Buccaneers Breakdown: Buy, Sell, or Hold?
By Darren Smith
Let’s be honest, the Buccaneers were not on everyone’s short list to win Super Bowl LV, yet Tom Brady still finds a way. The Bucs had an up and down offensive year, but ended up 7th in total offense in the NFL in 2020. Bruce Arians stayed true to his pass heavy attack posting the 2nd most total passing yards in the league with 4626, falling just short of Kansas City. As usual, the run game struggled with only 1519 total rushing yards - 28th in the NFL. With free agency upon us, there are going to be a lot of moving parts on the Bucs offense which means big implications for Dynasty managers. Here’s a breakdown of each position to help you decide what Tampa Bay skill positions you should Buy, Sell, or Hold.
Tom Brady - Buy/Hold
Tom Brady is coming back for his 22nd season in the NFL on the last year of his contract with Tampa Bay. The 43 year old finished as QB7 in 2020 and continued his elite numbers with over 4600 passing yards and 40 TDs. There’s not much talk in Dynasty leagues about Brady due to his age, but the value is still there. If you own Tom, you might as well keep him for the 2021 season as you will only return some scraps in a trade. If you are desperate for a QB and have a shot at the championship, go out and buy Tom for a small price as a nice filler for a future QB.
Leonard Fournette - Hold
Fournette finished as the RB 35 in the 2020 season - but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Leonard missed four games due to injury, and had a split role with Ronald Jones - playing about 50-60% of snaps in the majority of games. When he was active, Fournette still showed explosiveness and a continued ability to break tackles down the field. Even with his limited playing time, he still managed to catch 37 passes out of the backfield giving him some value in PPR leagues. Playoff Lenny made a big splash in the postseason this year showing that he deserved to be on a Super Bowl winning team, but is on the last year of his contract with the Bucs and is now a UFA. Expect him to move on from Tampa Bay and to sign to a new team by the beginning of next season. At 26 years old, he can still be a big fantasy impact on an RB needy organization. Fournette is a firm hold in Dynasty, or a buy if you’re feeling risky.
Ronald Jones - Sell
Let’s start by saying it’s hard to be a RoJo fan. He’s not much of a pass catcher, low utilization in the Red Zone, and has some fumbling issues making him a thorn in Bruce Arians' side. But Jones actually had a good 2020 season. Finishing as the RB20 in PPR leagues, Ronald posted nearly 1,000 rushing yards and 7 TDs. There were some moments however that left a sour taste in the mouths of the managers that started him in Weeks 8 & 9 for example. Rushing only 10 total times over 2 games, Jones scored an average of 3.5 points over these weeks. When RoJo makes a mistake, Arians pulls him and holds that grudge for the remainder of the game. This wild inconsistency makes managers lose confidence in starting him week to week, and don’t expect this to change in the near future. Capitalize on Ronald’s 2020 season and sell him in your Dynasty leagues.
Who would you rather own? Leonard Fournette or Ronald Jones? Fantasy Twitter picks RoJo:
Ronald Jones: 65%
Leonard Fournette: 27%
Keyshawn Vaughn: 8%
Keyshawn Vaughn - Hold
Mike Evans - Buy
Mike Evans came off of a stellar 2020 year grabbing the WR11 spot in PPR. Evans to me has always been an underrated elite WR. He averages as the WR12 in the 7 years he has completed in the NFL, and has never had a season below 1000 receiving yards. 2020 brought on one of his best seasons to date with 13 TDs and 1006 yards on 70 receptions. Evans has remained healthy throughout his career showing durability and consistency. Look for Evans to continue at this elite level for a minimum of 4-5 more years, no matter the next QB throwing to him. Signed up through 2023 with the Bucs, he remains in the pass heavy Arians offense. Trade that first round rookie pick and avoid the lottery pick by buying Mike Evans in Dynasty leagues. His current trade value is much lower than the value he brings to your team.
Chris Godwin - Sell
Chris Godwin finished as the WR31 PPR in 2020, but also dealt with injury early on in the season. Injury risk aside, he was consistent when he was on the field, posting an average of 15.6 fantasy points per game from Week 9 on. The Godwin vs Evans debate is an intriguing conversation: 68% of Twitter voters would rather have Chris Godwin on their dynasty teams, as Godwin is the younger player. Believe it or not, Godwin is only 2 years younger than Evans (25 vs 27), so there isn’t much of an age gap as people may think.Godwin is also a UFA this season. Chris has publicly addressed that he is willing to play on the franchise tag to stay in Tampa Bay, but this means only one guaranteed season on one of the most pass heavy teams in the NFL. Pending on the organization's decision, Godwin could end up in a much less favorable situation than he’s in now. The Bucs clearly aren’t ready to blow the bag on a big time contract. The talent is there for Chris, but it’s not certain that his situation is going to get any better than staying in Tampa Bay. Sell Godwin at his peak value now - especially if you can acquire Evans plus some rookie draft picks.
Who would you rather own? Chris Godwin or Mike Evans? Fantasy Twitter picks Godwin:
Chris Godwin: 68%
Mike Evans: 31%
Antonio Brown: 1%
Antonio Brown - Hold
Scott Miller - Buy
Tyler Johnson - Buy
Rob Gronkowski - Hold/Buy
Gronk was a pleasant surprise in the 2020 season. No one knew what to expect with Gronk returning to the NFL with the greatest QB of all time, but it went just about as well as it could. The 31 year old was TE10 on the year posting 623 yards and 7 TDs. Gronk is still thinking about his future in the NFL, but if he decides to return in 2021, it will be for the Buccaneers. If he’s on your Dynasty team, he’s worth a stash next year as a Red Zone threat, especially in 2 TE leagues. With the tight end market so scarce, Rob may even be worth sending out an offer, as you can get him for dirt cheap. Hold if you have him, and possibly send a late 3rd/early 4th round rookie pick to buy if you’re feeling a little adventurous.
OJ Howard - Buy
In the event that Gronk doesn’t return, OJ Howard may be worth taking a look at in Dynasty leagues. At only 26 years old, Howard hits free agency with a comeback on his mind. Injured for the majority of 2020, OJ only played 4 games. However, he showed flashes of his true self early on in the season, scoring 2 touchdowns and averaging 10.7 fantasy points per game. Most managers forget about him in Dynasty, so throw out a cheap offer for him in deeper TE leagues and see what comes back. A fresh start for OJ Howard could mean big value to come if he lands a starting role, making him a buy.
Who would you rather own? Rob Gronkowski or OJ Howard? Fantasy Twitter picks Howard:
OJ Howard: 61%
Rob Gronkowski: 30%
Cameron Brate: 9%
Honorable Mentions: Cameron Brate - Hold
Follow me on Twitter @FFBirdGang and comment your thoughts.
Darren Smith has been involved with fantasy football since 2013 and is the commissioner of several Dynasty leagues. He loves diving deep into statistics, making bold trades, and creating fantasy football content. Darren is a die hard Philadelphia Eagles fan, and his favorite position in football is the Tight End as he used to play this position in high school. Recently, Darren has become very involved in the fantasy community on Twitter (@FFBirdGang) and loves posting hot takes, breaking news reactions, and trade polls to help you win that next Dynasty trade to create your championship team.