By Kenny Bowers
Sometimes I don’t mind being wrong. Last week was one of those, as Cam and the Panthers did work last week, 36-21. From the 2nd quarter on, this was a Super Bowl contending team. It was great to see DJ Moore break out against a tough Ravens D that we made look silly. This week, we go from one of the best defenses to arguably one of the least effective in Tampa Bay. We also go from a game that had little DFS appeal last week to one that should be very popular, especially on the Panthers side. Let’s go in and see what’s cooking!
Cam Newton ($6,600 DraftKings, $8,600 FanDuel): Cam is the 2nd most expensive QB on both sites this week behind Pat Mahomes. Believe it or not, Tampa Bay actually leads the league in interceptions with 15. However, the last 4 weeks the Bucs have given up a league worst 172 points, and this is more realistic Tampa D. This is what makes Cam an attractive play in all fantasy formats, the potential for him to be the top QB of the slate. He’s on pace to easily set a career high for completion percentage at 66.4%, and that has plenty to do with Norv Turner’s offense. Aside from an obscure off game, I don’t see Cam disappointing DFS and season long players who roll with him.
Projections: 250-275 passing, 3 TD, 0 INT; 50-60 yards rushing, 1-2 TD.
Christian McCaffrey ($7,800 DraftKings, $7,900 FanDuel): Touchdowns are gold in fantasy football. Those 6 points can easily be the difference between cash and no cash, ask anyone who had Todd Gurley last week. CMC doubled his TD total for the year with 2 last week, which salvaged a day where he had only 56 scrimmage yards. When playing CMC for DFS, you have to hope that he is heavily involved in the passing game to make up for the relative lack of goal line touches. Like last week, anything outside the 5 he will get an opportunity to punch it in. More often than not though, if you need 1 yard, you’re giving it to #1. As I have mentioned, this is a Bucs D trending in the wrong direction, so if you’re playing CMC you have hope that he can break off a big play and get in the end zone at least once this week. I think he can do it.
Projections: 60-75 yards rushing; 5-7 catches, 60-75 yards, 1 TD
Wide Receiver: Up until last week, there was a battle for touches for the 2nd WR. After last week, first round pick DJ Moore ($4,300 DraftKings, $5,300 FanDuel) looked to separate himself from the pack with 5 catches for 90 yards and 39 yards rushing on 2 carries. If you’re playing DFS and looking to stack the Panthers, Moore’s price is one you can’t pass up. Devin Funchess ($5,600 DraftKings, $6,400 FanDuel) remains the #1 option, and perhaps with Moore being a more reliable threat, it will take some heat off Funchess and allow him more play making opportunities. Greg Olsen ($4,700 DraftKings, $6,200 FanDuel) turned in a nice performance last week getting into the end zone for a second straight week. His DFS price is right on the border of being pricey for a TE, but if you have him in your season long leagues, let it rip. Don’t forget about Curtis Samuel ($3,500 DraftKings, $4,600 FanDuel), who is a high risk/reward play, but along with McCaffrey and Moore, is capable of making your day with one big play.
Projections: Funchess: 4-6 catches, 50-60 yards, TD
Moore: 4-7 catches, 60-75 yards; 20 yards, TD
Olsen: 3-5 catches, 40-50 yards, TD
Samuel: 2-4 catches, 30 yards,
Wright: 2-3 catches, 25 yards
Defense/Special Teams: Ryan Fitzpatrick. I’m very nervous about this game from the defensive side because of him. That sounds insane to say out loud, but there’s no doubt he has a connection with these TB receivers (specifically Desean Jackson) that Jameis did not. Problem for them is we have one of the fastest CB’s in Donte Jackson, who should be matched up with his fellow burner. I would be more worried about Mike Evans matched up on Bradberry with Evans’ height being a factor. Far as getting to Fitzmagic, that shouldn’t be much of a problem for our guys. His mobility will cost him some sacks, and hopefully cause a fumble. I don’t see Peyton Barber being much of a factor, as my hope is we can withstand a couple of big plays and overall control the pace of the game and force Fitzpatrick to use all the Fitzmagic he has .
Projections: 21-28 points; 4-6 sacks, 3-4 TO’s
This is a great game to be a homer and play DFS. I will be playing Panthers in most of my lineups, as I think Cam and company will be great plays in a high scoring affair. Specifically, I would look to pair Cam and DJ Moore with Moore’s low price being too good to pass up in my opinion. Good luck with your DFS and season long lines, and as always, Keep Pounding!
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