Mayfield will be on his fourth team in three years when he suits up for the Buccaneers Week 1. Whether he suits up as a starter or a backup will be determined in training camp when he competes with Kyle Trask for the QB1 job. On the positive side, the winner of that battle will have one of the NFL's best wide receiver duos in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. The downside is that Mayfield is coming off of the worst year in his career, one that saw him get benched and then cut by the Panthers before the Rams picked him up off the scrap heap. For now, Mayfield should only be rostered in leagues that allow you to start two quarterbacks and he should be viewed as a backup even in those leagues.
We don’t even know yet if Mayfield will start for the Buccaneers in 2023. He stunk as the starter in both Carolina and L.A.
If he beats out Kyle Trask, he’ll work with the best WR corps of his career. That should mean some usable fantasy weeks.
But he’ll be no more than a waiver-wire watch at least until he wins the job – and maybe even then.
What We Learned Last YearMayfield might not actually be that good.He offered up mixed results in Cleveland, alternating between good and bad seasons before the Browns replaced him with a much better QB (and very questionable human), Deshaun Watson.Mayfield went to Carolina and performed so poorly that he only got six starts in an offense with Sam Darnold and P.J. Walker as the other options. (None of them remains in Carolina.)Mayfield posted the worst INT rate and lowest yards per attempt among the trio. Through 12 weeks with the Panthers, he ranked 35th in Pro Football Focus passing grade among 39 QBs with at least 90 dropbacks.After Carolina dumped him, the desperate Rams made Mayfield their starter for the final five weeks. An improbable comeback win over the Raiders on Thursday night in his debut made that span seem rosier. But Mayfield didn’t play much better.He ranked 34th in PFF passing grade over the final five weeks.His completion rate improved from 57.8% to 63.6%. But Mayfield remained weak in TD rate and yards per attempt.
What to Expect in 2023Mayfield remains a much bigger name than Kyle Trask, but this should be a legitimate competition.The Bucs gave him just a one-year, $4 million deal on the open market. That’s far less than what Jacoby Brissett got from Washington and Taylor Heinicke from Atlanta in the same market. It’s also $1 million less than what Marcus Mariota got this offseason to be the backup in Philly.If Mayfield beats out Trask, then he should get the best WR corps of his career. He got to the Rams after Cooper Kupp had already gotten hurt. Last year’s Panthers sported little beyond D.J. Moore. The 2019 Browns featured 16 games of Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry.Chris Godwin and Mike Evans still form one of the league’s top WR duos. Godwin now has a full season between him and the late-2021 ACL tear. Evans heads into his age-30 season but has increased his yards per game each of the past two years. Even Russell Gage should make for a more solid WR3 than he did during an injury-riddled first season with the Bucs.Expect much less passing, though. Tampa Bay led the league in pass attempts each of the past two seasons. But then Tom Brady retired (in case you missed that). These Buccaneers might need to pass more than they’d like, because it doesn’t look like they’ll be very good. But we’re certainly not betting on another 700+ attempts.
Mayfield signed with the Buccaneers during the offseason and the veteran QB beat out Kyle Trask to replace Tom Brady as the team's starter. Mayfield fell out of favor in both Cleveland and Carolina in recent years, but reignited his career a little bit in subbing for Matthew Stafford in Los Angeles late last season. Unfortunately, that didn't translate to much fantasy success (9.5 PPG) and Mayfield remains without a top-15 fantasy campaign in his career. The 28-year-old is a nonfactor with his legs (career-high 165 rushing yards was set in 2020) and a long shot for fantasy relevance even while holding down the starting gig for a rebuilding Tampa Bay club.