Fantasy Value: Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Rookies

Fantasy Value: Buc’s Rookies

Mike JamesIt was to be the season of Doug Martin and Josh Freeman in Tampa Bay… that did not last long. Freeman was released after three poor starts. Martin was expected by many to be a top 5 RB this season, but after six mediocre starts he went down with a shoulder injury and was recently placed on season-ending IR.

All hope of a fantasy relevant Buccaneers team seemed lost… Enter Mike Glennon and Mike James. So far, these two rookies have done a great job of filling some big shoes.

Glennon has put up good numbers and looked like a decent NFL starter in recent weeks. At 6’6” he’s as tall as Freeman and also has a big arm. Mike Glennon does not seem like a mobile QB, but already has three runs of 10+ yards and a long of 16 yards.

James took a couple of games to get going after filling in for Martin. It clicked for Mike James last week when he went off in Seattle for 158 yards on 28 carries. That’s not supposed to happen when a RB goes into the Hawk’s nest, but James showed that he has elite ability. Mike James is also a pretty good pass catcher out of the backfield and will have some value in PPR leagues. Heck, he’s even got a Tim Tebow jump-pass in his arsenal and tossed a TD last week.

Another rookie Bucs turning heads is Timothy Wright. Coming into the season, the Tampa Bay TE position was a big question mark. It seems Wright is the answer that question. Wright has been targeted 31 times by Glennon and made 23 receptions with two touchdowns. Wright is not your typical TE. He played WR at Rutgers and was considered a WR until the Bucs changed his position. He has 4.5 to 4.6 speed, stands 6’3” and is causing mismatches against opposing defenses.

Glennon knows Vincent Jackson is his main weapon and has done an excellent job of making him a solid fantasy WR1. With Glennon under center after the Bucs’ bye week, Jackson had a whopping 19 receptions, 252 yards and 4 TDs combined in the two following games. Since then, Jackson’s stats have gone done a little, but he’s still likely the best fantasy player to have on the team.

With Mike Williams out for the year with a torn hamstring, there is currently a void at WR2 for Tampa. Tiquan Underwood seems like the best bet to fill the void, but Mike Glennon is not shy about going to Jackson and Wright often and also gets to ball to his backs.

At 0-8, Tampa is not going to be a playoff team and this year will serve as something of an extended exhibition season for the Bucs’ young talent.

Fantasy Outlook: Vincent Jackson is the main Buc to own in a fantasy league and almost surely 100% owned in any league. Mike James has been one of the hottest waiver wire pick-ups this week and looks to have real value for the rest of the season. Timothy Wright is a good TE2 to have on your squad and might be a nice fill-in for Rob Gronkowski or Jordan Cameron this week. In deeper leagues, he can be a low-end TE1. Due to the extreme depth at QB this season, Mike Glennon is not likely to be a good start in most leagues. He has value in deep leagues and leagues where multiple QBs can be started. Don’t expect big numbers from Tiquan Underwood. He’s a realistic deep league flex, but has the upside to eventually have value in smaller leagues. All of these players have a lot of value in dynasty leagues.

Click here to see where Gridiron Experts has Tampa’s top players ranked going into week 10.

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Darren Collette

With over five years of fantasy football experience Darren has won a high percentage of leagues and is an expert on IDP. When not setting a line-up, he works as a freelance writer for The Miami Herald.