Scheme and Metrics fantasy team preview- we’ll take a look at each of the 32 teams and look at a combination of offensive scheme/philosophy and some player metrics to give us something else to think about when drafting our fantasy squads this summer. In this edition, we’ll look at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The system/scheme• Bruce Arians and his vertical offense have made it to Tampa Bay! We can expect to see a vertical-passing attack that is relentless against opponents. With weapons like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and O.J. Howard, secondaries will struggle to find ways to deal with stopping them. Also, despite having below-average RBs, the strength of the passing game should provide the RBs with good running lanes.
• Ronald Jones’ appeal in last year’s draft was his 71st-percentile 40-yard dash and 53rd-percentile explosiveness- not great numbers, but not bad either. He didn’t test for agility, so that number is unknown, and we have no data from last year to estimate how agile he might be.
• Peyton Barber’s best asset is 72nd-percentile agility, but he has very little explosiveness (16th-percentile) to go with 58th-percentile speed. What we saw last year is about what his profile projects.
• Mike Evans possesses 96th-percentile speed to go with his 6’5” 231 pound frame that gives him a 95th-percentile catch radius. But don’t look for a shifty route running or run after the catch ability, as he possesses 36th-percentile agility.
• Chris Godwin profiles as a strong starting WR with 90th-percentile speed and 74th-percentile agility to go with 68th percentile explosiveness, and he’s also a 96th-percentile SPARQ athlete.
• Breshad Perriman has been mostly a bust in his career despite having 100th-percentile speed and 74th-percentile explosiveness to go with a 6’2” frame. If he settles in, it would be as a deep threat- at least he’s in the right offense for that!
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• Justin Watson’s agility is only 36th-percentile, so he’ll likely be playing on the outside with his 87th-percentile speed and 88th-percentile explosiveness. He’s also a 92nd-percentile SPARQ athlete.
• O.J. Howard projects to be an amazing receiver, as he possesses 97th-plus percentile speed and agility.
• The defense is awful, as expected, and the Bucs consistently find themselves in shootouts that require Jameis Winston to throw the ball upwards of 45 times in most weeks. As a result, all skill position starters are strong fantasy options.
• The offensive line has issues, defenses blitz frequently, and Winston either gets injured or checks the ball down too frequently, leading to an unacceptable number of punts. Another scenario is that Winston starts to make the same errors that got him benched last year, but there’s no Ryan Fitzpatrick waiting in the wings this year to bail out the offense.
• Jameis Winston will benefit from his own team’s bad defense, HC Bruce Arians’ vertical attack and an easy schedule against the pass- yes, he looks to be in line for a career year, in his contract year. He’s one of the QBs I’m aggressively targeting in drafts.
• Ronald Jones- With the team adding pretty much nothing at RB in the offseason, he simply needs to overtake Peyton Barber to find a path to well over 200 touches. He’ll benefit from the passing attack that Bruce Arians is bringing to TB, and there should be plenty of space to run- remember, light boxes is the key to RB success, and he should see plenty of those. If he falls past 80 or so picks, and I need a RB, I’ll roll the dice on him.
• Peyton Barber was barely replacement level but got 230 carries and put together a flex-level fantasy season. If Ronald Jones does anything in camp, Barber will be a backup, but if Barber wins the job, he should see enough light boxes with Bruce Arians running the offense that he could be a low-end RB2. That said, I’d rather target players with more upside in drafts.
• Mike Evans had a career high with 1,524 yards last year and goes into his age-25 season with Bruce Arians as the head coach. The big deal with that is Arians loves to have his QBs throw deep, and Evans should see as many targets as he can handle from strong-armed Jameis Winston. He’ll also be helped that O.J. Howard and Chris Godwin are strong receiving options, so defenses won’t be able to sell out solely to stop Evans. After setting a career-high 17.7 yards per reception last year, he could increase that number in an Arians’ offense.
• Chris Godwin has yet to be a full-time player, but he’ll get his chance with Bruce Arians as his head coach. Arians wants to use him in the slot (smart move with his agility), but Godwin should see plenty of vertical routes in this offense. With an anemic rushing attack, and also facing an easy schedule against the pass, and don’t forget that dude named Mike Evans who must be accounted for, Godwin could have a big year in a high-volume passing offense. He’s another player I will spend the draft capital on because I feel he can finish with low-end WR1 numbers.
• Before writing Breshad Perriman off, he played with Baker Mayfield down the stretch last year, and in his last four games, despite averaging three targets, he had at least 45 yards in three games and averaged 2/58/0.5, and now playing both with Jameis Winston and HC Bruce Arians, Perriman could continue to see vertical passes that allow him to actually be a contributor. As of now, Perriman is the front-runner to start in 11 personnel and that would almost ensure he’d get more than the three targets/gm he was seeing. All that said, he is a massive dart throw, but he did produce last year, and he’s in a fantastic situation and the Bucs face an easy schedule against the pass.
• O.J. Howard is 6’6” and 251 pounds, so yes, he’s gonna do some blocking out of the TE position when the team goes to 12 personnel. But that shouldn’t scare anyone- he’s now playing for vertical-passing guru Bruce Arians, who will certainly take advantage of Howard’s speed and agility. Sure, he won’t see the crazy number of targets of the ‘big-3 TEs’, but in his third year, he could have the statistics explosion we hoped to see when he came into the NFL.