Let me start off by saying what Jameis Winston did is appalling and a 3 game suspension is probably not enough. My evaluation of a player is simply based on what I project for them going forward and not tied to any moral issues. With that said, I am not as worried about Winston having another issue going forward as many other people are. This is not a new event, so the narrative that going into his fourth year in the league Winston is still up to the same old antics is not true. This happened just after his rookie campaign and since then he has taken steps to better himself.
The other narrative that has popped up recently is that Winston doesn’t have much longer as a starter due to his play on the field, a ludicrous thought. Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck are the only quarterbacks in NFL history to throw for more yards than Winston int their first three seasons. In his first two years, he threw for over 4,000 yards and would have easily in 2017 had it not been for injury. Winston has shown the start to his career is that of a future elite quarterback.
Even before his suspension came to light, Winston’s ADP had dropped quite a bit from this time in 2017. DLF’s June ADP for 2017 had Winston all the way up to the third quarterback drafted, but their June ADP for 2018 had him all the way down to quarterback thirteen. This might lead you to assume he had a bad year last year, but that’s hardly the case. In only 13 games last year he threw for over 3,500 yards, with the 269.5 yards per game being the most Jameis has had in his career. In addition to missing the 3 games with a shoulder injury he also played hurt in several others, despite this he managed to finish the year with his highest completion percentage and lowest interception percentage to date, making 2018 the most efficient year in Jameis Winston’s career.
Jameis only played 13 games in 2017 due to a shoulder injury which was the result of insufficient protection from his offensive line. The line was missing two starters who are back this year. Tampa Bay gave the largest contract in football for a center to Ryan Jensen who was the ninth-best center in 2017 per Pro Football Focus. The signing also allows Ali Marpet to move back to guard where he is better suited, immediately upgrading both positions. In addition to the much-improved pass protection going into 2018, run blocking will also be improved and the addition of Ronald Jones will alleviate Winston with a competent running game compared to the lackluster 3.7 yards per attempt put up by Tampa Bay backs in 2017.
All signs are showing improvement in Winston’s game even though owners everywhere are selling out of fear. Now is the time to buy, especially in superflex. I see him going for a mid-to-low QB2 price all over the place, a great investment to make for who will eventually become a staple of your team. Go get Jameis Winston and eat your Ws.