There probably isn't a quarterback in the NFL less like Jameis Winston than Tom Brady. Winston's willingness to push the ball down the field and take risks pushed Mike Evans and Chris Godwin into the upper echelon of Fantasy wide receivers, but it also potentially left points on the board. The combination of Brady's decision making with Bruce Arians' aggression could be a match made in Fantasy heaven — if Brady is still Brady after all this time.
Record: 7-9 (17th in NFL)
PPG: 28.6 (3)
YPG: 397.9 (3)
Pass YPG: 302.8 (1)
Rush YPG: 95.1 (24)
PAPG: 39.4 (4)
RAPG: 25.6 (14)
2019 Fantasy finishes
QB: Jameis Winston* QB5
RB: Ronald Jones RB26; Peyton Barber* RB42; Dare Ogunbowale RB59
WR: Chris Godwin WR2; Mike Evans WR14; Breshad Perriman* WR51
TE: Cameron Brate TE24; O.J. Howard TE30
*No longer with team
Number to know: 29.3%
Mike Evans has gained more than 1,000 yards in each of his first six seasons. He's also averaged 9.3 targets per game over his career, failing to get 9.0 targets per game over a season twice: 2014 (8.1) and 2018 (8.6).
Of the 15 times Brady has connected for over 1,000 yards with a pass-catcher, a wide receiver who predominantly lines up outside has been on the other end just three times (Randy Moss in 2007 and 2009, Brandin Cooks in 2017).
Of the 14 times Brady has averaged at least 9.0 targets per game to a pass-catcher, a wide receiver who predominantly lines up outside has been on the other end just ONCE (Moss, 2007).
Evans lined up in the slot just 29.3% of the time in 2019. It was a career high.
154 carries, 24 RB targets, 84 WR targets, 1 TE target
Rankings and Projections
| ||Heath Cummings' projections|
|QB||Tom Brady||4,745 YD, 30 TD, 13 INT|
|RB||Ronald Jones||767 YD, 6 TD; 28 REC, 228 YD, 1 TD|
|RB||Ke'Shawn Vaughn||736 YD, 4 TD; 26 REC, 181 YD, 1 TD|
|WR||Mike Evans||129 TAR, 75 REC, 1,126 YD, 7 TD|
|WR||Chris Godwin||136 TAR, 89 REC, 1,217 YD, 8 TD|
|WR||Tyler Johnson||55 TAR, 31 REC, 397 YD, 3 TD|
|TE||Rob Gronkowski||86 TAR, 56 REC, 757 YD, 6 TD|
|TE||O.J. Howard||49 TAR, 33 REC, 436 YD, 3 TD|
Can Brady still sling it?
"Brady led the league in passing yardage as recently as 2017, and that was also the last time he had a legitimate deep threat in Brandin Cooks. Unsurprisingly, Brady's average throw traveled 9.1 yards downfield that season, at least a yard higher than any of his other seasons since 2013. In Bruce Arians' vertical offense, Jameis Winston's average throw depth was above 10, and Brady finally has the weapons to once again push the ball down the field with regularity." -- Ben Gretch
One sleeper, one breakout and one bust
If anyone's a sleeper on the Bucs, it's Howard. Not only did the team stand by him this offseason, but Arians has admitted that multiple tight ends are part of his personnel plan. Gronkowski's arrival obviously means bad things in terms of target share, but Gronkowski's had problems staying healthy and Howard would theoretically slide into larger responsibilities if (when?) Gronk is sidelined. Howard bumbled away his 2019 but averaged a touchdown every 5.5 catches and 16.6 yards per catch in his first two seasons. He has talent — let's see how he uses it in what amounts to a make-or-break season. If you have the bench depth, he's worth considering as a stash.
As rookie running backs go, Vaughn isn't special, but he does have good enough traits to contribute to the Bucs offense in at least a part-time role right away. Considering his competition — Jones and Ogunbowale — Vaughn has a shot to earn some good playing time. While Jones is more explosive, Vaughn plays with a physical style and even has upside as a receiver (29 receptions in 2019) and as a pass blocker. That could be where he makes an impact first with the Bucs, with potential to evolve into a 15-touch runner with goal-line privileges by October.
The new priorities for all Buccaneers running backs are protecting Brady and enhancing his offense. Jones couldn't protect Winston last year, ranking 53rd out of 60 qualifiers at running back in Pro Football Focus' pass blocking efficiency metric. That could be enough to bench him on passing downs. As a rusher, Jones was a mixed bag in 2019: He scored six touchdowns inside of 10 yards but only sniffed carries near the goal line (three yards or closer) on two occasions, which was third-most on his own team. He also ranked 19th in PFF's elusive metric and 29th in yards after contact per attempt, which is solid but not exactly encouraging enough to suggest a big year is coming. Jones can't afford to make many mistakes or play ineffectively in the early going or else the coaching staff will turn to someone else — particularly someone they drafted in April and not the guy they inherited. Tread lightly when drafting Jones.
AFC East: Bills | Jets | Patriots | Dolphins
NFC East: Giants | Cowboys | Eagles | Redskins
AFC South: Colts | Texans | Jaguars | Titans
NFC South: Panthers | Bucs | Falcons | Saints
AFC North: Ravens | Steelers | Browns | Bengals
NFC North: Packers | Vikings | Bears | Lions
AFC West: Chiefs | Broncos | Raiders | Chargers
NFC West: Seahawks | 49ers | Rams | Cardinals
So what Fantasy football sleepers should you snatch in your draft? And which WR1 candidate can you wait on until late? Visit SportsLine now to get cheat sheets from the model that was all over Derrick Henry's huge season, and find out.