What We Saw: Week 8
Buccaneers vs. Bengals
Jameis Winston Turned it Over A Lot
The preview tagline for Jameis Winston could not have been more on the nose as he threw four interceptions, the final of which was returned for a touchdown. His final interception was particularly bad, throwing it right into the hands of Cincinnati linebacker Preston Brown. Promptly, Ryan Fitzpatrick was put in the game and nearly pulled off a fourth-quarter miracle. Tampa Bay is set to start Fitzpatrick in Week Nine and should retain fantasy value, even against Carolina.
Peyton Barber had a good game
He did, rushing 19 times for 85 yards and a touchdown – more impressively his longest run was only 16 yards. The touchdown was a little flukey as Adam Humphries had a touchdown reversed and Barber jammed it in from the one-yard line – but c’est la vie. Barber is a hard play most weeks due to his inconsistent use (Week Eight representing a season-high in carries), but has flashed usefulness on occasion – enough to justify a FLEX play.
The spread continues
Nine different receivers were targeted in Week Eight, with Mike Evans once again leading with 13 targets. Evans brought in 179 yards and a touchdown. In the mix for other targets, Adam Humphries lead DeSean Jackson and Chris Godwin. Humphries brought in seven of 10 and nearly had a touchdown. The number two role behind Evans has been fairly evenly distributed this year, making any of the three FLEX worthy in any given week. Jackson has the most risk as he continued to demonstrate, bringing in three of eight – but gaining 60 of his 68 receiving yards on one play. Godwin had a ghastly game, bringing in only two of seven in what was his worst game of the season.
Shaky value, but productive
O.J. Howard’s target share jumped back down to four targets per game, but in his usual fashion made the most of his targets – catching all four for 68 yards and a touchdown. All four of his catches were at the 18-20 yard range. With so few targets, Howard could easily bust in any given week – but this is a tight end worth riding out as the position is so thin.
Andy Dalton took advantage of a bad secondary
After his awful performance last week against the Kansas City Chiefs, I was worried that Andy Dalton wouldn’t be able to take advantage of the Bucs’ terrible secondary, but fortunately he did to the tune of 280 yards and two touchdowns. Not a game that will blow you away, but a solid one for sure. He looked fine, though many of his completions were the result of how talented his receivers are and less because he made great throws. When you’ve got A.J. Green out there, you really only need to throw it in his general direction and he’ll probably catch it. I don’t really have much confidence in Dalton as any more than a matchup-based streamer, however.
A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd remind us how awesome they are
I feel like every week that I write about the Bengals, I end up gushing over how amazing A.J. Green is, but he really is amazing. He ended this game with five catches for 76 yards and this awesome touchdown:
The guy just makes incredible plays, week in and week out. He’s a stud WR1 every week, regardless of matchup. It was Tyler Boyd, however, who really had the impressive game, with nine catches for 138 yards and a touchdown. Both Boyd and Green did what great receivers do—they took advantage of a bad secondary. I’m not surprised at all that both guys had great games. Going forward, Boyd should be a solid WR2 with upside.
Joe Mixon continues to be a dynamic runner
Joe Mixon looked great, and took advantage of a bad run defense in this game, as he should. He ended the game with 21 carries for 123 yards and looked like the Joe Mixon we know and love—fast, agile, and explosive. He’s going to continue to be a low-end RB1 each week.
Nothing from the tight ends
I had thought that C.J. Uzomah might be a decent tight end streamer this week against a bad Bucs defense, but that ended up being horribly wrong. Uzomah had four targets and didn’t catch a single one of them before going to the sideline with a shoulder injury. The Bengals are on a bye next week, so as long as this injury isn’t serious, he should be fine for Week 10.
The Bengals defense wasn’t good so much as Jameis Winston was bad
You might look at this game from a defensive perspective and go “oh hey, four interceptions and six sacks, look at the Bengals defense,” but I’d push back on that a bit. The Bengals have had a solid pass rush, so I’m not really discounting the sacks, but Jameis Winston had some really bad throws in this game. Now, 276 yards and a touchdown isn’t a terrible game, but Winston’s four interceptions were awful, a few of them just fell into the Bengals’ lap. It’s no coincidence that once Ryan Fitzpatrick came in, the Bucs started scoring and the Bengals secondary looked bad yet again, almost blowing this game entirely. This is still a defense you want to stay away from.