Fantasy football leagues are in the final weeks of the regular season, and that means many players are looking to get every advantage they can to get much-needed wins and sneak into the playoffs.
And while you’d have to be pretty desperate to pick a Tampa Bay Buccaneer or Atlanta Falcon player this week, as neither team boasts top-notch fantasy options, it is my weekly duty to point out the best players this week for everyone’s favorite fake football game.
1. Atlanta Falcons Defense/Special Teams
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense/Special Teams
This should be an ugly, low-scoring game. Neither team has anything resembling a good offense at the moment, and injuries have set back each team in a serious way.
Atlanta gets a slight edge because they have the quarterback who is less likely to make mistakes, and they established in their first meeting this season that they’re capable of scoring against Tampa Bay Buccaneers with limited weapons.
But either way, the defenses are a safe bet in this game. The point total should be low, and there will likely be sacks and turnovers to boost the point totals.
3. Brian Leonard
If there’s a Tampa Bay Buccaneer to use this week, it’s the “new” starting running back who will likely see a majority of the touches as a runner and will chip in as a receiver. Mike Glennon seems to have lost faith in feeding Vincent Jackson over and over, and the running game has gained some steam over the past few games.
Leonard is not a special athlete. But he is a reliable runner and receiver who will be featured heavily in the Tampa Bay offense.
4. Darius Johnson
Harry Douglas and Tony Gonzalez aren’t practicing this week, and Roddy White is limited with a shoulder injury. And as we all saw against the Miami Dolphins, obscure receivers who won’t draw the attention of Darrelle Revis have a chance to have a big day against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Enter Darius Johnson, who has been one of the no-name receivers attempting to fill in for Julio Jones and the other injured Falcon receivers. He hauled in his first touchdown of the season last week, and would be a candidate to pick up the slack should White, Douglas or Gonzalez fail to play.
5. Vincent Jackson
Mike Glennon might not be throwing it to Vincent Jackson quite as often as he usually does, but he’s still the only big play threat Glennon has for those moments when Greg Schiano and company insist upon throwing the ball deep down the field.
Jackson is the best player on offense for the Buccaneers, and by a wide margin. He might not be the most consistent receiver this season, but you don’t lose points in fantasy for drops (unless you do, in which case, find a new league). If the Buccaneers are going to make a big play on Sunday, it will be through Jackson.