Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fantasy Football Weekly: Cowboys vs. Bucs

Don’t miss the fantasy football must-starts and sleepers when the Dallas Cowboys come to Tampa to take on the Buccaneers.


Last week, Bucs QB Jameis Winston continued his consistent streak with a 17-point performance on 247 passing yards and a rushing touchdown. Since the bye week, he is averaging 18.3 fantasy points per game.

Week-to-week consistency is a valuable asset in fantasy football, especially when the playoffs roll around. Owned in just 28.7% of fantasy leagues, despite ranking 15th at his position, Winston could be a valuable addition to your bench as we near the end of the fantasy season.

With top QBs Philip Rivers (2nd most points among all QBs), Matt Ryan (11th) and Andrew Luck (13th, also out with injury) on bye this week, Winston is a starting option due to his ability to put up between 15-20 points each and every week.

Buccaneers Must-Starts


WR Mike Evans**: Always start your starters. Evans has two eight-catch performances in his last three games, making him an even more valuable PPR play. Since the bye week, he is averaging 120 receiving yards per game. The Cowboys have been stingy in WR points allowed, but with Vincent Jackson listed as out and Austin Seferian-Jenkins questionable again, Evans could be looking at another 15+-target game. And that translates to fantasy points.

RB Doug Martin: No team in the NFL has allowed more fantasy points to running backs than the Dallas Cowboys. In three of their eight games (including last week vs PHI), the Cowboys allowed 40 or more fantasy points to the position. Doug Martin is not a bell-cow back, but he still sees a good amount of carries and has some impressive fantasy performances this season to build on. After going for 24, 36 and 19 points in back-to-back-to-back weeks, he has just 12 in the last two combined. This could be he resurgence.

**Cowboys Must-Starts

WR Dez Bryant : No surprises here. Dez Bryant (like Mike Evans) absolutely falls in to the "Always start your starters" philosophy. No matter who is covering him, he is always a risk for a big play. Take for instance his touchdown reception last week where he grabbed a jump ball in the end zone over about a half dozen other professional football players. Obviously, the quarterback situation in Dallas has put a damper on some of his production, but his playmaking ability and going up against a defense allowing the 3rd-most points to opposing WRs makes him a must if he's on your roster. RB Darren McFadden: The Cowboys started the season with a lot of question marks at running back and a lot of players vying for the top spot. Over recent weeks, that situation has cleared itself up and left McFadden at the top of the pile. In the three weeks since the Cowboys' bye, McFadden is averaging 28.3 touches per game, resulting in 397 total yards and 17.3 fantasy points per week. The Bucs are allowing the 10th-fewest points to opposing RBs, but with the frequency the Cowboys run the ball, McFadden is a strong play this week. Buccaneers Sleepers

RB Charles Sims: Like Martin, this matchup alone is enough reason to consider him a strong Flex sleeper, especially in PPR leagues. Sims had an electrifying 59-yard run last week and is a constant threat as a receiver out of the backfield. If this is a close contest, as most are predicting, he could be the spark that gives the Bucs an edge. If you have injury or bye week holes to fill, consider Sims, who is available in about 50% of leagues. K Connor Barth: Over the last five weeks (four games for the Buccaneers), no kicker has more fantasy points per game than Connor Barth. He has made 13 of his 14 FG attempts and all eight of his extra points. Kicker is often the forgotten position on fantasy football teams where the kicker you draft is the one you roll with for the season, despite their performance. If that is the case for you and you do not own a top-10 kicker, make the switch for Barth, who is owned in just 15.7% of leagues. Cowboys Sleepers

QB Matt Cassel: Cassel is the third quarterback to start for the Cowboys this season, which is a fact that doesn't inspire much fantasy confidence and is likely linked to his 5.1% owned percentage. However, he is coming off his best game (22 points) and going up against a defense is allowing the 4th-most points to opposing QBs. Still, the Bucs have allowed 15 points or fewer in four of eight games and Cassel has just seven points in two of his starts. While there is some upside here because of matchup, he's only a sleeper in very deep or 2QB leagues. WR Cole Beasley**: Last week, in PPR leagues, Beasley was the second highest scoring fantasy wide receiver with nine grabs for 112 yards and two touchdowns. He has become a security check-down for Cassel and has great run-after-catch abilities. He is not a picture of consistency (in the two weeks prior he had a total of -2 fantasy points), but his upside was on full display last week in his 32-point game.

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