2012 Team Outlook: Tampa Bay (Page 2)

Football > Preseason > 2012 Team Outlook: Tampa Bay

2012 Team Outlook: Tampa Bay

A fantasy football preview of the Bucs this year. Profiled players include Josh Freeman, Dan Orlovsky, LeGarrette Blount, Doug Martin, and Mossis Madu.

Fantasy owners expecting Mike Williams to follow up his outstanding rookie campaign were extremely disappointed last season. Williams put up nearly identical numbers to his rookie season in both catches (65) and receiving yards (771), but his touchdown total fell from 11 as a rookie to just three last season. With former Charger wideout Vincent Jackson signing with the Buccaneers this offseason, Williams may see his numbers decline even further than his sophomore slump.

A highly touted sleeper candidate each of the past two seasons, Arrelious Benn may have finally slipped into a fantasy coma. Benn reeled in 30 passes for 441 yards and three touchdowns last season, but the offseason addition of San Diego wide receiver Vincent Jackson bumps Benn back to the bench and should push him off fantasy owners' radar as a potential breakout candidate this season. Sidelined four weeks with an MCL injury that could keep him sidelined until the regular season won't help.

Unless Luke Stocker, who caught just 12 passes for 92 yards last season, manages to supplant veteran Dallas Clark, who was acquired in the offseason to replace Kellen Winslow, as the Buccaneers' starting tight end, his fantasy value is non-existent.

You know the name, you remember the fantasy production. That Dallas Clark no longer exists, so it seems. The oft-injured tight end hopes to resurrect his career with the Bucs, a franchise that parted ways with Kellen Winslow. The 33-year-old Clark likely battles Luke Stocker for the starting job, but seeing as he's missed 15 games over the past two seasons, he shouldn't be on your fantasy radar barring a stunning preseason.

UPDATE 8/19: Clark made his preseason debut in the Bucs second game, but did not catch a pass and received little playing time, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Early reports in camp on the former Colts tight end have been positive, but of the "he's working hard" sort of way. Continue to ignore him in fantasy drafts in all but the deepest of leagues until there is tangible reason to pay attention.

Connor Barth was actually a pleasant surprise for the Buccaneers last season, connecting on 26-of-28 field goal attempts (93%) last season. Barth, who received Tampa Bay's franchise tag during the offseason, also made 2-of-3 from over 50 yards last season. If the Buccaneers offense improves then Barth becomes a sneaky pickup for fantasy owners this season.

The Buccaneers defense was atrocious against the run last season and they struggled to hold their opponents under 400 yards of total offense per game last season. The addition of Alabama safety Mark Barron was a controversial move at the time, but it should pay off down the road. The bottomline is that this defense is rebuilding and playing in a loaded division offensively doesn't help their fantasy prospects anytime soon. Fantasy owners would be wise to stay away from this defense alltogether.