The Bucs do not bring much to the table for fantasy owners. Aside from Kellen Winslow, there isn’t a reliable option. That doesn’t mean you should avoid them all together.


Fantasy Playoffs Schedule:  Favorable
Too bad the Bucs don’t have more fantasy options because their schedule, on paper anyway, is very soft. They start off against the Redskins at home in Week 14. Then they have two home games against fellow bottom dwellers Detroit and Seattle.


Five Star Fantasy Options


Four Star Fantasy Options
Kellen Winslow – Winslow is forever an injury risk, but he has shown enough toughness to fight through the pain that you can rely on him. He has had at least 77 catches and 875 yards in three of the last four seasons.  The main knock on  him is that he doesn’t score TDs (only 16 career TDs). He has added value in PPR leagues.


Three Star Fantasy Options


Two Star Fantasy Options
Cadillac Williams – The Auburn duo of Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown have had more of their share of injuries. There aren’t many players that I pull for more than Cadillac because of everything he’s endured. He was overlooked last year because of the acquisition of Derrick Ward, yet managed to compile a 1040 total yard (823 rushing), 7 TD (4 rushing) season. You have to be a little skeptical that Ward will play a larger role, but as of now it appears Williams is the Bucsback to own.


Reggie Brown – Newcomer Reggie Brown has a chance to start over in Tampa Bay. He was passed in Philly’s depth charts by youngsters DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. He’ll have to hold off veteran Michael Clayton and rookies Arrelious Benn and Mike Williams.


Buccaneers Defense/Special Teams – For starters I like their Week 15 and 16 match-ups against the Lions and Seahawks respectively. They also take on the Browns (Week 1) and Rams (Week 7).  Plus, their second match-up against the Saints is after the fantasy season.


One Star Fantasy Options
Josh Freeman – Freeman has the tools to become a good NFL QB, but it’s going to take some size. Without quality options at the WR position or a solid ground game, it will take a little longer. He’ll have his moments, but they will be few and far between.


Derrick Ward –  Ward did not exactly live up to the hype last year combining for 559 total yards (409 rushing) and 3 TDs (1 rushing). His paltry 3.6 yards per carry didn’t help matters. He could make a run at the starting gig this summer, but until he earns the gig, his stock is very limited.


Michael Clayton, Arrelious Benn and Mike Williams – After an impressive 80 catch, 1193 yard, 7 TD rookie season, Clayton has just 141 catches for 1743 yards and 3 TDs over the past  five seasons. Surely you don’t expect him to suddenly remember how to be an elite fantasy WR. Benn could beat out Clayton or Brown for a chance to start, but I wouldn’t put much faith in a rookie WR given Tampa Bay’s offense. Williams has the tools, but will likely take longer to make an impact.


Click here for additional 2010 NFL Team Previews.

Derrick Ward, one of the top Running Backs in the free agent market, signed a four-year deal with Tampa Bay worth $17 million.  He was part of a three-headed monster in New York with Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw.  Brandon Jacob’s role will remain the same, and Ahmad Bradshaw will take over Ward’s role as the Giants will likely move to a two-headed monster.

Meanwhile, in Tampa the signing signifies the end of Earnest Graham’s hold on the starting job.  He’ll still get plenty of carries, and will probably be the short-yardage back meaning he could vulture some TDs.  Cadillac Williams’ value takes a hit, but at this point you can hardly afford to gamble on him any more than the Bucs.  Ward should see a small boost in production as he moves to a feature back role.  As I said, Graham will get plenty of carries so temper your expectations.

Written by Lisa Danhof

Fair Warning: I’m not clairvoyant. I don’t even play one on TV. That said, it really doesn’t take a crystal ball to anticipate some changes for your team. So, with a bit of deductive reasoning, logic, and historical evaluation you can finally stop reacting and start anticipating. For once you won’t be sniped at the waiver wire, but actually be ahead of the curve.

1.  Michael Jenkins, ATL WR 14.5% owned.
Jenkins is apparently the beneficiary of several factors cosmically aligning. First, the Falcons seem to have had, and will continue to have, a soft schedule. Second, rookie quarterback Matt Ryan really seems to be coming into his own, steadily increasing his passing yards and touchdowns. Lastly, as Roddy White emerges as a strong number one wide receiver, defenses will be forced to re-scheme to shut him down, likely freeing up Jenkins for more single back coverage. Jenkins has eight catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns in his last two games. My guess is that you have someone worse than that on your bench right now. He is worth owning for the rest of the season.

2. Cadillac Williams TB RB 6.3% owned.
The Bucs cut Michael Bennett today to make room for this one time feature back. Earnest Graham (knee) and Warrick Dunn (back) are dinged up and had only moderate success even when they were healthy. A fresh Williams down the stretch could be what the Bucs need to make a playoff push. He may be rusty out of the gate, as would be expected after a 14 month layoff, but should be hitting his stride come fantasy playoff time. If you have a spot he is definitely worth the risk.

3. Tyler Thigpen KC 16% owned.
Let me repeat that 16% owned. Don’t fall into the Win-Loss trap that says just because a team isn’t winning means they aren’t scoring fantasy points. Since their bye week he has averaged 19.75 fantasy points, ironically only .25 points less than his entire offense has averaged in that time. He is also averaging 1.5 touchdowns in that four game span. This week the Chiefs face a porous New Orleans defense, who is allowing an average of 238 passing yards and 348 total yards a game. Buffalo will be a tougher match up, but then they face Oakland, which will be a much easier test.

Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties