Intro to the New Improved Bucs 2019 Edition
Normally the Bucs produce one (Mike Evans) Fantasy Football star. Spot starts of Jameis Winston, O.J. Howard, and maybe Adam Humphries (last year) also offered up some nice points if you caught them in the right week. Say goodbye to Dirk Koetter, hello Bruce Almighty Arians. Probably nowhere else in the NFL will you find the kind of turn around this year, like you will find in Tampa. That goes for the Defense as well. That translates to the Fantasy side of the football as well. On both sides of the ball, the Bucs should be an attacking Force to be dealt with. It is true that the Bucs last year attacked pretty well, but only through the air.
Running the football, with purpose!
This year, there should be sightings of a planned, well-orchestrated running game. It should no longer be, a meaningless undertaking. Peyton Barber should be much more involved in the Offense, as well as there being more passes to the Running Backs in general. Barber tallied 871 yards rushing, with 5 TDs in a rushing attack that was at best an afterthought under Koetter. Barber was targeted only 29 times last year, catching 20 of them. There also has been nothing but great things said about ROJO (Ronald Jones) coming into his second year in the league. He’s a player to keep an eye on in the preseason and early regular season. With a staff that will actually use the run to keep teams off balance for play action. Play action last year had to have been a joke to defenders. There is a chance, if the O-Line falls into place well, that Peyton could have a breakout year. The same could be said for ROJO So keep them in mind in the latter rounds when others are grabbing kickers, they could be sleepers based on the new Regime’s arrival. Byron Leftwich is the Offensive Coordinator and appears to be a coach on the rise. Look for he and Bowles to not be around for too many seasons. As both will certainly garner Head Coaching Invites as the Bucs get better.
O.J. Howard if healthy/Straight Up Stud
Bruce Almighty loves a good Tight End to be involved in the Offense, So he should be Punch Drunk in Love with O.J. Howard, and Cam Brate. Howard being a long, fast, but yet still very strong, new breed Tight End. If he can stay healthy, and that is a big if, as he has had long IR stints the last two years. He should be in line for a huge, and I mean really big folks, year. I actually have him rated as the #1 tight end in 2019. I believe only injury to himself or Jameis Winston will prevent him from being a top-flight fantasy stud at the position. Outscoring a good majority of Wide Receivers. He truly is a third or fourth starting Wide Receiver, depending on your Leagues lineup, setup. Dependent on his health over the course of his career, his numbers could dwarf that of Tony Gonzalez, and Antonio Gates, seriously. Of course, health, and longevity play a big factor in him eclipsing the greatest numbers of the best, but he is very well equipped to do it. He has posted an unofficial 40-yard dash time of 4.51, which is an absurd time for a player his size. Quite frankly, Howard is a physical specimen.
Always strong, they become even stronger at Wide Receiver
The Bucs Receivers are also set to have a big year. From Evans, who could have his best year to date. To Chris Godwin who’s probably going to become a star this year, even little 5’9” Rookie, Scotty Miller could make some noise. Running a blistering 4.30 40 time, he can catch in traffic, and line up anywhere on the field. He’s expected to take up the slack from Humphries departure. The pick used to acquire Miller. Was thanks to the Eagles, for taking Desean Jackson off our hands. Let’s not forget also, another speedy receiver that should be in the slot, in Breshard Perriman who went to college up I-4 a bit, at UCF.
QB Outlook, Winston or Bust
One would tend to believe that Arians and Leftwich can and will straighten out Winston. That at the least his turnovers should be reduced quite a bit. Believing that this offensive scheme will be a huge upgrade from Koetters. I believe Winston’s total touchdowns passing, and rushing will increase from last year. So you should have a much improved, stronger, in better shape all around Winston. That will have a viable running game to complement the throw game. You also must consider the Bucs as your defense. They will be a hugely improved force on the field in 2019. Blitzing and Attacking from all over, they will be hawkish on the football. Their takeaways should skyrocket this year.
If all players mentioned here stay healthy, which is a leap of faith for sure. Winston, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, O.J. Howard, Peyton Barber, Ronald Jones, and to a lesser degree Cam Brate, are all names that have a good chance of a big year. There will surely be one or more players that step up and do very well. Another possible candidate would be Andre Ellington. He’s a guy Arians has had play for him in the past. He excels at receiving out of the backfield. Just make sure you follow this team all the way up to the start of the season. There will be some beautiful nuggets in this new system, possibly even an entire Gold Mine.