The most prolific fantasy football player who will take the field this Sunday at Raymond James has 61 fantasy points so far in 2014. That would be Blair Walsh, the Minnesota Vikings' kicker. Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Mike Glennon (having just four games under his belt) is right behind him with 60 fantasy points this year. Those totals make them the 76th- and 78th-highest scoring fantasy players in the NFL this season. So far.
The aforementioned Walsh, along with Doug Martin and Vincent Jackson, are the only players in this game owned in over 90% of fantasy leagues. Add Vikings WRs Greg Jennings and Cordarrelle Patterson and you have the only five active players owned in more than 60% of leagues.
So, on paper, this doesn't look like the tastiest fantasy matchup of the day, but there are still some reasons for fantasy owners to be optimistic in this one. Good matchups, players primed for a breakout, and a pretty scoring-heavy history between these two teams means that Vikings vs. Bucs could have more fireworks than anyone is predicting.
With the bye week adding seven more days of coverage before this game, you've certainly heard your fair share of facts about this matchup. While the Vikings have the most wins over the course of the head-to-head series, the Buccaneers have made a significant push in the last decade, winning eight of the last 10 games between the teams.
In those games, dating back to 1999, each team has produced some stand-out fantasy performances. With points flying around in the series history, and with an old division rivalry still rumbling, there is a good chance that we see some point-heavy displays this week.
Let's take a look back at the top six individual fantasy performances from each team over the last 10 MINvsTB matchups.
Buccaneers Top Performances
Vikings Top Performances
RB Doug Martin, 10/25/12
135 rushing yards, 1 TD
3 recs., 79 rec. yards, 1 TD
32 fantasy points
RB Adrian Peterson, 9/18/11
120 rushing yards, 2 TDs
2 recs., 21 rec. yards
26 fantasy points
QB Brad Johnson, 11/03/02
313 passing yards, 5 TD, 0 INTs
32 fantasy points
QB Daunte Culpepper, 10/9/00
231 passing yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
35 rushing yards, 1 TD
24 fantasy points
RB Mike Alstott, 10/28/01
129 rushing yards, 3 TDs
1 rec., 15 yards
31 fantasy points
QB Daunte Culpepper, 9/30/01
322 passing yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs
20 rushing yards, 1 TD
20 fantasy points
QB Shaun King, 10/29/00
267 passing yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs
26 fantasy points
RB Michael Bennett, 11/3/02
114 rushing yards, 1 TD
3 recs., 27 receiving yards
19 fantasy points
WR Keyshawn Johnson, 11/03/02
9 recs., 133 receiving yards, 2 TDs
25 fantasy points
RB Adrian Peterson, 10/25/12
123 rushing yards, 1 TD
18 fantasy points
QB Josh Freeman, 10/25/12
262 passing yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs
22 fantasy points
RB Moe Williams, 11/3/02
43 rushing yards, 2 TDs
24 receiving yards
18 fantasy points
The Buccaneers have three more performances in that time span of 18 fantasy points or more: Cadillac Williams (20), LeGarrette Blount (19) and a second Keyshawn Johnson performance (18).
Big Name Breakout
While no Buccaneer or Viking player has stood out as a powerhouse as of yet, the potential is certainly there on both sides of the ball, largely at wide receiver.
The Vikings boast Greg Jennings (38 fantasy points) and Cordarrelle Patterson (39 fantasy points). Patterson owners were thrilled after an 18-point Week One performance, but he has averaged just 3.5 points per game since. Jennings had 11 in that opening week, but hasn't found the end zone or broken a seven-point game since.
Rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater has started three games this year. Patterson has just 10 points in those three games while Jennings has 17. Bridgewater's highest-scoring receiver target is actually Jarius Wright, who had an eight-catch, 132-yard performance in Bridgewater's first start.
The Bucs' defense ranks last in the league at points allowed to wide receivers, which is a glimmer of hope for any Vikings WR owner, but all three are still far from a sure thing. Jennings and/or Patterson could get their second big game of the season this week and are solid players to fill your FLEX spot.
The Buccaneers WR to watch is of course Vincent Jackson, who has been getting things moving over the last few games with Glennon under center. He is scoring just under 10 points per game over the last three weeks and goes up against a Vikings defense ranked 15th vs. wide receivers. As is the case in any other week, Jackson should make your starting lineup.
The best matchup the Bucs face this week is at running back, where the Vikings are giving up the seventh-most fantasy points. Doug Martin has yet to break 45 yards in a game and has just one touchdown on the year, but is a breakout candidate in this one. The Vikings are allowing 118 rushing yards per game and have given up six TDs on the ground.
Others to Watch For
Mike Glennon's fantasy output has been solid as a rock. In three starts he has games of 18, 15 and 18. There are only seven fantasy quarterbacks averaging 17 points per game. And, as repeated nearly weekly in the Fantasy Corner, Glennon is owned in 0.4% of fantasy leagues. The Vikings however are actually his toughest test yet in terms of fantasy points allowed. But if Glennon can stick to his oddly-consistent 275-yard, 2-TD, 1-INT schedule, he's got himself another 17-pointer. I say that he is a solid start in 2QB leagues and a great weekly league start again.
WR Mike Evans has 23 fantasy points over his last two starts, with 120 yards and two touchdowns. He still has a bit to prove before he becomes a weekly must-start, but he could prove to be a FLEX start in deeper leagues this week.
There is still a ways to go for Teddy Bridgewater before he can get any starting fantasy football nods. He had a great fantasy day in his first start of the season, putting up 22 points on the Atlanta Falcons, but he has just eight points in his two starts since. Over the last two weeks he has just 345 passing yards, one TD and 5 interceptions.
Finally, Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon looks like he could now be the feature back, having carried the ball 14 more times that Matt Asiata last week. He has two games with more than 10 fantasy points (both when Bridgewater was the starter) despite having not found the end zone yet. He is also a threat in the receiving game, having more receptions in the three Bridgewater starts than Cordarrelle Patterson does. He should be a confident replacement for any fantasy owners missing players due to bye or injury this week.