In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter, sponsored by The Fantasy Hall of Fame, we ask whether the Bucs are being underrated, check in on Giants injuries, and inspect a few recent signings. It's 9/4. Take it away, Peter Overzet…
Considering they won the Super Bowl last year, it’s interesting that the fantasy football cognoscenti haven't discussed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers much this offseason.
I understand, though—they are somewhat boring. They are a team packed with solid veterans. There are very few young players who we are wishcasting breakouts on. Tom Brady is Tom Brady.
Outside of the addition of RB Gio Bernard, who everyone largely agrees will slide right in as Brady’s “new James White” before this recent ankle sprain (he still isn’t practicing, by the way), there just isn’t much new here to discuss other than if some of these veterans will ever fall off the proverbial cliff.
All that said, there are reasons to believe this team could somehow be even better this year than they were last year...
I’m certainly guilty of passing on the Bucs in drafts for younger, sexier options, but there’s no reason to think this offense isn’t ready to put up an absurd amount of points this year. Fade at your own risk.
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🚑 THE INJURY WARD
* Jets veteran WR Jamison Crowder, who is also dealing with a groin injury, tested positive for COVID-19 and has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. This puts his Week 1 status in jeopardy depending on Crowder’s vaccination status. We’ll keep you posted, but Keelan Cole would likely find himself in three-wide sets with Corey Davis and rookie Elijah Moore if Crowder misses.
* Despite missing practice since the Broncos’ last preseason game with a leg injury, TE Noah Fant is expected to play Week 1. Kyle Newman of The Denver Post suspects that backup TE Albert Okwuegbunam could see an increased role regardless of Fant’s status.
* Another day, another piece of speculation on Saquon Barkley’s health and projected workload heading into the season. The Athletic’s Dan Duggan explains: “The Giants will likely bring Barkley along slowly in his return from a torn ACL. The hope is that he can return to being a workhorse as the year progresses, but he might never return to playing 83 percent of the offensive snaps like he did in his first two seasons.”
* Duggan also doesn’t sound confident on TE Evan Engram after he injured his calf in the Giants preseason finale: “His status for the opener hasn’t been announced, but the minimal work he’s done this week during practice doesn’t bode well.”
* On a more positive NFC East note, Dak Prescott says he’s 100 percent healthy. Whether Dak is a reliable narrator or not on this subject is up for debate, but he did return to practicing in full with 11-on-11s and most reports indicate he’ll be a full go for the opener on Thursday vs. the Bucs.
📰 FANTASY NEWS FOR THE TRUE SICKOS
* The Athletic’s Zak Keefer said the Colts coaches want to get Nyheim Hines more touches in 2021. Hines was superb last year, but the team has also vowed to get superstar RB Jonathan Taylor more targets as a receiver as well. Hines’ workload will still most likely be determined by game flow rather than anything else.
* The Raiders signed RB Peyton Barber off the Washington Football Team practice squad. Washington felt comfortable moving on after rookie Jarret Patterson impressed during the preseason. This is likely a depth signing for the Raiders with Jalen Richard on IR.
* Bengals rookie RB Chris Evans beat out Traveyon Williams for the third RB job on the Bengals roster. This is fantasy relevant because Evans has operated well as a third-down back throughout the preseason and could potentially take some of the pass-catching work from Joe Mixon in the same way Gio Bernard did for years.
* Field Yates reported that the Ravens put in a waiver claim for RB Royce Freeman, who was ultimately claimed by the Panthers. This is interesting to me because it would seem to indicate the team wants more dart throws at a reliable pass catcher with J.K. Dobbins out for the year.
📊 STAT OF THE DAY
Hard to imagine a team who will be more fantasy friendly than the Buffalo Bills this year:
🐦 TWEET OF THE DAY
My friend Davis has good hot taeks, but he needs to work on his ordering:
Field knows exactly what he’s doing when he sends this tweet:
Enjoy your Saturday.
- Pete Overzet