Updated: Aug 24, 2021
Gregory Bull / Associated Press)
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2020 Record 11–5
Key Additions: Joseph Jones, Antonio Hamiliton, Raven Greene
Fantasy Football Starters: Devin White, LaVonte David, Jason Pierre-Paul, Shaquil Barrett, Antonie Winfield Jr.
Best Position Group: LBs
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were able to retain all of their 2020 Superbowl starting defense. When you have a championship defense, the expression ‘Don’t fix it, if it isn’t broke’ is a true statement. The Bucs defense played stellar defense through out the playoffs, taking down future Hall of Fame QBs Alex Smith, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and Patrick Mahomes in the process.
Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles is still not given enough credit for last year’s championship run. He masked his sub par secondary with great defense pressure from his veteran defensive line and do it all Linebackers. DL Ndamukong Suh, Vita Vea, and William Gholston also do not receive enough credit, but they are doing work, making plays, and freeing up their All-Pro Linebackers.
There is not a weak spot in the starting four LBs for Tampa Bay. It begins with 2020 All-Pro LB Devin White. He is a sideline to sideline tackler that could be the first IDP drafted in almost any format. Beside him is the 3 time All-Pro inside LB Lavonte David. An IDP stud early in his career, he’s still worthy of a late round snag in most formats. In 2019 LB Shaquil Barrett led the league in sacks with 19.5, and he could return to that elite form in 2021. LB Jason Pierre Paul is still a lethal pass rusher in his 11th season. He had 9.5 sacks last year, and only needs 11 to enter the 100 club, an honor only reached by 35 players.
Tampa Bay will be a great defense again this year. They are in a lackluster NFC South and should cruise to a 2nd straight playoff berth. They brought in depth and can withstand a few injuries.
All defensive units are better when their offensive unit is led by QB Tom Brady. He understands game flow, momentum, and clock management that only a select few can claim regardless of the sport. Add that along with the defensive genius, Todd Bowles and the Bucs have every opportunity to finish as the league’s top rated defense.
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