Most fantasy football owners’ wait until the last couple rounds to draft a defense, but once and awhile it is worth reaching for a unit. One of these up-and-coming defenses to keep tabs on towards the end of the draft this summer is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers DEF/ST.
Tampa was tied for third in the NFL with 21 interceptions in 2013. The team’s secondary had four players with at least two picks and the entire defense was able to contribute in creating turnovers. Their secondary is one of the most balanced units in the league.
The Bucs also have a very underrated pass rush. DT Gerald McCoy led the team with 9.5 sacks, while DE Adrian Clayborn added 5.5 sacks. The d-line down in Tampa doesn’t get enough credit, but they can produce like a respectable fantasy defense when they get a favorable matchup.
The primary playmaker on defense is linebacker Lavonte David. He racked up 145 hits last year to go along with seven sacks and five interceptions. David will legitimize this defensive unit by containing the run and constantly adding big plays.
The defense was 17th against the pass (237.9 yards/game) in 2013 and 15th against the run (110.1 yards/game). The team was also 23rd in the league with 35 sacks and was in the middle of the pack in almost every defensive category.
After one injury-plagued season, the Bucs and CB Darrelle Revis have already parted ways. The team brought in CB Alterraun Verner to take the All-Star’s place at the corner, but it still leaves the team with a bit of a hole on the outside. Opposing offenses will key in on the problem and will expose the team’s weakness time and time again.
The Bucs can be found near the end of every format this year. If you plan on waiting to find a defense, TB is guaranteed to be there in the final few rounds this summer. The Bucs won’t be an elite defense by any means this year, but they will do enough to be a top-10 DEF/ST when it is all said and done.
Bye Week: 7
Projected Round: 18
Auction Value: $1