The final game of NFL Week 11 features the Los Angeles Rams heading to Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers on Monday night football. Here’s a fantasy football preview of each team heading into tonight’s game.
Jared Goff is set to show off his middling arm under the bright light of Monday Night Football in balmy Tampa Bay. Goff has a tough test awaiting him as the he’s just lost stalwart left tackle Andrew Whitworth for the year Tampa Bay’s producing the 2nd-highest QB pressure rate (27.4%). The Bucs’ 38 QB knockdowns and 32 sacks both rank 3rd in the league and those numbers are surely lurking in the back of Goff’s in today’s pre-game prep. For the times that Goff doesn’t get rocked by a mad Buc, he’ll have the Tampa Bay secondary that’s racked up 12 interceptions (3rd) and 46 passes defended (11th). It’s going to be a long day at the office. The Rams’ signal caller is not a recommended fantasy start this week.
Although slot receiver Cooper Kupp leads the team in targets as a whole, his Week 8 box score (20 targets) inflated his lead to a serious degree. There’s a good chance that Kupp retains safety blanket rights for Goff, but downfield receiver Josh Reynolds—whose one-man stampede has vaulted himself into fantasy relevance—may be the most intriguing fantasy play of team’ three-wide grouping. Reynolds’ 12.4 average targeted air yards dwarf those of Kupp (7.2) and Robert Woods (7.7) and the Bucs have been surprisingly vulnerable to field-stretchers this year. D.J. Moore has had their number in both games this year (8/13-120 and 4/7-96-1). Jalen Guyton, seldom used by the Chargers at that point in time (Week 4) hung 1/1-72-1 on them and even drop aficionado Nelson Agholor got the job done (5/9-107-1). As is inherent to the position, Reynolds brings with him a low floor, but his odds of returning high-end flex value are strong.
Meanwhile, slot receivers have produced consistently low yardage against the Bucs, but two have managed to succeed in the red zone (ie. Emmanuel Sanders — 3/5-15-1 and 4/5-38-1 and Golden Tate — 2/3-31-1). Kupp’s solid share of the Rams red zone target market makes him a candidate for a Sanders/Tate outing but that’s a decisively capped ceiling as a flex option.
Robert Woods, the team’s best all-around receiver carries a high-floor flex value with him, wherever he goes, but his shot at a ceiling game just isn’t in the cards.
As detailed on the Tiered Running Back Rankings page (links found there), “Brown has the snaps, Henderson the past results, and Akers the Week 10 carry lead”. Tampa Bay has allowed the 2nd-fewest rushing yards (766) and the 8th-fewest rushing touchdowns (8).
Tom Brady has his cadre of pass catchers are set to do battle with a Rams defense that’s allowed the fewest passing yards (1,797) and touchdowns (9) of 2020. DL Aaron Donald and CB Jalen Ramsey will do what they can but ultimately, this Bucs pass catching corps is just too strong to bench Brady. He’s a back-end QB1.
Antonio Brown’s increasing role is the elephant in the room for Mike Evans and Chris Godwin managers. The presence of all three kneecaps the reliability, more than the potential of the three-wide grouping though. Although the Rams’ secondary is an overall solid unit, the two receivers who don’t have to face Jalen Ramsey’s coverage are good enough to overcome any cornerback—and even Ramsey isn’t perfect. A ceiling game should’nt be expected from any of these pass catchers but it’s fair to point out that number of the league’s top receivers have still managed to get the job done when facing LA (ie. Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley in Week 3, Deebo Samuel in Week 6, Allen Robinson in Week 7, and Tyler Lockett in Week 10). Consider Evans, Godwin, and Brown to be hovering around the WR 24 mark with Godwin—as evidenced by the aforementioned box score successes—as potentially the best bet. Slot receivers have had a little more success than those primarily lining up on the perimeter.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski has a been a lumbering touchdown machine over the last five weeks, hauling in scores in four of them. He’s a locked-in TE1, regardless of match-up.
Running backs Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette have taken turns pantsing their fantasy managers in recent weeks, with Jones ultimately registering the more fruitful fantasy outings. The duo has seemingly taken on a game script-dependent relationship with Jones operating as the banger back and Fournette as the passing game weapon. In what has a chance to be a low-scoring, defensive affair, Jones gets the nod as the more likely option to return high-end flex value. Running backs in good offenses are always decent flex plays though so don’t count Fournette out entirely.