Welcome to the third installment of our fantasy football picks for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their opponents this season. With the New England Patriots on the schedule for Week 3, 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. Doug Martin, Buccaneers
The Bucs’ offense hasn’t been great so far this season, but Martin is hitting his stride with the return of Erik Lorig and Davin Joseph (who was a shell of himself during Week 1).
Martin doesn’t have a great matchup this week, but neither does anyone else in this game. So unless Rob Gronkowski makes a surprise appearance in this game, Martin is the best option in fantasy on either side of this matchup.
2. Tom Brady, Patriots
The Buccaneers have a stout defense, but Tom Brady is still Tom Brady. Just as Drew Brees managed to find a 300-yard performance against the Bucs in Week 2, Brady can throw for a decent amount of yards against a tough opponent in Week 3.
Don’t expect a dominant Tom Brady, though. The Buccaneers proved against New Orleans that they’re not going to be victimized by a superstar quarterback in 2013.
3. Vincent Jackson, Buccaneers
Josh Freeman might go 7 of 33 for 165 yards, but chances are that would include 5 catches for 100 yards from Vincent Jackson. Jackson is so good, and so highly targeted, that he’s startable even if you don’t trust Josh Freeman at all.
4. Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots
Yes, he’s a kicker. But if you play in a salary cap game or any other form of fantasy where you have the freedom to pick any kicker you’d like, Gostkowski is a solid pick this week.
The Buccaneers have a very strong “bend, don’t break” mentality on defense, but the Patriots have a strong enough offense to work the ball into scoring position a few times. Gostkowski may have as many as four or five chances to add three points to the scoreboard, and points to your fantasy team.
5. Julian Edelman, Patriots
If you play in a PPR league, Edelman is a must-start wide receiver this week. The Patriots have chosen to forgo a running game and keep the ball out of fumble-prone Stevan Ridley’s hands. Instead, they have chosen to use the short passing game as a staple of the offense, which means Edelman is going to be a primary target on offense, even if he isn’t gaining huge chunks of yards at a time.
It’s unlikely that Darrelle Revis is going to spend that much time covering Edelman, so he should get his chances.