With the release of Leonard Fournette this off-season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers look to have handed the keys to the backfield over to Rachaad White. The former Arizona State back, on paper, looks to have the RB1 role on lock – but is it that easy?
Recent Fantasy History
Heading into his sophomore season, White produced a pretty sizable workload in his rookie season, racking up 771 total yards and three TDs. Having played in all 17 games is impressive for White, and his 129 carries made up 33 percent of all carries for the Bucs in 2022.
Their 386 total carries as a team ranked as the fewest in the league last year, but with Tom Brady under center, it isn’t expected for those teams to rank highly in that category. But with Brady out of the picture and the muddied Baker Mayfield versus Kyle Trask battle ongoing, White should see more work this year.
White’s receiving work put him 19th among all RBs last season in yards (290), 11th in receptions (50), and 14th in targets (58). That sets a pretty solid tone for White to hold down a three-down role in Tampa, regardless of who is throwing him the ball.
What’s New For 2023
With both Fournette and Brady out of the picture, the entire Tampa Bay offense is going to look 360 degrees different and likely worse. While both Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are both still there, expecting their receiving work to remain as strong as last year is foolish, and some of that work should fall to White.
This team will throw the ball A TON, especially with how much they’ll likely struggle, and White’s safer value lives in his passing game work. His running game work, on the other hand, leaves a bit to be desired just because of how uncertain it is.
There's reason to be skeptical of Rachaad White as an individual talent— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) May 31, 2023
VERY comfortable in the rec game. But, on the 36th most carries (129) last year, he produced the 50th most 10+ yard carries (same as Justice Hill)
Just 4 carries of 15+ yards… 47th in forced missed tackles… pic.twitter.com/bxUoc8HTF6
There has been nothing so far in OTAs that points to White not having a leading role out of this backfield, but there also haven’t been enough signs to quiet concerns about his ascension into the top dog. Tampa Bay decided only to add Chase Edmonds in free agency and Sean Tucker as a UDFA, so minimal capital invested behind White should keep him at the front of the line.
There is a major difference between a team believing in their guy and the guy being the leader of his role. In the former, the guy will ascend into that role because the team will scheme him into it – for the latter, he benefits more from a head count deficiency than a talent advantage.
The Bucs’ backfield currently resembles that of the second description, which should slightly worry the dynasty community. But if camp progresses and White continues to earn first-team work, and neither Edmonds nor Tucker takes work from him, White should be in the clear.
Dynasty Trade Values
- 2023 3rd (x2) & Treylon Burks for Rachaad White
- Michael Pittman Jr. for Rachaad White
- Gabriel Davis, 2024 2nd, 2024 3rd & 2025 3rd for Rachaad White
It’s easy to tell how early it is in the off-season when looking at how across the board, these trade values are for White. Seems like there are a lot of believers in the dynasty community, and if your league has one of these truthers, see what they would be willing to shell out for White.
Trading a 24-year-old running back that potentially can become a top-15 option this year would be a hard pill to swallow, but if you have a ‘safe’ deal to take, then you may be better off shipping White out.
All three deals feel like overpays for White, but the middle deal involving Michael Pittman Jr. may be the most egregious. While Pittman has his own QB concerns this year, he has a safer floor than White at this point of the off-season, so this deal is a perfect example of a safer deal.
It’s easy to get caught up in off-season headlines, and making a move in June is certainly not going to win you your league – but it could lose it. White is one of the more polarizing names to watch this off-season, as are all RBs who are getting their first shot at the starting role (Tony Pollard, Rhamondre Stevenson) with no real competition.
The potential for White to break out is just as likely as White to put up a dud this year – at least at this current time in June. Plus, the Bucs could feel that White needs a veteran piece added, which could see Fournette, Ezekiel Elliott, or Kareem Hunt signed.
Tread carefully with White at this point – if you have him, shop around and see if you can capitalize on the limited OTA film driving some owners. If you are looking to acquire him, don’t overpay, and make sure to hedge your bets in any move (don’t have your roster become thin at any position if acquiring White).
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