Early Fantasy Rankings for Bucs’ Stars

The lead in to fantasy football drafts, most of which are held in mid to late-August, is nearly as extensive as that for the real NFL Draft.  In both cases, countless mock drafts are performed and perceived player rankings are constantly tweaked.  Fantasy draft boards, however, are a bit more stable over the last few months leading up to selection time, because there is less going on that changes a player’s value.  Barring injury, fantasy football analysts are going to perceive the likes of Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice and Doug Martin about the same in late May as they do in early August.

Thus, it’s instructive to see where some of the Buccaneers’ potential offensive stars are landing in the player rankings that are starting to populate the web.  In general, you’ll find three Tampa Bay players among the top 100 rankings: RB Doug Martin and WRs Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams.  The chart below shows where each of those three is ranked across 11 different expert lists:

Martin

Jackson

Williams

Christopher Harris, ESPN.com

5

24

89

Matthew Berry, ESPN.com

5

33

85

Eric Mack, SI.com

3

31

82

Jamey Eisenberg, CBSSports.com

5

39

102

Dave Richard, CBSSports.com

4

36

64

Nathan Zegura, CBSSports.com

7

28

86

Evan Silva, Rotoworld.com

2

31

100

Ryan Fowler, Foxsports.com

5

38

77

Joel Beall, Foxsports.com

2

33

94

John Halpin, Foxsports.com

4

31

107

Adam Meyer, Foxsports.com

3

35

97

AVERAGE

4.1

32.6

89.4

It’s no surprise that Martin, the second-year running back, is the first Buc expected to be off the board.  Running backs who don’t have a time-share issue and are threats to be in the 1,500-yard, 10-touchdown range are highly coveted.  Martin, in fact, only makes it out of the top five in one of those 11 rankings and goes as high as second in two of them.  His average draft spot is right about the fourth pick.

Jackson is next off the board, somewhere in the 32-33 pick range.  That would put him early in the fourth round of a 10-team draft and in the second half of the third round in a 12-team draft.  ESPN.com’s Christopher Harris is the highest on Jackson, having him sneak into the second round in a 12-team draft.

Williams’ average draft spot is just a little before the 90th pick.  That would put him at the end of the ninth round in a 10-team draft and early in the ninth round in a 12-team draft.  Not surprisingly, in the middle rounds, there is less agreement among the various experts on where Williams should be ranked.  He goes as high as 64th on Dave Richard’s board and as low as 107th on John Halpin’s.

Fantasy football draft time is just around the corner.  If you’re hoping to land a Buccaneer or two, the above rankings could help you know when to pull the trigger.  As an example, here you’ll find NFL.com Fantasy Editor Michael Fabiano providing his own mock draft, for the first 50 picks at least, and you’ll see he hit the Martin and Jackson marks almost exactly on the nose.

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