While the Detroit Lions hosting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2023 NFL playoffs may not be the marquee match-up of the Divisional Round, it could be one of the absolute best for DFS contests. Jared Goff playing at home is always better than Goff on the road, the running backs get plenty of work and how do you not love what we’ve seen from Amon-Ra St. Brown and rookie tight end sensation Sam LaPorta? On the other side, no one expected Baker Mayfield to play the way he’s played all season, Rachaad White is a top-five running back in fantasy and the tandem of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin is one of the best in the league. So many weapons and a 48.5 game total makes for some seriously tasty DFS plays.
Buccaneers vs Lions Prediction: Jared Goff Always Better at Home
The Lions faithful has been waiting for so long and Jared Goff is not going to let them down here in Detroit’s second home game of the playoffs. The Lions will establish the run early with both David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs, but given the strength of Tampa’s run defense, we can expect Goff to sling the rock often against one of the worst secondaries in the game. Similarly, the Bucs will try to establish the run early with Rachaad White, but I expect them to abandon the run early and hope the offensive line can keep Baker Mayfield well-protected. Maybe they will at first, but Aiden Hutchinson is a beast and won’t be held down for long. Baker under pressure is not how Tampa wants to play it an that’s why the Lions win.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Detroit Lions Odds
- Spread: Lions -6.5
- Buccaneers (+220)
- Lions (-275)
- Total: 48.5
- Weather: Dome
Buccaneers vs. Lions Injury Report:
- Chase Edmonds, RB (toe – questionable)
- Chris Godwin, WR (knee – questionable)
- YaYa Diaby, LB (shoulder – questionable)
- Shaquil Barrett, LB (ankle – questionable)
- Kalif Raymond, WR (knee – questionable)
- Frank Ragnow, C (knee – questionable)
- Alex Anzalone, LB (shoulder – questionable)
Best DFS Picks for Buccaneers vs. Lions:
At home this season, Goff has averaged 279.7 passing yards per game and has 20 touchdowns to just six interceptions. While the Lions will undoubtedly lead with the run, they are doing it to open up play-action and Goff doesn’t even need to be at his best to beat this Tampa secondary. The pass defense funnels everything to the middle which means Goff ill be finding Amon-Ra St. Brown and Sam LaPorta across the middle all day long. Big fan of this play, even if it means the fourth quarter will be about running the ball and killing the clock. Goff will do what he needs to do before that happens.
Believe it or not, but Baker has been better on the road than at home all season and in a controlled environment, I’m a big fan of using him against a Lions secondary that has allowed the sixth-most passing yards pr game this season and allowed 28 touchdowns through the air. The big issue is going to be how the offensive line handles the Detroit pass-rush. If they get to Baker, it’s going to be a long day, but if he is given any time to find his targets downfield, he will.
Even though Vita Vea is aa top run-stuffer up the middle, I still expect a typical lean on Montgomery. He is Dan Campbell’s guy when it comes to running the football and he will lead heavily with him and use him in the fourth quarter to help chew up the clock. He’s had double-digit carries in each of the last 10 games and has eight touchdowns in that span, including one in each of his last four. Everyone loves flocking to Gibbs, so Monty becomes a nice contrarian move.
He’s the No. 1 target for Goff and the Bucs secondary is going to have major issues trying to cover him. The Lions move him all over the field, but he works best out of the slot so expect the game plan to keep him away from Jamel Dan and Carlton Davis as much as possible.
He’s the No. 1 targets for Mayfield and the Lions secondary is going to have as much trouble with him as the Bucs secondary will have with St. Brown. There are few guys who I say you absolutely have to use in your lineups this week, but Evans is definitely one of them. He’s been held out of the end zone for the last three games but I don’t see that continuing.
The Bucs may rank 13th in DVOA against the tight end, but they’ve allowed the third-most fantasy points per game to the position. LaPorta is enjoying a fantastic rookie campaign and it got even better when he shook off (and bailed out Campbell for) a Week 18 knee injury to come back and find the end zone last week. Wheels-up, baby!
Other DFS Picks for Divisional Round:
He’s been a spectacular find for so many fantasy owners this year and while you never want to look away, I just don’t see his production matching his price-tag this week. He’ll get a full complement of carries, at least until the Bucs abandon the run, but he’ll still make up some points with his work in the passing game. A solid play, but not my favorite running back this week.
We’re seeing Campbell do exactly with Gibbs here in the playoffs that he did early on in the season. Montgomery is his lead back and Gibbs is the complement. He could still find his way into the end zone which helps keep that value up, but his carries are limited and he doesn’t lineup up as a receiver nearly as much as we hoped back in the preseason. He definitely warrants exposure, especially if the Lions see that Montgomery is struggling against the tough Tampa defensive line, but I’m not going all-in on him this week.
It doesn’t sound like the current knee issue is going to keep him from playing, so getting some exposure to Godwin is a worthwhile move. The Lions rank 20th in DVOA against the opposing WR2 and 22nd against slot receivers. If Baker is throwing as often as I think he will, Godwin has a nice floor with a strong ceiling.
Something that really took shape last week was that Dan Campbell’s decision to hold back Williams and groom him to be a more well-balanced receiver worked. We watched him run routes across the middle and he found some success catching passes in traffic. If he’s going to be used more than just as a deep threat, then this could be the sleeper play everyone is going to miss….but us!
He plays a ton of snaps, he gets some red zone looks and the Lions have allowed the 11th-most fantasy points per game to tight ends this season. If you’re looking for a pay-down at the position or even want to do the two-TE thing with your flex, Otton should be considered, especially with the money he saves you.
DFS NFL Value Plays:
I waffled between Reynolds and Jameson Williams s to who I thought the better play would be and though it’s more gut-feel than anything, I think Williams can be the better play. He’ll also be chalkier, so consider Reynolds a very solid and good contrarian option, especially against this Bucs defense.
If we’re throwing some WR3 darts with Tampa, then Palmer is my guy as the one who sees the most snaps of the group. We watched him get into the end zone last week and he could do it again if he sees a similar target share to what he’s had recently.
Dart-throw No. 2 for me off the Bucs, because I like the way the Bucs use him on the outside. He also does a great job with yards after the catch and makes himself very tough to bring down. I’d take a stab here.
Dart-throw No. 3 for me off the Bucs. He’s a veteran journeyman who happened to score a TD last week, so you know people will chase him.
If he plays, he might be worth a dart-throw. Not my favorite, but shouldn’t be ignored if he’s on the field.
More NFL Divisional Round DFS Game Breakdowns:
- Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens
- Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers
- Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills