No quarterback in the NFL may be entering a more make or break year than Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston. However, the Bucs have put Winston in the best possible scenario to succeed, and things are looking up for the young gunslinger now entering his 5th NFL season.
Winston’s fantasy stock is on the rise thanks in large part to the addition of offensive genius Bruce Arians. Arians served as the Arizona Cardinals head coach from 2013-2017, during this time he transformed the Cards offense into one of the most lethal units in all of football. In 2015 Arians, the QB whisper, helped Carson Palmer enjoy a career season. Palmer would toss a career-best 35 touchdowns, on his way to being the 5th highest scoring fantasy QB on the season. Could Winston be Arians’ next prized pupil?
In terms of fantasy, the Buccaneers QB position was one of the most productive position groups from a season ago. Tampa’s passing offense actually topped the ranks of passing offenses in 2018. In fact, If you combine Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston’s 2018 fantasy points, you would have had yourself the second-highest scoring fantasy quarterback of the season.
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Jameis Winston Fantasy Outlook: Matchup vs. San Francisco 49ers
No quarterback in football has a bigger upside in week one than Tampa’s Jameis Winston. A large part of his value is the abundantly talented arsenal at his disposal. Mike Evans is a bonafide WR1 in this league, Chris Godwin is a fantasy darling, and OJ Howard may be the most talented of the group. The other reason for Winston’s likely fantasy dominance in week one is the extremely juicy matchup he has on his hands.
The San Francisco 49ers were absolutely abysmal at defending the pass in 2018. Their 35 touchdown passes surrendered ranked second-most in all the NFL. If that wasn’t enough to get Winston fantasy owners salivating at the mouth, there’s more. When playing on the road, no NFL defense from a season ago allowed more passing touchdowns to opposing QBs than the 49ers.
Should You Start or Sit Jameis Winston in Week 1?
Absolutely! Unless you have an elite option at quarterback, Winston needs to be in your lineup. Even if you do have yourself a top-tier quarterback, if they have a questionable matchup you may want to think long and hard about swapping them out with Winston.
Winston is a perfect match for Arians’ offense and will eat in 2019. It’s unclear if Winston will ever cut down on the boneheaded mistakes, but he will surely put up enough yards and points to remain fantasy-relevant throughout the season. Plus the likelihood of San Francisco forcing an interception on Winston is minimal to none. The 49ers defenses recorded a grand total of two interceptions over the entirety of the 2018 season. Those two interceptions are five less than the next worst team in the category.
Jameis Winston’s floor in fantasy on Sunday should rank him within the top eight scoring players at his position. However, he has a great chance to squeeze into the top four. Winston is in must-start territory vs. the 49ers.