Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2022 Season Preview
The last time we watched the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play was in a heartbreaking loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the divisional round of the 2021 NFL playoffs finishing 1st in the NFC South with a record of 13-4. After an eventful offseason in which we witnessed star quarterback Tom Brady return for his 23rd season, the retirement of star tight end Rob Gronkowski, and the promotion of Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles who became the new Head Coach for the Buccaneers, we are now getting ready for the 2022 NFL season.
2022 Season Preview
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hope to have another brilliant season as they prepare for their revenge tour in which they look to reclaim the throne of Super Bowl Champions. With the return of captain and star quarterback Tom Brady who led the league last season in passing touchdowns, along with their electric top-ten defense, the Bucs are confident they can recapture the coveted Lombardi Trophy this season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2022 Odds
The Buccaneers have some interesting NFL betting odds entering training camp this year. They rank second in odds to win the Super Bowl (+750) closely behind the Buffalo Bills, yet their Over/Under on team wins is only 11.5. Despite being a heavy NFC favorite to go to the Super Bowl, sportsbooks are hinting at a 12-to-13 win season. This is likely due to Tom Brady’s ability to perform so well in the postseason and similar to the 2020 season when the Buc’s went 11-5 and went on to win Super Bowl LIV.
Preview of the Offense
The 2021 Buccaneers were unstoppable on offense, moving the ball down the field with ease racking up multiple yards, and scoring numerous touchdowns against their opponents last season. The Bucs finished as the number 2 scoring offense in the NFL averaging 29.9 points per game. Offensive Coordinator Byron Leftwich teamed up with quarterback Tom Brady to put together a dominant offense that allowed Brady to lead the league in passing yards, throwing a total of 5,316 yards in the air, scoring 43 touchdowns, and finishing the 2021 season as the QB3.
The Buccaneers have several weapons for Brady to utilize in this offense. The wide receiver fantasy stars to draft this season are Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Russell Gage. All three receivers have proven themselves to be reliable options in the passing game during previous seasons. The Buccaneers WR1 on this offense is Mike Evans who caught 74 passes of his 114 targets, accumulating a total of 1,035 yards, averaging 14.0 yards per reception, scoring 14 touchdowns, and who finished the 2021 season as the WR6 and the WR9 in PPR leagues. The WR2 is Chris Godwin, who before his ACL injury last season, was the main slot receiver who put up fantastic PPR numbers for fantasy owners. He caught 98 passes of his 127 targets for 1,103 yards, averaging 11.3 yards per reception, scoring 5 touchdowns, finishing as the WR19 in standard leagues and the WR15 in PPR leagues last season. The combination of Evans and Godwin has become the norm in the NFL in the past few seasons. They look to assert their dominance once again over the NFL defenses securing their spot on the top 5 receiving duo list this season.
The Buccaneers signed wide receiver Russell Gage to a $30 million, 3-year contract on March 16, 2022. While playing for the Falcons last season he caught 66 passes on 94 targets totaling 770 yards, averaging 11.7 yards per reception, and scoring 4 touchdowns. He will claim the WR3 spot behind star receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.
In the 4th round of the draft, the Buccaneers selected tight end Cade Otton from the University of Washington with the 106th pick. During his four years playing for the Huskies, he hauled in 91 receptions for 1,026 yards, averaging 11.3 yards per reception, and scoring 9 touchdowns. Otton could see opportunities on the field and especially in the red zone due to his length and height. In keeper and dynasty leagues, Otton is a must-draft tight end during the middle rounds of your fantasy draft. Otton is the future at the tight end position and is poised to have a solid rookie season.
Let’s not forget about Lombardi Lenny who was a major contributor to the Buccaneers high-powered offense. Leonard Fournette is a tremendous athlete with the strength to run defensive backs over when carrying the football. Last season he had 180 rushing attempts, totaling 812 yards, averaging 4.5 yards per carry, and scoring 8 touchdowns.
Quarterback Tom Brady is getting older and tries to not take as many hits anymore. He minimizes the amounts of hits he takes by checking the ball out to his running back many times during the course of a game. During the 2021 season, Fournette was targeted 84 times, completing 69 receptions, averaging 6.6 yards per reception, accumulating a total of 454 yards, and scoring 2 touchdowns. Fournette finished his 2021 campaign as the RB8 in standard leagues and RB6 in PPR leagues.
With the attributes that the former LSU standout possesses, I expect Fournette to be a top-10 running back this season. He is a must-draft player this year, at his current ADP of 23, which is a phenomenal value for a running back who has the ability to become a league winner for your team this year.
Preview of the Defense
Last season the Buccaneers’ defense was electric, finishing as the 6th best defense in the NFL. They finished the season with 47 total sacks, 17 interceptions, forcing 15 fumbles recovering 12 of them, scoring 2 defensive touchdowns, and only allowing an average of 20.1 points per game. With the loss of defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh who played all 17 games last season finishing with 6.0 sacks, 27 combined tackles, 12 solo tackles, and 1 fumble recovery, it will be tough for the Bucs to truly replace him. In an effort to increase the strength of the defense after the loss of Suh, the Bucs went out into free agency to look for possible replacements. On June 1, 2022, the Buccaneers announced that they signed star defensive end Akiem Hicks to a 1-year $6.5 million contract with a stipulation that guarantees Hicks a total of $8 million if he plays an entire season along with multiple incentives worth another $2 million. In only 9 games, he managed to accumulate 3.5 sacks, 25 combined tackles, and 19 solo tackles. I believe if he played in all 17 games last year if not for the two injuries sustained during the season, he would have doubled his stats. I expect this defense to be just as good, if not better this season with the addition of Akiem Hicks. If he can stay healthy, I believe that the Bucs defense will rack up over 50 total sacks this season.
— Scott Smith (@ScottSmithFOX13) May 13, 2022
Buccaneers 2022 Record
According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers projected win total is under 11.5 wins this season, and have a +700 odds to win the Super Bowl in 2023. The Buccaneers have the 4th hardest schedule this season according to the strength of the schedule list on CBS Sports. Their most difficult matchup of the season is in week 3, which is their rematch game from the 2021 NFC Championship against the Green Bay Packers. In my opinion, I believe the Buccaneers have a good chance of winning the NFC South once again with a record of 14-3 securing a first-round bye going into the 2023 NFL playoffs.
Lawrence is a fan of the Green Bay Packers. He is currently a graduate student at William Paterson University pursuing a master’s degree in Financial Planning. His hobbies include all things fantasy football, weightlifting, collecting Yu-Gi-Oh trading cards, and playing Madden. He specializes in dynasty fantasy football having won two championships in the past five years. He is also a college football fan who loves to watch his Buckeyes play on Saturdays while drinking pumpkin-flavored coffee. He is always looking to evolve his game as a fantasy football player and one of his goals is to help other players do the same.