner has built a lot of excitement around what the unit might be able to do in 2018.

So, how does Tampa Bay’s DST look in fantasy football projections?

Let’s dive in to the stats, projections and Pro Football Focus rankings to find out.

*Statistics provided by Pro Football Focus

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense and Special Teams (DST26 in 2017)

2017 Fantasy Football Statistics:

- 23 sacks

- 13 fumbles recovered

- 13 interceptions

- 382 points allowed

- 3 defensive touchdowns

- 0 special teams touchdowns

- 109 points (6.8 points per game)

As defenses go, there weren’t much worse than the Buccaneers’ own squad. However, a influx of talent and new coaching up front figures to see improvement on the front line.

Typically, front line improvement leads to improvements throughout the defense. How does PFF see this change impacting the group as a whole?

2018 Fantasy Football Projections:

- 33 sacks

- 11 fumbles recovered

- 13 interceptions

- 3 defensive touchdowns

- 0 special teams touchdowns

- 101.1 points (DST17)

Overall, the site sees the Buccaneers defense getting to the quarterback more while forced turnovers actually goes down, as does the overall fantasy scoring of the defense and special teams group.

However, against the other projections across the league, the Tampa Bay rankings goes up significantly jumping from 26th in 2017 to being the seventeenth ranked group entering 2018.

Of course, this is relative as is everything, and the top ranked defensive projection lands in Jacksonville with the group that finished first in 2017. The actual scoring last season versus the Jaguars’ expected score this year is a 100-point difference.

Still, seventeenth is encouraging as it shows people outside of the organization and not closely tied to it are seeing big improvements in Tampa Bay’s defense.

2018 Fantasy Football Outlook: Tampa Bay Buccaneers DST

Best Match-Up: Week 7 vs Cleveland Browns

Worst Match-Up: Week 1 @ New Orleans Saints

Where to Draft: Free-Agent to Watch

Fantasy Playoff Potential: There’s not a whole lot of in-season value with this group just yet, but that could change. Keeping an eye on this defense is something worth doing as they could be the surprise of the NFL in 2018. A playoff stretch against the New Orleans Saints, Baltimore Ravens and Dallas Cowboys could be friendlier than most expect entering the season.

NFL: New York Jets at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

This group is an enigma and will continue to be a mystery until we see them unveiled in the regular season.

As a streaming option, target Week 7 as the week to possible insert them into your lineup as the Bucs face the Browns at home. Simply put, the Browns are the Browns until they’re not anymore.

If the Ravens can’t rebound to become serious playoff contenders again and the Dallas Cowboys find out Dez Bryant was more valuable than they thought, then Tampa Bay’s fantasy football playoff relevance may come back this year.

Bottom line, I still wouldn’t recommend spending a draft pick here, but putting them on your watch list as a streaming play or late-season pick-up may not be the worst strategy.