Kickoff: Sunday, September 19th at 4:05 PM ET
Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, Florida
Betting Odds: TB -12.5, 52 total via Oddsshark
Matt Ryan (Sit, QB2)
Matt Ryan had a disappointing week 1 against the Eagle’s defense. He comes into week 2 facing another strong defense that will get its sacks. Even with Tampa being a tough defense we saw Dak Prescott put up 403 passing yards, three touchdowns, and 1 interception. Dak has the benefit of a great offensive line that only gave up one sack. Dak is also a more mobile QB than Matt Ryan is even after his leg injury. Ryan got sacked three times against the Eagles and that trend continues this week. I don’t think you can trust Ryan right now until things start to click.
Mike Davis (Sit, Flex), Cordarrelle Patterson (Sit) Wayne Gallman (Sit)
A very common theme with the Falcons will be their offensive line. They haven’t been what they were a few years ago and are trying to find the right combination of players to mesh together. The good news is Mike Davis saw 15 carries in Week 1. The bad news is he was only able to turn those into 49 yards. He was outplayed by Cordarrelle Patterson who managed 54 yards on only seven carries. No one on the Falcons found the end zone in Week 1. Both Davis and Patterson were used in the passing game. they got six and two targets respectively. I expect much of the same this week and they will probably fall behind Tampa early and have to play catch up. Davis could be a Flex play if you miss out on some of the waiver gems this week. I do like Patterson as a stash for now and see what happens. Long term, things should get easier for the Falcons.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Calvin Ridley (Start, WR2), Russel Gage (Sit, Flex), Olamide Zaccheaus (Sit), Hayden Hurst (Sit), Kyle Pitts(Start, TE1)
There wasn’t much to love coming out of the Falcons blow-out loss to the Eagles Week 1. If you are looking for a bright spot it was the targets for Calvin Ridley and Kyle Pitts. Both were tied for the team lead with eight targets. Each played on a majority of the team’s snaps and looked to be the focal point of the offense. Heading into a game against the Buccaneers defense I’m not super excited to have either of them in my lineup but looking at the landscape of who might be replacing them there aren’t better options. Ridley will be okay. He’s not going to be the Top 12 wide receiver he was drafted to be this week. Kyle Pitts looked okay in his debut. He only managed 31 yards on 4 catches but his targets and snap count are encouraging. The injuries to safety Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jordan Whitehead should open up the middle for Pitts. Russel Gage was a huge disappointment after being a pre-season hype star. He received only two targets and failed to catch either of them. No other wide receiver got a target. That should change but you can’t start players on hopes and dreams.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tom Brady (Start, QB1)
It’s TOM BRADY. Do I need to say anything more?
Do you want more? Okay. How about the fact that he completed 32 of his 50 pass attempts. he threw for 379 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions that weren’t his fault. He has the best trio of wide receivers in the league and Gronk. The Falcons secondary is a mess. They just let Jalen Hurts passed for 264 yards and 3 touchdowns. How about last year, Week 17. Brady threw against the Falcons for 399 yards, four TDs, and one interception. Even if Brady were to throw for 250 yards and 2 touchdowns he would still be a fantasy starter.
Leonard Fournette (Start, RB2), Ronald Jones (Sit, Flex), Gio Bernard (Sit)
In Week 1 Tampa Bay running backs didn’t have the best night. That was in large part due to a high-scoring game that required Brady to have 50 passing attempts. I think Bruce Arians wants to be more balanced. Ronald Jones had a costly fumble in Week 1 which could put him in the dog house. I think the coaching staff there is fairly forgiving but still not more than a low-end flex-start. Leonard Fournette should see the bulk of the carries in Week 2 against a defense that gave up 173 rushing yards to the Eagles. You also have to be encouraged by his passing work where he got seven targets. I don’t see a need for Gio Bernard to be in the game much. He projects to be just a passing down back which isn’t really needed in this offense.
Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends
Mike Evans (Start, Flex), Antonio Brown (Start, WR2), Chris Godwin (Start , WR1), Scotty Miller (Sit), Rob Gronkowski (Start, TE1)
Fire them up. Did you read the Tom Brady section? Okay good. there is no reason to not start any of the Big 4 here. Mike Evans is the question mark who had a bummer of a week. He will still get his. I don’t expect 50 passing attempts this week but Evans should still be in line for five targets. He had six last week. Chris Godwin leads the team with 14 targets. Yes, that number will come down but he still sees great looks that netted him 105 yards and one touchdown. Antonio Brown was the Week 1 darling who looked to regain his former self. He posted 121 yards and a touchdown on seven targets. The question of which mouth will be fed will always be the question in Tampa but there is no reason at this point to doubt Brown. You do have to manage expectations with all the wide receivers but they shouldn’t lose you weeks. Rob Gronkowski is a TE1 but wasn’t drafted as one. He has Brady’s favor and will continue to be a focal point.
– Dustin Ludke (Dunit13dl on Reddit)