There's been a great deal of excitement building up around the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this off-season, and for many good reasons. They've got a young, talented QB who was picked first overall, a big, young star wide receiver entering the prime of his career, and they made several moves in the off-season that should arm that young QB with talented weapons all over the field in the passing game, from Evans mentioned above to young tight end Cameron Brate, and including newcomers DeSean Jackson and OJ Howard. That being said, I think there might be a bit too much excitement about these guys when it comes to fantasy production, and I'll tell you all why.
Mike Evans is who I have to target next. He's a big target, and with the Bucs' struggling to find other players to produce on offense, Winston targeted him often. MOST often in the league, with 175 targets over the year. Evans was only able to convert 54% of those targets into catches however, making him the worst catch rate receiver amongst those targeted at least 100 times. And it wasn't just last season, every year he's hovered around 52-55% catch rate. I expect his target count to go down to something more like 125 over the course of the year. With his averages, that should turn into something like 60 catches for 800 yards. 1,000 yards would be a rosy projection in my opinion.
The running back position was a mess of injuries and general instability last season. While the running backs often produced some fantasy value, it was hit or miss as to whether or not they'd play that week. Between Jackson, Brate, and Howard, as well as Evans, I expect Winston to throw it 35 times per game or so, splitting those targets reasonably evenly/appropriately. 75-125 targets for each, based on how he settles in with them. It's hard to tell how comfortable he'll feel with DeSean right now, or if Howard will produce fantasy points in the NFL. I really feel like I need to see it to trust it.
That's my take on the Bucs. I know the excitement around them is rising now, and I also know that with hard knocks it'll only increase, but I'm having a tough time buying in on them, and will be generally leaving them alone in fantasy drafts this season.