(WITH FANTASY OVERVIEW)
Lovie Smith is trying to bring his winning ways to Tampa. I thought Tampa had more talent than a 4-12 record might suggest but, unfortunately they couldn't get the QB situation figured out. By the time they got some consistent play out of Mike Glennon the season was lost and some of the players checked out. Doug Martin going down didn't help the cause.
The addition of Lovie should immediately change the attitude around the locker room and give the players a boost of confidence going into the year. The O-line will be the center of attention dealing with the loss of 4 starters. Evan Dietrich-Smith is an upgrade at center but, on his left and right will at guard will be a work in progress. Josh McCown is under center this year for the Bucs and is looking to show that last year was not a fluke. The 12 year vet did a great job filling in for Cutler in 5 starts with 1,829 yds 13 TDs 1 Int.
Jeff Tedford's first year in the NFL should be interesting. He is know for airing it out and will have an array of weapons. Vincent Jackson will lead the charge as he has done for the last 2 years at wide receiver. He will likely be matched with Chris Owusa the 3rd year man or rookie Mike Evans from Texas A&M. The Bucs will have 3 WR at least 6'5" with Brandon Meyers being the runt at TE standing 6'3".
If the O-line can hold up this team will be able to light up the score board with all of the talent they have at WR. Evans is a fun player to watch due to his outstanding talent and size to go along with his great hands. He was Johnny Manziel's main target and bailed him out of a lot of sketchy situations.
Doug Martin hopes to get back on track coming back from his shoulder injury. His rookie year was full of excitement when he burst on to the scene rushing for 1,454 Yds 12 total TDs along with proving he can catch the ball with 49 Rec. His YPC did decline for 4.6 to 3.6 before he went down for the year so its no guarantee that he will return to his 2012 production.
Behind him is a stable of guys who are all capable of being competent RBs in the NFL. Bobby Rainey showed what he could do last year in Martins absence. Rookie Charles Simms is learning the offense and will be challenging Rainey for the back up role.
Revis island has move to New England this year opening up for Alterraun Verner coming over from Tennessee. Leonard Johnson will keep his role on the outside with Goldson roaming the middle of the field. Da'Quan Bowers has been placed on the IR and will leave a huge gap to be filled by Gerald McCoy and Clinton McDonald.
Tampa finished middle of the pack in most defensive statistics last year. They didn't give up many big plays through the air but, will need to improve that red zone passing D. They were in the bottom 5 with 30 TDs given up in the air while only allowing 10 on the ground. Tampa will have another rough go with in the division this year. Carolina improved their offense while ATL is coming off their worst season since the end of the Vick era. I don't see too much improvement in the win column but they will have a more competitive team week in and week out.
5-11 Last in the NFC south
Lovie Smith's return to Chicago Week 15
Divisional games Week 1 vs Carolina week 3 @ATL week 5 @NO Those 3 match ups will decide early in the season if they will have any playoff hopes going into the second half of the year.
Josh McCown is current going as QB20 and could be a great value in 2 QB leagues as well as a great back up with potential to be a top 12 fantasy QB. Vincent Jackson is once again poised to have a solid year. He is one of those guys that you don't hear his name every week or get over drafted every year. He is a 2nd tier WR grouped in with Roddy White, Keenan Allen, and Wes Welker. You can anticipate 1200 yds 8 TDs.
Doug Martin is all about value. Players always fall after an injury so Martin should come at a good value. There is no one behind him to take any of his touches and has the goal line duties all to himself. 1,300 All Purpose Yards (APY) with 10 total touchdowns.
Mike Evans is a player to watch. Rookies usually take a few weeks to get into the swing of the NFL, but with his size and the potential to be on the field with Owusa and Vjax he will find a lot of mismatches that he should be able to exploit.