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

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the birth of fantasy football, the athlete reviews the best fantasy players and fantasy seasons in NFL history.

A detailed overview of the system used to rank historical fantasy achievements can be found on our introductory page on the greatest fantasy players of all time, but here’s a quick summary.

Fantasy player performance is adjusted by epoch, allowing players who dominated lower-scoring epochs to compete against players who racked up huge scores in higher-scoring epochs.

After making these adjustments, players will be credited with a Starter Season (1 point), Quality Season (1 point), Impact Campaign (1.5 points), or Elite Starter (2 points). These points are cumulative and measured in both non-PPR and PPR, and are used as the basis for determining who are the best fantasy players in NFL history.

Now that we’ve got prelims done, let’s look at the best fantasy players in Tampa Bay Buccaneers team history!

(Note: the numbers below reflect the player’s performance with the Buccaneers.)

All-Time Fantasy Starting Lineup

QB: Doug Williams

RB: James Wilder

RB: Warrick Dunn

WR: Mike Evans

WR: Kevin House

TE: Jimmie Giles

SuperFLEX: Tom Brady


Quarterback—Doug Williams

Starter quality influence elite PPR-Str PPR Qual PPR impact PPR Elite career points
3 2 0 0 3 2 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 few years. These efforts resulted in Williams finishing fourth in QB fantasy points in 1980, third in 1981 and eighth in 1982. A contract dispute resulted in Williams leaving the NFL for three years after that 1982 campaign, but the three-year starting distance was still enough to secure Williams the best QB spot in Tampa Bay history.

Running back—James Wilder

Starter quality influence elite PPR-Str PPR Qual PPR impact PPR Elite career points
3 1 1.5 0 4 3 1.5 2 16

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

Running back—Warrick Dunn

Starter quality influence elite PPR-Str PPR Qual PPR impact PPR Elite career points
5 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 10

Dunn set the example for consistency in scoring during his five years at Tampa Bay from 1997 to 2001, finishing between 11th and 17th in the RB PPR rankings in each of those seasons. He is the only Buccaneers to run back to record 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 the totals of Martin’s career points:

Starter quality influence elite PPR-Str PPR Qual PPR impact PPR Elite career points
2 2 1.5 0 2 1 1.5 0 10

Wide receiver—Mike Evans

Starter quality influence elite PPR-Str PPR Qual PPR impact PPR Elite career points
8th 3 0 0 8th 2 0 0 21

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

Wide receiver Kevin House

Starter quality influence elite PPR-Str PPR Qual PPR impact PPR Elite career points
5 1 0 0 5 1 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 have a consensus top 10 season since House ranked fifth among wide receivers in non-PPR points and sixth in PPR points in 1981.

Tight End – Jimmie Giles

Starter quality influence elite PPR-Str PPR Qual PPR impact PPR Elite career points
5 2 0 0 5 1 0 0 13

Giles was one of the top fantasy tight ends from 1979-1982, as he was one of only three tight ends in that four-year span to record starter-caliber seasons in each campaign, and one of only four tight ends who have booked at least two high-quality seasons. His 13 career points rank third all-time among Tampa Bay players at every position.

SuperFlex—Tom Brady

Starter quality influence elite PPR-Str PPR Qual PPR impact PPR Elite career points
2 2 1.5 0 2 2 1.5 0 11

There could have been a strong case for putting Brady at the top of the Tampa Bay Fantasy quarterback list since his 11 career points rank highest among Buccaneers quarterbacks. Williams eventually won that tiebreak because he had three starter-caliber seasons at Tampa Bay, but if Brady played another starter-caliber season with the Buccaneers, he would let Williams jump for the top spot there. This is highly likely as Brady’s 374.7 points in 2021 is easily the best era-adjusted fantasy season by a Tampa Bay quarterback and bodes well for a strong start to the season for Brady in 2022.


Best Era-Adapted Fantasy Seasons Ever

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 the shortened nine-game season)

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

(Top Photo: Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

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