Last updated: November 6th at 5:42pm ET.
Team Totals: Bucs 28, Cardinals 24
Visiting Tampa Bay on a mini-bye after giving undefeated San Francisco a 28-25 Thursday night run for its Week 9 money, the Cardinals’ passing game is set up to beat up Bucs DC Todd Bowles’ pass-funnel defense, which has yielded top-15 QB1 results in six straight games, including four top-five outcomes. Kenyan Drake’s addition and David Johnson’s (ankle) return add juice on offense, while Kyler Murray has mostly been a high-floor, high-ceiling rookie with top-15 scores in 6-of-9 weeks, including three top-seven finishes over his last five starts. Cards-Bucs offers all kinds of DFS game-stack possibilities with Murray as a potentially key component. … With Chase Edmonds (hamstring) still sidelined, Arizona’s backfield will morph into a two-man ordeal featuring Johnson and Week 9 star Drake, who poured 162 yards and a score on the previously-impenetrable 49ers after barely practicing with his new team. Kliff Kingsbury’s spread run game has shown matchup-proof tendencies, while Tampa’s run defense sprung Weeks 8-9 leaks by allowing 192 yards on 36 carries (5.33 YPC) to Titans and Seahawks backs. As Cards backs collectively average 25 touches per game, and backs facing the Bucs average 23, we can project 24 touches to divvy between Johnson and Drake. I’m giving them 12 apiece with leans toward the passing game and expected efficiency on the ground in a potential shootout. Both are upside RB2/flex plays.
Kingsbury ran a horizontal passing attack in last week’s loss; not a single Cardinal topped 30 Air Yards. With Christian Kirk healthy, David Johnson returning to siphon targets, and Drake a plus receiver, the Cardinals lack a truly bankable fantasy pass catcher. … Here’s how Week 9 routes were distributed: Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald 27; Maxx Williams 15; KeeSean Johnson 14; Andy Isabella and Charles Clay 10; Pharoh Cooper 8; Trent Sherfield 1. … Despite Kirk and Fitzgerald’s recent lack of productivity, Sunday’s matchup is favorable enough for both to experience spiked weeks. Allowing the NFL’s most fantasy points to wide receivers, Tampa Bay is particularly vulnerable on the interior, where DC Todd Bowles’ secondary has hemorrhaged 684 yards and eight touchdowns on 96 slot targets (7.2 YPA), including big games to Tyler Lockett (13/152/2), Cooper Kupp (9/121/1), and Sterling Shepard (7/100/1). Kirk and Fitzgerald both run over 80% of their routes inside. An especially exciting DFS-tournament play, Kirk is popping in Week 10’s Buy Low Air Yards Model. Kirk did play outside far more than usual in Week 9’s loss to San Francisco, but it seemed out of necessity with Damiere Byrd (personal) inactive. … Williams offers mild matchup-based streamer appeal after playing a season-high 75% of Arizona’s Week 9 offensive snaps. Evan Engram (6/113/1), Jared Cook (6/78/1), Greg Olsen (6/110/0, 4/52/0), George Kittle (8/54/0), Gerald Everett (5/44/1), Anthony Firkser (3/43/0), Jared Cook (4/41/1), Tyler Higbee (4/41/0), Josh Hill (3/39/0), and Jacob Hollister (4/37/2) have all met or beaten PPR expectations against the Bucs. … Even after Isabella turned his first NFL catch into a thrilling 88-yard score in last week’s second half, Kingsbury insisted Isabella’s Week 10 role won’t change. He’ll keep sharing time with Byrd and KeeSean Johnson.
Forever a better fantasy than real-life quarterback, Jameis Winston returns home after dropping Week 9’s QB10 result on Seattle to face a Cardinals defense that’s been shredded by enemy passers for top-ten fantasy outcomes in 7-of-9 games and top-three QB1 finishes in three of the last four weeks. Both Arizona and Tampa Bay rank top five in offensive plays per game, foreshadowing a probable track meet. Jameis is playable in DFS cash games and tournaments, optimally in stacks with Chris Godwin. The Cardinals play man coverage at the NFL’s eighth-highest rate; Winston’s TD-to-INT ratio is 8-to-1 against man and 6-to-10 versus zone. … Finally anointing Ronald Jones as Tampa Bay’s lead back, Bruce Arians walked the talk by devoting year highs in snaps (55%), carries (18), touches (20), and routes run (18) to Jones against Seattle. Dare Ogunbowale remained involved as the Bucs’ passing-down and two-minute back but touched the ball twice. Peyton Barber was the biggest loser with four touches on 12% of the snaps. Even as Jones’ floor remains unsafe based on his still-minor passing-game role, he should be teed up confidently as an upside RB2 versus the Cardinals, against whom enemy backs are collectively averaging a generous 4.41 yards per carry and 28.3 touches per game. Another 20-plus-touch workload is firmly within Jones’ reach in this plus draw.
Jameis’ 2019 target distribution: Mike Evans 83; Chris Godwin 71; Ogunbowale 25; Breshad Perriman 24; Cameron Brate 21; O.J. Howard 18; Scott Miller 13; Barber 12; Jones 11; Bobo Wilson 10. … In addition to targets, Evans has more yards (842), touchdowns (7), and Air Yards (1,268) than Godwin (766/6/7/778). Evans is also averaging 2.57 yards per route run compared to Godwin’s 2.26. Now that we’ve determined who the Bucs’ best receiver actually is, we’ll expect the Cardinals agree and shadow Evans with Patrick Peterson. Thankfully, Peterson has struggled mightily since returning from his six-game suspension with completions allowed on 14-of-17 targets (82.4%) for 204 yards (12.0 YPA) and two scores. Evans ranks No. 2 in the NFL in targets of 20-plus yards downfield, while Arizona has surrendered the league’s second-most 20-plus-yard completions (39). Winston-to-Evans DFS stacks will likely be lower owned than they should be this week. … Godwin still has a better one-for-one matchup; the Cardinals have been drilled for 808 yards and a whopping ten touchdowns on 83 slot targets (9.73 YPA), while Godwin runs 64% of his routes inside. Godwin promisingly popped in Week 10’s Buy Low Air Yards Model. … Perriman is a sensible dart throw after he operated as Tampa Bay’s clear-cut No. 3 wideout in last week’s loss to Seattle, drew eight targets, and caught a touchdown pass off a deflection. Perriman has run 40-plus routes in each of the Bucs’ last two games. … Due back from his two-game hamstring injury, colossal fantasy bust Howard catches the best matchup he’ll face all year against a Cardinals defense allowing the NFL’s most fantasy points per game to tight ends. Brate barely played in last week’s defeat after aggravating his ribs injury at Seattle.
Score Prediction: Bucs 28, Cardinals 27