Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fantasy Football Weekly: TB vs. SD

This week, we take a look at the usual weekly starters in this matchup and we look ahead to how the Bucs could perform in your fantasy football playoffs

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It's Week 13, and for the vast majority of fantasy football leagues this is the final game before your fantasy playoffs begin. And trust me, I know what you're thinking: "Andrew, we get it. Start Mike Evans. Cam Brate is a sleeper. No one is giving Jameis Winston any credit despite him having just 10 TDs to two INTs in the last five games and ranking 12th among QBs in fantasy points this season."

Well, to that I say that I understand, and that you are thoroughly researched in Jameis Winston's fantasy numbers, and you should maybe get out more.

So we're going to breeze through this week and look ahead to Weeks 14, 15 and 16, your fantasy football playoffs! (I'm leaving off Week 17 because Week 17 is terrible for a fantasy championship. If your league plays the most important game of the season in a week when a handful of NFL teams sit their starters, something is wrong. Write your commissioner.)Speeding through TB vs. SD

The Chargers are allowing just under the average number of points to opposing quarterbacks, making Jameis Winston a pretty trustworthy play this week. No team has more interceptions this year than that Chargers, but they're allowing the seventh-most passing yards. The Bucs are on a hot streak and Winston has at least 15 fantasy points in every game since the bye week.

Doug Martin is going up against a defense allowing the seventh-most points to opposing RBs. They've allowed 20+ RB points in six of their 11 games. Martin is a good bet to shoulder most of the load in this, even if Jacquizz Rodgers is back. The Chargers have allowed 15 rushing touchdowns, second most in the NFL.

Mike Evans, yes. Start Mike Evans. He leads all WRs in non-PPR fantasy points. Adam Humphries is a solid sleeper play here. He had seven or more targets from Weeks 9-11 and could have a big day if the Chargers pay extra attention to Evans. TE Cam Brate sneakily has the 10th-most points of any fantasy tight end. If he's your guy, no reason to take him out.

Pictures of the Buccaneers leaving on Friday for their game against the Chargers.

The San Diego Chargers roll out two must starts in Philip Rivers and Melvin Gordon. Rivers is just 13th in QB fantasy points this year but has at least two touchdown passes in seven of his 11 games and each of his last four outings. The Bucs defense has tightened up against opposing QBs recently. Through the first eight games, they allowed 19.6 fantasy points per game (3.3 points above league average). They've allowed just 11.3 points per game over the last three weeks. Melvin Gordon has the fourth-most points for fantasy RBs and leads the NFL in touchdowns.

WR Tyrell Williams has come on strong recently with a touchdown in each of his last three games. He is questionable for this one. As the Chargers' main WR weapon, he should start for you if he does play. If not the Chargers have Dontrelle Inman and Travis Benjamin who could be great sleeper plays in daily leagues, but a bit risky if you are fighting for that last playoff spot.

San Diego's tight ends have been a bit of a headache this year. Antonio Gates has 54 fantasy points and Hunter Henry has 63. Gates went three straight weeks with a touchdown and the very next game he didn't have a single target. Henry has a touchdown in each of his last two games, but a combined two fantasy points in the three prior games. One of these tight ends could be a great play. Just flip a coin.Fantasy Playoff Buccaneers

The most wonderful time of the year! On Tuesday morning you get to rub it in to the half of your league that failed to make the playoffs and then slowly whittle down your friends until you are the only one remaining. Really bringing people together for the holidays.

The Buccaneers have been solid fantasy performers all season long and that trend should continue at nearly all positions for the three weeks of fantasy playoffs. Those who drafted, traded for or picked up Buccaneers along the way actually face a favorable three-week span (from a fantasy football perspective at least).

In Week 14, the Buccaneers face the New Orleans Saints at home. They then travel to Dallas before squaring off for another division matchup against the Saints in Week 16. While the Saints and Cowboys both have daunting offenses, they have been above average in the amount of points they are allowing to fantasy stars this year. Take a look at this chart outlining the ranking of each opponent in points allowed to specific positions:

Week 14

Week 15

Week 16

Saints

Cowboys

Saints

Quarterback

16

9

16

Running Back

5

29

5

Wide Receiver

18

14

18

Tight End

10

6

10

Kicker

2

27

2

Defense

26

32

26

Pictures of Mike Evans during the Bucs' game against the Seahawks.

The lower the number, the more points they allow to that specific position. So we look at the two games against the Saints and see that they are giving up the fifth-most points to running backs, which could pay off big time for those owners who patiently waited on Doug Martin's return when it comes to the Week 16 fantasy championship.

Things get even more advantageous for Buccaneers owners when you look at the actual amount of points that are being allowed. In the chart below, we look at the average number of points allowed per week by position, compared to the league average.

Week 14

Week 15

Week 16

Saints

Cowboys

Saints

Average

NFL Avg

Difference

Jameis Winston

16.6

17.5

16.6

16.9

16.3

0.6

Doug Martin

19.6

12.8

19.6

17.3

16.2

1.1

Mike Evans

21.8

22.7

21.8

22.1

21.7

0.4

Cameron Brate

7.4

8.6

7.4

7.8

6.8

1.0

Roberto Aguayo

9.6

6.2

9.6

8.5

7.6

0.9

Bucs Defense

3.1

-0.9

3.1

1.8

6.2

-4.4

All Buccaneers fantasy players (except for the Buccaneers defense which is up for a tall task in December) face an "easier" than average schedule for the fantasy playoff stretch.

Fantasy Football Weekly will continue for the three weeks of the playoffs, but you can rest assured now, that things are looking up if you've got a Buc on your roster. The team has been coming on strong in recent weeks, the position rankings are steadily going up and the fantasy football schedule is a favorable one. Good luck in Week 13! See you in the playoffs!

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