Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2013 Fantasy Football Preview


December 9, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) stiff-arms Philadelphia Eagles outside linebacker Mychal Kendricks (95) during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. The Eagles won 23-21. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Stud — Doug Martin, RB

If there’s anything to take away from the 2012 season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it’s that Doug Martin is a stud. Not only is he a key building block for the Bucs franchise, he’s also a heck of a fantasy football piece. Martin had five 100+ yard games as a rookie, including a 251 yard, four touchdown performance against the Oakland Raiders, en route to 1,454 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Even more impressively, Martin caught 49 passes and was a big part of the Tampa Bay passing game. He proved as a rookie he is a three-down back, no bones about it, and he is a fantasy superstar for 2013.

Fantasy Risk — Josh Freeman, QB

This was a hard one for me to pick. Among the Bucs’ top fantasy options, I actually really like most of their big name players. Josh Freeman for me is the biggest risk. The Buccaneers obviously felt so as an organization as well, because they drafted Mike Glennon in the third round, a player they believe has starter potential.

Freeman is entering a contract year since being drafted in the 1st round back in 2009, and he had real trouble with accuracy last year, completing under 55 percent of his passes.

For me, Freeman is the biggest risk on the Bucs’ roster. He could be a stud for fantasy this year, or he could be a major flop. He showed in 2011 what kind of flopping he’s capable of when he had just 16 touchdowns compared to 22 interceptions, as well as five lost fumbles.

In 2012, he saw great improvement in every category but completion percentage, throwing 27 touchdowns compared to 17 interceptions. He is on the cusp of fantasy greatness, but another inconsistent year and he might not even be the Bucs’ QB in 2014.

Breakout Candidate — Mike Williams, WR

Williams has been solid but inconsistent for the Bucs ever since he came into the league three seasons ago. Still, as good as he has been at catching TD passes (23 in three seasons), he has been hovering right around 63-65 catches per year and no thousand yard seasons just yet.

He was just four yards away from 1,000 in 2012, and I think he’ll get over the hump in 2013. Not only that, but I think Williams could eclipse 75 catches this season as well. There’s no doubt the Bucs will have a balanced offensive attack with Doug Martin in the fold, but since there is no TE to speak of on this roster to throw to, Williams could see a significant increase in targets in 2013. I like his fantasy potential as a result.

Rookie to watch — Mike James, RB

The Bucs don’t have much on the offensive side of the ball in terms of rookies to speak of, and they used the 189th pick in the draft on Mike James out of Miami (FL). James is a guy that has been compared to Earnest Graham, but with LeGarrette Blount gone, the #2 RB position is wide open and he is the favorite at this point.

James has excellent size at 5’11 222 pounds, but even though he may be the Bucs’ top rookie, he’s probably not worth drafting in fantasy leagues unless you’re really worried about a potential Doug Martin injury.