Week 2: TNF Breakdown Buccaneers vs Panthers

This match-up of Buccaneers vs Panthers would have an entirely different tone if the Tampa Bay vs San Francisco game in Week 1 had gone according to fantasy analysts’ plans. The contest was so ripe for fantasy points that we were salivating for Jameis Winston to feast and watch Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and O.J. Howard rack up points in our lineups.


Instead of the resurgence we were hoping for under new head coach Bruce Arians, Winston came out and became Uber-Winston… in a bad way. A really bad way. He had 20 completions on 36 attempts for 194 yards with 1 touchdown and a whopping 3 interceptions and an underwhelming 55.56% pass completion percentage.

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To be fair, one can put the blame on Mike Evans for running the wrong route and also on O.J. Howard for dropping a pass, but the third interception, according to Arians, was all on Winston. He also had two touchdowns called back on penalties. Still, this was a very disappointing and concerning start to the new Tampa Bay offense.

Unfortunately, if you drafted guys like Evans, Godwin, and Howard, you likely paid a hefty draft price for them and are now left stressing over your lineup every week. This should be a matchup you are anticipating for these players, not prematurely crying because you are convinced you just lost your league. Just look at 2018 numbers for the Panthers’ defense.

Panthers Fantasy Points Allowed Rank – 2018

Vs. WR: 25th – 205 receptions on 314 targets, 2703 yards 19 TDs
Vs. RB: 5th – 310 attempts, 1438 yards, and only 9 TDs
Vs. TE: 25th – 81 receptions on 119 targets, 913 yards, and 9 TDs

Speaking of bad QB starts, Cam Newton also didn’t do much to impress the masses on Sunday. Newton had 25 completions on 38 attempts for 239 passing yards, zero TDs, and 1 interception with a 65.79% pass completion percentage. If you started him, you were disappointed. Not as fuming mad as players who started to Winston, but you get the idea.

Christian McCaffrey played 100% of the snaps and unsurprisingly balled out. D.J. Moore dropped several passes but saw enough targets to look interesting but Curtis Samuel is still quietly crushing his routes and creating better separation. Even old man Greg Olsen got involved seeing 9 targets for 4 receptions and 36 yards. Not stellar, but also not a goose egg.

So, let’s take a look at Week 2 TNF and see which players you should plug into your lineup.

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Panthers: Cam Newton, Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel, Panthers DST

Buccaneers: Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, O.J. Howard


I know Newton was a let down on Sunday, but he is primed for a comeback against the 29th ranked Buccaneer defense against WRs. They have allowed 22 touchdowns to the position and nearly 2700 yards. I also think this should be a good game for Samuel to finally make his mark on the offense. I hesitate on TE Olsen, only because you probably have other players to start. If he is your only option, then you should feel pretty good about his opportunity this week. He is even a good cheap option in DFS if you want to stack studs in your lineup.

I’m really sorry if you have Evans, Godwin, and Howard. It sucks. You drafted Evans early so you probably have to start him. If it makes you feel better, Arians still wants to keep going vertical with Winston so there may be a chance you get some return on your investment. I don’t like it, but you may also have to start Godwin and Howard, but take some solace in the fact that the Panthers are pretty weak against those positions. Maybe, just maybe, Winston can get it together enough this week to get those guys involved and save your week 2.

I’m even more sad for you if you have Peyton Barber or Ronald Jones. First, why do have Bucs RBs, and second, the Panthers are ranked 5th Against the rush. So… yeah.

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