Ryan Fitzpatrick is set to begin the season as the Buccaneers starting quarterback following the three-game suspension for Jameis Winston. Fitzpatrick will take on the Saints, Eagles and Steelers, with the latter two games in Tampa Bay. Only desperate Fantasy owners will consider Fitzmagic in typical Fantasy leagues. Expect him to be a trendy DFS pick in Weeks 2 and 3, but not someone worth drafting.
Fitzpatrick completed five of 13 passes for 46 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions in the Buccaneers' 30-14 preseason win over the Titans on Saturday. He also rushed once for seven yards. The veteran didn't look anywhere near as sharp as he had in the preseason opener, although he did lead a 14-play, 68-yard drive that culminated in a field goal. Fitzpatrick came up empty on two targets to Mike Evans during the opening possession, but he bounced back to hit Evans, Peyton Barber, Adam Humphries and Cameron Brate on the aforementioned successful series. Fitzpatrick is likely poised for a larger workload than the three drives he helmed Saturday when the Bucs face the Lions on Friday in their third exhibition.
Fitzpatrick completed six of eight passes for 55 yards and added two rushes for 11 yards in the Buccaneers' 26-24 preseason win over the Dolphins on Thursday. The veteran quarterback looked exceedingly sharp, leading a six-play, 57-yard touchdown drive on the Bucs' first possession. Fitzpatrick encouragingly kicked off that series with back-to-back completions to his top two receivers, hitting DeSean Jackson for 18 yards and then finding Mike Evans for 14 on the next play. Fitzpatrick hung in for one more drive and was able to also connect with the wideout that many are assuming will vault into the third receiver role by Week 1, Chris Godwin. It was about as smooth a debut as head coach Dirk Koetter could have hoped for, especially considering the successful connections with three of the team's most important pass catchers. Fitzpatrick will look to build on Thursday's performance when Tampa faces the Tennessee Titans on Aug. 18 in their second exhibition game.
Fitzpatrick will start at quarterback during Thursday's preseason opener in Miami, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports. This comes as no surprise since Fitzpatrick is set to start the first few games of the regular season due to Jameis Winston's three-game suspension. However, it's unclear how many snaps either of the team's top quarterbacks will take Thursday, as the Buccaneers are dealing with a rash of injuries along the offensive line. Head coach Dirk Koetter did indicate that Fitzpatrick could play the entire first quarter, but the risk of injury could force the coaching staff to give extra reps to reserves Ryan Griffin and Austin Allen.
Fitzpatrick is getting work with the first-team offense during training camp, Scott Smith of the team's official site reports. With Jameis Winston suspended for the first three weeks of the season, Fitzpatrick is naturally getting much more extensive work with the Bucs' top tier of pass catchers than he would under normal circumstances, The 35-year-old has shown excellent chemistry with DeSean Jackson and Mike Evans on a number of throws, and Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the veteran signal caller made nice connections with Cameron Brate, Adam Humphries and O.J. Howard in Sunday's practice. Fitzpatrick generated a solid 248.3 yards per game, 3:1 TD:INT and 2-1 record as a starter last season when Winston was sidelined with a shoulder injury, and the team hopes that preparing him to lead the first unit through a full camp and preseason will yield even better results.
Fitzpatrick is slated to start the first three games of the 2018 season due to the suspension of the same length received by Jameis Winston, Field Yates of ESPN reports. Fitzpatrick has again found a way to earn starts, only this time it's the result of Winston violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. In three starts for Winston last season, Fitzpatrick completed 57.4 percent of his passes, averaged 248.3 yards per game and posted three touchdowns versus one interception. It's difficult to expect much more of the 35-year-old signal-caller, despite oodles of skill-position talent on the roster.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/09||@New Orleans Saints||18||19.06|
|11||11/18||@New York Giants||32||22.88|
|12||11/25||San Francisco 49ers||27||21.00|
|14||12/09||New Orleans Saints||18||19.06|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||58.5||2573||17||12||159||1||211|