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First off a mea culpa on forgetting the Dolphins had signed Duke Johnson when going over the main slate earlier. Sure it makes sense to me to start and utilize your talented running back Myles Gaskin over a new acquisition who by and large has had about 6 seasons since he was relevant, but they will probably win with Duke so formally I apologize to you the reader for missing it.
Ok – Saints Buccaneers. Given this history between these two teams and given the last several years “big games” and “big moments” and NFC competition, this matchup on Sunday Night Football should have me chomping at the bit … but I will be honest, it really doesn’t.
Look the reality is anything can happen on any given Sunday and we have come to expect that here in Week 15 of 2021. But on paper, I just don’t know how the New Orleans Saints are going to keep this game truly competitive. The two biggest offensive threats on this team are the Quarterback Taysom Hill and the running back Alvin Kamara. The Buccaneers have largely been excellent this season against running backs and I would have to imagine that the Bucs are game planning around slowing and stopping Kamara as best they can.
So that leaves Taysom Hill and his ability to run. If Kamara is slowed or bottled, it’s up to Hill and his legs – and his arms. The Bucs have been not great at all against wide receivers – but this Saints lineup of Marquez Callaway, Deonte Harris and Tre’Quan Smith hardly are inspiring and by the way, Harris is already ruled Out tonight.
It also doesn’t help that 5 of the top priced players on this slate are Buccaneers. This will lead with a lot of lineups with cheap New Orleans Receivers stacked with Tampa Bay studs and not a ton of variance. So here are my top Captain Picks for each team, ranked by how I see them and after that I’ll get into some Lineup Construction Strategy. I really apologize, but I am just not crazy about this game.
CAPTAIN PICKS: Buccaneers
Tom Brady – Highest Priced Player, near 60% owned. Brady has a playoff run and potential fight for a #1 Seed in his sights and I know all to well what Brady can do when he has targets like that to focus on. The Saints are 24th against Quarterbacks.
Mike Evans – I think of the big 3 Buccaneers pass catchers, Evans will see the least ownership as players will likely recognize the history between Evans and the Saints’ Marshon Latiimore. At home in New Orleans Lattimore and the Saints held Evans to 2 for 48 and a score. It’s a different ballgame though with this Evans at home in Tampa Bay however. New Orleans is 24th against Wide Receivers.
Rob Gronkowski – Gronk was injured and held out for 3 games during the last meeting between these two teams, but if Brady has a big day – dollars to donuts, Gronk will as well. For what it’s worth, the Saints are 9th in the league against tight ends.
Chris Godwin – the highest owned of the Buccaneers pass catchers, Godwin is coming off of Back to Back 100+ yard games. However he has had a 3 game drought since his last touchdown. You have to like Godwin though despite the ownership. In week 8 he took the Saints for 140 yards and a score. However, also keep in mind – Gronk was off the field in that game.
Buccaneers Defense – The Bucs at home in the playoff hunt against Taysom Hill. I’ll take a shot. #Analysis
Saints Captain Picks:
Taysom Hill – The Highest Owned Saint on the slate despite what I said above it does appear that his thumb has healed and I am sure he will do everything he can to keep the Saints in this game. If he runs for 100 and a score, he’ll likely be in a winning lineup in a tournament.
Mark Ingram – If you want to find a way to get different on this slate, give Mark Ingram a shot at Captain – or I also love the idea of Ingram at MVP on FanDuel. He is coming off a stint on the Covid list, but he has had double digit touches in the last 3 games and 4 or more targets in 2 out of the last 3. Of any of the “names” on this slate he is by far the lowest owned.
Alvin Kamara – Second only to Taysom Hill for ownership on the Saints. In Week 8 the Bucs held him to 19 carries for 68 yards and a score, plus only 15 yards receiving. I think a lot of people will be rostering Kamara at Captain but if he ends up with 68 yards and a score and 15 yards receiving again, it is a lot to be desired considering his high price tag (second only to Brady in terms of salary cost). Play at your own risk – and I hate writing that about Alvin Kamara.
Lineup Strategy & Dart Throws:
Honestly the Saints have way more in the way of dart throws for you to save some salary with, starting with their wide receivers Marquez Callaway who is seeing about 20% ownership, Tre’Quan Smith who is seeing about 25% ownership, Lil’Jordan Humphrey who is Questionable seeing about 20% ownership. If Humphrey sits, Kenny Stills should be the #3 wide receiver and is solid dart throw too. You also have the versatile Ty Montgomery who may see a target or two, especially if Humphrey sits. By the way – I love Humphrey’s speed and explosiveness and if he plays he is my favorite Dart Throw of this group.
You also have the Saints Tight Ends, Adam Trautman (who is likely to be activate from the IR tonight) and with Troutman back, I would add Nick Vannett and Juwan Johnson as deep dart throws.
Lastly not a dart throw but a Saint to consider here is the kicker Brett Maher. I see him being busy tonight. And I of course should mention, I have no problem using the Saints defense as a flex play too.
If I am using Taysom Hill in the Captain, I think starting the stack with Kamara or Ingram is paramount. I would try to limit the pass catchers to 2 wide receivers or a WR and TE. My favorites being Humphrey, Callaway, Smith, Trautman, Stills, Vannett in that order.
If I am using Kamara at Captain, I don’t mind stacking with Hill and I even don’t mind also including Ingram in that stack. I think this build would be good to use the Kicker Maher in as well. I am not really as into using a Saint WR in a Kamara led stack, or Ingram led stack … I think the story you are trying to capture here is all of the Saints scoring is coming from Kamara-Hill-Ingram and Maher.
I think you are probably wondering why I haven’t said anything about Leonard Fournette. The Saints have been lights out against running backs this season and even held Fournette to 26 yards on the ground and 17 yards receiving and 17 yards through the air. Additionally he is coming into the game with a Q tag. I do have to wonder if this might be one of those Ronald Jones out of nowhere games. Either way, I am not entirely fading the Buccaneers backfield but I won’t be going heavy on it in my lineups either. I do love that no one is playing a cheap Ronald Jones, at least as of right now.
My favorite Buccaneers dart throw won’t be playing tonight as Breshad Perriman is on the Covid-19 list. Boo. So from a dart throw perspective, you can put RoJo on the list as well as Tyler Johnson, Scotty Miller and TE Cameron Brate.
If I am building with Tom Brady I am starting my stack with Godwin – just too much consistency to ignore. I also like the Brady – Evans stack but prefer it with Evans at Captain. Of course if Godwin is at Captain, Brady needs to be stacked. Anyway back to Brady, I’d include Gronk in any stack with Brady at Captain and I also like mixing in the kicker Ryan Succop here.
As I mentioned if I am using Evans or Godwin at Captain I am stacking with Brady and I am not including any other pass catchers. This is a decent spot to use Fournette or Jones, Succop the Kicker and then I also like including the Buccaneers Defense. The story here is that Evans or Godwin and Brady have taken this game over and Uncle Lenny has cleaned up on the goal line and the Defense has done their job.
If I am using Gronk at Captain the stack with Brady is paramount and then I’d use one other passcatcher, most likely Godwin and the Kicker.
Lastly if I am stacking with the Buccaneers defense at Captain, I am going one of two ways. 1). I am building a Buccaneers Onslaught with Brady and a Pass Catcher + a running back. 2). I am also using the Saints defense, both kickers, Brady and a pass catcher + either Kamara or Hill.
Good Luck in Your Contests!