Jameis Winston is a big conundrum when it comes to the fantasy draft this year, but he’s also a Top-10 quarterback that’s too difficult to ignore.
During the offseason, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wisely added a speedy wide receiver in DeSean Jackson and signed rookie tight end O.J. Howard to platoon with Cameron Brate, who was very successful in proving as a red zone target last year. Adam Humphries is a holdover that’s good for volume slot passes underneath and Penn State draftee, Chris Godwin, has been talked up a bunch. Not to mention, 6’5″ Mike Evans is still the big draw downfield. However, to the disappointment of many, not a lot has changed at the running back position. Doug Martin is still in-and-out of the lineup, whether it be due to injury or suspension, and the combination of Jacquizz Rodgers and Charles Sims will again look to hold the fort down until things sort themselves out.
That said, I won’t shy away from drafting Famous Jameis Winston as my top quarterback after the usual suspects are taken, while Detroit’s Matthew Stafford will likely be my top value add if I can’t snag Jameis. Ideally I’ll work out a way to maneuver them both after adding key position players. A Jameis Winston + Mike Evans stack would be ideal.
Jameis is particularly infamous for throwing picks. If he can clamp down in this one particular area, then I really like his set-up going forward. Ideally, the rookie O.J. Howard can step in and help to form a two tight end lineup with Cameron Brate, much like the New England Patriots ran back in the day. With two 6’5″ tight ends busting up the seems and wide receivers Mike Evans and Desean Jackson working the rest of the field, I believe that Jameis will have plenty of opportunities to chuck the ball downfield, hit guys underneath, dump off passes to his running backs, or run it himself. Again, if Jameis can control the number of picks through better decision making and accuracy, then this offense has a chance to be great. Ideally, Jameis will set himself up to throw for 30-plus touchdowns while keeping his interceptions below ten. This would be a step in the right direction for his third year in the league.
I like Jameis Winston’s set-up better than Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, and Cam Newton. Marcus Mariota may have a slightly better set-up than Jameis (certainly from a running back perspective), but I’d still draft the Tampa Bay Buccaneer ahead of the others.
(This article was originally published on July 28, 2017)