The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have a brand new look on offense in 2023 because they're making a change at the most important position. Tom Brady has officially retired -- for now -- and he leaves Kyle Trask and Baker Mayfield to battle it out for who will quarterback the Buccaneers. You can and should downgrade Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and the rest of the Buccaneers wide receiver options but we're already seeing that baked into their price this draft season. The same goes for Rachaad White who appears to have a workhorse role all but locked up at running back. Is there some value to squeeze out of this offense?
Below the CBS Sports Fantasy staff will take a look into the Buccaneers' entire team outlook, including a burning question for Fantasy Football managers that needs to be answered, key player projections, a review of their draft class, strength of schedule, and individual player outlooks for notable Buccaneers players who may end up on your Fantasy rosters.
- NFC South: | |
Buccaneers 2023 team outlook
By Chris Towers
The Tom Brady Era is seemingly over for good, and the Buccaneers seem poised to take a significant step back from a 2022 season where the cracks were already starting to show. This could be the start of a very painful rebuild.
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Burning question: Can the QB play be good enough for anyone to matter?
You'll likely see Chris Godwin and Mike Evans drafted in the WR2/3 range in most drafts, and that could work out; they're both really, really good players. But D.J. Moore is a really good player, too. So is Odell Beckham. Mayfield's struggles held both of them back, and could very well do the same for Godwin and Evans. As for the RB situation? The Buccaneers struggled to run the ball effectively last season, and I don't see much reason to be optimistic about that. This could be a Fantasy wasteland if Mayfield (or Kyle Trask, I suppose) doesn't shock us.
Buccaneers player projections
|QB||Baker Mayfield||PA: 619, YD: 4274, TD: 25, INT: 16; RUSH -- ATT: 45, YD: 157, TD: 1|
|RB||Rachaad White||CAR: 180, YD: 718, TD: 5; TAR: 68, REC: 55, YD: 382, TD: 2|
|RB||Chase Edmonds||CAR: 135, YD: 539, TD: 4; TAR: 50, REC: 37, YD: 260, TD: 2|
|WR||Chris Godwin||TAR: 149, REC: 94, YD: 1030, TD: 6|
|WR||Mike Evans||TAR: 124, REC: 68, YD: 886, TD: 6|
|WR||Russell Gage||TAR: 74, REC: 48, YD: 483, TD: 3|
|TE||Cade Otton||TAR: 74, REC: 51, YD: 505, TD: 3|
2023 NFL Draft class
Strength of Schedule rankings by Dave Richard
- QB PSoS: 9th easiest
- RB PSoS: 20th easiest
- WR PSoS: 11th easiest
- TE PSoS: 21st easiest
|1||Sep 10, 2023||@Minnesota||1:00 pm||U.S. Bank Stadium|
|2||Sep 17, 2023||vsChicago||1:00 pm||FOX||Raymond James Stadium|
|3||Sep 25, 2023||vsPhiladelphia||7:15 pm||ABC||Raymond James Stadium|
|4||Oct 1, 2023||@New Orleans||1:00 pm||FOX||Caesars Superdome|
|6||Oct 15, 2023||vsDetroit||1:00 pm||FOX||Raymond James Stadium|
|7||Oct 22, 2023||vsAtlanta||1:00 pm||FOX||Raymond James Stadium|
|8||Oct 26, 2023||@Buffalo||8:15 pm||AMZN||Highmark Stadium|
|9||Nov 5, 2023||@Houston||1:00 pm||NRG Stadium|
|10||Nov 12, 2023||vsTennessee||1:00 pm||Raymond James Stadium|
|11||Nov 19, 2023||@San Francisco||4:05 pm||FOX||Levi's Stadium|
|12||Nov 26, 2023||@Indianapolis||1:00 pm||Lucas Oil Stadium|
|13||Dec 3, 2023||vsCarolina||1:00 pm||Raymond James Stadium|
|14||Dec 10, 2023||@Atlanta||1:00 pm||Mercedes-Benz Stadium|
|15||Dec 17, 2023||@Green Bay||1:00 pm||FOX||Lambeau Field|
|16||Dec 24, 2023||vsJacksonville||4:05 pm||Raymond James Stadium|
|17||Dec 31, 2023||vsNew Orleans||1:00 pm||FOX||Raymond James Stadium|
|18||Jan 7, 2024||@Carolina||TBA||—||Bank of America Stadium|
Buccaneers 2023 player outlooks
By Dan Schneier unless otherwise noted
QB Baker Mayfield
By Heath Cummings
Mayfield will be on his fourth team in three years when he suits up for the Buccaneers Week 1. Whether he suits up as a starter or a backup will be determined in training camp when he competes with Kyle Trask for the QB1 job. On the positive side, the winner of that battle will have one of the NFL's best wide receiver duos in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. The downside is that Mayfield is coming off of the worst year in his career, one that saw him get benched and then cut by the Panthers before the Rams picked him up off the scrap heap. For now, Mayfield should only be rostered in leagues that allow you to start two quarterbacks and he should be viewed as a backup even in those leagues.
QB Kyle Trask
Trask will reportedly get a real opportunity to compete with Baker Mayfield to win the starting job, but after throwing just nine passes in 2022, the only thing you can do is project what he might be able to do as starter. Trask entered the NFL without a rushing profile and questions about his arm talent translating to the NFL level. That's not a good combination typically. Should Trask beat Mayfield, he will only have appeal in Superflex and two-QB leagues.
RB Rachaad White
The Buccaneers did just about everything they could this offseason to give White an opportunity to shine. They cut Leonard Fournette and ignored the running back position in the NFL Draft. Now White will have to prove that he's worth featuring in the offense. As a rookie, White saw his role flourish after Week 10 and he finished as the RB26 from then on. A big component to White's success were his 50 receptions – top 12 at the RB position -- despite his limited workload early in the season. No matter who wins the job at QB, White won't see near the same passing volume as he did with Tom Brady. White struggled with efficiency metrics as a runner, but that was at least in part due to a Buccaneers offensive line that was crumpled with injuries. If you want to gamble on White's talent and potential role, you'll have to do so in Round 6.
RB Chase Edmonds
By Jamey Eisenberg
Edmonds joined the Buccaneers this offseason and will battle Ke'Shawn Vaughn and Sean Tucker for touches behind Rachaad White. He's a fine pick in the double-digit rounds of a PPR league. The best path you can project is that Edmonds wins the third-down job and plays with Baker Mayfield, who led the NFL with an 11.9% checkdown rate in 2022. As much as Edmonds struggled as a rusher last year, he was still above average as a pass catcher, averaging 6.5 yards per target. Even if everything goes right for Edmonds, he's a flex at best. If everything goes wrong, he could be cut.
RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn
Vaughn hasn't evolved into the passing-downs specialist the Buccaneers envisioned. Until Vaughn receives meaningful playing time, Fantasy managers shouldn't bother adding him to their rosters.
WR Mike Evans
Evans enters the season with the least confidence Fantasy managers have had about him since he first broke out. An uncertain quarterback position is one of the problems; going from Tom Brady and the excellent rapport they'd built to a veteran retread like Baker Mayfield or a mid-round dart throw like Kyle Trask is troubling. What's more troubling is how far Evans' production fell off in 2022. He earned just the 37th-highest target share and the 22nd-most red-zone targets in the league. And it's not like he should've gotten more targets – he was just 33rd in yards per route run. Evans feels like a name-inflated WR3 who is going off the board in Rounds 7-8.
WR Chris Godwin
Godwin is expected to take off as a target hog in 2023 with Mike Evans' efficiency dropping off a cliff in 2022 and the lack of target competition outside of him. The case for Godwin rests on his individual target share volume, the fact that the Buccaneers will be throwing often while playing from behind, and the fact that he could have another gear to his game now one year removed from the ACL injury. Godwin finished as a WR2 or better in just four weeks during the 2022 season. If he wants to develop into a more consistent Fantasy asset, Godwin's 99th-highest average depth of target (5.6) has to rise. Godwin projects more as a WR3 in 2023.
WR Russell Gage
The Buccaneers certainly regret gambling on Gage in free agency with hopes that he would be the final piece for Tom Brady to go on one more run. Gage finished as a WR2 or better just twice in 2022 and as a WR3 or better just two more times. Until he finds more target volume, Gage is best left undrafted.
WR Trey Palmer
Palmer adds a different level of speed to the Buccaneers offense, so he's someone to keep an eye on in season on the waiver wire, but he is not worth drafting. He is also not worth draft capital in rookie-only leagues.
TE Cade Otton
Otton has some sleeper appeal in 2023 after the Buccaneers got rid of Cameron Brate this offseason. Otton had a quietly productive rookie season with 391 yards and two touchdowns on 42 receptions. The quarterback situation and passing game overall is risky, but Otton could have weekly streamer appeal if he takes a step forward in his development.
K Ryan Succup
Succop averaged the 22nd-most Fantasy points per game last season and the Buccaneers made the decision to move on from him. Even if he latches on with another team by Week 1, Succop is unlikely to make an impact in Fantasy leagues.
The Buccaneers averaged the 20th-most Fantasy points per game in 2022 after taking a step back. Adding a pass rusher with their first-round pick in Calijah Kancey should help, but the Buccaneers project as a team you're better off waiting to scoop up off the waiver wire for the right matchups.