Kickoff: Thursday, November 19th, 1:05 PM EST
Location: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California
Betting Odds: SF -11.5, 41.5 total via Odds Shark
Writer: Steve Bradshaw (@SteveBradshawFF)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Baker Mayfield (Start, QB2)
Baker Mayfield is unfortunately not a QB1 on a week-to-week basis; however, I’m fine with him in my QB2 or superflex spot. Mayfield is facing off against a tough San Francisco 49ers defense, but that’s not my main issue. Even though the 49ers defense is great, they’ve only allowed the 19th most fantasy points to quarterbacks, 13.69 PPG.
The Buccaneers are 11.5-point underdogs, which should help Mayfield from a fantasy perspective. Since the game will get out of hand quickly, Mayfield will be forced to throw the ball, and the 49ers defense will give him more “garbage” yards. However, this article mainly focuses on a 1QB format, and in that case, you shouldn’t be starting Mayfield.
Rachaad White (Start, RB2)
After a slow start to the year, Rachaad White has been beyond hot these past four games. In those last four weeks, White is the RB4, averaging 19.9 PPG. Even though this looks like a terrible matchup for White on paper, this production is not coming from the ground. In those four games, White only had one game above 4.0 yards per carry.
That said, it’s worth noting that the 49ers have been terrible in fantasy against running backs. So far, the 49ers have allowed the second-most fantasy points to running backs with 31.4 PG. However, the Buccaneers may be forced to attack downfield more often and might not be able to check down as much this game; that plus limited rushing production behind a so-so offensive line makes it fair to project White as an RB2 this week.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Mike Evans (Start, WR1), Chris Godwin (Start, WR3), Cade Otton (Start, TE2)
Mike Evans is quietly having a monster season at age 30. This year, Evans is averaging 17 PPG and has gone nuclear multiple times this season. This is a phenomenal matchup for Evans as the Buccaneers will be forced to air the ball almost every play rather quickly. Baker Mayfield loves to air the ball out, and this will only be amplified once the Buccaneers are down big.
The 49ers defense has been great against receivers in fantasy, allowing the second least points, 18.2 PPG. This matchup is an excellent fit for Evans, but the other receivers in this offense may struggle.
The fantasy community should have seen this coming, but Chris Godwin has been disappointing this year. There are many factors involved, but the most obvious one is that he just doesn’t fit Mayfield’s style of play. Mayfield loves to air the ball out, which is great for Evans but not so much for Godwin. The Penn State product was phenomenal when playing with Tom Brady, but this year, his production has fallen all the way down to 11.7 PPG.
You’ll need to start Godwin as a WR3, but you know what you’re getting. The game script this week may not favor Godwin, as Mayfield’s first read won’t be underneath, especially in this game. Combine this with how good the 49ers match up against wide receivers like Godwin, and I see him as an unappealing play this week.
After a big 23-point game in week nine, Cade Otton scored three points in week 10. The 49ers have allowed the 13th most fantasy points to tight ends this year with 10.13 PPG. This isn’t enough for me to make Otton a TE1 this week, but with how bad the tight-end landscape has been, I’m more than fine starting him as a high-end TE2.
San Francisco 49ers
Brock Purdy (Start, QB2)
Brock Purdy had a rough few games during weeks six and seven but has really turned it around recently. In the past few games, Purdy has bounced back to score 18.3 and 23.8 points. This week, however, I don’t have Purdy as a QB1 just because of the game script. Right now, the 49ers are 11.5-point favorites, meaning they should be able to run the ball for most of the game.
The Buccaneers have also been fairly effective against quarterbacks from a fantasy lens, allowing the 20th most points, 13.67 PPG. Taking these factors into account, Purdy should be viewed as a startable quarterback, but only in a 2QB or Superflex format.
Christian McCaffrey (Start, RB1)
Christian McCaffrey should crush this week against the Buccaneers. Not only is McCaffrey an RB1, but he is the RB1 on the week. The 49ers are 11.5-point favorites, meaning McCaffrey will see even more carries than normal. Although the Buccaneers have allowed the 6th least fantasy points to running backs, 17 PPG, it doesn’t matter. McCaffrey is in a spot to crush, and you should expect him to go nuclear.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Brandon Aiyuk (Start, WR3), Deebo Samuel (Start, WR3), George Kittle (Start, TE1)
Brandon Aiyuk has been great this season, averaging 15.4 PPG, but the return of Deebo Samuel hurts his value. Unfortunately, there are so many weapons in this offense that none of these receivers have consistent production. What worries me even more is the fact that the 49ers won’t be forced to pass much this game.
The Buccaneers are an average team against wide receivers in fantasy, allowing the 15th most fantasy points, 33.57 PPG. Aiyuk is still startable as a WR3, but this lack of passing volume worries me.
After missing three weeks with an injury, Deebo Samuel is finally back. Samuel came back in a big way with 15.9 points in week ten. The same concerns I have for Aiyuk apply to Samuel. The talent with Samuel makes him a great start at WR3, but his usage will be capped due to the game script.
At this point, it’s almost impossible to predict when George Kittle will have a big game. However, due to his massive upside, you need to start him a TE1 every week. Kittle is averaging 12.8 PPG, but again, I have concerns about his game script and target competition this week.
It’s worth noting that the Buccaneers have allowed the 18th most fantasy points with 8.77 PPG. This doesn’t move the needle for me, though, and I’m still ranking Kittle as a TE1 this week.