Fantasy Football 2014: Buccaneers at Falcons 9/18/14 Week 3 Preview
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-2) at Atlanta Falcons (1-1)
Thursday, September 18, 2014 8:25 PM ET CBS
Kicking off Week 3 on “Thursday Night Football” this week, we’ve got a pretty interesting matchup featuring the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Atlanta Falcons. The Buccaneers (0-2) dropped their opener but gained some ground with a close loss against St. Louis in Week 2. As for the Falcons (1-1), they seemed bewildered by the Bengals in Week 2 and need to get back on track in a competitive division.
As you might expect, there will be plenty of notable fantasy football contributors out there on the field Thursday, so with that in mind let’s take a closer look at the key players on each side to see what we should be expecting from our rosters as we get Week 3 started.
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Josh McCown, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: McCown is a fantasy enigma heading into Week 3. He was razor-sharp with the Bears, but with the Bucs, he’s simply not supplying the right numbers.
That said, there’s some hope here. We realize McCown will have his ups and downs, but as a backup QB in fantasy he’s not a bad pickup. We don’t expect much out of him this week, but if expectations are tempered, he’ll deliver.
Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons: Ryan was awesome for fantasy owners in Week 1. He posted 448 yards on the way to a promising beginning. Week 2 was a different story. He put up 238 yards in total but also hung a trio of interceptions on his stats.
With Tampa’s questionable defense, Ryan should have a solid matchup on his hands. We see him getting a solid line in Week 3.
Bobby Rainey, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: With Doug Martin out, Rainey got the start and crushed the Rams defense for 174 total yards in Week 2. He posted 144 yards on 22 rushes alone, igniting the offense in an ultimately futile effort.
That said, Rainey has an obstacle to overcome in Week 3 in the form of Doug Martin. Whether or not he’s healthy--and whether or not he starts--will determine his fantasy value here.
Steven Jackson, RB, Atlanta Falcons: No one expected much from Jackson this season, and his draft status fell quite a bit. Thus far, he’s been pretty unremarkable as expected, even though he’s the Falcons’ No. 1 rusher.
So, all of that boils down to Jackson being a “meh” option once again in this game. He’ll get the bulk of the carries, but that’s a designation that doesn’t mean much. Don’t expect a whole lot here.
Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs’ No. 1 receiver hasn’t been able to make much of a dent in the fantasy game thus far. In Week 2 Jackson put up just 51 yards, frustrating the owners who drafted him as a top option.
Will things get better? We surely hope so; Jackson is too talented to continue this futility. Look for a breakout this week.
Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons: Jones has been the man in Atlanta so far, and Week 2 was no different. He finished the game with 88 yards and a score against the Rams, but so far hasn’t shown the breakout numbers most expected.
Jones lives by the Falcons’ offensive numbers as a whole; Week 2 was an aberration. He’ll clean up against Tampa; Keep the faith.
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