Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fantasy Football Weekly: Bucs vs. Eagles

From must-starts to sleepers, check out how the Buccaneers vs. Eagles matchup could affect your fantasy football lineup.


Last week, the Buccaneers defense had their best week of the season in terms of points allowed to quarterbacks, running back and wide receivers (PPR). Cowboys QB Matt Cassel put up just five total points, six fewer than the Bucs' previous lowest allowance.

RB Darren McFadden (who was coming off of four-straight double-digit point fantasy performances) had just eight points. The Buccaneers have not allowed a RB rushing touchdown since Week Three.

Even with Dez Bryant back, the Cowboys receivers managed just 10 receptions for 96 yards. The Cowboys' WRs had just 18 combined points, more than 21 points fewer than the average WR points allowed by the Bucs in their previous eight games.

While it will take a few more weeks of consistent defensive play to label this a Bucs defensive turnaround, it is a promising sign for the team to keep an offense out of the end zone for an entire game and to quiet their fantasy stars. They'll look to keep up the trend against the Philadelphia Eagles this week who will start their second-string quarterback and are missing a top running back as well.



WR Mike Evans
30. 7. 21. 20. Those are the weekly PPR total of Bucs WR Mike Evans since the Bucs' bye week. In that four-game time frame Mike Evans has the second-most targets (53), second-most yards (488), fourth-most receptions (27) and one touchdown. It is only a matter of time before that TD count starts to rise, but even without it, 19.5 PPR points per game is nothing to sneeze at.

As always, whether WR Vincent Jackson and/or TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (both listed as questionable) play in this game, Evans should definitely find a place in your starting lineup.

RB Doug Martin
Martin and the offensive line face a tough task this week. The Philadelphia Eagles are allowing the eighth-fewest point to opposing RBs, averaging just 17.7 points per game allowed. However, in two of their last three games, they have allowed 25+ fantasy points, their two worst performances of the season. Martin bounced back with a 14-point fantasy performance last week. He has four TDs on the season and three 100+-yard rushing days.



WR Vincent Jackson
It still remains to be seen whether or not Vincent Jackson will play in this game, but he did return to practice this week, on a limited basis. If he does play this week, he could fill your flex spot as the Eagles allow the third-most points to opposing WRs.

The reason he really makes the sleeper list is because due to his injury he has been dropped in a number of leagues and is now owned in just 54.4% of them. The Buccaneers face the Saints, Rams and Bears in Weeks 14, 15 and 16 (the fantasy playoffs). The Bears and Saints have both proven to be pretty WR-friendly when it comes to fantasy football.

QB Jameis Winston
As long as he is still performing and still largely un-owned, he'll continue to make the Bucs' sleeper list. 12 points last week ties for the fewest he has scored in a single game this season. Tom Brady and Carson Palmer are the only two quarterbacks ranked in the top 20 in fantasy scoring that have had a higher floor – that is, have scored more points in their worst games – than Winston this season.

Winston is now tied for 15th in QB fantasy points scored. While he is still not a must-start every week, he makes a solid bye week or injury filler, and is a trusty player to have on your bench just in case as we near the fantasy playoffs. He is owned in just 24.9% of leagues.



RB DeMarco Murray
After a slow start, Murray has at least 17 points in four of his last five games as his rushing attempts have grown. He could potentially see even more touches this week with backup Ryan Mathews declared out this week. Mathews has double-digit fantasy points in six of the teams' nine games. Some of those points should fall right into Murray's lap. While he should be the workhorse back in this game, the Bucs are allowing the ninth-fewest points to the position and, as stated before, no RB has scored a rushing touchdown on the Bucs through their last six games.

WR Jordan Matthews
In Week 9, Odell Beckham Jr. had nine receptions for 105 yards, but failed to find the end zone against the Buccaneers. Last week, Dez Bryant had just five grabs for 45 yards and no TDs. The Bucs defense has been much stingier against number one receivers in recent weeks and will look to continue against Philly's top receiving threat. The receptions could still be there for Matthews in this one and as a #1 WR, he should be making your lineup, regardless of the defense he is facing.



RB Darren Sproles
Also potentially benefitting from the absence of Ryan Mathews, Sproles could see more work this week than he has since the season began. He has not had more than 10 offensive touches in a single game since Week Three, when he scored 18 PPR points. His playmaking ability whenever the ball is in his hands makes him a flex option this week in PPR leagues, as he should get a lot of third-down work.

TE Zach Ertz
The tight end hasn't shaken up the fantasy football world this year, but has picked it up in recent weeks, posting at least 11 fantasy points in three of his last five games. With a backup quarterback under center, it is possible that he could be a safety valve for QB Mark Sanchez looking for a short pass. There are likely safer tight end options for you to choose from this week, but Ertz does have decent upside and a high floor against the Bucs.

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