Our final destination for this week takes us to the sunny city of Tampa, Florida, the home to the last NFC South team, the Buccaneers. After finishing 5-11 for the second straight year, the Bucs have moved on from head coach Dirk Koetter and have brought in a new regime led by Bruce Arians, with the hopes of turning around a franchise that hasn't made the playoffs since 2007.
While the Bucs haven't seen much success in the past several years by way of wins, they've had several players put up solid fantasy production (who could forget Fitz-magic?). Let's take a look at three Buccaneers who could make a solid impact on your fantasy roster.
Jameis Winston – QB
All eyes in Tampa will be on the fifth year quarterback after a up-and-down 2018 season in which he split time throughout with Ryan Fitzpatrick. With Fitzpartick gone, he has the opportunity once again to be the man in Tampa Bay. Having Arians in the fold is certainly a plus for Winston – the coach who helped mold a young Peyton Manning 20 years ago and more recently guided Carson Palmer back to relevance in Arizona.
It's been a few years since Winston has had a “successful” fantasy season; in 2016 he threw for 4,090 yards and 28 touchdowns. If anyone coach help Jameis right the ship, its Arians. This makes me bullish for Winston's fantasy outlook this season. He has the weapons. He has the coach. It seems the stars have aligned for him to have a breakout season. If Jameis can't figure it out in 2019, this is probably the end of the line for the number one overall pick.
I believe there is potential for Winston to crack the top 10 among QB's for the first time in his career. He's currently being drafted as the 13th quarterback off the board (10.04), which is a good value for what I believe he will produce. Let's hope he eats more W's than crab legs in 2019.
Chris Godwin – WR
It was really tough to decide between writing about Godwin or fellow receiver Mike Evans, but I chose Godwin because I believe he has a great opportunity to have a break out season. Evans is still the #1 receiving option on the field, but with the departure of DeSean Jackson, the waters are less murky as to who's no. 2.
Godwin is a talented slot receiver coming into his third year out of Penn State. Last year, he accumulated 842 yards on 59 catches (95 targets). Fantasy football is a game of opportunity, and Godwin should have his in 2019. He's been very efficient in the opportunities he's had, averaging over 14 yards per reception in both of his first two seasons. We can expect an increase in targets, and with Evans drawing primary coverage on the outside, he should continue to be efficient. It wouldn't surprise me to see him eclipse 1,000 yards for the first time in his career. He's currently being drafted mid-fifth round in mock drafts, a price I'm happy to pay for a guy who I think could finish in the top 12.
O.J. Howard – TE
Expectations around the fantasy football world are high for O.J. Howard, and it's not hard to see why. When he's on the field he's been productive, considering he's split time with veteran TE Cameron Brate. However, there is concern with his health; in both NFL seasons he's finished the year on IR. The upside is certainly there for Howard. It's not unreasonable to think Howard could finish the season among the best few tight ends in the league. He's currently being drafted as the fourth TE in the middle of the fifth round (5.06). I'm not so sure I'm willing to take that risk.
First of all, there's the aforementioned Brate, who's also had some successful years in Tampa Bay. Without a doubt he's behind Howard on the depth chart, he will more than likely take touches away. He's also been a favorite target of Winston's in the red zone, scoring 20 touchdowns in the last three seasons. Even if Howard remains healthy and puts in a full 16 games, Brate will take away some of his fantasy value. I'm just not willing to spend a fifth round pick when looking at the risks. Thank you for checking out the Fantasy Football Pilots! You can follow us on twitter @FF_Pilots, and you can follow me @FFBJordan.. We hope you'll come visit us again, and as always, good luck in your league!