Last updated: December 5th at 9:30pm ET
Team Totals: Bucs 25, Colts 22
All but lost without T.Y. Hilton (calf) and more recently Eric Ebron (ankles), Jacoby Brissett enters Week 14 with four straight fantasy scores of QB16 or worse for a nevertheless tempting matchup at Tampa Bay. Nine of the last ten quarterbacks to face the Bucs banked top-15 results, and only two teams have allowed more touchdown passes than Tampa (27). Ultimately, Brissett is a middle- to high-end two-QB-league starter with several conceivable pathways to success and several more to failure. … The Colts’ Week 14 backfield distribution will obviously depend on Marlon Mack’s (hand) health. If he can’t go, we’ll be staring at a potential three-man committee after Jonathan Williams was abruptly benched for Jordan Wilkins last week, Wilkins went on to outplay him and out-touch Williams 13 to 9, and Nyheim Hines remained the Colts’ passing-down back while also vulturing a goal-line score. If Mack does play, he’ll be a risky RB2 against a Bucs front that’s resumed playing lights-out run defense keyed by interior difference makers Vita Vea and Ndamukong Suh. If Mack sits, Wilkins will be the best dart-throw flex.
Brissett’s Week 13 target distribution: Jack Doyle 11; Zach Pascal 10; Marcus Johnson 6; Jordan Wilkins and Ross Travis 3; Nyheim Hines 2; Jonathan Williams and Ashton Dulin 1. … A predictable monster in Ebron’s first game away, Doyle’s Week 14 matchup is even better against the Bucs, who’ve allowed the NFL’s second-most fantasy points to tight ends. Doyle logged Week 13 season highs in targets, snaps (94%), routes run (40), and production (6/73/1) against Tennessee. … Pascal also capitalized on Hilton and Ebron’s Week 13 absences for a career-high 109 yards and was used in aggressive downfield form with 127 Air Yards, 12th most in the league. Popping in this week’s Buy Low Air Yards Model, Pascal warrants upside WR3 treatment against a Bucs defense permitting the NFL’s most fantasy points to wide receivers. Pascal ran 41% of his Week 13 routes in the slot and drew four of his ten targets there; slot WRs Tyler Lockett (13/152/2), Cooper Kupp (9/121/1), Sterling Shepard (7/100/1), Russell Gage (8/76/0), Larry Fitzgerald (8/71/0), and Dede Westbrook (5/60/1) have ripped up Tampa Bay’s defense. … Johnson served as Indy’s clear No. 2 receiver in last week’s loss to the Titans, running nearly as many routes (40) as Pascal (43) with Dulin a distant third (25). Johnson’s stat lines are 4/55/0 and 4/38/1 in his last two games as a full-time player, giving Johnson deep-league WR4 life in an optimal draw. … Devin Funchess (clavicle) is done for the year, but Parris Campbell is a super-deep sleeper coming back from his gruesome four-week hand fracture. In Campbell’s two starts this year, he caught five balls in each, was used aggressively on the ground, and returned kicks as a player the Colts aimed to feature. On top of Ebron, Hilton, and Funchess, the Colts will be without slot man Chester Rogers (fractured knee).
Jameis Winston’s Week 14 matchup is no cakewalk against Indy’s big-play-preventing zone; 9 of the last 11 quarterbacks to face the Colts have logged fantasy results of QB12 or worse, while Jameis’ struggles versus zone continued in last week’s win over Jacksonville with four sacks absorbed on 37 dropbacks, Winston’s lowest fantasy score (QB24) since Week 1, and his 25th turnover through 12 starts. Still, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and perhaps even O.J. Howard are capable of doing enough individual damage to keep Winston’s box-score outlook afloat as a high-variance season-long QB1 play. … Despite benching Ronald Jones for blowing a first-half blitz pickup in last week’s win, coach Bruce Arians vowed on Wednesday to stay the course with Jones as Tampa Bay’s starting tailback. Indianapolis’ run defense has been all over the place – shutting down enemy backs for 3.40 yards per carry and zero rushing TDs in Weeks 8-12, only to get trampled by Derrick Henry (26/149/1) last Sunday – rendering Jones’ Week 14 matchup difficult to assess. Arians’ commitment to Jones also remains as tenuous as any coach-to-running back’s in the league. All of that makes Jones a boom-bust flex option in a backfield where Peyton Barber and Dare Ogunbowale aren’t going away regardless of Arians’ nominal-starter decree.
Jameis’ Week 13 target distribution: Mike Evans 11; Chris Godwin, O.J. Howard, and Breshad Perriman 6; Ogunbowale 2; Cameron Brate and Justin Watson 1. … Evans drew eight-plus targets for the sixth time in Tampa Bay’s last seven games in Week 13’s win over Jacksonville and is popping as Week 14’s No. 2 buy-low player in Josh Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards Model. Scoreless in four straight despite ranking third in the NFL in targets inside the ten-yard line (10), Evans is also a screaming positive-touchdown-regression candidate. He checks a lot of boxes as a DFS-tournament play. … The Colts’ loss of slot CB Kenny Moore (high ankle sprain) upgrades Godwin’s matchup; Moore allowed just one touchdown pass on 51 targets in Weeks 1-13. Godwin’s week-to-week production has become less stable with Tampa incorporating more ancillary pass catchers like Perriman, Brate sporadically, Scotty Miller previously, and even Howard of late, but this is not the time nor place to shy away from Godwin as a WR2 with WR1 upside. … Howard’s floor is a literal goose egg, but he’s back above 78% of the snaps in consecutive games and turned six targets into five catches for 61 yards in last week’s win, while Indy’s zone defense has yielded the NFL’s ninth-most receptions to tight ends (62). Howard is a classic boom-bust streamer.
Score Prediction: Bucs 27, Colts 23