Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fantasy Football Weekly: Bucs vs. Redskins

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Coming off a bye, the Buccaneers are headed to Washington, D.C. to take on the Redskins. This week, more than others, the fantasy crystal ball is quite unclear. So far this season, both teams have been a mystery to figure out. Players on both sides have had ups and downs, as does every fantasy player, but even the teams as a whole are giving fantasy owners headaches, particularly the Washington Redskins.

Take the running game for example. On both sides of the ball. Through the first four weeks of the season, Washington's offensive ground game looked unstoppable, their defensive ground game, immovable.

Redskins had accounted for 558 yards on the ground (best in the league), 139.5 yards per game, 4.43 yards per rush. Alfred Morris gained 121 yards in Week 1, Matt Jones gained 123 and two scores in Week 2. They had over 100 rushing yards more than 21 other NFL teams.

Over the last two weeks … 85 total rushing yards. Fallen from first to 13th.

Defensively, through the first four weeks, the Redskins had held opponents to 312 rushing yards, just 78 per game, second fewest in the league. With only one rushing touchdown allowed and 11 runs of 10+ yards.

Over the last two weeks … 397 rushing yards allowed, a shade shy of 200 per game. Three rushing touchdowns. 12 runs of 10+ yards.

So, when trying to get a handle on the offensive output of the Buccaneers fantasy stars, which Redskins defense do you predict?

THE DOUGERNAUT
I choose the porous one. Of course I do, but don't blame this on homerism. They are coming directly off of games allowing 176 yards to the Falcons and 221 yards to the Jets.

On top of that, Doug Martin is one of the hottest running backs in the NFL right now with 229 rushing yards in the last two starts with four total touchdowns. Fun fact: despite playing in just two games, Doug Martin is the second highest fantasy-scoring running back in the NFL over the last three weeks.

Against the team that just allowed 25-point performances to Devonta Freeman in Week 5 and Chris Ivory in Week 6 (both top-two RB scores of their respective weeks), yeah, I'm going with the Dougernaut on this one.

Beyond Martin, Charles Sims also gets a fantasy starter nod if you are looking to fill a Flex position and have some bye week players to fill in for. Despite more than 50 fewer carries than Martin, Sims is still the 25th-highest scoring fantasy RB of the season, thanks to his ability to receive out of the backfield.

Sims has 13+ fantasy points in each of the last three games. If you need a bye filler, plug him in, especially in PPR formats.

WASHINGTON RBS
Compounding the running back woes spoken of above, Washington RB owners also face the weekly headache of which running back will actually get the work. Take for instance this telling graph:

RB

Carries

Yds

TDs

Points

Pos. Rank

Alfred Morris

90

324

0

29

47

Matt Jones

58

260

3

37

34

Chris Thompson

42

270

1

29

47

*Points are standard. Yards and TDs include both rushing and receiving.

The points are spread out across the board. Morris, who is ahead by 32 in touches and 54 in total yards is ranked just 47th of all NFL RBs. The highest fantasy scorer has just 37 points… and the fewest yards of the bunch.

Jones is probable this week, but Thompson is doubtful, which makes the picture a little clearer. The Bucs have not allowed a RB touchdown in two games, but having allowed 24+ yards per game to the position in each of the first three weeks, it is tempting to gamble on one of them.

Either Jones or Morris could fill a flex spot if needed, but expect a split in carries. Leading his team in yards, Morris is overdue to find paydirt and is probably the more confident option.

THROUGH THE AIR
For the Bucs, the "Jekyll & Hyde"-esque scenario comes in the passing game, namely with last season's standout WR, Mike Evans. Outside of a 101-yard, 10-fantasy-point game in Week 3, Evans has just seven points. This of course is in direct contrast with his performance last season, which ended with 1,051 yards, 12 TDs and in the top-12 in WR fantasy points.

His rookie dominance was capped by his performance against these Washington Redskins, on FexExField, with 209 yards and a touchdown. So, who will come out this week.

Photos of Mike Evans during his performance in last year's 27-7 victory over the Redskins.

Again, I lead toward the Buccaneer, pointing to the Bucs desire to kick-start his season, his desire to get back to last year's numbers and find the end zone, and the Redskins allowing the 11th-most points to opposing WRs. He'll face a tough task with Breeland, but of any week for Evans to re-rise to fantasy glory, it is this one.

Vincent Jackson has been the top receiver so far this season with two touchdowns and 306 yards. In Evans's 100-yarder this season, Jackson had just two catches for 40 yards. Hopefully after getting Evans involved early, Jackson will be able to get his fill as well. He has been inconsistent this year as a fantasy producer, but is a high-reward player.

The Buccaneers defense has been giving up the fourth-most points to opposing receivers this season. Though he has not returned to his former fantasy output yet either, Pierre Garcon should be started in all formats this week as Washington's best WR option.

Both Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson excelled in fantasy scoring against the Bucs, so it is not out of the question to expect a second receiver to put up some points as well, the only question for Washington is who that receiver will be.

DeSean Jackson is listed as Out for this game. Jamison Crowder has been their best bet in his absence. He is a much better option in PPR formats, but does have sleeper upside for standard and daily leagues.

Outside of RB and WR, there is not much confidence to be had from a fantasy standpoint. Washington's Jordan Reed is a top point producer when healthy, but is currently questionable and faces a team who has allowed just 12 fantasy points to TEs over the last four games. Austin Seferian-Jenkins is out for the Bucs.

Either quarterback could produce in this game if the wide receivers previously listed are to have big outings, however they are both tied for 23rd in QB points scored. There are likely more consistent options available.

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