The Bucs have signed RB LeSean McCoy. It's a 1-year deal for the veteran minimum, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, which says a lot about how much McCoy has to offer at this point. The 32-year-old was a healthy scratch for 6 of the Chiefs' final 11 games last year (including playoffs) and totaled just 29 carries and 12 targets in the other 5. He finished the season with 4.6 yards per carry but ranked 44th in Elusive Rating and 35th in Pro Football Focus' rushing grades among 45 RBs with 100+ carries. McCoy isn't even a lock to make the Bucs' final roster -- let alone be a fantasy factor this season. We'll keep an eye on the situation. But for now, we're not adjusting the projections for Ronald Jones or Ke'Shawn Vaughn.
The Buccaneers have placed RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn on the new reserve/COVID-19 list. That means the rookie has either tested positive or been in close contact with someone who has and thus faces mandatory quarantine. The team is not allowed to specify which category fits Vaughn's situation. Starting camp inactive won't help his pursuit of Ronald Jones on the Bucs' RB depth chart. We'll see how soon Vaughn can get back onto the field.
Bucs RB Ronald Jones added another 7 pounds this offseason, according to trainer Luke Neal. He's now tipping the scales at 225 pounds -- up from 218 last year and 206 when he entered the league as a rookie. "If you can believe this, he's more explosive right now than he was last year," Neal said. Jones handled the added weight well last season, averaging 4.2 yards per carry, 10.0 yards per catch and ranking 16th among 45 qualifying RBs in Pro Football Focus' Elusive Rating. He's a breakout candidate in 2020 if he can hold off rookie Ke'Shawn Vaughn for the starting job in Tom Brady's Bucs offense.
Bucs HC Bruce Arians called '12' personnel his "base offense" on Thursday. ('12' personnel means 1 RB, 2 WRs and 2 TEs.) The Bucs went '12' on 23% of their snaps last season -- the 8th highest rate in the league. Over the past 2 seasons, only 1 team (the 2019 Eagles) has gone '12' on more than 36% of their snaps. We'll buy the Bucs using more 2-TE looks this year after adding Rob Gronkowski to O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate. But don't expect it to be their most common alignment. It's still unlikely that more than 1 of those TEs is a reliable fantasy option. The other result of more 2-TE sets will be more snaps outside the numbers for WR Chris Godwin. That might ding his volume a tad but shouldn't be a big concern overall. Godwin was actually more efficient outside the numbers last season, averaging 2.27 yards per route run vs. 2.22 in the slot.
The Bucs selected Minnesota WR Tyler Johnson in the 5th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Johnson was a monster college producer. He easily led a bad Gophers passing offense in catches (35), yards (677) and TDs (7) as a sophomore in 2017. Then he busted out for a big 78-1,169-12 line the following year, ranking top 21 nationally in all 3 categories. Johnson set new career highs across the board in 2019 with 86 catches, 1,318 yards and 13 TDs. He accounted for 41% of Minnesota’s receptions, 40% of the receiving yards and 42% of the TDs. No WR garnered a higher receiving grade from Pro Football Focus in 2019. Johnson isn’t a high-end athlete but does enough to create separation on short and intermediate routes. He’s excellent in contested situations. And he has experience playing both outside and in the slot. Johnson should have a good shot to win the #3 WR job in Tampa Bay this season, with Scott Miller and Justin Watson as his competition. But even then, he’d struggle for targets behind Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Rob Gronkowski.
The Bucs selected Vanderbilt RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn in the 3rd round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Vaughn brings lead-back size at 5’10, 214 pounds and ran a 4.51-second 40 time at the Combine, giving him an above-average 103.5 Speed Score. He transferred from Illinois after the 2016 season and operated as Vandy’s starter the past 2 years. Vaughn averaged a gaudy 7.9 yards per carry on 157 totes in 2018 but sunk to 5.2 yards per carry on 198 attempts this past year. He still ranked among the top 30 draft-eligible backs in both yards after contact and missed tackles forced in 2019, though, and finished ahead of guys like D’Andre Swift and J.K. Dobbins in Pro Football Focus’ Elusive Rating. Vaughn is also capable in the passing game, totaling 41 catches for 440 yards (10.7 YPC) and 3 TDs over the past 2 seasons. Vaughn vs. Ronald Jones will be an interesting battle to watch this summer.
The Buccaneers picked Minnesota S Antoine Winfield Jr. in the 2nd round of the NFL Draft. Winfield closed out his Gophers career with a big stat line that included 83 tackles and 7 INTs. He presents the versatility to play either safety role and should immediately claim a starting job at a weak spot for the Bucs. We'll see whether Justin Evans can get back to full health from the foot issue that cost him last year and reclaim a spot alongside him. Give Winfield a look later in your dynasty rookie draft.
Bucs TE Rob Gronkowski told NFL Network's Michael Giardi that he's "feeling good, feeling healthy." He admitted that his body "100% needed a rest." Gronk appeared to drop a lot of weight over the last year but said he's back up to 250 pounds -- 10 to 15 pounds lighter than he last played at. His conditioning has suddenly become 1 of the biggest fantasy storylines of the offseason, considering it'll have been about a year-and-a-half between his last 2 games.
ESPN's Adam Schefter -- and others -- report that the Buccaneers are sending a 4th-round pick to the Patriots for TE Rob Gronkowski and a 7th-rounder, pending a physical. The news follows recent rumors that Gronk was looking to return to the NFL. The trade to Tampa Bay obviously reunites him with QB Tom Brady. It also complicates the outlook for Bucs TE O.J. Howard, unless he can move on in his own trade. Bruce Arians' use of Howard disappointed fantasy owners mightily in the HC's 1st year with the Bucs. But there would be little reason for this deal unless Tampa planned to get the ball to Gronkowski plenty. The 31-year-old (as of May 14) declined in 2018 but still ranked 9th in PPR points per game among TEs.
Buccaneers GM Jason Licht praised RB Ronald Jones this week, saying he and the staff "have more faith in him now than we ever have," according to the team website. "We do think Ronald hasn't even scratched the surface of what he can be," Licht said. "He made a huge jump from year one to year two. He didn't have to do much to do that because year (one) wasn't very good for him. But year two, we felt very good about where he came, and we think he still has a tremendous amount of upside." Licht added that "some of the better teams" feature multiple RBs that they can "rely on in different roles." So even if the GM is being totally honest about their Jones assessment, don't be surprised to see Tampa bring in another significant RB or 2. At the moment, Jones looks like the easy favorite to lead the Buccaneers' backfield. But we'll see what the group looks like by the end of summer.
Tom Brady has agreed to a contract with the Buccaneers, according to multiple outlets. Tampa Bay has been rumored to be a finalist for a while now and holds the upside of 1 of the league's top WR duos in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Brady will also work with longtime NFL coach Bruce Arians. It's tough to say whether Brady impacts the fantasy outlooks for his new receivers, given that we've never seen him outside of New England. Reagardless of QB play, though, it's unlikely that both Evans and Godwin continue to deliver fantasy points at the WR1 level. Brady's arrival officially means we'll see Jameis Winston don a new uniform. His departure from New England also leaves Jarrett Stidham at the top of the current depth chart. We'll see if/how the Patriots choose to address the position further this offseason.
The Buccaneers have agreed to a 2-year, $27 million deal with EDGE Jason Pierre-Paul, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Pierre-Paul missed the first 6 games last season because of a neck injury suffered in an offseason car accident. But he still managed 8.5 sacks in the remaining 10 contests. JPP turned 31 in January but clearly still got starter money from the Bucs.
The Buccaneers have applied the franchise tag to OLB Shaq Barrett. Contract talks have reportedly gone positively this offseason, so Barrett always appeared headed back to the team that helped him break out in 2019. Barrett blew up for 19.5 sacks last season after totaling 14 over his previous 5 campaigns. Barrett turned 27 in mid-November.
ESPN's Jeff Darlington believes the Titans are the favorites to land QB Tom Brady in free agency. Darlington has Las Vegas and then New England as Brady's next 2 most likely destinations. Brady would be reuniting with HC Mike Vrabel and GM Jon Robinson in Tennessee -- and joining an offense that's built around the running game. This move would obviously mean QB Ryan Tannehill would be one-and-done with the Titans. The QB carousel this offseason will be fascinating.
Chiefs RB LeSean McCoy is a healthy scratch for today's AFC Championship against the Titans. He played just 1 snap last week, so it's not a major surprise. Damien Williams will continue to serve as Kansas City's feature back, with rookie Darwin Thompson as the #2 back.
Bucs WR Chris Godwin (hamstring) is out again for Sunday's game against the Falcons. Breshad Perriman and Justin Watson get another game as the top 2 WRs. Both guys are strong target bets with QB Jameis Winston averaging 40.1 passes per game.
Chiefs RB LeSean McCoy is a healthy scratch for tonight's game against the Bears. The 31-year-old has been running on fumes over the 2nd half of the season. Kansas City will roll with RBs Damien Williams, Spencer Ware and Darwin Thompson tonight. Williams is the best fantasy bet of the bunch.
Buccaneers CB Carlton Davis (ankle) is active for today's game against the Texans. He's a low-level IDP option at best.
Bucs WR Chris Godwin (hamstring) is out for Saturday’s game against the Texans. WRs Mike Evans and Scott Miller were placed on IR this week, leaving Breshad Perriman and Justin Watson as Tampa’s top 2 WRs. TE O.J. Howard should also play a big role in the passing game this weekend.
The Bucs have placed WRs Mike Evans and Scott Miller on IR with their hamstring injuries. WR Chris Godwin (hamstring) remains on the active roster but is a long shot to play against the Texans on Saturday.
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