Fantasy Power Rankings No. 27 — Tampa Bay
The Buccaneers offer 70.1 percent of the fantasy firepower compared to the average NFL team and are 39.7 percent as valuable to fantasy owners as the NFL’s best team.
Doug Martin exploded onto the fantasy scene in 2012 and was one of the first players drafted one year ago, but a shoulder injury cut his season short. However, before the injury Martin was not as explosive of a fantasy player as he had been the previous year.
In six games, he scored just one touchdown on 127 carries — a touchdown per carry rate below 1 percent. In 2012, he scored 11 touchdowns on 319 carries — a touchdown per carry rate well over 3 percent. Martin was the 17th highest-scoring running back based on PPG from Weeks 1-7 last season, and that’s about where he’s expected to finish in 2014.
Even though Martin should be one of the 20 best running backs in fantasy football this season, the Buccaneers offer the 23rd most valuable backfield to fantasy owners because they have no fantasy-relevant backups.
The team offers fantasy players the most at the wide receiver position, thanks to the presence of Vincent Jackson and first round pick Mike Evans. Tampa Bay has the 17th most valuable wide receiving group from a fantasy perspective.
Jackson saw 156 targets last season, tied for the sixth most among all wide receivers. However, he trailed off in the second half of the season. From Weeks 1-8, Jackson led the league with 88 targets in seven games. From Weeks 9-17, Jackson played nine games but had 20 fewer targets (68). Jackson may not see the same target volume he saw during the first half of 2013, but he is still projected to be one of the 15 most targeted receivers in the league in 2014.
Evans provides Tampa Bay’s quarterback — whomever that may be, Josh McCown or Mike Glennon — with another big body to target. With Mike Williams no longer on the team, Evans will step into the No. 2 role and many anticipate him to thrive next to Jackson. And, considering his size (6’5”), it’s possible he will become a favorite redzone target.
Both Jackson and Evans would be more valuable if Tampa Bay had a better quarterback situation. Glennon showed promise last season but never threw for over two touchdowns or 300 yards in a single game. And it’s not like he wasn’t given ample opportunity — Glennon threw the ball 40-plus times in five games last season, more than Philip Rivers.
Josh McCown, the expected starter, was excellent in eight games for the Chicago Bears last season, tossing 13 touchdowns compared to just one interception. However, he was throwing to an elite cast of receivers led by Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, arguably the best tandem in the league. He won’t find success as easily in Tampa Bay.
Despite ranking 27th overall, the Buccaneers do offer fantasy football owners some value. But a lack of depth at running back and little to no value at the quarterback and tight end positions hurts the team’s overall offering.