Projections sourced from Razzball’s own Rudy Gamble. Make sure to subscribe to Razzball suite of tools to help you dominate your leagues, best value on the inter-web.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-7) vs Atlanta Falcons (3-7)
O/U 51.5 , ATL -4.5 (favorites)
Implied Score: ATL 28 – TB 23.5
A clash between two 3-7 NFC South teams down in the A-T-L. Tampa Bay has surrendered 33 points per game over their previous 5 matchups and the Falcons have allowed 22, setting up nicely for the over to hit in the highest projected point total for week 12.
Jameis Winston takes his NFL’s 2nd most pass attempts per game inside the Mercedes-Benz Dome, where his offense is scoring 3.5 more points on the road (31.2 pts/g) than at home (27.7 pts/g). Atlanta’s defense ranks among the bottom 10 in the league across multiple categories; 7th most points allowed per game (26.2), 8th most 1st downs allowed per game (21.8), 7th most pass yards allowed per game (261.7), and 7th most passing TDs allowed (19). Even though Jameis Winston has thrown a league leading 18 INT’s, the Falcons defense struggles to get to the quarterback (3rd fewest sacks – 18) and force turnovers (6th fewest INTs – 6). The Falcons DST is allowing the 7th most fantasy points to opposing QBs this season, but they’ve tightened up since returning from their week 9 bye. ATL held Drews Brees to a QB20 finish (week 10) and Carolina’s Kyle Allen to a QB25 (week 11). With ATL expected to win by 4.5 and the highest projected shootout, Jameis will get the volume necessary to yield QB1 numbers. Rudy has Winston finishing as the QB4 this week. Don’t let the recent defensive success from ATL scare you away from Winston’s high ceiling, Vegas has TB scoring 3 touchdowns.
Per NFL’s Next Gen Stats, Winston has the 2nd highest average intended air yards and 3rd most completed air yards. Meaning, Bruce Arians and Jameis like to push the ball down the field. This lines up nicely for both Mike Evans and Chris Godwin as WR1 plays this weekend. The Falcons enjoy giving up yards through the air; allowing the 7th most receiving yards per game (275.6), 9th most yards per reception (11.6), and 11th most reception over 20 yards (37). Surrendering the 6th most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, the Falcons have allowed WR 14 – 5 – 19 over their previous 3 games. Rudy projects both Tampa WRs to finish top 10 at the position. In DFS, I prefer buying in with the cheaper option, but both Evans and Godwin are priced within $100 of each other. Both are viable options at the WR position.
After Evans and Godwin, TE Cameron Brate was 3rd in offensive snaps and led all TB pass catchers with a chart-jumping 14 targets (Evans 8 – Godwin 6) last week. Brate is a viable streaming option at the TE position with four teams on BYE (Travis Kelce + Hunter Henry) and injuries to starting TE’s (George Kittle, Austin Hooper, Evan Engram). Cameron is owned in less than 3% of ESPN leagues. Atlanta allowed top 15 TE finishes In 3 of their previous 4 games, including a TE6 finish to Gerald Everrett and TE9 to Jared Cook. OJ Howard was an afterthought in week 11, only recording 17 snaps (25% to Brates 75%), after finding the field for 98.8% of TBs offensive snaps in week 10. This could have been due to Howard forcing an ugly INT while attempting to haul in a pass behind his back. There might be something more to it though, Arians has failed to feature Howard with any consistency this season. If forced to choose between the two, I trust Brate in my lineup more than Howard at this point in the season. No other pass catchers in TB are receiving the snaps or volume to warrant even flex consideration.
Even though Ronald Jones has led this backfield since Arians anointed him the lead back three weeks ago, Jones found the field for less than 50% of Tampa’s offensive snaps in week 11 and recorded only 4 carries…yes, only 4 carries! It’s difficult to start Jones or any Bucs running back with Jameis expected to play from behind. The Bucs completely gave up on the run game last week, recording 6 totals rushing attempts to 51 passing attempts. The Falcons are allowing the 14th fewest fantasy points to opposing RBs but have leaked production in recent weeks, allowing top 16 finishes at the position in their previous 4 games ( RB1 – RB11 – RB16 – RB15). Jones should be viewed as a low end RB3/Flex this week against ATL.
Rudy’s projected QB2 for week 12, Matt Ryan gets his thanksgiving feast a week early. It’s difficult to find a passing or receiving stat where Tampa doesn’t rank in the bottom 10. The Bucs are allowing the most points per game (31.3), 5th most 1st downs per game (22), 2nd most passing yards per game (290.9), 2nd most passing TDs (25), 6th fewest INTs (6), and 7th fewest sacks (22) (SORRY MB!!). It’s easy to see why Ryan is projected so high. Ryan is $700 cheaper than the top priced option at the QB position on DraftKings and a clear option for those looking to pay up at the position. Over the last 4 weeks, TB has surrendered QB 10 – 4 – 1 – 10 finishes. Don’t over think this one.
Matt Ryan will be inviting both Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley over for a pre-thanksgiving “Friendsgiving” against the Bucs. Tampa is allowing the most fantasy points to opposing WRs this season and are fresh off allowing WR 4 – 1 – 1 finishes over their previous 3 matchups (Michael Thomas – Christian Kirk – Tyler Lockett). The common thread, all three receivers play a lot of their snaps from the slot. Calvin Ridley is getting served a juicy matchup to build off his 8 catch, 143 yards, 1TD outing last week. Julio Jones come in as Rudys #1 projected WR and is followed by Ridley at WR11. Ridley is offering huge $1,500 discount from Jones ($8,000) this weekend and is the 13th priced receiver on Draftkings at $6,500. Since trading Mohammed Sanu to the New England Patriots, ATL WR Russell Gage has received the biggest spike in usage. Recording 13 targets since Sanu’s departure, Gage gets additional opportunity with TE Austin Hooper expected to miss another week. Missing from Gage’s box score in week 11 was his overturned receiving touchdown which would have put him in double digit fantasy points. If you’re looking for a “punt” at WR that has decent upside, Gage is an intriguing option at $3,900. It’s unfortunate Austin Hooper owners will be without the overall TE2 this season, Hooper was ruled out for week 12 earlier in the week. Tampa Bay is giving up the 2nd most fantasy points opposing TEs this year. Backup Luke Stocker recorded 0 targets last week and Jaeden Graham recorded an uninspiring 2 catches on 2 targets for 23 yards. Neither backup received a single target in the red zone in a game where ATL posted 29 points. There are plenty of other streaming options at the TE position this week than playing with fire in Atlanta. Jacob Hollister – Ryan Griffin – Noah Fant – Cameron Brate – Dallas Goedert – Ross Dwelley (if Kittle sits for another week) are all viable options for those looking to stream at the position.
I warned everyone last week to pump the brakes on Brian Hill, hopefully you were able to avoid the fantasy let down. The Falcons running games is bottom of the league in rushing TDs (3rd fewest – 4), rush attempts per game (3rd – 20.8), rushing yards per game (3rd – 74.5), and yards per rush attempt. This week they get a matchup against a Tampa defense that, prior to week 11, were at the top in every major defensive rushing category. Devonta Freeman remained sidelined at practice both Tuesday and Wednesday, he would need to record at least a limited practice on Friday to have a chance on playing this weekend. With Atlanta favored by 4.5, it’s plausible that whoever is the starting back on Sunday for the Falcons will get there fair share of carries to help run down the clock down. Neither Freeman or Hill provide a high ceiling, but would be low-end flex options depending on who gets the start.
Leave your lineup questions below in the comments or @ me on twitter. Good luck in week 12!