Redskins vs. Buccaneers
This is it folks. The game every “proud” Alex Smith, Jordan Reed, Adrian Peterson, and Josh Doctson owner has been waiting for: a wonderful Sunday matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Can we expect big things from ALL of the Redskins fantasy contributors, or only a select few? Let’s find out…
The Last Hurrah
Despite a decent day last weekend against a lowly Atlanta defense, Alex Smith did not perform to our expectations with 309 yards, a lone TD and a costly INT. This weekend, however, he will face the MOST lowly passing defense in the league, and one with a decent rushing defense to boot. This presents our once vaunted QB the best opportunity he will have all season to put up QB1 numbers, and arguably his last opportunity to produce starting QB numbers as well with a gruesome slate of defenses coming up after this matchup. Slot last year’s all-pro quarterback into your lineups as a strong streamer, and even a borderline QB1, despite his ravaged offensive line.
The Run Down
With Chris Thompson out once again, it’ll be the Adrian Peterson show once again. Unfortunately for AP, the Tampa defense is only good at one thing and that’s stopping the run. Although the wily veteran could rack up a solid number of yards and a TD or two given the poor Bucs defense overall, the Bucs rank 19th in yards per attempt allowed on the ground, and the Redskins offensive line might as well be a patchwork quilt at this point. Start All Day for sure in this one, but temper your expectations with a good number of factors going against him going off.
Time to Catch Up
Just as this is the week to start Alex Smith, so too is it time to start any and all of your Redskins pass catchers. Coming off of a surprising 12 target, 124-yard performance, Maurice Harris appears to be a strong play in this one. In addition, Josh Doctson might finally get the chance to showcase his high-level skill as no Bucs corner should be able to corral him. My bet, however, for the biggest boom performance to come out of the Skins pass catchers in this one is the long-lost Jordan Reed. The uber-talented TE should be able to roam freely among a putrid Bucs secondary, and with Alex Smith likely to be under pressure all day, Reed should be the primary target for many of Smith’s passes. Look for the somehow still healthy stud to explode in this one.
Nope. Don’t do it. If there is one thing the Buccaneers can do, it’s score, and my guess would be that the one or two Fitzmagic interceptions will not be enough to salvage the day for the Skins defense.
Boom! Bust! BSleeper!
As I noted in my receivers section, I’m looking for Jordan Reed to bust out of his season-long slump in a big way, while AP might not be as stellar of an RB2 option as projections make him out to be. For my BSleeper in this one, I’m looking at Maurice Harris (believe it or not), given he was given a tremendous workload the week before and has sort of filled the Jamison Crowder role on this team.
Boom! = Jordan Reed
Bust! = Adrian Peterson
BSleeper! = Maurice Harris
Will we see some FitzMagic this week?
Last week Ryan Fitzpatrick wasn’t looking too magical until near the end of the game, and ended up putting up some good fantasy numbers, with 243 yards and four touchdowns (though also two interceptions). This week, he’ll be up against a Redskins secondary that’s given up the 10th-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. As long as he doesn’t turn the ball over, I think the FitzMagic could be back this week, making him a fairly solid QB1. He is risky though, we’ve seen Fitzpatrick be awesome and then rapidly turn back into a pumpkin, so just keep that in mind.
Will that FitzMagic extend to the receivers?
Naturally, I’d expect as much. I think Mike Evans is an easy WR1 this week, as he is every week. He’ll likely match up against Josh Norman, who’s been playing well this year, but Evans is a supreme talent, and Norman isn’t a shutdown corner, so I think Evans will be good this week. As for DeSean Jackson, I expect that he’ll be what he is just about every week—a feast or famine flex play. He leads the Bucs in vertical targets per route, which means big plays could easily happen, but that doens’t mean he’s a lock for it. But that’s been Jackson’s M.O. for a while now, so you should expect that. I think his match up this week should be solid, so the chance for a big play is better than most other weeks. As for the others, Chris Godwin and Adam Humphries both are somewhat interesting in deeper leagues as flex plays. Both should get decent playing time, as Jackson typically lines up on the right side in place of Evans when he’s out there, but neither are guys I feel comfortable starting in most leagues this week.
What can we expect from Peyton Barber?
I’m not sure we can expect a whole ton from Peyton Barber. The Bucs have arguably the worst offensive line in football, and are especially bad at run blocking. To add to that, Barber has been uninspiring to say the least. The Redskins have been solid against the run this year, giving up the 10th-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs, so I can’t really feel comfortable throwing Barber out there as anything more than a flex play.
Is O.J. Howard still a TE1 this week?
I think O.J. Howard should be slotted in as a solid TE1 this week. While the Redskins have been pretty decent against the tight end this year, Howard has been pretty involved in the passing game, and will likely draw D.J. Swearinger in coverage, which I think should be a solid matchup for Howard. He’s a really talented player and is almost matchup-proof at this point.