Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 8/6/12

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers of 2012 looks to be a bigger player in the realm of fantasy football because there are more players with potential than the youth-laden squad of 2011. Here is a breakdown for each position.

Quarterback

Josh Freeman is looking to prove that 2011 was a fluke. Head coach Greg Schiano helped lift a heavy burden off of Freeman's shoulders when he announced the team will be a heavy-run oriented offense. Conventional wisdom will tell you the main key for a quarterback's success in the league is a balanced running attack. The explosiveness of first rounder, Doug Martin should help Freeman improve in his numbers especially with the playaction pass.

Josh Freeman is looking to prove that 2011 was a fluke. Head coach Greg Schiano helped lifted a heavy burden off of Freeman's shoulders when he announced the team will be a heavy-run oriented offense. Conventional wisdom will tell you the main key for a quarterback's success in the league is a balanced running attack. The explosiveness of first rounder, Doug Martin should help Freeman improve in his numbers especially with the playaction pass.

Running Back

Make no mistake about it, this WILL be the strength of the offense. Doug Martin could a solid top 10 back if the initial training camp reports are true of his explosive nature. As long as the offensive line holds, he could be a potential steal of the draft and breakout rookie due to many people tend to be squeamish in picking Bucs offensive players.

If LeGarrette Blount's pass protection skills improved, compared to be virtually non-existent last year, he could see a lot more playing time spelling Martin. For all intensive purposes he could be benchwarmer and a potential flex pickup in a bye week, which makes him an ideal handcuff pick. You can easily see potential combined 1500+ rushing yards from these two this year.

Wide Receiver

Vincent Jackson is as viable a pick as he was when he was still with the San Diego Chargers. He'll top 1,000 yards again and may see more balls thrown his way in Tampa especially in possession and deep routes. Chances are in most leagues, he'll end up being the first Buc taken.

With Jackson on the field, Mike Williams should get more open looks and drop less balls under the more discipline-minded Schiano. He could very well regain his form back in 2010. Most leagues he'll be a late pickup. Beyond Jackson and Williams, the competition at receiver is heavy with the likes of Sammie Stroughter, Tiquan Underwood and Preston Parker for the slot receiving position. Unfortunately, you're not going to see a regular scoring threat among them to warrant picking any of them up.

Tight End

With Jackson on the field, Mike Williams should get more open looks and drop less balls under the more discipline-minded Schiano. He could very well regain his form back in 2010. Most leagues he'll be a late pickup. Beyond Jackson and Williams, the competition at receiver is heavy with the likes of Sammie Stroughter, Tiquan Underwood and Preston Parker for the slot receiving position. Unfortunately, you're not going to see a regular scoring threat among them to warrant picking any of them up.

He's far removed from his top 5 standing as a tight end, but my stance is that he could be as successful as Freeman is. A great late pickup in deeper leagues and a competent backup in others. Clark's backup in Luke Stocker is being developed but also fought injuries that hampered his production in 2011. With the uncertainty of Clark and preseason still to go, Luke Stocker could very well end up in Clark's spot. He'll likely get the same looks Clark would get from Freeman especially in the end zone where the attention will most likely go to the wide receivers.

Defense

The biggest question mark of the Bucs is how they will be given the dramatic system changes to the defense. Gerald McCoy has yet played a full season in the NFL and the pass rush has mostly been suspect. Perhaps new faces like rookies Mark Barron and Lavonte David could build a new identity to the Bucs defense in the way that John Lynch and Derrick Brooks had in the past.

They have potential to be as opportunistic and physical as the Kiffin era Bucs and they have the potential to surprise a few people, but don't hold your breath for any hope for long term longevity. They have a long way to go to get back to draft prominence to the likes of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens.

Follow Tom on Twitter: Follow @vipyr82



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