Every year we give our premium content members a team-by-team, player-by-player look at the NFL season that was. The coverage will be in-depth, but because the Dynasty Capsule series begins immediately after the season, we won’t use it to discuss free agency or the draft. Come see us in early May once Mr. Irrelevant is off the board for another 32-article series giving you the same detailed discussion you’ll see below.
Buckle up dynasty fans, because you’re about to be reminded why our motto is, “There is no off-season.”
The former number one overall pick will be entering his fourth year as the starting quarterback in Tampa. Winston had a forgettable year in 2017 that was marred by injury and inconsistent play by the offense. The Buccaneers went 3-9 in games started by Winston, and they finished the year 18th in total scoring.
Statistically, Jameis had his best year as a passer in completion percentage and passer rating. Winston completed 63.8 percent of his passes, up from 60.8 percent in 2016. His passer rating also rose to 92.2 percent, besting his previous high of 86.1. Fantasy speaking, Winston averaged 15.5 points per game which ranked him 16th among all quarterbacks with at least 13 games played.
Winston will once again be the starting quarterback in 2018, and he is in the final year of his rookie contract with a team option for a fifth year. Winston currently has an ADP of 102.17, the tenth quarterback drafted according to DLF’s January ADP. It is also worth noting that Winston is under NFL investigation for allegedly groping an Uber driver in 2016. If the NFL decides that Winston broke league rules, he could miss some time in 2018. This is something to monitor for fantasy owners.
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Long-time journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick was once again pressed into action when Winston was held out with a shoulder injury. Fitz played okay, completing 58.9 percent of his throws with seven touchdowns to just three interceptions. Fitzpatrick is not currently signed through 2018 but could be brought back if Winston is to miss any games due to the NFL investigation. If he has to spot start some games next season, Fitzpatrick would be worth a deep roster stash but is currently not draftable in any format.
Martin began the season serving a three-game suspension for drug use. Upon returning, Martin never regained his former 1,400-yard rushing form. He averaged a pathetic 2.9 yards per carry and was eventually benched in favor of Peyton Barber. As a result of his suspension, all of Martin’s contract guarantees were wiped away. The team could save 6.75 million dollars in cap space next season by cutting him. Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times believes there’s “no chance” the Bucs keep Doug Martin moving forward. If he is still on your dynasty roster, you should move on too.
Another one of the underwhelming running backs for Tampa Bay, Rodgers struggled in place of Martin during his suspension. Rodgers rushed for 244 yards on the season and added virtually nothing to the passing game, only catching nine balls. He is under contract in 2018 for 1.6 million, but he is still a cut candidate and it wouldn’t surprise anyone if he didn’t return in the fall.
Charles Sims has been the Buccaneers’ pass-catching back for the last four seasons but was used very sparingly in 2017. Sims caught 35 passes for 249 yards and one touchdown, along with 95 yards on the ground. Sims will be a free agent this year and will likely land on another team as a specialty pass-catching back.
When Peyton Barber finally came on late in the season, he showed some nice flashes in the running game. He had 12+ carries in each of the final five games and averaged 4.2 yards per carry in those contests. Lightly used in college, Barber’s best year was in 2015 when he rushed for 1,017 yards for Auburn as a sophomore. According to DLF’s latest ADP rankings, Barber’s ADP is 150.83, the 47th running back drafted. That slot is about right for him as he is at least worth a deep roster stash, for now. With all of the running back issues and mishaps in 2017, I expect the Buccaneers to address the position in the draft.
A bonafide top 12 pick in the DLF ADP rankings, Evans is coming off a “down” year in 2017. Evans finished the season as WR18, averaging 13.42 PPR points per game. Most of Evans inefficiencies can be blamed on Winston’s injury and the transition to Fitzpatrick as the quarterback. He did reach 1,000 receiving yards for the fourth consecutive year to start a career, joining Randy Moss and AJ Green as the only three to accomplish that feat. His current ADP is 7.17, the eighth overall pick according to DLF’s January ADP data. Evans was once flirting with the number one overall dynasty pick as late as September 2017. He is only 24 years old, and I expect him to redeem himself in 2018 as a top three dynasty asset.
Jackson was very inconsistent and unimpressive in his first year in Tampa Bay. He only topped 100 receiving yards in a game once and finished the year with 138.6 PPR points, the WR45. Jackson is under contract through 2019 and would be appealing for the Buccaneers to bring back due to his game-breaking speed. His current ADP is 95.00, the 44th receiver taken. Jackson is worth a roster spot if brought back, but he could be facing criminal charges. His car was found wrecked and abandoned with drugs and bullets in Florida. Similar to Winston, this is a case to monitor and adjust your rosters accordingly.
Godwin was one of the few weapons on the team who answered the bell when called upon. Stuck behind Evans, Jackson, and Humphries, Godwin saw limited playing time (three starts) but looked very impressive. In the season finale, Godwin caught seven passes for 111 yards and his 39-yard touchdown was the game-winner against the playoff-bound Saints. Godwin would be an upgrade over Humphries in the slot and would be a welcomed addition to the fantasy world. He finished fourth for the wide receivers with 40.96 percent snap share for the entire season. His ADP has been slowly climbing and is at its highest to date, 133.50 (WR63). Godwin is certainly worth a roster spot and now may be the best time to acquire him. As training camp begins and the season nears, I expect his ADP to continue to climb further.
Humphries was solid in his slot role once again last year. He hauled in 61 passes for 631 yards and a touchdown in his third year as a pro. Combining the emergence of Godwin and that Humphries is not signed through 2018; this could be the end of the line for him in Tampa. If he returns, he will likely be the fourth receiving option behind Godwin. If he tests the open market, there could be mild interest in bringing him in for a slot receiving role. Like the running backs, Humphries is not worthy of a roster spot.
A former college teammate of Winston’s, Wilson was called up from the practice squad for three games last year. He only has one catch for 18 yards that ended up being a touchdown against Carolina.
The Harvard grad didn’t continue to build on his 2016 resume, instead, he took a step backward. Brate did, however, finish as the TE10 and was once again a red zone safety blanket for his quarterback, hauling in six touchdowns. Brate’s snap share decreased from 62.35% to 53.44%, although his targets were virtually the same. With Howard being the clear future for the Buccaneers, you can expect Brate to see even less of the field in 2018. He may continue to see some limited passing down work, but 2017 is probably the last time he will have any fantasy relevance.
Howard was the Buccaneers’ first-round pick in 2017 when they selected him with the 19th overall pick. He led the Bucs tight ends in snap share with 55.83 percent of his teams’ snaps. After getting off to a slow start, Howard finished the year with 26 receptions for 432 yards and six touchdowns. The future for the team’s next ten+ years, Howard should be considered as a top end tight end pick in dynasty drafts. DLF’s ADP data has Howard as the current TE6 (71.67 ADP).
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