Kickoff: Sunday, September 27 at 4:25 PM ET
Location: Empower Field at Mile High, Denver, CO
Betting Odds: TB -6, 43 total via Oddsshark
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tom Brady (Start, QB1)
Alright, Tom Brady, you get one more week and if nothing happens you are demoted. Facing a less than menacing Broncos defense this week and having Chris Godwin back, Brady should be in for a great statistical week if he can get in sync with his wideouts and if the Broncos can keep the game somewhat close. In all seriousness, Brady had two pass catchers drop easy touchdowns last week so it wasn’t a bad game on his end. With that being said, if he can’t produce this week, it may be time to relegate him to the streaming territory. I am holding out hope that the same offense that produced a 5,000-yard Jameis Winston can also produce a thriving Brady.
Ronald Jones (Start, Flex), Leonard Fournette (Start, Flex)
A week after Ronald Jones was “the guy,” he had a mishandled handoff and was relegated to laundry duty. RoJo looked strong in the opening half, stiff-arming his way to a touchdown before seemingly being benched in favor of Leonard Fournette, who rumbled to 103 yards and two touchdowns. Already having said that RoJo is still the starter, it will be interesting to see how this plays out this week and who gets the start/most carries. Last week, our money was on Rojo. This week, everyone’s money is on Fournette. For now, start either as a Flex play and hope they hit, but I am not confident that one or the other has broken free to be the bell-cow yet.
Wide Receivers/Tight End
Chris Godwin (Start, WR1), Mike Evans (Start, WR2), Scotty Miller (Sit), Rob Gronkowski/OJ Howard (Sit)
After being a surprise injury report addition halfway through last week, Chris Godwin returns to the lineup with a great matchup against Denver. We haven’t seen a 100 % full week from Godwin yet, but we do know that he had shown the most connection through the camp and most of Week 1 with Brady. He should quickly return to form and pay you dividends for drafting him. Sans Godwin, Mike Evans put together a solid week for himself, dropping 7/104/1 on the Panthers. With Godwin back in the picture, I think we see an in the middle game between Evans Week 1 and Week 2 numbers, firmly entrenching him as a WR2 with upside. Past those two guys, Scotty Miller was a big let down last week despite increased usage, and the tight end position has been lackluster to begin the year. Everyone else can be left on benches or the waiver wire.
Jeff Driskel (Sit)
Drew Lock looks to be out for a while, so for the time being, Jeff Driskel has stepped in as the starter and played well last week. He managed to put up 256/2/1 on a stout Steelers defense but has now lost top wide receiver Courtland Sutton for the year. While there will be some flashes of good plays, this offense is mostly young pass-catchers and everyone is getting downgraded, minus the running back. Driskel is a sit, and should still be left in your free agent pool against the Buccaneers.
Melvin Gordon (Start, RB1)
If you drafted running back heavy this year, it has paid to have depth. McCaffery and Barkley’s owners are sure to have some shares of Melvin Gordon, who has been a beneficiary of an injury to backfield mate, Phillip Lindsay. Pegged as some to be a bust headed into Week 2 against a Steelers team that held Barkley to single-digit yards on the ground, Gordon put together another solid day, totaling 70 yards and a receiving touchdown. Sure to be involved more as a pass catcher in the coming weeks and with other top running backs going down with an injury, it looks like Gordon is in the back end RB1 range heading into Week 3 and should be started as such.
Wide Receivers/Tight End
Jerry Jeudy (Start, Flex), Tim Patrick (Sit), KJ Hamler (Sit), Noah Fant (Start, TE1)
As mentioned earlier, Courtland Sutton is out “indefinitely,” so in steps the rookie, Jerry Jeudy who will be called upon to be the leading wideout for this offense. Already with a seemingly downgrade at quarterback, Jeudy still managed to put up serviceable flex numbers last week (4/62 on 7 targets). Looking at a bigger role this week and beyond, Jeudy could slowly creep towards WR2 territory with steady quarterback play. KJ Hamler is also slated to be involved in the offense upon his return this week, but he is a bench stash for now. The shining star so far has been the tight end, Noah Fant, putting up near 20 point fantasy games in both games to open the campaign in PPR scoring. Solidified as the safety net for whoever is under center, look for Fant to continue to be a steal in drafts at the tight end position as a set it and forget it TE1 until something changes.
-Matt Dean (@MattDeanQBList on twitter, mdean8 on Reddit)