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Bucs ST coach will make rookie Clay earn role as kick returner
by Michael Hurcomb |

When the Buccaneers drafted Utah wide receiver Kaelin Clay in the sixth round, general manager Jason Licht indicated the team's kick returner job would be Clay's to lose.

However, special teams coordinator Kevin O'Dea isn't as eager to just hand the job over to the rookie, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

"First of all, we're not going to hand it to Clay," O'Dea said. "We've got other guys that are undrafted that look pretty special to me, as well."

O'Dea said fifth-round pick Kenny Bell and undrafted receivers Donteea Dye, Adam Humphries and Rannell Hall could all battle for the position.

The Bucs were eighth in the league in 2014 in punt returns (10.8 yards per return). O'Dea said the only things missing were longer blocks and a dynamic returner.

"If you stay on your guy, he'll get to the house," O'Dea said. "That's the bottom line." 

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Fantasy Analysis | 1419209441
Buccaneers DST not an embarrassment
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer

Facing one of the league's most prolific offenses Week 16 against Green Bay, the Buccaneers defense didn't do so poorly, allowing 20 points on 431 yards. Of course, its DST wasn't so productive in Fantasy either thanks to just one sack and one takeaway, a fumble recovery by Clinton McDonald.

The Buccaneers DST had a stretch of three games in Weeks 11-13 when it scored double-digit Fantasy points in standard leagues, but it's been held to less than 10 in three since. It remains an unreliable unit and certainly isn't worth using against the Saints in Week 17.

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Fantasy Analysis | 1418598358
Buccaneers DST has moderate rebound
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer

After giving up 34 points on 407 yards to the Lions in Week 14, ending a streak of three straight games with double-digit Fantasy points, the Buccaneers DST had a decent showing Week 15 at the Packers, allowing 19 points on 390 yards. It recorded three sacks but had just one takeaway -- a fumble recovery in the third quarter.

In standard leagues, the Buccaneers DST finished with nine Fantasy points. It has averaged 12.8 in its last five games.

Though it's more or less on the right track, the Buccaneers DST still isn't a unit you can trust in Fantasy unless it has a favorable matchup. It couldn't have a more unfavorable one Week 16 against the Packers.

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Fantasy Analysis | 1417999153
Buccaneers slide defensively
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer

After a three-game stretch in which they allowed an average of 14.0 points on 271.3 yards, the Buccaneers took a big step back in both areas on the road against a Lions team not known for its offense in Week 14, allowing 34 points on 407 yards. It was the first time the Buccaneers allowed 30 or more points or 400 or more yards to an opponent since Week 6 against the Ravens.

The Buccaneers did at least have four sacks on the day. They also recovered a fumble. Those contributions gave their DST double-digit Fantasy points, according to standard scoring, for the fourth straight game.

The Buccaneers DST has become the type of unit that tends to perform well even when it isn't at its best. It visits a Panthers team in Week 15 that's coming off a big win at the Saints but has had poor offensive production overall, making the Buccaneers DST an option to consider in 12-team leagues.

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Fantasy Analysis | 1417391666
Another strong defensive showing for Buccaneers
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer

The Buccaneers limited the visiting Bengals to 14 points on 288 yards in Week 13, giving their DST double-digit Fantasy points in standard leagues for the third straight week. They've allowed an average of 14.0 points on 271.3 yards during that stretch.

They've also benefited from some big plays on the defensive side of the ball and had no shortage of them in Week 13, recording three interceptions and two sacks to give them five and 11, respectively, during that stretch.

Though the Buccaneers DST has fared well of late, it's still not one you can trust in Fantasy unless it has an especially favorable matchup. With a so-so one Week 14 at Detroit, it's a roll of the dice.

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