TAMPA BAY BUCS…
– QB –
A lot has been written hyping all the great new weapons at JAMEIS’s disposal. And that’ll certainly continue to solidify my expectations for his floor this season (~QB14). There was no sophomore slump as he had another 4,000 yards passing, while seeing upcreases in both passing TDs and completion percentage. BUT… His fantasy production went down in 2016, because…
- he threw 3 more INTs,
- had more 1 fumble,
- downcreased from 6 rush TDs in 2015 down to 1 last year, and
- rushed for fewer yards on about the same number of attempts.
- He was sacked 8 more times in 2016 too. (Drive killer.)
Why? His O-Line is stinky. Because of all this, Mr. ButterFace believes his upside is capped at a low-end QB1. Having more/better options to pass to doesn’t mean much if you’re consistently worried about being sacked. Which means I see him in a pretty tight range of QB 8 to 14. So he’s guaranteed to be a top-half QB… which… actually isn’t all that brag-worthy… especially when you consider that his consistency was about the same as Blake Bortles. Draft him late …if he lasts that long.
– RB –
It’s all about cost here. Each of the last two seasons, the Bucs were 8th in the NFL in rushing attempts per game. So there’s definitely opportunity… for a lot of guys.
DOUG MARTIN is missing the first several games of the season… and currently costing teams a 4th round pick in this year’s draft. That means you’re drafting an unplayable starter and banking that he delivers for you those last 9 regular season games (Weeks 4-13, with Week 11 bye) enough to catapult you into the playoffs. Don’t forget that he had only 6 rushing TDs in his 2015 pro bowl season. And as much as we Bucs fans like to focus on 2012 and 2015… his other 3 NFL seasons resulted in an average (with little deviation) of ~450 rushing yards. I don’t care the reasons. Those are the results. And he’s already guaranteed to miss 3 games this season? Stay far away. Only get him via FA or trade when his stock is at low tide.
JACQUIZZ. Right now, you’re thinking “Mr. ButterFace hates his favorite team.” Not true. I want you to draft Jacquizz. He’s going in the 11th, and you’re pretty much guaranteed 3 solid games to start 2017 where he’s going against last year’s 31st, 26th and 19th run defenses. After that? Who knows when DM returns, but who cares? At worst, sell high. You drafted him a deep-bench level and he helped propel you to something hopefully close to a 3-0 start. Yay.
SIMS & McNICHOLS. Sims disappeared last year between injury and missed-opportunity. Hard to gamble on him in 2017. Especially with the rookie McNichols clogging up the bench. The rookie has no chance (ok, injury) to contend for the starting position in Weeks 1-5, so has little value beyond a complete collapse of the TB running game in the first half of the season. And by that time, teams will be so worried about the Bucs as a whole, that McNichols will be a free agent too. Leave him undrafted. If you have an extra bench space mid-season and Doug Martin had a rough first few outings in Weeks 4-6, pick him up and stash him. Same applies to Sims, but with even lower expectations.
– WRs –
Everything starts with EVANS. High floor, high ceiling. My worry is that he’s going to cost you too much. He’s going in the first – and he is 1st Round talent – but is he going to do enough for your team to be worthy of that 1.07 - 1.10 pick? …probably not, especially if you consider the scarcity at RB and what guys like McCoy, Freeman, DeMarco and Melvin provide for your team. Then ask yourself the likelihood that the 2nd round cost of TY, Dez, Michaelthomas, and even AJ Green (if lucky) will provide the same value to your team as Evans. For my money, it’ll be pretty close. So I’m drafting an RB in late Round 1 over Evans. If I can get him at the turn, I’ll take him, but otherwise… nope.
DESEAN’s value is less in PPR formats, but the old man still has burner speed and a QB that likes to chuck the ball on par with his QB last season. So I’d rely on him for similar stats: 1000yds and 6TDs. Which are some rather pleasant numbers… except that they come inconcsistently and in bunches. If you can predict when those’ll show up, by all means draft him as your 3rd or 4th WR with the confidence in WR2 results. Just don’t take him too early.
HUMPHRIES doesn’t even show up in the UDK. Tag him as a free agent to keep an eye on.
– TE –
BRATE is free. (His ADP is 14.08.) Yet he was a mid-level TE1 (regardless of format) during the Season-of-Barfy-TEs. What happened? OJ Howard. We’ll see what happens in the preseason, but if you punt on TEs for most of the draft, I would fully support taking two TEs late (11th-14th rounds) and one of them should be Brate. Why??
The NEW OJ has gotten a lot of hype – and deservedly so. He’s a specimen of a TE with combine numbers you’ll joyfully brag about on draft day. He’s going in the 10th round, so he won’t cost you a starter. All good so far. …except that pretty much every analysis I’ve read of his time at Alabama (on one hand) praises his physical gifts while (on the other ) making a variety of excuses why his receiving numbers never met expectations. The argument almost always being “a physical freak must result in a Pro Bowl player.” I’m not so sure. What is pretty widely accepted – and proven – is that he’s a very good blocker. And you know what Tampa Bay needs? A better O-Line. Mr. ButterFace’s conclusion? There’s some really good value-opportunity drafting Brate. He’s a proven commodity, while rookie OJ could easily get stuck blocking and only running limited routes his rookie season.