Fantasy Five: Best Fantasy Football Picks for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Detroit Lions


Nov 17, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) looks to pass the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the third quarter at Heinz Field. The Pittsburgh Steelers won 37-27. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will leave the friendly confines of Raymond James Stadium and hit the road for Detroit, where they will take on the Lions this week. And if you have any Lions or Buccaneers on your fantasy football roster, you might be wondering who the best options are.

Here are my picks for the best plays this week in fantasy between the old NFC Central rivals.

1. Matthew Stafford

Yes, his favorite receiver will be covered by Darrelle Revis. But even if Megatron is shut out, Stafford will find a way to get the ball to his secondary options in the passing game. The Buccaneers have shown they struggle to contain receivers that aren’t covered by Revis, and that will be especially true with Keith Tandy replacing Dashon Goldson at safety.

Also consider the impact the screen game will have, as the Lions are not afraid to drop the ball off to their running backs and let them do the work. The Buccaneers have struggled mightily to contain short throws to backs all season, and the Lions may exploit that on Sunday.

2. Vincent Jackson

Much like last week, when the Falcons had no one to cover Vincent Jackson, the Buccaneers’ best receiver will likely get open as often as he likes against the Detroit defense. And since it’s clear someone sat down with Mike Glennon and told him to target Vincent Jackson until the wheels fall off, he’s a safe bet to see the football plenty of times against Detroit.

3. Bobby Rainey

It’s also evident that someone sat down with Mike Sullivan and told him he needed to run the football more often. And since it’s been working in recent weeks, he’s certainly made strides in getting the running game going with smart playcalling that the opposing defenses just can’t stop.

The Buccaneers have plenty of talent blocking for the run, and Rainey has proven to be a very capable runner. Look for him to have another solid day.

4. Reggie Bush

As I mentioned earlier, the Buccaneers have struggled to contain the screen game so far this season. And with Dashon Goldson out, they’re lacking one of their ballhawks from the secondary who usually flies in to close down short throws to running backs.

Bush could be in for a big day through the air, even if he’s not able to run reliably against the Buccaneer run defense. Look for a handful of catches and a big play or two from the dynamic running back.

5. Detroit Defense and Special Teams

So often, fantasy football players focus on getting the defense that will allow the least amount of points as their fantasy defense. That’s a flawed way to go about it, because a defense that will create turnovers and get sacks will net more points than a defense that allows fewer points but doesn’t have the same opportunistic mentality.

The Detroit defense probably isn’t owned in your fantasy league, but if you need a bye week replacement, pick up the Lions. They have the interior pass rush to give the Buccaneers fits on Sunday, and might force a turnover or two while sacking Glennon multiple times.