Shark Bites

The Buccaneers have reached a deal with RB Andre Ellington. The 30-year-old started his career in Arizona under new Bucs HC Bruce Arians. They showed us then that Ellington's not a workhorse. There's room for him to work into a Tampa committee, however. Last year's 2nd-round pick, Ronald Jones, returns, and Peyton Barber (a restricted free agent) will likely remain in the mix. Signing Ellington certainly shouldn't keep the Bucs from making any other backfield moves this offseason. We'll see what this depth chart looks like after the NFL Draft and early free agency.

Bucs TE Cameron Brate underwent surgery last week to repair a torn labrum in his hip, ESPN's Jenna Laine reports. Brate played the "majority" of the season with the injury, according to Laine. That helps explain a disappointing 2018 campaign that saw him finish with 3-year lows in catches (30), yards (289) and yards per catch (9.6). Brate is expected to be sidelined for a few months, and the Bucs are hoping he'll be a full-go by June minicamp.

The Bucs have hired Bruce Arians as their new HC. Byron Leftwich will serve as the OC, but it'll be Arians running the show. He was out of coaching this past year but spent the previous 5 seasons as the Cardinals' HC and also has 9 years of experience as an NFL OC. After struggling early in his career, Arians has landed 7 of his last 9 offenses inside the top 14 in total yards. He tends to lean toward the pass, with just 1 of those last 9 offenses ranking higher in rush attempts than pass attempts. All 9 of those units finished top 15 in pass yards, with 5 cracking the top 10. We'd expect a pass-leaning attack in Tampa Bay -- good news for QB Jameis Winston and WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin

Bucs GM Jason Licht said at his end-of-season press conference on Monday that QB Jameis Winston will be the team's starter in 2019. "There’s a lot to like about Jamies and he’ll be here next year," Licht said. Winston's 2018 got off to a rough start. He was suspended for the first 2 games and then got benched in his 3rd start. But he took back over in Week 12 and completed 63.3% of his passes with 11 TDs vs. just 3 INTs over the final 6 games. Winston was 12th among QBs in fantasy points over that span. Returning Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and O.J. Howard, Winston should be in the QB1 mix again next year.

The Bucs have fired HC Dirk Koetter, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. After going 9-7 in his 1st season at the helm, Koetter's Bucs went 5-11 in each of the last 2. We'll see who Tampa tabs as his replacement -- and whether they keep OC Todd Monken.

Buccaneers DE Jason Pierre-Paul (knee, shoulder) is active for today's game against the Falcons after arriving questionable. DE Carl Nassib is inactive, as expected. A shoulder injury rendered him doubtful.

Bucs WR DeSean Jackson (Achilles) is inactive for today's game against the Falcons. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Adam Humphries will all be on the field for the majority of Tampa’s offensive snaps.

Buccaneers DE Jason Pierre-Paul (knee) is questionable for Sunday's game against the Falcons. He has played through multiple questionable tags this season, and we'd bet on him playing in the finale. DE Carl Nassib, on the other hand, is doubtful for Sunday because of a shoulder injury.

Bucs WR DeSean Jackson (Achilles) did not practice all week and is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Falcons. His absence means a boost in snaps for WR Chris Godwin, who should be considered a WR3 with upside.

Bucs HC Dirk Koetter said QB Ryan Griffin could get some snaps in Sunday's finale against the Falcons. "The guy's been here for three years," Koetter said. "He's worked his tail off ... I think Ryan Griffin is a really good quarterback. He tears it up in practice everyday, but he's never had the chance to prove it in a real game." Griffin has never appeared in a regular season game but completed 68% of his passes with 4 TDs and 0 INTs this preseason. He's not a Week 17 fantasy option, but this news obviously adds risk to QB Jameis Winston's profile.

Bucs WR DeSean Jackson did not practice on Wednesday. He suffered a foot injury in last week's loss to the Cowboys and ended up playing just 36% of the snaps. His absence in Sunday's finale against the Falcons would be a boost for WR Chris Godwin.

11:12am EST 12/23/18

Bucs WR DeSean Jackson (thumb) is active for today’s game against the Cowboys. He’s a risk/reward WR4 in his 1st action since Week 12. Jackson’s return figures to eat into WR Chris Godwin’s snaps.

Bucs WR DeSean Jackson (thumb) is listed as questionable but is expected to play against the Cowboys this weekend after full practices on Thursday and Friday. D-Jax is just a boom/bust WR4 in his 1st action since Week 12. But his return makes WR Chris Godwin an even shakier fantasy play.

Bucs WR DeSean Jackson (thumb) returned to practice on Wednesday. "Catching the ball well," insider Rick Stroud noted. Jackson appears to be trending toward playing against the Cowboys this weekend. His return would ding WR Chris Godwin's fantasy value.

The Buccaneers have placed S Justin Evans on IR with the toe injury that cost him the past 2 games, plus a pair before that. That leaves the safety spots primarily to Andrew Adams and Jordan Whitehead, though neither guy reached 80% playing time last week. Neither makes for a strong IDP option vs. Dallas in Week 16.

Buccaneers LB Adarius Taylor is inactive for today's game at Baltimore for personal reasons. That leaves an already depleted Bucs LB corps even thinner. Tampa will, at least, have DE Jason Pierre-Paul. He's active despite another questionable tag and is OK for normal IDP usage. S Isaiah Johnson (concussion) is also active after hitting the weekend questionable. He'll start in place of Justin Evans.

The Buccaneers have ruled S Justin Evans (toe) out for the 2nd straight game. S Isaiah Johnson (concussion) would fill in, if he can play. He's questionable, though, after missing Week 14. Johnson progressed from missing practice Wednesday to limited Thursday and then a full Friday workout. DE Jason Pierre-Paul (knee, hip) is also questionable but has been playing through questionable tags for weeks. LB Adarius Taylor is also suddenly questionable for the game. He has a personal matter that may draw him away from the game. Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweeted Friday that it is "likely related" to the impending birth of Taylor's child (though he oddly did so without confirmation). We'll check on the status of all these questionable players Sunday morning.

Bucs WR DeSean Jackson (thumb) is out again for Sunday’s game against the Ravens. WR Chris Godwin saw another 10 targets with D-Jax out last week. So despite that 1-catch dud — and a tough matchup this week — Godwin remains a WR3 option.

Bucs WR DeSean Jackson (thumb) remained sidelined on Wednesday. He told The Athletic's Greg Auman that he's still unable to grip a football -- which is kinda important for a WR. Don't expect Jackson to play against the Ravens this weekend.

Buccaneers DE Jason Pierre-Paul (knee) is active for today's game against the Saints. He put in just a limited practice Friday and carries some extra risk into an already low-floor matchup. Consider other options for your IDP lineup today.

 
 
 

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