It was the obvious choice at #1 for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to take Jameis Winston, the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner for the Florida State Seminoles. Since 2009 the Buccaneers have had failed experiments with Josh McCown, Mike Glennon, Josh Johnson, Josh Freeman and Byron Leftwich all starting games and leading the Bucs to zero playoff games (No playoff wins since 2002). Out of those guys the longest tenured was Josh Freeman with a winning percentage of .429 (24-32). There is no way Winston ends his stint in Tampa any worse off and here’s why.
First off, the wide receiver talent in Tampa is obvious. Vincent Jackson has averaged 68 catches 1163 yards and 7 TDs in his last 6 full seasons averaging a consistent 10 points per game in PPR leagues. Everyone seems to be writing him off after a somewhat disappointing season where he didn’t score after week 4, but I could see a career year for the 32 year old wideout. He still managed 70 catches and 1002 yards with his two TDs. But lets be honest, Jameis is the first legit QB since Rivers was throwing him the ball. Aside from Jackson, the new star of the corps is Mike Evans. The soon to be 22 year old phenom is the talk of the dynasty community, coming in at #6 for wide receivers and 9th overall in our rankings. He is primed for a huge year after scoring 10 touchdowns after week 6 last year with two different QBs. New offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter will utilize Jackson and Evans just as he used Roddy White and Julio Jones in Atlanta for the past three seasons. Jameis Winston will have fun throwing to these two just like he did with Rashad Greene and Kelvin Benjamin when he won the National Championship in 2013.
In his two years at Florida State Winston averaged 13.5 games, 3577 yards (265 yards per game) 33 TDs and 14 INTs with a 66% completion rate on 426 attempts per season (31.5 per game). To compare the Tampa Bay offense accumulated 3623 yards (226 yards per game) 21 TDs and 20 INTs with a 56.1% completion on 531 attempts (33 per game). Obviously that was the NCAA and this is the NFL but Tampa will definitely benefit from an increased completion percentage that Winston can provide without Koetter having to change his playbook much.
At 6’4″ 231 lbs Jameis the big armed QB will not stretch the field with his legs but he did add 7 career TDs on the ground for FSU including this beauty:
On average Jameis is the 7th overall rookie taken in dynasty rookie drafts, 10 picks ahead of his counterpart Marcus Mariota (fantasy football calculator). Last season Johnny Manziel was the top QB drafted at 5th overall with Teddy Bridgewater behind him at #12. Obviously Bridgewater has taken a huge jump over Manziel this season as I have him ranked as my #7 overall dynasty QB and Manziel is at #30. Winston is right there behind Bridgewater at #8, just above Matt Ryan and Colin Kaepernick. With the help of Jackson and Evans, it is hard to predict under 3200 yards and at least 23 TDs for the young QB. He will obviously make some mistakes as all rookie QBs do, but has elite talent to make up for them as shown many times at Florida State. If you were in a startup league it is tough to trust Winston as your QB1 as he has yet to play a down in the NFL, but just as the Bucs have, I encourage you to do so as well.