XANDAMERE’S SHOWDOWN SLANT
Week 8 starts with the Ravens visiting the Bucs for a 45.5 total game with Baltimore currently favored by 1.5. This is a tricky game because Tampa has fallen way, way below expectations this year, while Baltimore has been a wildly volatile offense of late. Hopefully, this gives us some edge over the field!
On the Bucs side, we’re seeing Leonard Fournette’s role vary from week to week. Fournette has four games of 76% or more of the snaps but three games of 62% or under. On the whole, Fournette’s role is solid, with 9.4 Draftkings points in every game but one, though the Bucs tendency to pass in the red zone means he only has one rushing score on the year. His explosiveness also seems to be gone, as he’s averaging just 3.5 yards per carry behind an offensive line that ranks 28th in the league in adjusted line yards (yikes). His passing game role is robust, which gives him outs regardless of game script or rushing success. Behind Fournette, Rachaad White has seen consistent involvement in the offense with 26 carries and 19 targets on the season. He’s a bit pricey at $4,800 and is only viable in tournaments, but the whole “RB2 in Showdown” thing makes him quite viable.
Ownership updates automatically
In the passing game . . . are we seeing the end of Tom Brady’s career? The Bucs have not exactly faced a murderer’s row of defenses, and yet they’ve only scored more than 21 points once and have failed to crack 20 four times, culminating with last week’s atrocious performance against a Carolina team that just traded away its best offensive player. I have continued to use the Bucs in DFS slates because I believe the upside is still there (Brady’s passing metrics still look fine on the whole), but just recognize this team does not seem to be the offensive juggernaut that we’ve seen in the past. In addition, four of their five main pass catchers (Mike Evans, Russell Gage, Julio Jones, and Cameron Brate) are all questionable, making Chris Godwin and TE2 Cade Otton the only fully healthy members of the receiving corps. For now, I’m going to assume them all in, and writing up a complete set of if/then statements for all of the possible combos is pretty daunting, so if guys are out I’ll come back around to this article with an update as we get closer to game time.
So, assuming full health, we know that Mike Evans and Chris Godwin will be full-time players while Julio Jones and Russell Gage should split reps in some fashion. But, we haven’t seen all four fully healthy this year so we don’t really know how it’s going to play out. As always, I lean Godwin for floor and Evans for ceiling. Godwin is generally going to see a bit more volume and higher catch rate passes, while Evans’ touchdown equity is greater. Gage and Julio will impact each other, and I don’t really have any indication of who’s going to play more. I would max 2 of Godwin, Gage, and Julio (Godwin running out of the slot impacts Gage as well, who can play on the perimeter, but that’s where Julio plays; you could also consider just a max 1 of Gage and Julio, but I prefer casting my net a bit wider in the large-field tourneys). Breshad Perriman and perhaps Scotty Miller will play a handful of snaps as rotational pieces. At tight end, Brate should play the lead role if he’s healthy, but Cade Otton has almost certainly earned a role as well, so I’d expect a split between the two that leans slightly in Brate’s favor. At $5,000, Otton is too expensive to be a “good play” if Brate is active, but he can certainly be left in tournament player pools, as he’ll be on the field and will earn targets, and should be very low owned. Brate at just $800 would be one of the strongest value plays on the slate, perhaps the strongest, but be aware that Baltimore Showdown slates tend to see a lot of ownership on value plays due to the price of Lamar Jackson, Mark Andrews, and of course on this one we have a bunch of expensive Bucs as well.