Though the final outcome on the scoreboard was less than desirable for the Buccaneers, last Sunday's game against the Rams rewarded fantasy football owners who trusted the Buccaneers in their lineups.
QB Jameis Winston threw a ton and posted his second 25-point game of the season. RB Charles Sims put up 17 points in standard leagues (23 in PPR); he's a top-20 running back in PPR. WR Mike Evans had 10 grabs for 132 yards and a score for the fifth-highest PPR WR total of the week. TE Cameron Brate's 16 points tied him for second among all tight ends. This Buccaneers offense has been coming up big in fantasy so far this season.
This week, however, those high-flying Bucs face one of the top defenses in the NFL. The Broncos defense is allowing fewer-than-average fantasy points to all offensive positions except for running back. Opposing quarterbacks are scoring just 13 points per game, 2.5 fewer than the league average. They've allowed only wide receiver touchdown this season, making them the third-toughest fantasy matchup for the position, 9.1 points below average.
Over the last two weeks, however, the Broncos are allowing 22 points per game to opposing running backs. That bodes well for Charles Sims, who saw the majority of the RB work in Doug Martin's absence last week.
Bottom line? Sims should make your starting lineup this week in PPR formats, and is a solid flex play even in standard leagues as long as Doug Martin is missing time. Mike Evans has a score in every game this season and is averaging more than 100 yards per game. Even with the tough matchup, he's a fantasy starter every week. We'll get to more on Brate, Winston and WR Adam Humphries a bit later in this article.
Which Broncos to Start
The Buccaneers defense has been kind to opposing fantasy players so far this year, allowing more-than-average points to every position except for tight end. For Broncos' fantasy owners, this week should be business as usual with their weekly must-starts.
For fantasy owners with on-a-bye-week Aaron Rodgers (or Carson Wentz, I guess) as their primary starter, QB Trevor Siemian has a favorable matchup here. While it is tough to plug in any quarterback as inexperienced as Siemian, he proved last week that he has the chops to be a relevant fantasy player in certain weeks. After scoring just 19 total points in Weeks One and Two, Siemian put up 312 yards and four touchdowns for 28 fantasy points last week against the Bengals. He's owned in just 25.4% of ESPN leagues and is a good plug-and-play option in Week Four.
READ: WEEK 4 EXPERT PICKS
RB C.J. Anderson is putting together a great year and is a weekly must-start. The Bucs allow the sixth-most points to opposing running backs this season. WRs Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas rank 20th and 22nd at their position in standard leagues, respectively. Like Anderson, if they are on your roster, they should also be in your starting lineup every week.
Buccaneers on the Waiver Wire
Week Four is here and the fantasy football waiver wire is in full swing. We're starting to see trends in the NFL world and fantasy owners are responding accordingly, dropping and adding players to make their teams as efficient as they can be. If you want to win your league, knowing your way around the waiver wire is crucial and now is a great time to pick up that perfect sleeper who will help you get through your season and the onslaught of bye weeks that are soon to come.
Pictures of the Broncos' starting offense and defense, according to the team's depth chart.
Through three weeks, the Buccaneers that would be on your fantasy lineup stayed pretty consistent. You drafted Mike Evans early and he was a pretty obvious choice to stay in your fantasy lineup each week. If you drafted Charles Sims, especially for PPR, he was a reliable flex option for you. Doug Martin is the other heavily drafted Buccaneer player and owners are stowing him away hoping to hear some good news in the coming weeks about him hitting the field again. (Obviously, like the advice in this column every week, Mike Evans is a must start this week and Charles Sims should be in your lineup as well, starting in place of the injured Martin.)
Now with some games in our system, we are starting to see some other Buccaneers emerging as legitimate fantasy football threats. And if they are available in your league, now is the time to act and get them on your roster as suitable fill-ins when the time is right.
Jameis Winston has posted two 25-point games this season and currently sits as the ninth-highest scoring QB in fantasy leagues, yet is still owned in less than 60% of fantasy leagues. While he still may not be an every-week starter, he makes a great play with a favorable matchup and there are likely not better options for a bye week fill-in than Winston. While Winston should be on more rosters, he's a tough start this week against a Broncos defense that is allowing fewer than 200 passing yards per game.
At wide receiver, especially in leagues where you are getting points for receptions, Adam Humphries is someone to keep an eye on. He has yet to find the end zone this year, but with the amount of looks he has been getting, a six-pointer is inevitable. Over the last two weeks he has 15 catches for 167 yards. That is 31 points in PPR leagues, and he is owned in just 6.9% of ESPN leagues.
Finally, we're on to the tight end spot. In the offseason, it looked like Buccaneers tight ends might be a position to ignore this year. But after last week Cameron Brate is someone who should see his owned percentage skyrocketing. Brate was named the team's start in the offseason, but saw a hefty timeshare through the first two games of the season. After the release of TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins and an unfortunate injury to blocking TE Luke Stocker, Brate saw much more action last week as the Bucs' clear number-one. He posted five receptions for 46 yards and two touchdowns. After scoring just four fantasy points through the first two games, Brate got 16 in Week Three. That puts him tied for seventh at the tight end position in standard leagues.