Aug 8, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) works out prior to the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Welcome to the first installment of our fantasy football picks for the Buccaneers and their opponents this season. With the Jets on the schedule for Week 1, this may be one of your best chances to flex your muscles and show off your team spirit by putting Buccaneers in your fantasy lineup.
But which ones will be the best plays this week? Here are the best five options, in order.
1 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense
This just seems wrong after last season, doesn’t it? The Bucs’ defense and special teams will be a great play this week, as they will have plenty of chances to create turnovers and sacks against rookie QB Geno Smith. The Jets don’t have the offense to rack up serious points and yards, either, so if your league factors in those categories for defense, the Bucs are an even better play.
If you play in daily fantasy leagues, like DraftKings, Fanduel, or any of the other great options out there, you’ll find that the Buccaneers’ defense is quite cheap this week. Use that to your advantage when building your roster in a salary cap game. (I have been using the Kansas City defense, personally, because they’re playing the Jaguars, but the Bucs are a great option, as well)
Aug 29, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) on the sidelines during the first half against the Washington Redskins at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
2 – Doug Martin
It would make sense for Doug Martin to be first, but I don’t think it’s a lock that he has an incredible day. There are other running backs out there with good matchups (Stevan Ridley versus Buffalo and Alfred Morris versus Philly come to mind), and the Jets figure to have a decent defense led by the guru Rex Ryan.
Martin will be the workhorse for the Buccaneers’ offense, so he’ll get yards and he’ll probably score. But don’t expect the performance he put up against the Raiders last season.
3 – Mike Williams
Mike Williams gets the nod over Vincent Jackson for week one, because he’s going to have the better matchups in the passing game. Vincent will likely move into the slot from time to time, but Mike Williams will almost certainly have rookie Dee Milliner on him for most of the game. Williams hasn’t had the most reliable hands this preseason, but I have a feeling he’ll be a bit more motivated to hold onto the ball when the game means a bit more than an exhibition.
4 – Vincent Jackson
Vincent is still a good play this week, and if you took him as a top wide receiver in your leagues, you need to start him. But he’s going to be up against a formidable opponent in Antonio Cromartie, so don’t expect too much from VJax.
5 – Josh Freeman
Josh has been quite the polarizing figure this offseason, as the national media decided to spark a controversy that has turned into a raging fire among Buccaneers’ fans. But no matter what you think about Freeman, you can expect to see a decent day from him against the Jets on Sunday. Pro Football Focus graded the Jets out lower than the Buccaneers in pass rushing last season, meaning there isn’t a lot of bite in the front seven for New York.
Freeman will have time to throw, and that should lead to a decent fantasy football performance.