Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers
Bank of America Stadium
Lightning Storm (caused in-game delay)
Final: Bucs 20-14
Spread: CAR -6.5
This season could not have gotten off to a worse start for the Panthers than it has. They’ve lost each of their first two games and both were played at home. Something isn’t right with Cam Newton and that’s obvious. He’s yet to throw a touchdown, has been sacked six times and has a career-low QBR of 23.1.
The Bucs were the ones doing all the right things offensively. Did they look fantastic? No. But they held the ball for seven minutes longer offensively and dominated the ground game, out gaining Carolina 100 to 39. Jameis Winston wasn’t careless with the football, which was good to see, as he threw zero interceptions.
There are a lot of questions that will stem from this game that will need to be addressed in the upcoming weeks, mainly on the Carolina side. What is wrong with Cam Newton ? Why did Christian McCaffrey only touch the ball 18 times?
Peyton Barber - If Week 2 was any indication on how this backfield will shape out for the remainder of the year, it looks like 2018 all over again. Barber dominated the touches out touching Ronald Jones and Dare Ogunbowale a combined 19 times. Barber only averaged 3.6 YPC, but he rushed the ball 23 times and got into the end zone. If we expect Bruce Arians to turn to the ground game like this on a weekly basis, Barber can be looked at as a weekly FLEX option.
Chris Godwin - Two weeks, two touchdowns for Godwin who’s been Jameis Winston ’s clear cut number one receiver. He’s seen more targets (15-13), has more receiving yards (174-89) and Evans hasn’t scored. If you’re a Godwin owner right now, you’re sitting in the driver's seat. He’s a high-end WR2 on a week-to-week basis.
Greg Olsen - Although Olsen was third in terms of pecking order when it comes to targets, he led his team with 110 yards on six receptions. Prior to the 2017 campaign, when the injuries started, Olsen notched five straight seasons with 100-plus targets and had three seasons over 1,000 yards as well. He’s healthy now and with Newton struggling, Olsen is likely to be relied upon frequently.
D.J. Moore - 14 targets. 14. Cam Newton may not be 100-percent, but we should all be OK with him throwing Moore the rock 14 times. He capitalized on those targets catching nine passes 89 yards. He led the team in receptions and targets which should be the case on a week-to-week basis.
Curtis Samuel - If you read the Fantasy Alarm chat on a daily basis, you’d see that there were a LOT of Curtis Samuel doubters. Those doubters may have changed their minds after his big Week 2 as he caught five passes for 91 yards and did so on 13 targets. The targets are ideal, the yards per catch (18.2) are ideal and Samuel is an ideal FLEX option each week.
Cam Newton - Yes he threw for 333 yards, but he didn’t throw any touchdowns nor did he get anything going on the ground. If Newton isn’t running the football, his value is truly diminished considering he’s thrown for less than 25 touchdowns for three straight years. It might be time you make a move to acquire another QB until Newton figures it out. IF he figures it out.
Christian McCaffrey - Sure McCaffrey had 16 carries, but how can the Panthers only get him the rock twice through the air? This is a guy who’s caught 80-plus passes in his first two seasons including 107 last year. He was dreadful on the ground. Non-existent in the passing game. Expect the consensus top-three pick to have a monster outing in Week 3.
Mike Evans - Evans and Jameis Winston have not had a good rapport to start this year as Evans has caught only 6-of-13 targets through two weeks of the year. Evans has had 1,000-plus yards and 70-plus catches in every year he’s been in the NFL. That being said, if he has an issue with the guy delivering him the football, that’s obviously an issue for his fantasy value.
O.J. Howard - Not only did he not have any catches, he didn’t even have any targets. TARGETS! The worst part is, he was on the field for 92-percent of the team's offensive plays. With Godwin and Evans drawing so many targets from Jameis Winston , it’s hard to consider Howard a TE1 unless things change.
There were no injuries to report.