Welcome to the second installment of our fantasy football picks for the Buccaneers and their opponents this season. With the Saints on the schedule for Week 2, it means there are players from both teams who will be valuable this week in fantasy football.
But which ones will be the best plays this week? Here are the best five options, in order.
1. Jimmy Graham, Saints
And you thought Kellen Winslow was bad?
Graham is going to find open space over the middle of the Tampa Bay defense all game long. So unless the Buccaneers can get pressure on Drew Brees and force mistakes, Graham will be open and ready to move the ball down the field.
Mark Barron might be used as a man-to-man defender for Graham more often than he was against Winslow and Jeff Cumberland in New York this past Sunday. But even that isn’t going to stop Graham from being himself and being an impossible to cover target for the Saints.
2. Doug Martin, Buccaneers
He’s going to have a fullback, and he’s going against a weaker defense. Don’t chicken out and throw him on your bench, because this is Doug’s week to bounce back.
The Saints allowed Steven Jackson to carry the ball 11 times for almost 80 yards, including a 50 yard run. That means he didn’t get going on 10 of his carries, but he did break a big play. That’s all Doug Martin needs to get going and build confidence.
3. Vincent Jackson, Buccaneers
Vincent Jackson was force-fed the ball against a good defender on a day when Josh Freeman wasn’t at his best, and came away with monster numbers.
Imagine what he’ll do against a worse defense?
Jackson will have a much more favorable matchup this weekend, and Josh Freeman is going to continue to force the ball to his favorite receiver. Start Jackson every week until further notice.
4. Drew Brees, Saints
Brees isn’t the best play at quarterback this week, because the Buccaneers have an improved defense. But he’s going to find Nick Toon, Kenny Stills, Lance Moore and Jimmy Graham because none of them will be covered by Darrelle Revis, in addition to short passes to his versatile running backs Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas.
But it’s likely that Marques Colston will be locked out of the game by Revis, so that does lower Brees’ value just a bit.
5. Darren Sproles, Saints
Remember how often running backs have gotten open against the Bucs in the flats so far in 2013? Going back into the preseason, the Bucs have been burned by Ray Rice, Shane Vereen, and eventually Bilal Powell last week.
If the Bucs can’t stop these backs, they definitely can’t stop Sproles.
If you play in a PPR league, weeks like this are why you have Sproles. He’s going to catch 8-10 short passes, and he could turn any one of them into a big gain.