Kickoff: Sunday, December 12th at 4:25 PM ET
Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
Betting Odds: BUF +3.5, 52.5 total via Oddsshark
Josh Allen (Start, QB1)
Josh Allen had the second-worst fantasy performance of the 2021 season last week against the Patriots, but fantasy managers shouldn’t let the lackluster performance worry them much. The extreme cold and wind severely limited Allen’s passing game. The overall fantasy QB2 on the season will look to bounce back this week in the warm Tampa weather. The Buccaneers are allowing plenty of passing yards this year and this game could turn into a high-scoring shootout. I like Allen’s chances for an impressive “get right” game this week.
Devin Singletary (Sit, Low-end Flex), Matt Breida (Sit), Zack Moss (Sit)
Devin Singletary may be the most “valuable” fantasy back in Buffalo, but that isn’t saying much at all. He’s only reached double-digit fantasy points four times in 12 games played this year. All three Buffalo backs were active last week, and they all saw some playtime. This backfield is too crowded and nobody is pulling ahead towards consistent fantasy relevance. Matt Breida looked like he might be trending in the right direction, but I wouldn’t want to start him after he saw just two touches last week. To make matters worse, Tampa has an impressive rush defense that should give these backs plenty of trouble. I believe all these guys are best left on the bench if you can afford to do so.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Stefon Diggs (Start, WR1), Cole Beasley (Sit, Flex), Emmanuel Sanders (Sit), Dawson Knox (Start, TE1)
Stefon Diggs put up a dud performance last week, but the blustery weather severely limited his potential. It’s worth noting his fantasy output would have been much more impressive if he came down with a deep shot in the end zone. I like the match-up this week too. The Bucs are pretty middle-of-the-road in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers and this game should be high-scoring. The overall WR9 on the season should be capable of yet another impressive WR1 performance this week.
I’m not seeing enough consistency from Cole Beasley or Emmanuel Sanders to warrant any start consideration this week. Neither of these receivers has put up double-digit fantasy points since Week 9. I don’t recommend starting either of these wideouts if you’re still fighting for a fantasy playoff spot.
Every Buffalo receiving option struggled mightily last week in the windy conditions, and Dawson Knox was no exception. The young tight end had his second-worst fantasy performance of the season last week against the Patriots but will look to bounce back against the Buccaneers. Tampa is giving up plenty of receiving yards and are top-10 in fantasy points allowed to tight ends. Knox should once again be considered a TE1 option this week.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tom Brady (Start, QB1)
What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? We may get an idea this week when the Bills’ defense lines up against Tom Brady. TB12 is playing fantastic football and is the current overall fantasy QB1 on the season. On the other hand, we have the talented Buffalo defense. The Bills are allowing the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks and the fewest passing yards in the league this year.
The match-up may be enough to slightly temper expectations, but I still believe Brady can put together another solid QB1 performance this week in what’s projected to be a high-scoring game.
Leonard Fournette (Start, RB1), Ronald Jones (Sit)
Leonard Fournette has been playing fantastic football lately. He scored five total touchdowns in the past two games and averaged a little over 33 fantasy points per game over that span. Fournette’s floor is looking even safer lately with his recent success in the passing game. He’s averaging seven catches per game over the past four weeks. The Bills’ rush defense has been good this year, but I don’t believe that will be enough to place the red-hot Fournette outside the RB1 tier this week.
Ronald Jones still doesn’t belong in the start conversation. He likely won’t hold much fantasy value this year unless Fournette succumbs to an injury. Still, he’s a capable back and should be handcuffed by fantasy managers with Leonard on their teams.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Chris Godwin (Start, WR1), Mike Evans (Start, Low-end WR1), Rob Gronkowski (Start, TE1)
Chris Godwin is having a fantastic season and looks to be in a good position to continue his successful year with Antonio Brown serving a three-game suspension. Godwin saw a whopping 17 targets last week and should maintain his massive target share while Brown is sidelined. The Bills’ secondary has been great this year, but Godwin should still be capable of WR1 numbers if he continues seeing so many targets come his way.
Although not quite as explosive as Godwin, Mike Evans is still having a great season and putting up consistent WR1 numbers. Like Godwin, Evans should continue seeing plenty of targets over the next few weeks with Brown out of the picture. Again, the Bills’ secondary has been great this year, but I believe Brady will feed Evans and Godwin enough for both to reach WR1 territory this week.
Rob Gronkowski returned from his injury and pretty much picked up right where he left off. He’s averaging 18 fantasy points per game over his last three and has scored two touchdowns over that same span. The Bills’ secondary has been great against tight ends this year, allowing the second-fewest fantasy points to the position, but fantasy managers would be crazy to bench Gronk at this point.
-Ryan Kruse (@ryanpkruse)