This a snippet of Adam Pfeifer’s NFL matchups column, previews Daniel Jones and the New York Giants vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for Fantasy Football Lineups. Fantasy rosters needed protective spray because players were bit hard by the injury bug in Week 2. Multiple starting quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers all suffered injuries this past weekend, with a handful of key offensive linemen also going down. As a result, we missed on plenty in this article, but we hit on plenty, as well. Back on the horse. With that in mind, let’s dig into some NFL matchups and NFL game breakdowns for your Week 3 Fantasy Football Lineups.
To read the FULL column, click HERE.
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New York Giants @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Line: TB -6.5
Giants passing game
The Eli Manning era appears to be over. Daniel Jones has been named the Giants starter, giving us yet another cheap quarterback to consider this weekend. Jones could make this offense better, mainly because he isn’t a statue in the pocket like Manning has been. While you likely aren’t using him in any leagues outside of deep two-quarterback formats, Jones looked fantastic during the preseason. He could be worth a look at $5,000 on DK.
Sterling Shepard is still in the league’s concussion protoco but was spotted in a non-contact jersey during Wednesday’s practice. He continues to make progress and has a shot to return this week. If he does, I like him as a top-35 wide receiver, as he’ll continue to operate out of the slot with Golden Tate still suspended. Tampa Bay’s defense has looked a bit better thus far but their secondary still doesn’t scare me at all. Now, Cody Latimer is dealing with a concussion and didn’t practice on Wednesday, meaning the passing game will go through Shepard and tight end Evan Engram, who disappointed a bit last week, catching six passes for 48 yards.
You obviously aren’t benching him and the Bucs just allowed 100 yards to Olsen last week and should have allowed a pair of touchdowns to Kittle back in Week 1. Rookie linebacker Devin White is unlikely to play for Tampa Bay this week, which enhances the matchup.
Giants running game
Despite the weak Giants offense, Saquon Barkley has remained incredibly good at football. He has rushed for more than 100 yards in each of the first two games, despite only carrying the football 29 total times during that stretch. Barkley continues to break off big runs and he isn’t even seeing stacked boxes, which was a concern heading into the year. Barkley has seen eight men or more in the box on just 17.2 percent of his carries this year. He’s my RB4 this week, behind Zeke, McCaffrey and Cook.
Buccaneers passing game
People may be afraid to play Jameis Winston here. And while I’m definitely nervous, it is very difficult for me to not use him. Winston looked awful in Week 1 and slightly less awful last week. However, he is so cheap ($5,400) and this matchup against the Giants is really good for him. Through two weeks of play, the Giants have been atrocious on defense, surrendering 3.15 points per drive, the third-most in the NFL. They also have not generated much of a pass rush, ranking dead last in PFF’s pass rush rating, sporting just 28 total pressures through two weeks.
That bodes extremely well for Winston, who has completed just 43.5 percent of his passes when under pressure so far this season, while throwing two interceptions and zero touchdowns. New York has been the worst coverage team in football through two weeks and have been responsible for the QB2 and QB7 in fantasy so far. If Winston can’t get it done here, then, well, I’m not sure he is going to get it done at all this season. But at just $5,400, I’m willing to find out.
Chris Godwin has clearly been the more productive Tampa Bay receiver through two weeks, catching 11 passes for 174 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He is now priced as the WR1 in Tampa Bay, though, he and Mike Evans are both too cheap this week. Evans was sick in Week 1 and faced a tough matchup in Week 2. At just $6,600, I love him in tournaments this week. He’ll likely see Janoris Jenkins but because the Giants have no pass rush, Jenkins will be covering Evans for a handful of seconds each play, giving the advantage to the receiver.
New York allowed both Dallas receivers to eclipse 100 yards in Week 1 and Evans is my favorite buy-low in fantasy right now. Of course, Godwin still profiles better because he is lining up out of the slot just over 52 percent of the time. His three end zone targets are good for second-most in the NFL thus far and he honestly just looks unguardable. Godwin will draw coverage from rookie DeAndre Baker, who has really struggled to open his career, coughing up 272 yards in coverage (the most in the NFL) and two touchdowns. Both Bucs wideouts are top-seven plays for me at the position.
Is O.J. Howard ever going to do anything? The popular breakout candidate failed to record a catch last week, giving him just four catches for 32 yards through two weeks. He is still dominating the tight end snaps but he’s been asked to block a lot more, ranking second among all tight ends in run-blocking snaps (54). Head coach Bruce Arians stated that “the balls will come” which we hope is in regards to passes being thrown Howard’s way going forward. This is as good a spot as ever for Howard to break through, as the Giants have terrible coverage linebackers and allowed Jason Witten and Blake Jarwin to find the end zone against them back in Week 1.
Buccaneers running game
After reports surfaced that Ronald Jones would get more work, it was veteran Peyton Barber who dominated the workload for the Bucs last week. Barber carried the ball 23 times for 82 yards and a touchdown, while adding one catch for seven yards. Jones, meanwhile, carried the ball four times for just nine yards after looking dynamic in Week 1 against the 49ers. This backfield looks like it could be a hot hand situation, with Barber getting the first look. The matchup is favorable, as New York has allowed three running back touchdowns through two weeks, but Barber is nothing more than a desperation FLEX option in standard leagues.
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