The Buccaneers' Week 1 road win was a great start to the season for the team and it certainly translated into fantasy value for those who went out and drafted some Bucs this year. QB Jameis Winston earned the fifth-most fantasy points at quarterback, WR Mike Evans is tied for 10th, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins also picked up fifth at his position. And there were plenty more fantasy points to go around.
This week, on paper at least, looks like it can be just as rewarding for those with some Buccaneers (and Cardinals) on their fantasy rosters. Oddsmakers have put the over/under of total points scored for this one at 50, the second highest of any game this week, so there could be plenty of points to go around.
With so many points up for grabs and potential fantasy playmakers in the matchup, we'll go with a straightforward approach this week. Which Buccaneers and Cardinals players should be expected to score in bunches? Here's what we have to say about it…
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
QB Jameis Winston put up 25 points against Atlanta and (as we mentioned in last week's article) has a very high floor compared to other fantasy quarterbacks. We have just a week of information to go on, but the Arizona Cardinals are expected to be a bit tougher against opposing quarterbacks this season and allowed 13 points to NE QB Jimmy Garoppolo last week. Still, in any predicted high-scoring affair, the quarterback is going to put up some points and the Buccaneers have already shown their offensive explosiveness. Winston certainly shouldn't replace a big-name fantasy starter, but in 12-team leagues he could be a strong starting candidate every week.
On now to Winston's receivers: Mike Evans posted 15 points last week in standard leagues and looked unstoppable in the second half. With such a performance, could he expect to see the Cardinals' top cornerback shadow him around the field all day? Even if Patrick Peterson follows Mike Evans, Evans should be a starter. As such a high fantasy draft pick and a teams' number one receiver, he has the potential to score no matter the matchup. Where things really get interesting though is the fantasy value of Bucs WRs Vincent Jackson and Adam Humphries. Humphries is a super-sleeper here and probably not a safe enough option at this point in the season, however Vincent Jackson has very big upside this week. If Peterson sticks to Evans, that means that Vincent Jackson will be matched up against rookie third-round cornerback, Brandon Williams all day. Vincent Jackson is worth a look in your flex spot this week and could be in for a big day.
It goes without saying that Doug Martin should be starting in all formats. Staying out of the end zone didn't help his fantasy point total, but against a team that seemed dedicated to keep Martin contained, he still managed 96 total yards. The Cardinals allowed 78 rushing yards and a rushing TD last week. Charles Sims had 32 receiving yards out of the backfield and a touchdown last week. He's a risky play in standard leagues because most of his damage is done in the receiving game, but he's an intriguing flex option in PPR formats.
Tight end remains a mystery for the Buccaneers, and for that reason it is probably safer to go with other options. Austin Seferian-Jenkins' nine standard points was the fifth-highest of all NFL tight ends last week, but that 30-yard score was also his only target all game. Having Seferian-Jenkins and Cameron Brate and now even Brandon Myers are red zone targets every week is a great benefit for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, however that optimism does not translate to fantasy football.
Much like the Buccaneers, a pretty decent strategy with the Cardinals players is "If you have them, start them." This begins up top with Carson Palmer who had 18 fantasy points last week. While the Buccaneers won, they did give up 24 quarterback points to Matt Ryan who ended the day with 334 yards and two TDs. Palmer is owned in 96.8% of leagues and should be a go in this one.
His favorite target, Larry Fitzgerald should also make your starting lineup. He had 81 yards and two scores last week against the Patriots and faces an unproven secondary. Beyond Fitzgerald at the receiver position, the Cardinals have Michael Floyd (3 recs., 61 yards last week) and John Brown (1 rec., 8 yards). It is likely that one of these receivers will be much more involved in the game than last week, but that is anyone's guess. Floyd is the more proven fantasy option and can be penciled in as a flex starter. Brown is always a home run threat, but looks like a high-risk, high-reward option.
Not much needs to be said about David Johnson at running back. He was a top running back pick and should be started in all formats. The Buccaneers were very stout against the run last week, but did allow Falcons RB Tevin Coleman to gain 95 receiving yards. Johnson might have a tough time getting it going on the ground against the Bucs, but he is a very good receiving threat out of the backfield and could pick up most of his fantasy points on passing plays.