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The Crow’s Nest: Jameis throwing 30 TD, defense in the Pro Bowl, and Mike Evansby Gil Arcia on July 18, 2019 at 12:30 pm
Photo by John Babiak/Bucs Nation Web links on the Buccaneers. Bucs rookie WR Scotty Miller is ready for the big stageThe Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Adam Humphries this offseason, but used one of their picks in the 2019 NFL Draft to take wideout Scotty Miller in the sixth round. Bucs’ Critical Camp Questions – No. 10: SpenceDoes OLB Noah Spence Make The Team And Contribute In 2019? Yes/No: Two Buc Defenders in the Pro BowlThe Tampa Bay Buccaneers, whose Mount Rushmore would probably be four defensive players and still open for debate as to which four, have a rich history on that side of the ball. Behind the Buccaneers: Carl NassibSurprise! This series now includes a podcast element above so you can actually hear these convos along with some context. The “Volume” HurdleWith a little work on his composure and a little help from a new coaching staff, Mike Evans has every chance to end the 2019 season as the most highly-regarded wide receiver in the league. Bucs Yes/No: Quarterback Jameis Winston Hits 30-Touchdown MarkAs a team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers threw a franchise-record 36 touchdown passes in 2018. Despite that accomplishment, the Buccaneers individual single-season record for TD passes is 28. […]
Buccaneers’ Evans, lone representative on CBS Sports Top 100by Kyle_Marks on July 17, 2019 at 5:00 pm
Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images CBS finds only one Buccaneer worthy of their top 100 list to no one’s surprise. When you think of the top Buccaneers on the current roster there is essentially one name that everyone can agree with, Mike Evans. Taking a look at Monday’s CBS Sports Top 100 Players in the NFL, the panel tasked with putting this list together agreed. Coming off some rough seasons defensively, it’s not much of a surprise to see Lavonte David missing. With Jason Pierre-Paul hurt, no shock he is outside the top 100 as well. The total void of Buccaneers on this list outside of Evans is more so the story than Mike Evans making the list itself. Evans is deserving, to be perfectly honest he seems a bit underrated at this point given his 61st overall slot. 61st overall was good for 9th best receiver. 9th... let that sink in for a moment. The crew at CBS Sports gave way to the likes of Adam Thielen, Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill among others over Mike Evans. For reference, Aaron Donald came in at number one, deservedly so, and DeAndre Hopkins took the top receiver spot at 7th overall. A name many Buccaneer fans will be looking for is none other than Gerald McCoy. One will have to look long and hard though, as McCoy did not make the top 100 while 10 other defensive tackles did find their way into the top 100. With some magic from Bruce Arians and company, hopefully some more Buccaneers will rise the ranks and earn their spot in next years top 100. […]
Drafting Buccaneers: WR, Chris Godwinby David_Harrison on July 17, 2019 at 3:00 pm
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports Could Tampa Bay’s second receiver get closer to becoming a WR1 for your fantasy football team? Running backs will be going early and often, but commonly it’s the mid-round picks like Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin who make or break your fantasy football title hopes. Landing big-time value outside of the top two rounds is absolutely critical if you want bragging rights (and whatever trophy or award your league gives out) when it’s all said and done. In 2018 Godwin was FantasyPros.com’s WR27 with 185.2 PPR points. Extremely good production for a guy who was considered to be behind both Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson in the Buccaneers wide receiver pecking order, and despite the fact he finished behind Adam Humphries on the receptions list in Tampa Bay. Last season was quality over quantity. Yes Godwin increased his statistical output across the board, but he still finished third on the team in receptions with 59. Still, he finished second in yards with 842 and second again in touchdowns with seven. 2019 could be Godwin’s national breakout season where quality and quantity collide as Tampa Bay looks to replace the 117 receptions lost from last year with the departures of Jackson and Humphries. But, before we get too far into 2019, let’s continue our look at 2018. CHRIS GODWIN’S 2018 FANTASY FOOTBALL SEASON The former Penn State standout has yet to miss a game in his two-year career, but has only been credited with seven starts up to this point. This year, his starts are sure to spike and if history is any indicator, it’ll mean big numbers for the future. Here are two key observations from 2018 that will influence his 2019 potential. THE GOOD: POSSESSING THE BEST ABILITY If touchdowns are King in fantasy football, then availability is Queen. There are players every year who get completely dropped from draft boards because of their inconsistency in staying on the field. Josh Gordon is one of the most talented receivers to ever touch an NFL field, but his lack of availability drives down his value every year. Godwin hasn’t had this problem up to this point. Out of 32 possible games he could have been active and available, he has been for exactly 32 of them. Drafting this Buccaneers receiver might bring with it certain concerns, but wondering if you’ll have a player to put in your ‘WR’ slot isn’t one of them. Well, outside of the bye week of course. THE BAD: POSSESSING...THE BALL From a fantasy football standpoint, four fumbles with one lost isn’t going to be a big red mark. But when you’re setting your draft board, the four opportunities for lost points is still something be aware of. A runner up in this category from 2018 could have been the ‘one ball’ dilemma stemming from existing in a very stacked group of playmakers. With Jackson and Humphries catching footballs elsewhere in 2019, Evans, Godwin and tight end O.J. Howard should split the lion’s share of targets. CHRIS GODWIN’S 2019 FANTASY FOOTBALL POTENTIAL This season was a big one for Godwin as he has a clear lane to being the second receiver in an already explosive offense with the potential to do even more under new head coach Bruce Arians and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich. Anyone paying attention to early off-season reviews of this Buccaneers offense has already heard the mounds of praise and potential being spread around about this specific receiver, and there are no signs the hype is anything but deserved. WR27 in 2018 means he finished just outside of WR2 status in 12-Team formats last season. Increased targets and fewer hands in the target’s pot should aid in Godwin’s ascension into weekly usage. Increasing his value even more is his fantasy football schedule, projected to be 18th in the NFL by FantasyPros, could give him a leg-up when considering his value versus other receivers like Sammy Watkins (Kansas City Chiefs), Jarvis Landry (Cleveland Browns) and Robert Woods (Los Angeles Rams) who all have harder fantasy football schedules facing them in 2019. Godwin has been a quality professional receiver since being drafted in the third-round of the 2017 NFL Draft. 2019 should be his year of increased usage, and if his season’s production increases by even ten percent, his stat line could look like this: 65 catches, 925-yards and eight touchdowns. A modest increase considering the opportunity awaiting Godwin in 2019, and enough to help bring your fantasy football team consistent success. 2019 PROJECTION: WR20; Draft in the *5th round with an eye on the mid-late fourth if your draft goes wide receiver heavy early on. *Draft projection based on 12-Team Leagues […]
Bucs camp 2019: Returners to watch forby Bailey Adams on July 17, 2019 at 11:30 am
Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Training camp is just over a week away, which means it’s time to start figuring out some of the more intriguing players to watch throughout the month of August. Since January, all we’ve been able to do is talk about what the Buccaneers will look like in 2019. With training camp just over one week away, talking season is nearly over. We’re about to actually see what the team looks like on the field. For NFL players, the end of July and the entire month of August is all about returning to game shape, getting reps and in some cases, fighting for roster spots. For fans, it’s simply a time to appreciate finally having football back. There’s always a group of players that get a bit of extra attention throughout training camp and the preseason. Who is in that group this year for Tampa Bay? Over the next week, we’ll be looking at five players to watch for in each of the following categories: returners, newcomers and undrafted free agents. Today, we get going with five returning players worth following over the next month or so. DT Vita Vea Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images There is so much to get excited about when it comes to Vita Vea in 2019. The 2018 first-round pick came on very strong in the second half of last season, totaling 25 tackles (four for loss), two sacks and three quarterback pressures over the Bucs’ final six games. This year, he is looking to take the next step. That starts, of course, with staying healthy. This is really Vea’s first full NFL training camp, as he spent last year’s sidelined with a calf injury. Getting some extra time and extra reps without necessarily game prepping (at least not as intensely) should be huge for the 6-foot-4, 347-pound tackle. When he returned from that calf issue last year, he stepped right into full-on game prep each and every week. Under new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, Tampa Bay is set to run a lot of looks out of a 3-4 front. Vea working at nose tackle should be plenty intriguing by itself, but the overall transformation of the defense should benefit him as well. With Gerald McCoy gone to Carolina, Vea is being trusted as THE guy in the middle of the Buccaneer defensive line. Training camp will be the first chance to see how he responds to that responsibility. QB Jameis Winston Photo by Will Vragovic/Getty Images The connection between Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston and new head coach Bruce Arians is no secret. The two met long ago, Arians has been a fan of Winston’s for years and now here we are. Arians’ track record with quarterbacks is well-documented. He’s coached Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck and Carson Palmer. His next project is taking Winston to the next level and, in turn, bringing Tampa Bay back to contender status for the first time in far too long. What’s not to be excited about? Winston has gotten to work with Arians a bit this offseason, but things will get kicked up a notch during training camp. The veteran head coach clearly has talent to work with in the young quarterback. But sharpening that deep ball and cutting down on bad decisions is where Winston needs the most work. This head coach/quarterback duo has been called a “perfect fit” this offseason. It’s now time to see that play out on the field. Will we see a new, next-level Jameis Winston in 2019? RB Ronald Jones II Photo by Mary Holt/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Whereas Vita Vea’s rookie year started slow and picked up considerably, Ronald Jones II’s first year started slow and never got going. Things started on a down note. The second-rounder didn’t do anything impressive in the preseason. There were questions about his knowledge of the playbook, though no one ever seemed to know if that was really a valid issue or not. Regardless, the former coaching staff clearly didn’t think Jones was ready last year. The USC product was inactive early on in the season, and when he was active as the year progressed, he didn’t get many meaningful carries. For the year, he rushed for 44 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries (1.9 yards per carry). He never found a rhythm, nor was he given a chance to. With Bruce Arians and a brand new coaching staff in the building this year, Jones should be getting a fresh start. There’s been talk that the staff has been impressed with him at different points this offseason. Plus, Jones has built up more muscle this offseason. As long as the added muscle weight doesn’t cut down on his speed, we could see a new version of the guy who shined in his college days with the Trojans. This is a huge month for Jones and his future. That makes him the center of one of the bigger storylines in Tampa Bay’s camp. OLB Noah Spence Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images Speaking of fresh starts, here’s another one. It wouldn’t be hard to convince someone that Noah Spence wasn’t on the team last year. His promising rookie season in 2016 feels like it was lifetimes ago at this point, which means there is a lot at stake for the former second-round pick in 2019. So far in his career, he has played in a 4-3 defensive end role. With the Bucs moving to more of a 3-4 front, Spence is now listed as an outside linebacker on the team’s roster. His size and speed make him a fit for such a role, but how he adapts to it and performs during camp and the preseason will tell us how much of a hand he’ll have in the 2019 Tampa Bay defense. This, realistically, is Spence’s last chance with the Bucs. He flashed potential as a rookie in 2016, had an injury cut his season short in 2017 and became virtually non-existent last year. Will the scheme change rejuvenate his career? With Jason Pierre-Paul dealing with a serious injury, there isn’t much depth at outside linebacker. Carl Nassib and Shaquil Barrett likely have the two starting spots right now, one would think. The Bucs could certainly benefit from Spence stepping up and providing a solid depth option at the position. The opportunity is there. But if he struggles in August, might the team look for outside help heading into the regular season? CB Vernon Hargreaves III Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images This offseason has been awfully strange for Vernon Hargreaves III. Early in the offseason, Bruce Arians raved about the young corner’s potential and overall talent. But things got weird once OTAs came around. When Hargreaves was watching practice from the sidelines, questions came up. Arians responded by telling reporters to ask VH3 why he wasn’t practicing and said he needed to get his mind right for practice. Well, when the former Florida Gator returned to practice, he downplayed the comments completely. He said something about tough love and no hard feelings. There were thoughts that he was injured, Arians seemed to contradict himself later on and who even knows what was going on? Bruce Arians on Hargreaves last week: "He's got to get his mind right for practice."Bruce Arians on Hargreaves today:"He's never been a problem mentally. It's just getting his body right, knowing you're not always going to be 100 percent."— Greg Auman (@gregauman) May 21, 2019 All of that stuff aside, this is also a big year for Hargreaves. He has been hit-or-miss in his career, but past defensive schemes have had him off the ball the majority of the time. That’s not what made him a first-round pick in 2016. He’s been moved to the slot at times, which has helped. But with Arians and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, Hargreaves will play man-to-man — which is what he knows and is comfortable with — on the outside. That should help his confidence considerably, and we’ve seen what a confident Vernon Hargreaves can do against opposing receivers. If he comes into camp confident and manages to stay healthy, the Tampa Bay secondary will get a huge boost. All right, Bucs Nation. Which returning players are you most looking forward to following when training camp comes our way next week? […]
Drafting Buccaneers: WR, Mike Evansby Bailey Adams on July 16, 2019 at 6:00 pm
Photo by Will Vragovic/Getty Images Evans is one of the top receivers in the game, but where should he be drafted in your fantasy leagues? It’s pretty easy to argue the case for Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans to be considered among the game’s best at his position. In fantasy football terms, that would obviously mean very good things. And in 2018, Evans sure was one of the best fantasy receivers in the league. According to FantasyData.com, he was 6th-ranked player at his position last year in terms of overall points. Evans’ 204.4 points in 2018 had him firmly ahead of 7th-ranked receiver Adam Thielen (194.3 points), but also firmly behind the 5th-ranked Julio Jones (212.9). For 2019 fantasy drafts, Jones is being selected an average of 12 picks ahead of Evans. It’s not hard to believe Evans was one of the best fantasy options in the league last season considering he put together the best year of his young career. He totaled 1,524 yards and eight touchdowns on 86 catches. In five seasons, the Texas A&M product has yet to fall short of the 1,000-yard mark. Consistency is kind of his thing. There isn’t any reason to believe Evans will take much of a step back in 2019. Even with the emergence of Chris Godwin and O.J. Howard, plus the addition of Breshad Perriman, Evans is the clear-cut No. 1 guy for the Bucs. In Bruce Arians’ vertical offense, Evans should continue to thrive. Before we evaluate his 2019 fantasy potential, let’s take a look back at his 2018 fantasy season. MIKE EVANS’ 2018 FANTASY FOOTBALL SEASON Being that he was the 6th-best scoring receiver, Evans was a very good guy to have on your fantasy roster last year. He was likely a WR1 on a lot of teams, and if he was a WR2, then you were likely near the top of your league. What made up that strong 2018 season? THE GOOD: OVERALL PRODUCTION/MAKING THE MOST OF HIS TARGETS I mean, just look the numbers. Evans caught 86 passes for 1,524 yards and eight touchdowns. That’s solid no matter how you spin it. He was once again Tampa Bay’s No. 1 receiver, which meant he drew the attention of opposing defenses from the jump. A lot of the time, it didn’t matter. Having a good supporting cast around him — Chris Godwin, O.J. Howard, Cameron Brate and Adam Humphries — has helped open things up quite a bit for him in the past. Having that group around him can come at a cost — which we’ll get to in a minute — but Evans was able to make the most of his targets. He had 17.7 yards per catch and a solid yards per target average of 11. In 14 of his 16 games last year, he averaged 10-plus yards per catch. In six of those 14 games, he went over 20-plus yards per catch, and six other times he was between 15 and 20. He had eight 100-yard games in 2018, which of course is half of the Bucs’ games. The production was there, and even when the targets aren’t where fantasy owners would’ve liked them to be, he still made a way. THE BAD: LACK OF USE IN THE RED ZONE The abundance of options for Jameis Winston was an issue for Evans’ fantasy owners at times. Where it caused the most frustration was in the red zone. The Bucs had troubles in the red zone, which was bad enough for Evans’ fantasy prospects. But when the team was successful in the red zone, it often wasn’t Evans. He was targeted just 14 times in the red zone, and he only caught six of those. Four of his eight touchdowns did come inside the red zone, but he only got 15.9% of the Bucs’ overall targets inside the 20. That’s certainly not ideal. For comparison’s sake, Davante Adams led receivers in red zone target percentage. He got 41.9% of Green Bay’s red zone targets last year, catching 16 passes on 31 targets for 149 yards and 12 touchdowns. Perhaps that’s a major reason why 2019 fantasy mocks have him going eighth overall on average. Evans, on average, is being selected 23rd overall. Of the eight wide receivers/tight ends drafted ahead of or at Evans’ slot (23) in these mocks, all of them had a better target percentage in the red zone. MIKE EVANS’ 2019 FANTASY FOOTBALL POTENTIAL This offseason saw some change for the Buccaneers, most notably in the form of Bruce Arians coming on board. With Arians leading the way, the offense is expected to continue and improve upon its performances under Dirk Koetter. Arians runs the same kind of vertical offense, which is good news for Evans. His size and dependability often distract from his speed. Despite his reputation and general role in recent years, Evans can and will be a deep threat for Tampa Bay in 2019. The depth of his targets and his resulting yards per catch average make him a very good option in your fantasy leagues. Plus, if we’re being pessimistic (and maybe a little realistic), there’s a decent chance the Bucs are trailing in games a fair amount this season. Whether it’s a small deficit and the Bucs are looking at Evans to get them right back in the game or it’s a blowout and they’re looking for chunk plays, the opportunity is there for fantasy production. In 2018, Evans went for 790 yards and five touchdowns on 41 catches when Tampa Bay was trailing. As good as Evans often is, a couple of things could hold him back from being an elite WR1 option this year. For one, even with a respectable eight touchdowns last year, the red zone targets just haven’t been there. As long as other receivers are getting more consistent looks inside the 20, Evans will linger behind the pack a bit. Of course, without those touchdowns, fantasy general managers are left to rely on yardage and catches to make up for such production. The yardage typically isn’t an issue for Evans, but he isn’t a 100-catch guy. He came close in 2016, but that was the only time in his career that he broke 90. So, if you’re playing in a PPR league, Evans won’t give you that same reliability as some others would. However, having a favorable fantasy schedule will be good for his production. Of the Bucs’ 16 games, FantasyPros classifies seven as “easy matchups” and just three as “tough matchups.” Plus, what he lacks in overall receptions is made up for by his yards per catch average, which has never been below 13 (the lowest of his career was 13.8 in 2016, which was when he had his career high in receptions). The pros outweigh the cons by a large margin when it comes to Evans as a fantasy football prospect in 2019. He maintains his status as a mid-tier WR1 or a very high-end WR2. 2019 PROJECTION: WR7; Draft in the *2nd round, if not late 1st *Draft projection based on 12-Team Leagues […]