The Tom Brady Era is over for good, and the Buccaneers seem poised to take a significant step back from a 2022 season where the cracks were already starting to show. This could be the start of a very painful rebuild, though there might still be enough high-end talent left on this offense to keep things interesting.
Record: 8-9 (17)
PPG: 18.4 (25)
YPG: 346.7 (15)
Pass YPG: 269.8 (2)
Rush YPG: 76.9 (32)
PAPG: 44.2 (1)
RAPG: 22.7 (32)
2022 Fantasy finishes
Number to know: 733
That's how many passes Tom Brady attempted last season, the most in a season by any quarterback ever. Even accounting for the extra game, that's still the third-most on a per-game basis. It's simply an enormous number, and figuring out how much the Buccaneers regress from there is going to be key to figuring out how this offense is going to operate.
We can be almost certain it's going to regress. But is it going to regress to a top-12 mark? Middle of the pack? Bottom five? I think most Fantasy analysts are probably treating them as if the latter is more likely, with Dave Canales taking over as offensive coordinator after a decade-plus working in the run-heavy Seahawks offense. But the Bucs lost a lot of talent on defense, so they might be trailing more often than not this season, and calling the RB talent on this roster middling might be a compliment. The strength of this offense is still, quite clearly, the Chris Godwin and Mike Evans duo, and I have to think they're going to remain the focal points. Maybe Mayfield is just such a disaster that it doesn't matter, but if this team is even close to the middle of the pack in terms of pass volume, Godwin and Evans have a pretty good chance to smash their ADPs (Godwin is WR27, Evans is WR33 at NFC).
Fantasy Football Today Newsletter
Know What Your Friends Don't
Get tips, advice and news to win your league - all from the FFT podcast team.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox.
There was an error processing your subscription.
1. (19) Calijah Kancey, DL
2. (48) Cody Mauch, T
3. (82) YaYa Diaby, DL
5. (153) SirVocea Dennis, LB
5. (171) Payne Durham, TE
6. (181) Josh Hayes, CB
6. (191) Trey Palmer, WR
6. (196) Jose Ramirez, DL
QB Tom Brady, OL Shaquille Mason, DL Akiem Hicks, RB Leonard Fournette, WR Julio Jones, DL Rakeem Nunez-Roches, TE Cameron Brate, K Ryan Succop, CB Sean Murphy-Bunting, S Mike Edwards, OL Donovan Smith, S Keanu Neal
197 RB carries, 85 RB targets, 107 WR targets, 43 TE targets
Rankings and Projections
Chris Towers' projections
|QB||Baker Mayfield||PA: 619, YD: 4274, TD: 25, INT: 16; RUSH -- ATT: 45, YD: 157, TD: 1|
|RB||Rachaad White||CAR: 180, YD: 718, TD: 5; TAR: 68, REC: 55, YD: 382, TD: 2|
|RB||Chase Edmonds||CAR: 135, YD: 539, TD: 4; TAR: 50, REC: 37, YD: 260, TD: 2|
|WR||Chris Godwin||TAR: 149, REC: 94, YD: 1030, TD: 6|
|WR||Mike Evans||TAR: 124, REC: 68, YD: 886, TD: 6|
|WR||Russell Gage||TAR: 74, REC: 48, YD: 483, TD: 3|
|TE||Cade Otton||TAR: 74, REC: 51, YD: 505, TD: 3|
Can the QB play be good enough for anyone to matter?
You'll likely see Chris Godwin and Mike Evans drafted in the WR2/3 range in most drafts, and that could work out because they're both really, really good players. But D.J. Moore is a really good player, too. So is Odell Beckham. Mayfield's struggles held both of them back, and could very well do the same for Godwin and Evans. As for the RB situation? The Buccaneers struggled to run the ball effectively last season, and I don't see much reason to be optimistic about that. This could be a Fantasy wasteland if Mayfield (or Kyle Trask, I suppose) doesn't shock us.
One sleeper, one breakout and one bust
Mayfield is viewed more or less as a punchline by a lot of NFL fans right now, and expecting him to struggle seems reasonable enough. But the Godwin/Evans duo is the best he's ever played with, so there's at least a chance they can elevate him, right? I don't feel particularly strongly about Mayfield's chances to even be an average Fantasy QB, but if this is an average pass volume offense and Godwin and Evans stay healthy, he could surprise as a QB2.
There really aren't any good choices for any of the sleeper or breakout categories here, so I'll default to White. There's certainly an opportunity for him to emerge as a viable Fantasy option here in a pretty mediocre running back room. If he can earn and then hang on to the job, White seems well situated for a big step forward this season, and if the Buccaneers make a point of keeping him featured in the passing game, it's not hard to see an RB2 outcome here, too.
If that sounded like a pretty tepid endorsement of White's breakout chances, that's not a mistake. I think this line is probably still going to struggle to run block, and I'm not sure I have much faith in White's ability to do much even with good blocking. He was taken 91st in the draft and didn't show very much as a runner during his rookie season, and now the offense as a whole is likely to take a big step back. As I wrote in my Fantasy Football Today Newsletter, I'm not even sure White's a more talented player than Chase Edmonds. If he breaks camp as the starter, White has RB2, upside, but even that's not guaranteed. I think there are just a lot more ways things can go wrong for White than that they'll go right.for the