Week 3 Rankings: There’s Booty in Them Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been fascinating from a fantasy standpoint through two games. Last week I cautioned that you should not overreact to Week 1 performances by players like Ryan Fitzpatrick. So naturally, he doubled down in Week 2 with another 400-plus yard, four touchdown performance. In my Week 3 rankings below, I have Fitzpatrick as a Top-10 quarterback. But what does his hot start mean going forward? Considering Wednesday is National Talk Like a Pirate Day, I figured I’d dive into the outlook for some of Tampa Bay’s most prominent fantasy players.
Let’s begin with Fitzpatrick. The journeyman has been quite the source of buried treasure for fantasy owners. He has scored 81.45 fantasy points through two weeks. He is owned in just 37 percent of leagues. There are a couple of very good reasons for his low ownership. First, he is still Ryan Fitzpatrick. The other shoe has to drop at some point. Also, Jameis Winston is due back from suspension after this week. I am beyond intrigued to see what happens if Fitzpatrick puts up another beastly performance in Week 3. Tampa Bay has obviously invested a lot into Winston, but he has had an up and down start to his career.
More important than the crazy stats Fitzpatrick has put up are the victories they have led to. It would be easy to reinsert Winston if Tampa Bay were 0-3 or even 1-2. But they have a chance to run the table against New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. That is no easy task, but Fitzpatrick has been incredible. I think if Fitzpatrick is available, you have to at least consider picking him up and starting him this week. Pittsburgh just got destroyed by Kansas City’s passing attack last week, so this is not a matchup to fear. As for beyond this week, we should see where this goes in the next week or so. If you have Winston rostered, you might as well hold. But assuming he will just step in and pick up where Fitzpatrick leaves off is a bit foolish if you ask me.
The Bucs have put up 75 points so far in 2018, and Peyton Barber has had virtually nothing to do with it. I hyped him up in the preseason because it was clear to me that he had a stranglehold on the starting gig over Ronald Jones. I was right about that, but it has definitely not translated to fantasy success. Barber has just 91 scoreless yards on 35 carries to start the year. There is value in having bankable volume, but Barber needs to produce, and fast. Carlos Hyde and Kareem Hunt both put up top-20 performance despite only one catch each against Pittsburgh. I have Barber as a low-end RB2 in my Week 3 rankings. If he does not hit value this week, it may be time to hit the panic button on this landlubber.
Tampa Bay’s wide receivers are swashbuckling right now. DeSean Jackson is the overall WR1, Mike Evans in the overall WR6, and Chris Godwin is the overall WR24. All three have scored in each game so far. You probably do not need me to tell you that Jackson’s performance is not sustainable. He has nine targets so far this season. If you can find a buyer, sell high after this week. Evans is a more trustworthy option. He slipped out of the second round in most drafts once news of Winston’s suspension came to light. It appears to be another case of many of us over-analyzing a situation. Evans is a beast and should remain a Top-10 wideout all season long. I have him as my overall WR6 in my Week 3 rankings.
Godwin is a very intriguing case. The second-year receiver out of Penn State was a popular sleeper in the fantasy community toward the end of the draft season. Ironically, many cited Jackson’s impending decline as a reason for optimism regarding Godwin. Godwin has seen more targets (10-9) and snaps (75-54) than Jackson thus far this season, so the Godwin truthers were clearly on to something. His current ranking as a WR2 is touchdown-dependent and a little high, but I do not think his performance has been a fluke by any means. We may be witnessing a breakout season developing. I have Godwin as a Week 3 Flex play, but he is someone to monitor closely going forward.
Tight ends O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate were drafted back-to-back as high-end TE2 options in standard leagues. Suffice to say, Howard owners have had a better go of it than those who rostered Brate. Howard has been on the field for 89 snaps and seen six targets. He has produced 21 fantasy points, good for fourth among tight ends. I have him as a Top-10 tight end in my Week 3 rankings. Brate, not so much. He has seen the field for just 38 snaps so far in 2018 and has yet to catch a pass. He only has two targets and can be safely sent to walk the plank in all leagues.
Below are the rest of my Week 3 rankings. Please keep in mind that it is still quite early in the week, and many of these are subject to change. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to follow me on Twitter @themick23. Enjoy a grog and good luck in Week 3, Mateys!
Week 3 Rankings
Mick Ciallela has been writing for FantraxHQ since July 2017. He has also written for Bleacher Report. He is a lifelong sports fan and has been an avid fantasy sports player for many years. Mick was the Overall Champion of both the 2016 Football Challenge – Roto and 2017 Play 3 Football contests hosted by CDM Sports. MIck was born and raised in Mount Vernon, New York and currently resides in New London, Connecticut.
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