Era-adjusted fantasy football player rankings: Mike Evans, James Wilder lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers crew

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the creation of fantasy football, The Athletic is reviewing the best fantasy players and fantasy seasons in NFL history.

A detailed overview of the system used to grade historical fantasy performance can be found in our greatest fantasy players of all-time introduction page, but here’s a quick summary.

Fantasy player performance is era-adjusted so that players who dominated during lower scoring eras can compete versus players who racked up huge point totals in higher scoring eras.

After these adjustments are made, players are then given credit for having a starter-caliber season (one point), a quality season (one point), an impact campaign (1.5 points) or being an elite starter (two points). These points stack and are measured in both non-PPR and PPR and serve as the basis for determining who are the best fantasy players in NFL history.

Now that we have the preliminaries out of the way, let’s look at the best fantasy players in Tampa Bay Buccaneers team history!

(Note: the numbers listed below are for the player’s performance while on the Buccaneers.)

All-time fantasy starting lineup

QB: Douglas Williams

RB: James Wilder

RB: Warrick Dunn

WR: Mike Evans

WR: Kevin House

TE: Jimmie Giles

SuperFLEX: Tom Brady


Quarterback—Doug Williams

starter Quality Impact Elite PPR Str PPR Qual PPR Impact PPR Elite Career Points
3 two 0 0 3 two 0 0 10

The Buccaneers had one of the worst offenses in league history when Williams joined the team in 1978, but he helped turn that crew around over the next couple of years. Those efforts resulted in Williams ranking fourth in QB fantasy points in 1980 and he followed that up by ranking third in 1981 and eighth in 1982. A contract dispute led to Williams leaving the NFL for three years following that 1982 campaign, but that three-year starter stretch still was enough to land Williams the top QB spot in Tampa Bay history.

Running Back—James Wilder

starter Quality Impact Elite PPR Str PPR Qual PPR Impact PPR Elite Career Points
3 one 1.5 0 4 3 1.5 two 16

Wilder was the ultimate bell-cow back in 1984. His 296 non-PPR points and 380.5 PPR points led all running backs in that season, but what really stands out is that Wilder racked up 492 touches. That is still by far the most ever posted by a running back in a single season, as second place on this list is Larry Johnson with 457 in 2006. That wear and tear almost certainly led to a shortening of Wilder’s career, as he had a low-end RB1 season in 1985 and then fell off the fantasy starter radar after that. But that dominant 1984 campaign resulted in Wilder being the top Buccaneers fantasy RB.

Running Back—Warrick Dunn

starter Quality Impact Elite PPR Str PPR Qual PPR Impact PPR Elite Career Points
5 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 10

Dunn was the model of scoring consistency in his five-year stint in Tampa Bay from 1997-2001, as he placed between 11th and 17th in RB PPR scoring in each of those seasons. He is the only Buccaneers running back to post five starter-caliber non-PPR seasons and Dunn shares the top spot in RB PPR starter seasons with Mike Alstott.

This was a close race between Dunn and Doug Martin. Here are Martin’s career points totals:

starter Quality Impact Elite PPR Str PPR Qual PPR Impact PPR Elite Career Points
two two 1.5 0 two one 1.5 0 10

Wide receiver—Mike Evans

starter Quality Impact Elite PPR Str PPR Qual PPR Impact PPR Elite Career Points
8 3 0 0 8 two 0 0 twenty-one

Evans is the best Tampa Bay fantasy player of all-time. His 21 career points from him are the best at any position and his eight starter-caliber seasons in non-PPR and PPR easily top this club, as no other Buccaneers player has more than five in either category. Evans also leads the club in quality-caliber non-PPR seasons with three.

Wide receiver—Kevin House

starter Quality Impact Elite PPR Str PPR Qual PPR Impact PPR Elite Career Points
5 one 0 0 5 one 0 0 12

House wasn’t a fantasy scoring dynamo, but he does rank second among Tampa Bay wide receivers in starter-caliber seasons in both non-PPR and PPR scoring formats. He is also one of only seven Buccaneers wide receivers to post a consensus Top 10 season, as House ranked fifth among wide receivers in non-PPR points and sixth in PPR points in 1981.

Tight end — Jimmie Giles

starter Quality Impact Elite PPR Str PPR Qual PPR Impact PPR Elite Career Points
5 two 0 0 5 one 0 0 13

Giles was one of the best fantasy tight ends from 1979-82, as he was one of only three tight ends in that four-year span to post starter-caliber seasons in each campaign and one of only four tight ends to post at least two quality-caliber seasons. His 13 career points from him rank third all-time among Tampa Bay players at any position.

SuperFlex—Tom Brady

starter Quality Impact Elite PPR Str PPR Qual PPR Impact PPR Elite Career Points
two two 1.5 0 two two 1.5 0 eleven

A strong case could have been made to place Brady at the top of the Tampa Bay fantasy quarterback list, as his 11 career points rank highest among Buccaneers quarterbacks. Williams ended up winning that tiebreaker due to having three starter-caliber seasons in Tampa Bay, but if Brady racks up one more starter-caliber season with the Buccaneers, he will vault Williams for the top spot there. This is very likely to occur, as Brady’s 374.7 points in 2021 is easily the best era-adjusted fantasy season by a Tampa Bay quarterback and portends well for a strong starting season for Brady in 2022.


All-time best era-adjusted fantasy seasons

QB: Tom Brady, 2021 (374.7 points)

RB: James Wilder, 1984 (296 non-PPR, 380.5 PPR)

WR: Mark Carrier, 1989 (195 non-PPR, 281.2 PPR)

TE: Jimmie Giles, 1982 (66 non-PPR, 94 PPR in nine-game strike shortened season)

SuperFLEX: Doug Martin, 2012 (263 non-PPR, 311.6 PPR)

(Top photo: Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

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