Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers
Game Time: Thursday, September 12 at 8:20pm ET
Spread: Panthers -5
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jameis Winston – It was an ugly start to the season for Winston as the 49ers defense kept the pressure on him and he continued to make poor decisions in a state of panic. He threw two pick sixes and was sacked three times. The Panthers don’t exactly have a scary defensive line, but the Bucs offensive line didn’t look great. If Winston is your starting fantasy quarterback you definitely want to see a good game this week or the panic might start.
Peyton Barber – Barber got more carries, and had one nice 14 yard run, and then the mediocrity set in. The second half didn’t do Barber any favors, and he lost carries to Ronald Jones . The Panthers did allow over five yards a carry to the Rams, but the Bucs line isn’t as good as the Rams. It will be tough to trust Barber in Week 2.
Ronald Jones – While it seemed like Peyton Barber could hold the starting job for a while again in 2019, the second half of the game was all Ronald Jones . He carried the ball 13 times for 75 yards and had one catch for 18 yards. Jones looked shifty, agile, and somewhat explosive. You’d have to think right now if you were going to start one Tampa Bay runner against the Panthers it will definitely be Ronald Jones .
Mike Evans – Sure Week 1 was a total disappointment especially in a game that was projected to be a big one for him, But Evans is still an elite receiver and won’t be held down for long. He should bounce back in a big way. This offense is too good to be held mostly in check two weeks in a row. If Evans let you down this past week, the upcoming week will be far better.
Chris Godwin – Godwin led the team in receiving with a paltry 53 yards, but did score a touchdown to save his fantasy day. He will still operate out of the slot, which should ultimately yield him more opportunities. Cooper Kupp had seven catches for the Rams out of the slot and there’s a good chance that Godwin could see those type numbers in Week 2.
O.J. Howard – When your offense really doesn’t get in sync, it is hard for anyone to accumulate impressive stats. Howard looked particularly bad though, and his usual reliable hands were not there. He had a very catchable ball bounce out of his hands and was intercepted, and he also lost a fumble in this game. He did show his explosive ability, but was super sloppy in Week 1. Continue to start him and know there are better days ahead for Howard.
Cam Newton – Newton failed to throw a touchdown pass in this game, and if you had to sum up his performance in one word it might be inefficient. Despite the fact the team scored 27 points, it never felt like Newton was in control, and his typical added fantasy value running the ball was gone. He had negative two yards on the ground, and admitted to feeling rusty. That could be the case as Cam is still dealing with a nagging injury, but the concern is real and he will need to bounce back in Week 2.
Christian McCaffrey – What a day Sunday was for McCaffrey! He led the team in rushing yards, receptions, and receiving yards, and totaled 209 yards from scrimmage. His two touchdowns also made his fantasy owners extremely happy. There is basically no stopping this guy. It’s full speed ahead this week and every week.
D.J. Moore – Moore had ten targets for the Panthers which ended up being good for seven catches for 76 yards, making it a solid game for Moore. There should be much more where this came from for Moore, and the fact that Cam Newton wasn’t overly good in this game makes his stat line even more impressive. Moore is a must start again this week against the Bucs.
Curtis Samuel – A player everyone was excited about coming into the season, Samuel disappointed with just four targets and three catches in Week 1. Despite scoring 27 points, the Panthers offense was never really in sync, and everyone should have better numbers against Tampa’s spotty defense. Samuel should definitely have at least five catches and 75 yards this weekend.
Greg Olsen – Olsen actually had the third most targets on the team with nine, which is an incredibly encouraging number. The only thing that holds Olsen back is injury, and while he is nursing a back injury, he is expected to play. Tampa did give up eight catches for 54 yards to George Kittle in Week 1, and he had a touchdown called back from a penalty. Olsen should be someone you can trust Thursday.
Summary: Jameis Winston looked very pedestrian when under pressure last week, and the Panthers should be able to muster a pass rush on him. The Buccaneers will have zero answer for Christian McCaffrey and the Panthers should get in the win column in Week 2 in a fairly easy fashion.
Prediction: Panthers 27, Buccaneers 17