Thursday Night Showdown Slate Article- Bucs @ Panthers

Jeff Bergerson
By Jeff Bergerson September 11, 2019 21:47

Thursday Night Showdown Slate Article- Bucs @ Panthers

Everyone thought the Bucs/49ers game last week was going to be a shootout with both teams torching the weak opposing defenses through the air. Instead we got the same old unimpressive, turnover prone Jameis Winston that we have gotten to know the last two years. If he would have been held in check by a good defense on the road I would have much more confidence in him being able to bounce back this week, but he was at home against a poor 49er defense, which is very concerning. This week he goes to Carolina who’s defense held Jared Goff to only 186 yards passing and 1 touchdown. That is not promising for Winston or the receivers who rely on him to throw it to them and not the opposing defenders. The game total is 51 and the Panthers are favored by 6.5 points, so the game script is something that Winston has going for him this game.  It is important to not overreact to what we saw in week 1 and draw blanket conclusions.  Winston can still have a decent year with an array of outstanding weapons on offense.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he posts surprising numbers on Thurday, because he will have plenty of volume and probably some garbage time points. I will own Winston in Showdown GPPs.

The best match-up for the Bucs will be Chris Godwin who will draw Javien Elliott in the slot. Godwin led the Bucs receivers last week with six targets, but only caught 3 balls for 53 yards, but did get a touchdown. I look for him to have a much bigger game, with more targets due to game script and an easy cornerback match-up.  I predicted a big year for Godwin in the slot and we will see how good he is on Thursday night.

O.J Howard is an extremely athletic tight end who is a tough match-up for any linebacker.  He had four catches on five targets last week.  The Panthers did give up  catches and a touchdown to the less than dynamic duo of Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett last week, so Howard could have a real high ceiling for his $6,600 price.

Mike Evans will be shadowed by James Bradberry, who held Evans in check last year in their two meetings. Bradberry is no Stephon Gilmore, so I am still going to have a little exposure to one of the best receivers in the NFL, but probably not much considering his price, which is tough to have alongside McCaffrey.

Speaking of Christian McCaffrey, he was an absolute fantasy monster last week rushing for 128 yards and two touchdowns to go along with 10 catches for 81 yards. Last year McCaffrey lit up the Bucs for 79 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns and five catches for 78 yards at home and 106 rushing yards on just 10 carries and 9 catches for 55 yards and a touchdown in Tampa. Draftkings placed a large premium on McCaffrey ($2,100 more than 2nd highest priced player Cam Newton), but I don’t think the premium is great enough considering the volume he should get in this game and the weak defense that Tampa offers. The game script should be perfect with the Panthers being able to score at will and then playing with a lead for the remainder of the game. McCaffrey will be owned by 90% + and probably 60%+ as the Captain. I don’t care, Cam was below average in his performance last week and the Panthers rely so much on McCaffrey. I will pay up for him and own him in my Captain spot in 70% of my rosters.

Outside of McCaffrey, DJ Moore got the second most targets against the Rams (10) and second most production with 7 catches for 76 yards. He will likely see coverage most of the time from Vernon Hargreaves, which is an advantageous match-up. Jarius Wright actually has the best match-up in the slot, but he doesn’t usually get much of a look. If you are looking for a complete salary saving punt you could roll with him and hope he pops one and takes advantage of the great match-up. Curtis Samuel was a big letdown in week 1, but he is definitely in play here as well and he might be overlooked because of the dud he put up in week 1.

Greg Olsen is the starting tight end, but is listed as questionable. If he plays, I won’t be rostering a Panthers tight end. But, if he is ruled out then I will own Ian Thomas who is $2,400 less. I don’t think Olsen can pay off his lofty $6,200 price, but I think Thomas could at only $3,800.

If we are going to be owning a couple high dollar guys, including McCaffrey, we are going to have to own some low dollar options. I already mentioned Wright as a possibly with a plus match-up. The Panthers defense at $4,200 should probably find a spot in most of your rosters at home, likely with a lead and the Bucs having to throw and Winston who is a turnover machine.

Cameron Brate is an option as well and folks will look at his two catches for eight yards last week and write him off, but he did catch a touchdown that was nullified by penalty and is a favorite redzone target of Winston. If we can get a td from a $4,000 player we are in the money.

Breshad Perriman might be worth a shot as well. We talked about how the Bucs will need to have the ball in the air and Perriman was on the field 62% of the time last week and got the second most targets (5). $4,600 is a good price for a guy getting that much volume and giving us a chance to hit a big one.

Finally, Dare Ogunbowale was the clear passing down back for the Bucs last week. The Bucs use a runningback by committee (Jones and Barber as well), but if the Bucs are trailing and in catch-up mode there will be a lot of passing downs, which could result in significant volume for Ogunbowale. The $2,400 is so dirt cheap that if the game script goes according to plan he could easily outproduce his price and possibly be a slate breaker.

I don’t like giving out my lineups, but a couple that I came up with to give you an idea of where I am at look like this: Captain-McCaffrey, Godwin, Howard, Moore, Panthers D, and Ogunbowale -or- Captain- McCaffrey, Newton, Panthers D, Godwin, Ogunbowale, and Perriman -or- Captain- Newton, McCaffrey, Panthers D, Howard, Ogunbowale, and Samuel -or- if Olsen is ruled out  I really like Captain -McCaffrey, Panthers D, Godwin, Howard, Moore, and Thomas.

Here are the players I will own in different combinations on my rosters:

Newton $11,000
Winston $10,400

McCaffrey $18,600
Ogunbowale $2,400


Evans $9,600
Godwin $8,600
Moore $8,000
Samuel $7,000
Perriman $4,600
Wright $4,400

Howard $6,600
Thomas $3,800 (ONLY IF OLSEN IS OUT)


Slye $3,400

Panthers $4,200

Jeff Bergerson
By Jeff Bergerson September 11, 2019 21:47

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