POSTED 7 PM EST ON THURSDAY
Game Overview ::
By hilow >>
- The Buccaneers currently have eight players on the league’s COVID list, most notably wide receivers Mike Evans and Jaelon Darden, cornerbacks Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting, and defensive tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches (UPDATE: holy hell there are a ton of moving pieces late-week here. Mike Evans was activated off the COVID list but is questionable with injury, Antonio Brown is questionable with injury, head coach Bruce Arians is isolating at home with COVID, Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaq Barrett are OUT, Rakeem Nunez-Roches was activated off the COVID list, Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting remain on the list, and Chris Godwin and Leonard Fournette remain on IR… woof).
- The Jets currently have nine players on the COVID list, most notably left guard Alijah Vera-Tucker, tight end Tyler Kroft, and six defensive starters.
- Likeliest scenario sees the Bucs absolutely trouncing the Jets, but there are some very interesting “mini-tributaries” that could develop here and should be considered.
- The Bucs are expected to score a lot, they are an extremely concentrated offense, and there are very clear New York bring-backs.
How tampa bay Will Try To Win ::
As we saw last week (and as we expected to be the case), the Buccaneers are toeing a thin line between returning to health and continuing to take advantage of live game repetitions as they prepare for the playoffs. Although Tom Brady took all but three offensive snaps in a game the Bucs won handily, he attempted his lowest passes of the season by a large margin. This came in a game where the team was missing Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Leonard Fournette. The team is still taking each play as an additional chance to tweak things leading into the postseason, as evidenced by Antonio Brown’s 15 targets on 30 Tom Brady pass attempts, or Ronald Jones II seeing 23 running back opportunities on only 64 offensive plays or the fact that they put up 30 or more points for the ninth time this season; but, they are now mixing in chances to return to health as their chances of the NFC bye continue to dwindle with each passing week. Tampa Bay would now need to win out, would need the Packers to lose out, and would need both the Cowboys and the Rams to lose one of their remaining games in order to find themselves atop the NFC.
With that discussion in mind, we should simultaneously expect the Buccaneers to continue to pay close attention to execution during individual plays and not push the envelope if the game is in hand. This is particularly important considering their opponent this week, a Jets team that they should have no problems dispatching. With Leonard Fournette on IR and out this week, expect Ronald Jones II to once again lead the backfield in opportunities, albeit with the additional caveat of Ke’Shawn Vaughn’s outstanding performance in Week 16 on limited opportunities. Although there was a large discrepancy in actual opportunities, Vaughn played only 11 fewer snaps than his backfield counterpart. As such, I wouldn’t immediately assume Jones sees more than the 52% snap rate he saw a week ago. Weigh those thoughts against expected ownership and the fact that this backfield has room to the upside considering the Bucs ran only 64 offensive plays last week. The matchup on the ground is a pure one, generating a massive 4.645 net-adjusted line yards metric against a Jets defense allowing the most fantasy points per game to opposing backfields (35.0). The final piece of this puzzle is the pass game roles or lack thereof. Jones and Vaughn saw a combined four targets on 30 Tom Brady dropbacks last week and there is nothing in this matchup that points to that target share increasing, particularly considering Mike Evans is due back from the COVID list.
We should once again expect this pass game to be highly concentrated, as the team continues to play without Chris Godwin. Mike Evans should return to his typical near every-down perimeter role, while Antonio Brown is moved around the formation, with Rob Gronkowski in his normal allotment of slots (85-90%), and Tyler Johnson and Breshad Perriman working in to fill vacated snaps on the perimeter. Of note, the team shifted to a much heavier 12-personnel usage rate last week, which should largely be attributed to available personnel. That said, we could see the same heavy sets once more here (almost 70% of their offensive snaps came with multiple tight ends on the field last week, and Cyril Grayson was forced into a 79% snap rate role in only his third iteration of game action the entire year). The Jets can be beaten any which way (29th in DVOA against the run, 32nd against the pass), so we need to weigh expected ownership against expected volume to define where the Bucs exposure ends up this week.
How new york Will Try To Win ::
We’ve seen a very polarized set of offensive game plans from the Jets this year, particularly over the previous five games. Three of those games (against Jacksonville, Miami, and Houston) saw Zach Wilson attempt 24 passes or fewer in games against opponents that could be run on, while Wilson attempted 42 passes and 38 passes against the Saints and Eagles, respectively. This is important information as we think through the possible angles that the Jets could take this week, in that we can side a little heavier on the assumption of rational coaching because head coach Robert Saleh has been exactly that this season – a rational coach. Against a Buccaneers team that ranks top five in most metrics against the run on defense and could be without two members of their secondary that also has a healthy Vita Vea clogging the interior of their defense, we can safely assume the game plan will include increased pass rates this week.
New York’s backfield has become a little bit easier to decipher as the season has progressed. Tevin Coleman will typically be held to a 30-45% snap rate, Michael Carter is the lead back when fully healthy and should continue to see 70%+ of the offensive snaps to end the season, and Ty Johnson is typically active but only sees work if either Coleman or Carter is out, or the game gets extremely out of hand. That said, any allure to this backfield should be focused around expected or potential game flow instead of the backfield split, as this team has so clearly adapted to individual game script to dictate their rush-pass splits for the entirety of the season. Considering the previous discussion, we’re highly unlikely to see increased workloads for any member of this backfield this week. The matchup on the ground yields a laughable 3.95 net-adjusted line yards metric against a Tampa Bay defense allowing only 21.1 fantasy points per game to opposing backfields.
With Corey Davis and Elijah Moore still out for the Jets, a good deal of our interest in this side of the game should come down to the status of Jamison Crowder this week, who has yet to practice with his calf injury. We know to expect some combination of Keelan Cole, Denzel Mims, and Jeff Smith on the perimeter, but the primary target for the Jets is likely to be whoever plays the slot. Braxton Berrios played a hefty 83% snap rate last week with Crowder out but saw only six targets on only 22 Wilson pass attempts. If we’re expecting Wilson’s pass volume to increase here, we should also expect the slot receiver’s target volume to increase as well. That makes either Jamison Crowder or Braxton Berrios highly intriguing at their low salaries. Tight end Trevon Wesco hit the IR this past week, while Ryan Griffin hit the COVID list last Friday and Tyler Kroft hit the COVID list on Monday, potentially opening up snaps for Daniel Brown and/or Kenny Yeboah. The big picture is the tight end situation is more likely to have a positive impact for either Crowder or Berrios than it would make one of the tight ends themselves viable.
Likeliest Game Flow ::
We’re likely to see the Bucs absolutely dismantle the Jets here, primarily through efficiency on offense and a suffocating defense. We’ll cover this a little more in-depth below, but the best chances of the Bucs seeing a ceiling game here rest with the Jets and their ability to put up points, driving this game environment into something more of an aggression-filled back-and-forth as opposed to a waxing. Along those lines, the Jets have scored 18 or more points in four of their last five, but have done so with a higher emphasis on their own run game (Zach Wilson attempted 24 or fewer passes in three of those five games). The likeliest scenario would lead to a much heavier dose of pass volume against the stingy run defense of the Bucs, which opens up more opportunities for Zach Wilson and the rest of the Jets offense to make mistakes, closing the loop on the aforementioned likeliest scenario. But if the Jets can muster 17+ points on the scoreboard before the fourth quarter, we could see the Bucs filtered towards increased aerial aggression for deeper into this game. Keep those thoughts in mind when building pieces of this game into your player pool this week.
OWS FAM GOOGLE DRIVE
TOP PLAYS OF THE WEEKEND
SORTABLE GREEN ZONE TOUCHES
TEAM & PLAYER DK POINTS
DFS+ Interpretation ::
By LexMiraglia10 >>
- QB rushing vs TB: Dak (13) // Hurts (44:2) // Fields (38) // Winston (40) // Heinicke (15) // Dimes (10) // Wentz (21) // Allen (109:1) // Taysom (33) // Cam (42)
- TB has allowed 2+ TDs to 8 QBs; 3+ TDs to 5 QBs
- Wilson has thrown just 7 TDs to 11 INT in 10 games
- Wilson’s only games of 20+ DK pts: 226:2:1, rush TD vs PHI // 102:1, 91:1 vs JAC
- TB faces the most pass att/g (only team of 40+)
- Wilson’s pass yds since return: 145 // 226 // 202 // 170 // 102
- TB has allowed 13 WRs of 60+ yds; 5 WRs of 100+ yds
- TB has allowed the 6th most WR rec and the 10th most WR yds on the 2nd most WR tg
- Total production in three games since losing Davis & Moore: Berrios (12:115, rush TD) // Crowder (8:59) // Cole (4:61)
- Targets in that span: Berrios (17) // Crowder (14) // Cole (10)
- No team has allowed fewer RB rush yds than TB in 2021 (nearly 100 less than next closest); No team allowed fewer yds than TB in 2020 (nearly 200 yds less); 2019 TB allowed the fewest by 100+ yds as well
- In 20 games last season, Kamara, CMC, & Cook were the only RBs to break 20 DK pts vs TB, and AK & CMC both needed 2 TDs to get there
- Gurley & AK were the only two RBs to break 20 DK pts in 2019 vs TB, and they combined for 17 rec in those 2 games
- TB has allowed four 20+ DK pt scores to RBs in 2021
- Patterson, Gaskin, Herbert, combined for 20 rec
- Patterson, Gaskin, Gibson all scored 2 TDs
- The four RBs: Patterson (7:11:1, 5:58:1) // Gaskin (5:25, 10:74:2) // Herbert (18:100, 5:33) // Gibson (24:64:2, 2:14)
- TB allowed the most RB rec in 2020 and are allowing the 2nd most RB rec in 2021 (8th most RB rec yds)
- Michael Carter has zero games of 2 TDs and just 4 TDs overall
- Carter receiving in Wilson games: 72 yds in 7 games
- Carter receiving without Wilson: 244 yds in 5 games
- Rush att last two weeks: Carter (24) // Coleman (22)
- Jets are allowing 19.4 DK pts/g and are ranked 32nd in def pass DVOA
- Jets allowed 3 QB TDs in the first 4 games
- Jets have allowed 22 QB TDs in the last 11 games
- Every QB since W4 had scored 2+ TDs vs NYJ until Lawrence last week
- 9 of 15 QBs have passed for 250+ yds vs NYJ (3 over 300 yds)
- Brady has passed for 250+ yds in 10/15 games (7 over 300 yds)
- Brady has scored multiple TDs in 11/15 games
- AB’s tg to start year (Evans/Godwin played in all): 7 // 3 // 11 // 8 // 13
- AB had 15 of 29 available tg in his first game back with Evans/Godwin out
- AB has 90+ yds in 4/6 games: 121:1 // 17 // 63 // 124:2 // 93:1 // 101
- Jets have allowed the 7th fewest WR DK pts/g thanks to the 6th fewest WR TDs allowed (10) & 3rd fewest WR rec allowed (11.1 rec/g) on the fewest faced WR tg
- WRs with 70+ yds vs NYJ: DJ Moore (80) // Patrick (98) // Higgins (97) // Diggs (162:1), Davis (105) // Hollins (72:1) // MJJ (74)
- Gronk has just two games below 8 tg all season (5, 2), (8, 8, 8, 10, 8, 9, 11)
- Gronk’s two worst games of the season (combined 3:52) have come in the last two weeks vs NOR & CAR, defenses tough vs the TE
- TEs with 40+ yds vs NYJ: Henry (42) // Pitts (119:1), Hurst (40:1) // Gesicki (50) // Goedert (105:2) // Vannett (44) // Gesicki (43) // O’Shag (49)
- Usage in first game without Fournette: Rojo (20 att, 3 tg) // Vaughn (7 att, 1 tg) // Bell (2 att)
- Yardage totals on touches: Rojo (81:1) // Vaughn (70:1) // Bell (-1)
- RoJo’s only games with 7+ att in 2021: 10:63 // 8:33:1 // 7:37:1 // 8:63 // 20:65:1
- RoJo with 15+ att in 2020: 17:66 // 20:111 // 17:106 // 23:113:2 // 23:192:1 // 18:80:1
- NYJ have allowed 35 DK pts/g to RBs; next closest is 30.7 DK pts/g
- The Jets have allowed the 4th most RB rush yds, most RB rush TDs, 6th most RB rec, & 2nd most RB rec yds/g
- Four RBs have had 60+ rec yds vs NYJ (two more of 40+) (four more of 30+)
- RBs with 80+ total yds vs NYJ: CMC (187) // Gordon (81:1) // Henry (177:1), McNichols (85) // CPatt (114) // Harris (113:2) // Mixon (91:2) // Taylor (200:2), Hines (108:1) // Gaskin (96:1) // Sanders (142), Gainwell (87:1) // AK (145:1) // Duke (127:2)
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