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Now is the Time to Stash Sean Tucker


Hey there fantasy football manager. Do you have a moment to discuss the potential surprise hit player, Sean Tucker? You might not be overly familiar with Tampa Bay’s second string running back and that’s completely understandable. After all, he did join the Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent this preseason. But this is a name you’ll want to have rattling around in the back of your head.

[Related: Why I Grabbed Jahan Dotson in Every Fantasy Football Draft]

Sean Tucker is most likely on your waiver wire right now, and that should change. He should be on your bench. You and I both know there’s a player on your team that you aren’t even sure you should have drafted. People say the players on their roster are like their kids and they don’t have a favorite – but they might have a least favorite. Give it a proper think over, and drop that person to make some room for soon-to-be rookie sensation Sean Tucker.

Why There’s Value in Scooping Up Sean Tucker

It’s tough to really evaluate an NFL running back when they, y’know, have never played in an NFL game. We really only have his preseason snaps to work from, that and his college production. I say we work our way up from college to his pro-debut and highlight why this guy can be a stud.

At Syracuse, Tucker managed to eclipse 1,000 yards rushing in back to back years as a sophomore and a junior. He even broke the single-season rushing record for Syracuse in 2021. Pretty good, right? The real exciting stat from a fantasy standpoint is his 56 receptions with 36 of those coming in the most recent season. Tucker tallied 1,300 yards from scrimmage in his final year at college and punched in 13 total touchdowns.

Now that I’ve read off the numbers from Sports Reference, let me explain why this is all important.

The big takeaway from his collegiate production is the fact that Tucker can do it all. He not only can handle 200 carries in a season, but he has the ability to be involved in the passing game. He’s the type of player that can stay on the field on every down. More time on the field means more opportunities to get the ball. Players can only do great things in fantasy if they get the ball. When a player with 4.3 speed gets the ball, he can do a whole bunch of great things – just a bit faster than anyone else can.

Hey wait, if he was pretty solid in College on a relevant team, why was he undrafted?

Excellent question reader. Unfortunately for Tucker, he has a heart condition – something that wasn’t revealed until the NFL combine. For a prospective draft pick, it could not have come at a worse time. Every team removed him from their draft board. For NFL execs, it isn’t worth the risk to take a running back (a position that is already losing priority by the day) in the draft if you can’t be sure they will remain healthy. The Bucs welcomed him into camp not long after the draft, and quickly proved that his heart wouldn’t be an issue.

Tucker played in all three preseason games this year. Across three appearances Tucker manages to rush 23 times for 81 yards, as well as haul in all 5 of his targets for a whopping 22 yards. Tucker would have a touchdown to his name as well if it weren’t for a holding call that brought the play back.

Scoreline aside, Tucker looked like an NFL back. That was the big takeaway from his preseason performances. The Bucs coaching staff believed the same, and named him the 2nd-stringer heading into the regular season.

Why You Should Still have some Patience

Before you drop everything to grab this potential gem, there are some hurdles that Tucker needs to clear before he’s the number one guy. He’s a stash, not a start.

Tucker joined a Tampa Bay running back room that is already teeming with younger talent. I just mentioned the incumbent starter Rachaad White, who enters his second season after a disappointing debut in 2022. White wasn’t able to completely outplay Leonard Fournette last season, and the two backs split time almost down the middle. Maybe the playtime split was due to Brady personally favoring Fournette, but it doesn’t change the fact when White was in, he struggled.

Fantasy managers are ultimately torn on whether White is a worthwhile draft pick this season. On one hand, he is the starting running back for an NFL team. It’s a simple fact but a fact nonetheless. Starting running backs will always have some sort of value in fantasy football. Starting running backs are guaranteed touches, and like I mentioned earlier, touches and opportunities are the only way to score in fantasy.

On the other, some managers just aren’t sure he’s very good. He scored one touchdown on the ground last year, catching two more. He broke the 100 yard mark just one time in seventeen games in 2022, where he rushed 22 times against Seattle. White would only eclipse 50 yards rushing in two other games.

It’s unclear as to whether last year’s numbers matter at all for Rachaad White. The coaching staff believes he’s the number one guy. And if he has the trust and confidence of his coaches, then who really cares what happened last year. It’s all about 2023.

So, Why Grab Him Now?

The backup role is an exciting place to be for a young running back. While the best case scenario would ultimately be the starter, the second-string spot still provides plenty of opportunity for playtime. It also means he has the quickest path for that starting role. With every good outing, the Tampa Bay coaching staff will run out of excuses for why Tucker can’t play more. Injuries aside, there is certainly a world where Tucker can out compete White and steal away the starting role.

That is why you need to grab him now.

Running backs are incredibly important to fantasy football. You need 2-3 of them for your starting roster in most leagues, and even more in some others. Running backs do it all on the football field. That’s why we highly value the starting back in an offense. They give you the chance to score a ton of points.

Grabbing Tucker now allows you to not have to fight over the waiver wire for a potential NFL starter. He can rest easy on your bench until the time comes. And who truly knows when that time will be, but it very much could happen any given week. The best part of all of this – if he doesn’t pan out, you can just drop him again! You didn’t spend any draft capital on him, you have no vested interest. If it’s true White is the dude, then Tucker can go back onto the wire.

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Follow Bryan on Twitter @esportsbrock for more content like this and fantasy football topics throughout the season.


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