Kickoff: Sunday, October 25th at 8:20 PM ET
Location: Allegiant Stadium, Paradise, NV
Betting Odds: TB -3, 53.5 total via Oddsshark
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tom Brady (Start, Low-end QB1)
Tom Brady had some poor fantasy performances over the past two weeks against the Bears and the Packers, two teams that have been pretty good against quarterbacks this year. Brady was perfectly fine against the Packers last week; he simply didn’t need to throw the ball with Tampa’s defense doing most of the work for him.
Luckily, Brady has a good chance for a bounce-back game in Week 7 against a Raiders defense that is currently allowing the 10th-most points to quarterbacks. Las Vegas is also allowing the eighth-most passing yards in 2020. I’m ranking Tom at the bottom of my QB1 tier, but I like his potential upside this week.
Ronald Jones II (Start, RB1), Leonard Fournette (Sit)
I believe Ronald Jones II is the first running back to tally 100+ yards in three straight games this year. He’s certainly made a case for himself over the past three weeks, and it seems like he will be the Bucs’ starting back for the foreseeable future. Up next for “RoJo” is another juicy match-up. The Raiders are bottom-10 in rushing yards allowed per game and have allowed the second-most points to the position this year. Fire up Jones with confidence.
Many thought Leonard Fournette would be active last week, but he must not have liked how his ankle was feeling in warmups. Fournette was a surprise inactive in Week 6, but it feels like Jones is running away with the lead back role anyway. Fournette hasn’t had a carry since Week 3. He practiced in full on Wednesday so probably has a good shot at playing this week. He may take a few carries if he’s active, but he doesn’t seem like much of a threat for the time being.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Mike Evans (Start, WR2), Chris Godwin (Start, Low-end WR1), Scotty Miller (Sit), Tyler Johnson (Sit), Rob Gronkowski (Start, Low-end TE1), Cameron Brate (Sit)
Mike Evans had a tough go of it last week, but I wouldn’t be too worried. He was, for the most part, covered by Jaire Alexander, whom I believe is currently PFF’s top-ranked corner. Not to mention, the Bucs were so far ahead they didn’t need to worry about throwing the ball last week. It could be dicey predicting Evans’ production with Chris Godwin back in the mix, though. Evans’ three lowest fantasy point totals of the 2020 season (including the infamous 2/2/2 stat line) have all been weeks where Godwin was active. I still believe in Mike, but I’m a bit concerned about his usage going forward. That said, a surprisingly good Raider offense could help turn this game into a shootout, slightly lifting Evans’ ceiling. I’m listing him as a WR2 this week.
Chris Godwin returned last week and put up pretty mediocre numbers, but that was more due to game script than anything else. He had his typical seven targets yet again last week, so Godwin should show up in a better match-up. Las Vegas is currently bottom-eight in passing yards allowed per game, and this one could turn into a bit of a shootout. I believe Godwin should be capable of low-end WR1 numbers.
Scotty Miller is probably drop-able if Mike Evans and Chris Godwin both stay healthy. I get that the guy has been a bit restricted with a groin/hip injury, but two targets and one catch over the past two weeks isn’t going to cut it. You can likely find a player with a higher upside elsewhere. Similarly, Tyler Johnson only had one target/reception last week, and I wouldn’t be mentioning him now if that catch wasn’t a touchdown.
I thought Rob Gronkowski and Cameron Brate would, for the most part, split targets going forward, but Gronk decided to have himself a breakout performance last week. I’m not expecting another near-19-point performance this week from Gronk, especially against a Raiders defense that’s been pretty stingy against tight ends so far this year. Though he should be serviceable if this game is high scoring and he sees similar targets/red-zone looks.
Las Vegas Raiders
Derek Carr (Sit, Low-end QB2)
With plenty of pass attempts over the season and 300+ passing yards in each of his last two games, I think the parameters of Derek Carr’s fantasy success have been pretty much defined. The Raiders’ defense is giving up plenty of points, and their offense will need to keep up to stay in games. Las Vegas had to score 34 or more points in every game they have won so far this year. That said, it could be challenging for Carr to rack up air yards against a Tampa Bay defense that is allowing the sixth-fewest passing yards per game. Plus, the Bucs are top-three in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks. This match-up has me shying away from Carr this week.
Josh Jacobs (Start, Low-end RB2)
Fantasy managers probably should temper expectations for Josh Jacobs this week. The Buccaneers, even though they gave up a bit more ground yards without VitaVea last week, have been great against running backs this year. Tampa is allowing the fewest ground yards in the league and are top-10 in points allowed to the position. Yards will be tough to come by this week for Jacobs. I would be perfectly fine with low-end RB2 numbers against a stout Tampa defense.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Henry Ruggs III (Sit), Nelson Agholor (Sit), Hunter Renfrow (Sit), Darren Waller (Start, TE1)
I wouldn’t usually be very high on a guy like Henry Ruggs III, but on a team like the Raiders who will need to throw the ball to stay in games, I like his potential to break out at some point this year. Unfortunately, the Bucs are stingy against receivers and are top-six in passing yards allowed per game. With a guy like Ruggs who has game-breaking speed, one big catch is all it takes. Still, I’m not trusting him in any lineups, at least not this week.
Nelson Agholor has done well the past two weeks but remains touchdown-dependent. He averaged three targets per game the last three games, making it tough to trust him weekly. This week’s tough match-up only makes matters worse. Hunter Renfrow struggled against a good secondary in Week 5, grabbing only one catch on two targets. Going from an 8.5 target average over two weeks back down to his regular two last week isn’t encouraging. He’s likely better off on your bench for now.
It’s not the best match-up for Darren Waller this week. The Buccaneers are top-nine in fantasy points allowed to tight ends this year, but it’s not like you’re going to bench the current TE4 on the season. The Chiefs have a similar ranking against tight ends, and Waller had no problem hanging up nearly 16 points against them in Week 5. Waller should be capable of another TE1 performance this week, even if it happens to be on the lower end.
-Ryan Kruse (@ryanpkruse on Twitter)