Buccaneers Fantasy News
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 9:27pm
Buccaneers beat writer Pat Yasinskas: Starter Doug Martin has looked very good at running back, but he’s not the only one. Third-round draft pick Charles Sims has made some nice cuts in the last few practices and also has shown he can catch the ball out of the backfield. I think Sims might have a shot to be the top backup to Martin. “He’s a scholarship player, looking at it in college terms," Smith said. “He’s not a walk-on. He got his scholarship for a reason."
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 9:25pm
Buccaneers WRs Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson, on back-to-back plays, made stunning catches on end zone back-corner fades. Ridiculous red zone weapons.
This could bode well for QB Josh McCown, who has a chance to work his way into QB2/QBBC type value if he and his receivers can get on the same page quickly.
Monday, July 28, 2014, 3:43pm
Quarterback Cam Newton is running the Carolina Panthers offense in practice. But coming off ankle surgery, he’s done none of the running around that is his extra dimension.
That’s not bad news. You don’t have to be an orthopedic surgeon to know it just makes sense.
Newton looks comfortable dropping back, bouncing around in the pocket, setting his feet and making all the throws. He’s getting to know all-new wide receivers.
For now, that’s all he has to do. The Cam Newton who can slip out of the pocket and run for a quick 20 yards can wait until the Panthers start playing for keeps Sept. 7 at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“I think it’s just a smart thing to do right now. What’s the use of running on it and go in the training room and it’s going to be swelled up,” Newton said after practice Monday, while wearing a sleeve on his repaired left ankle.
In March, Newton had surgery to tighten loose ligaments in the ankle. He sat out most of a June mini-camp except for some throws in a seven-on-seven drill the final day. He's expected to be fine by the start of the season. We rank Newton 10th among QBs this season with the big question being what will be the quality of WRs he'll have to throw to. He's going a little earlier in drafts than Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson who are both ranked ahead of him.
Sunday, July 27, 2014, 1:34pm
WR Mike Evans, six-foot-five and somewhere north of 220 pounds, is a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' new super-sized corps of pass-catchers already nicknamed the "Dunkaneers." He is adept at fighting off defenders for contested passes and he was drafted seventh overall in May because he's expected to create mismatches with smaller defenders. Given his stature, one would think that the line of scrimmage would be his domain. Try to press a receiver of his size, who also has the speed to get downfield in a hurry if he slips by, and you're asking for trouble. The problem is, this is the NFL, and even cornerbacks of average size know how to deal with big receivers at the line. Evans found that out on Saturday when he encountered a worthy opponent in Pro Bowl cornerback Alterraun Verner, who checks in at 5-10 and 186 pounds. The rookie from Texas A&M is eagerly working on all aspects of his game to speed his transition to the NFL, and getting off the line against press coverage is one of the most important issues.
Rookie WRs always come with risk in fantasy football and we rank Evans 45th. His ADP is the 10th round however, which is higher than a lot of those ranked around him. But that's typical for those who get excited about rookies with Evans' potential. He should be drafted as depth with the potential to progress up your WR depth chart.
Thursday, July 24, 2014, 12:07pm
All it took was one offseason of practices for All-Pro defensive tackle Gerald McCoy to become convinced that QB Josh McCown is going to take the NFL by surprise in 2014. "I don't know how much people really know how good Josh McCown is," McCoy said Thursday morning, via the Tampa Bay Times. "I think a lot of people are about to see how good he really is."
McCown has a chance to work his way into the QB2/QBBC ranks, assuming his fine play carries over from Chicago. He'll have Vincent Jackson and rookie Mike Evans to throw to, though the Buccaneers are expected to be somewhat run-heavy under defensive-minded Lovie Smith.
Thursday, July 17, 2014, 8:25pm
Buccaneers beat writer Pat Yasinskas predicts that WR Mike Evans will crack the 1,000-yard mark: "Evans steps into a great situation as the No. 2 wide receiver. He will start opposite Vincent Jackson, who will draw most of the attention from opposing defenses. That means there should be plenty of opportunities for Evans. His size should give him a big advantage in one-on-one matchups with cornerbacks."
We currently project Evans for 64 carries for 879 yards and five TDs, making him the #43 receiver on our board. Rookies are generally overdrafted, but Evans is in a great situation and could be starter-worthy (top 36) this season.
Thursday, July 17, 2014, 8:11pm
One of the biggest myths of the offseason has taken on a life of its own because coach Lovie Smith said a team needs more than one quality back. He is serious about that and there will be some sort of rotation. But the fact is Doug Martin still is the feature back and will get most of the carries. He just won’t get almost all the carries like he did under former coach Greg Schiano. There will be room for Charles Sims, Bobby Rainey, Mike James and Jeff Demps to compete for touches.
Martin was the #3 fantasy running back as a rookie, but his PPG dropped from #3 to #22 during his sophomore season. His stock has taken a hit due to the new regime in Tampa adding rookie Charles Sims to a stacked backfield that already includes Bobby Rainey and Mike James. He’s still going to be the RB1 for the Bucs but probably won’t see the 79.5% share of the carries that he received in his first 21 games. He’s still likely to be a high-end RB2 in both standard and PPR formats.
Friday, July 11, 2014, 10:14pm
Buccaneers HC Lovie Smith has compared RB Charles Sims – as a type of player – to the Bears' Matt Forte, and draft analyst Rob Rang makes the same link. The author praises Sims' "impressive burst," "hand-eye coordination," "body control" and "soft mitts" and says those traits fit in well with the system new Offensive Coordination Jeff Tedford is installing in Tampa. The reason that Rang believes Sims could contribute significantly early on isn't necessarily positive, but it's a fair point: Josh McCown will need good protection up front to allow his crew of huge pass-catchers to get downfield, and it's not yet known how strong the Bucs' offensive line will be. Rang would not be surprised if Sims, who was seen as something of a head-scratcher of a pick in early May, looks like a steal instead a month or two into the season.
The arrival of Sims has taken a good amount of wind out of Doug Martin's sails, causing his ADP to slip into the 2nd/3rd rounds. This is a new regime, so Martin's role is far from safe, though we still see him as the lead back in Tampa.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014, 9:17am
He's been called a journeyman and a survivor. Both fit veteran wide receiver Derek Hagan, who's just glad he got a call from the Titans last month. Now it's safe to call him something else — a contender. Hagan didn't play in 2013 after the Buccaneers released him following training camp. He continued to train, but wondered whether he'd get another shot. Then the Titans, who saw a couple of their undrafted wideouts go down with injuries, asked him to town for a workout. They signed him to a one-year deal. Is it realistic to think Hagan could make the roster? Anyone who watched the 6-foot-2, 210-pounder participate in minicamp last month saw that he definitely looked the part. "You can just tell he knows what he is doing," cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson said. "He knows how to get open and things like that. He really impressed me right off the bat."
According to the story, one thing working in Hagan's favor is there are no locks to make the Titans roster after Nate Washington, Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter. Michael Preston and Marc Mariani are considered next in line, while another journeyman, Brian Robiskie, also is trying to continue his career. Hagan is a ways away from being fantasy relevant, however.
WR Mike Evans now has just three weeks until the Buccaneers report for preseason training camp, even less until rookies are due back in town, but the first-round pick from Texas A&M is hard at work at getting himself in shape for the 2014 season. "Physically, I'm not in tip-top shape. I'm getting back into my game shape," said Evans, who is training in Miami with a group of players that includes Bears receiver Brandon Marshall. "As far as injury-wise, I feel good. I've been running, and I feel 100 percent." Evans missed much of his first month of practice with the Bucs with a hamstring injury suffered on the first day of voluntary minicamp on May 20. He was able to return in a limited capacity for the team's mandatory minicamp last month, and he expects to be fine when camp starts July 25 at One Buc Place. Evans is training for two weeks in Miami at Fit Speed Athletic Performance, and he said his focus is dropping "7 to 10 pounds" with a goal of playing at about 230 pounds this fall.
Evans looks likely to start opposite Vincent Jackson and could very well turn into a fantasy starter as a rookie, though we are generally less bullish on rookies than other fantasy sites. Still, Evans certainly has the opportunity necessary to make an impact. If he has a healthy and productive training camp, he'll move up our rankings.
Wednesday, July 2, 2014, 6:01pm
Before the draft, Mike Evans got compared to two current NFL wide receivers more than any others. Buccaneers teammate Vincent Jackson and the other was Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall have the same imposing size and impressive athletic ability that Evans showed while he was at Texas A&M, leading many to point to the duo as a sign of what Evans could become once he hit the NFL. Evans got to spend the spring working with Jackson and he’s spending the early part of his summer working with Marshall. Both men are training with Fit Speed Athletic Performance in Florida.
We have Evans ranked 48th, but as is the case with a lot of rookies, his ADP is high for his ranking. It currently sits in the 8th round while others ranked around him like Doug Baldwin, Briant Hartline and Dwayne Bowe, for example, are all the 12th round or later.
RB Doug Martin is the starter, but the Buccaneers want to use a rotation. Bobby Rainey, Mike James, Charles Sims and Jeff Demps will all be vying for carries.
Martin was not drafted by this regime, so he potentially could find himself in a timeshare, especially after a lackluster start to his second season (prior to getting injured).
Buccaneers rookie TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins might be the long-term answer. But he might not get a lot of playing time in the short term. Seferian-Jenkins wasn’t allowed to take part in the offseason program and that could put him behind the competition. Brandon Myers, Tim Wright and Luke Stocker all have more experience.
Rookie tight ends generally don't make much of a fantasy impact, but the Bucs definitely need a playmaker at the position.
Lost in the disappointment of the 2012 Eagles season was the fact that Nick Foles and Jeremy Maclin established excellent chemistry in short order. In fact, in the seven games that Foles played, Maclin caught 37 passes for 479 yards and three touchdowns, including the last-second game-winner against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Extrapolated over an entire season’s worth of games, Maclin’s stats with Foles totaled 85 catches for 1,095 yards and seven touchdowns. Also consider that those numbers came during the worst season for the franchise in 15 years. Now, think about Foles and Maclin rekindling their on-field chemistry in Chip Kelly’s prolific offensive machine that set a host of franchise records in its first season. For the first time in three seasons, Foles and Maclin will have the chance to begin the season together as starters – and healthy. Maclin says he feels 100 percent healthy, and Foles’ face lights up with excitement when he talks about his top target. "He looks great,” Foles said of Maclin. "I can’t tell a difference at all. He’s a guy who’s going to give it his all every day. Coming out of breaks and everything, going downfield, I think he’s looked great. Obviously he’s working every day to get better, but he’s the same Jeremy and that Jeremy is a guy who wants to get better every day, no matter what. That’s a big injury, any time you hurt your knee, and he’s done everything that he can to get back on the field, so it’s exciting to have him back out there and healthy, and we just have to keep him that way.”
Maclin was the #13 WR in 2010, #31 in 2011 and #27 in 2012 before tearing his ACL last summer. The Eagles don't throw as much under Kelly as they did under Andy Reid, but Maclin has the talent and opportunity -- DeSean Jackson is gone -- to be a fantasy starter in 2014, provided his knee is good to go.
New Buccaneers starting quarterback Josh McCown looked particularly adept at dropping passes into tight spaces between coverage last week. When it came to timing patterns, particularly on the sideline, McCown often slung darts that looked like they were headed to empty space before the targeted pass-catcher suddenly sprinted into the picture.
If McCown can get into sync with his receivers quickly, he could work his way into a QB2/streaming role by the time fantasy draft season is in full swing.
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