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||4,601 YD, 29 TD, 13 INT|
|RB||Ronald Jones||827 YD, 6 TD; 23 REC, 184 YD, 1 TD|
|RB||LeSean McCoy||476 YD, 4 TD; 17 REC, 119 YD, 1 TD|
|RB||Dare Ogunbowale||77 YD, 1 TD; 46 REC, 327 YD, 2 TD|
|RB||Ke'Shawn Vaughn||189 YD, 1 TD; 4 REC, 31 YD, 0 TD|
|WR||Mike Evans||127 TAR, 74 REC, 1,172 YD, 7 TD|
|WR||Chris Godwin||133 TAR, 88 REC, 1,187 YD, 8 TD|
|WR||Tyler Johnson||36 TAR, 20 REC, 258 YD, 2 TD|
|TE||Rob Gronkowski||85 TAR, 55 REC, 738 YD, 6 TD|
|TE||O.J. Howard||48 TAR, 32 REC, 425 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. He's physical but not dominant, quick but not fast, solid as a receiver and as a blocker but that's about it. Meanwhile, his primary competition for playing time has spent all offseason improving his game, adding muscle and becoming a better blocker. The lack of an offseason program for all rookies is rough, but Vaughn began training camp on the team's reserve/COVID-19 list, further stunting his development. They then signed LeSean McCoy in late July. It's going to take a lot for Vaughn to be impactful this season.
I've done a 180 on Jones following the Bucs' offseason moves. They didn't do much -- drafting Vaughn in Round 3 and adding LeSean McCoy after Vaughn wound up on the COVID-19 list doesn't qualify as a big strike against Jones. Meanwhile, the third-year running back has busted his hump this offseason improving his pass protection and remaining as explosive as he was last year while putting on seven more pounds of muscle. It's his second consecutive offseason where he's rededicated himself to football -- the first one yielded over 1,000 total yards and six scores despite just 203 total touches. His encore, in an offense piloted by Brady and with a better O-line, figures to be much better. McCoy's arrival could mean trouble for Jones if Jones keeps making mistakes, but short of that, Jones has potential to easily finish as a top-20 Fantasy rusher.
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.