2012 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Tampa Bay Bucs RB LaGarrette Blount

Expect the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to revert back to 2010 where they incorporated a more balanced offensive scheme with rookie running back LaGarrette Blount leading the attack on the ground.  In 2011, Blount received 20 carries in only three games, but in those games Blount averaged 4.5 yards per carry.

That basically comes down to bad game-planning.  That, and the fact Tampa had to go to the air more because they were usually trailing.  Still, their passing to rushing attempts were basically even in 2010 when they won 10 games.  In 2011, they attempted 242 more passes than rushes.  It should be noted they lost their last 10 games.

Raheem Morris is out; Greg Schiano, a more disciplinarian coach comes in.

Discipline is something Blount needed more of to say the least.  Last year he was frequently late to practice and put in no effort to improve as a pass-blockers or route runner. Let’s face it, his off-the-field issues stem farther back from last year.  It seems the new coaching staff has helped; Schiano has praised Blount’s work ethic so far.

Let’s not forget Blount will be in a timeshare with rookie Doug Martin, the running back from Tampa Bay they drafted this year in the first round.

Martin has looked solid in camp thus far and he is the odds-on favorite to start the season in the backfield for the Buccaneers.  All the more reason for Blount to have a chip on his shoulder.

Not only was lack of effort a concern with Blount last season, so was holding on to the ball.  With Martin now in the picture, expect Blount to be motivated and focused.  He’ll certainly feel like he’s got something to prove to the organization.  There is already some evidence of that.  Blount came into camp with a slimmer frame, weighing in at 247 pounds. Blount has also stated he’s done a lot of work this offseason to improve his blocking and receiving skills.

Blount could certainly surprise some people this season, and not only from a fantasy perspective, which is why he’s on the list of 2012 Fantasy Football Sleepers.