After another disappointing season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers decided to move on from head coach Dirk Koetter. The season saw the Buccaneers go 5-11 with a revolving door at quarterback between Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston. Tampa Bay hired Bruce Arians to replace him, who has a great history with quarterbacks. This should greatly improve Winston’s fantasy football outlook for next year.
What the Bruce Arians Hire Means for Jameis Winston in Fantasy Football
Winston Has a Ton of Upside
Winston is still a young, promising quarterback, with a ton of upside. He started the season as the team’s starter in his rookie year and threw for 22 touchdowns and over 4,000 yards. In his sophomore season, Winston helped the Buccaneers get to a 9-7 season again throwing for over 4,000 yards and 28 touchdowns. He regressed a bit in 2017, only managing 19 touchdowns and about 3,500 yards.
This year was Winston’s rockiest season yet. Winston was suspended for three games for accusations of groping an Uber driver. During that time, veteran journeyman Fitzpatrick filled in admirably, throwing for over 400 yards passing and four touchdowns in the Buccaneers first two games. Week three, Fitzpatrick showed signs of the magic fading with three first-half interceptions. He still ended up with three touchdowns and over 400 yards, enough to keep the starting job one more week.
What ensued after that was somewhat of a clown show of revolving quarterbacks. Winston ended up coming in during the second half in week four against the Chicago Bears. He kept the starting job for a few weeks, even putting up 395-yard, four-touchdown game week six against the Atlanta Falcons. Still, he would be benched and un-benched a few more times during the season. All in all, he never really got a shot to lead the team in 2018.
Arians should help Winston reach his potential. It won’t be the first time he has brought a quarterback back from the dead.
Revived Carson Palmer’s Career
Arians became head coach of the Arizona Cardinals in 2013. That year, the team also traded for veteran quarterback Carson Palmer. Palmer spent a season and a half with the Oakland Raiders after things went sour with the team that drafted him, the Cincinnati Bengals. While Palmer didn’t play horribly, he didn’t look anything like he did in his Bengals days.
At 34 years old, not much was expected from Palmer. However, Arians turned back the clock Palmer. He ended up with his best completion percentage since 2007 and threw for a career-high (up to that point) 4,274 yards. The Cardinals finished with a 10-6 record, narrowly missing the playoffs. Next year, Palmer and the Cardinals got off to a 6-0 start, but unfortunately, Palmer tore his ACL. It was the same one he injured back in 2006 with the Bengals. Many thought that was the end of the road for Palmer.
Instead, Palmer came back and had the best season of his career. Arizona went 13-3 with Palmer throwing for 4,671 yards, breaking his career best he set in his first season with Arians. He also had a career-high 35 touchdowns, and career low 11 interceptions for a full season. Palmer’s age started to show in his last few years, but Arians definitely deserves credit for extending Palmer’s career for so long.
History with Jameis Winston
Some may know that Winston and Arians actually go way back. Arians used to host a football camp in Alabama that Winston attended. Arians’ son, Jake lived in Alabama, so he kept close tabs on Winston throughout his high school days. Winston also has a mutual respect for Arians, crediting him as being the one who got Winston thinking about trying to win a Super Bowl as a kid.
There is no doubt that Winston being a part of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was a big reason for him to come out of retirement to coach the Bucs. Winston’s style of play fits perfectly with Arians philosophy of throwing the ball downfield early and often. With a plethora of options at wide receiver, including Mike Evans and O.J. Howard, Arians should have no trouble installing an offense that will put up a ton of points next season. He is also more likely to ride it out with Winston, rather than continually bench him like Koetter did last year.
This will bode well for Winston’s fantasy stock. He has the potential to be a real steal in next year’s fantasy drafts.
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