Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fantasy Corner Week Five: Bucs-Saints

After Tampa Bay's win and fantasy football surge in Pittsburgh, here’s a look at what we might expect when the team heads to New Orleans for an NFC South division battle.

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A week ago, before Mike Glennon's first start of the season, we took a look at how the second-year quarterback had performed on the road in his rookie season. We concluded that he could be an instant plug-in for your fantasy lineup in weekly leagues, or if you were strapped due to bye weeks. We believe that point remains valid this week, and we'll revisit it soon, but first let's take a look at how Glennon's stats have changed in enemy territory since the first 300-yard game of his career in Pittsburgh.  

As a Starter

On the Road

Starts

14

7

Passing YPG

207.8

218.8

Completion %

58.5%

59.6%

Touchdowns

21

11

Interceptions

10

3

Passer Rating

83.6

91.3

Currently there are only 10 quarterbacks that have a higher fantasy points per game total this season than Mike Glennon has in his 14 career starts. He is just 0.7 points off of Drew Brees, and ahead of Colin Kaepernick, Nick Foles, Tony Romo, Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton and Tom Brady. All those quarterbacks are owned in 89+% of ESPN leagues. Glennon is owned in 0.5%.Deeper Into the Bucs' Offense

In his second season, with just 14 starts under his belt, it is understandable that Mike Glennon is not heavily started. The numbers above point out that he has the performances and consistency to be a fantasy contributor, but there are bigger, more reliable names that are performing just as well or better from a fantasy perspective. But he should be owned in more leagues, and he should be a starter in any 2QB league at this point. His numbers will not blow you away, but he should be seen in the top 50% of fantasy quarterbacks every week he plays.

Getting on to the other positions, this matchup calls for a pretty straightforward approach to predicting points. What has the offense done? What has the defense done? How does this compare to the average NFL team? These are the questions that we will answer below to determine the average fantasy points per game for the Bucs offense, and the average allowed by the Saints defense.

Bucs FPPG

Average FPPG

Saints Allowed FPPG

QBs

14.25

15.7

19.0

RBs

11.25

16.7

20.8

WRs

15.5

20.3

24.8

TEs

4.25

7.6

4.8

Ks

4.75

7.9

11.5

With 18 QB points, 12 RB points and 34 WR points last week, the Buccaneers were much more in line with what the Saints defense has allowed so far this year.

The Saints defense finds itself ranked 25th or below in four of the five categories above, which bodes well for the Buccaneers' fantasy stars. The Buccaneers certainly aren't setting any records through the first quarter of the season, but as usual, the stars should make your starting lineup.

Doug Martin found the end zone for the first time of the year last week, putting up 11 points. He got the majority of the work in his first game back from injury and there is no reason to suspect otherwise in this game. The Saints have given up 100+ rushing yards in three of their four games and four total touchdowns to RBs.

As a #1 receiver, Jackson should still be making your lineup, but he could have issues against the Saints, despite the defense ranking 27th against wide receivers. Because of the injury to Mike Evans that will hold him out of today's game, Jackson could find himself double-teamed throughout the game. Jackson's fantasy numbers have improved every game this year and his two touchdowns have both come on passes from Mike Glennon.The Always-Dangerous Saints

As we did with the Bucs, we look at the Saints offensive points throughout the year and the points allowed by the Buccaneers defense.

Saints FPPG

Average FPPG

Bucs Allowed FPPG

QBs

17.0

15.7

18.0

RBs

21.0

16.7

14.3

WRs

16.5

20.3

30.8

TEs

16.5

7.6

8.5

Ks

4.75

7.9

8.8

Of course, you have your must starts in Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham, and the numbers above show that they could be in line for some big stats in this one. Brees's production this season is in line with what the Bucs have allowed, but Brees enjoys a solid home-field advantage. Last season, Brees's completion percentage was nearly 10% higher at home, he threw for 508 more yards, and had a staggering 27 TDs and three INTs at home as compared to 12 TDs and nine INTs on the road.

Jimmy Graham has 12 fantasy points per game and the Bucs have given up the second-most receptions to the position. He is in line for a big day. No team has allowed more wide receiver points this season than the Buccaneers, which should ensure that Marques Colston and Brandin Cooks should each fill at least a Flex spot today.

The only real headache for fantasy owners will be at running back. The Buccaneers have limited running backs through their first four games. The stats above show that the saints RBs are their highest scoring position, the bad news is however that they are very evenly distributed. The injured Mark Ingram still leads the RB corps in fantasy points. Khiry Robinson and Pierre Thomas have 24 and 22 points on the year, respectively, making either of them a risky play and no guarantee.#ThatHelpsNoOne

To quote our friends at @NFL and @NFLfantasy:

ThatHelpsNoOne is a hashtag dedicated to the third string tight end goal line passes, the diving one-yard fullback TDs, the sneaky QB-to-RT hookup and the like. These are plays that are certainly great for the team, but drive fantasy owners crazy. Take, for example, Thursday night's game between Green Bay and Minnesota. Aaron Rodgers' third touchdown pass didn't go to Jordy Nelson or Randall Cobb but to Davante Adams, started in 0.1% of ESPN fantasy leagues. That. Helps. No. One.

Writing this article, we isolated a pretty deep sleeper, then another, then another, leading to the conclusion that this game could lead to a lot of unhelpful fantasy plays. While these players should probably not be gracing your starting lineups, a few could be worth a second thought in weekly auction leagues or just as a fun party trick to impress your friends with some prediction knowledge.

First, we've got Louis Murphy, a pretty rare starting lineup sleeper. He qualifies because he is owned in just 0.2% of leagues. With Mike Evans out, Murphy could be in line for a pretty shocking fantasy performance. He had 99 yards last week and the key catch to set up the win. Looking at the Saints game from last week, the defense blanketed Cowboys #1 WR Dez Bryant, allowing just three catches for 44 yards. But this opened up their second receiver Terrence Williams for seven catches, 77 yards and two touchdowns. If the Saints double Vincent Jackson, Murphy could be in for an impressive day as Glennon's main target.

The same can be said (but far less safely) for TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, 0.5% owned. He has just six fantasy points this season, missing Weeks 2 and 3, and is listed as questionable for this game. The Saints have been stout against tight ends, but all it takes is one catch for Seferian-Jenkins to score a quick six that will make roughly one of out every 500 fantasy owners happy.

The Saints have two #ThatHelpsNoOne candidates. TE Josh Hill has four catches this season, but two touchdowns over the last two games. At 0.2% owned and 0.0% started, Jimmy Graham owners could lose some hair if he can make it three games in a row. RB Travaris Cadet handled almost all backfield catching duties last week. He has just three rushes on the year, but caught six passes for 59 yards in Week 4. As if being a New Orleans running back fantasy owner wasn't frustrating enough.

The Buccaneers will have a better chance to slow down the prolific Drew Brees on Sunday if Lavonte David can lead a stifling run defense against Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson.

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