In 2015 Fantasy Football leagues, quarterback Jameis Winston finished as the 14th-highest scoring quarterback.
With a year under his belt, a trimmer physique and a few strong weapons, Winston could crack the top 10 in 2016 Fantasy Football leagues.
Although he was surrounded by a lot of controversy entering the league, the 22-year old quarterback has so far done a good job at keeping his focus on football.
He’s currently being drafted in Round 12, which some Fantasy players believe makes him a steal.
Let’s take a closer look at if Winston deserves a spot on your roster in 2016 Fantasy Football leagues.
2015 Fantasy Football Review: Jameis Winston
Winston isn’t known for his mobility, but he was able to score the second-most rushing touchdowns (6) at the quarterback position last year.
His main strength, though, was always his arm. Because of his size (6-foot-4, 231 pounds), Winston was often compared to Ben Roethlisberger before he was drafted. He has great confidence in his arm (which also means he can make costly mistakes), and Winston finished with the 14th-most passing attempts last season.
Winston’s 22 touchdown passes were better than Marcus Mariota’s 19, but Winston also threw 15 interceptions compared to Mariota’s 10.
The rookie quarterback also heavily struggled against elite competition. He threw four interceptions against the Carolina Panthers in Week 4, and he threw two interceptions in his next meeting with the Panthers in Week 17.
Overall, Winston showed potential in his rookie campaign. He finished with 16 or more Fantasy points in nine games last season. He had the 11th-most passing yards in the NFL in 2015, so he could have finished close to the top 10 last year with just a few more touchdown passes.
Jameis Winston: 2016 Fantasy Football Weapons
Even though he went from 1,051 receiving yards in 2014 to 1,206 in 2015, many Fantasy owners were disappointed with Mike Evans. That’s because in 2014, he hauled in 12 touchdowns.
In 2015 he only caught three.
Vincent Jackson no longer has the type of Fantasy value he did earlier in his career, but Winston’s value improves from having the veteran on the roster. At 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, Jackson serves as a big target with sure hands.
To compliment the size of Evans and Jackson, the Buccaneers will have receiver Kenny Bell in the lineup this year. Bell was a fifth-round pick in 2015, but he was unable to make his debut last year because of a hamstring injury. With a 4.42 40-yard dash time at the 2015 NFL Combine, Bell could make this offense a headache to contain.
Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins appeared like he was in for a big season in 2015 after hauling in two touchdowns in Week 1. He was sidelined with injuries for most of the season, however, and didn’t have a major impact when he returned in Week 13.
Fantasy players may want to give up hope on Jenkins emerging if he can’t stay heathy this season. But his presence in the lineup is a positive for Winston’s development.
Winston will also benefit from having two excellent pass-catching backs to target. Last season, Doug Martin and Charles Sims combined for 84 receptions, 832 receiving yards and five touchdown receptions.
Jameis Winston: 2016 Fantasy Football Outlook
When you’re looking to evaluate a player from a previous season, it always helps to just ask simple questions.
How likely is it that Jameis Winston can exceed his stat totals from 2015 in 2016? How likely is it that he will post similar numbers? How likely is it that he will regress?
Since the bar wasn’t set exceptionally high in terms of touchdown passes, there’s a larger likelihood that Winston will improve on his totals from last year.
Winston should be more comfortable as a starting quarterback in year two, and it’s a positive sign that he is trying to work on building a better connection with Evans.
He has one of the best young receivers in the league in Evans, a strong veteran in Jackson, a speedster in Bell, and a set of tight ends that are big targets in the end zone. And, he has a solid group of pass-catching backs.
The only thing is that these players need to stay healthy. Losing Evans, Martin, or Sims would limit Winston’s options in the passing attack.
I wouldn’t want him as my QB1, but I think he’s great as a backup for only costing you a 12th-round pick.
Last season, he was my backup to Cam Newton in my winning MFL 10 lineup. Winston actually scored more points than Newton in five games, one of which was during the Fantasy playoffs in Week 16.
Winston will still make some questionable throws in 2016 because of his confidence, but he should improve enough to be in the top 10 at the end of the 2016 Fantasy Football season.