Man Up/Step Aside TNF Week 5
Thursday night games are hit or miss and more probable than not they’re a miss. However, I love this game between these two teams, and it feels somewhat as if it’s being swept under the rug a bit, but the potential ceiling for high scoring on both sides is definitely there.
Oh what a difference a year makes. Last year, New England ranked on the top end of their highly ranked defense, a year later they are dead last. Although I’m not ready to bet on the 2-2 Patriots at the moment, they lead the league in total offense averaging 424 yards per game. Need another reason to ride with the Pats on Thursday? They’re on a nine-game winning streak while on the road.
Tampa Bay just pulled an exciting bounce-back game to defeat a desperate Giants team and Jameis Winston looks to carry the momentum at home in his first showdown with Tom Brady. The Bucs defense has been pretty stingy to opposing offenses when Gerald McCoy is healthy, but the Bucs are currently dealing with multiple defensive injuries. Which makes it an intriguing game because we already know what Winston can do with his pass-catchers in Humphries, Jackson, Brate and Evans.
Dont give up on Desean just yet. He’s still an explosive player and the season is still relatively young. Desean has expressed frustrations, but Winston has been targeting him by taking some deep shots down the field, and Thursday night feels perfect for these two connecting against the Pats weak secondary.
Just like Jackson owners, fantasy players have been frustrated with Cooks as most took him to be a WR 1 only to see Chris Hogan fill that Wes Welker/Julian Edelman void. Cooks is hard to ignore here though with the high scoring potential, and is due for a bounce back game.
This is mainly for PPR leagues. In standard you’re hoping for a big day or a touchdown or two. In PPR Amendola is a great flex option, and the Buccaneers have allowed the most PPR points to receivers this far into the season.
Tight end land is dryer than the Sahara desert and if you have Cameron Brate at least you have a guy who’s one of Winston’s favorite targets. Brate went for 80 yards and a touchdown in Week 4 and is a weekly starter with the targets he’s getting.
Howard has a bright future in the NFL, but don’t fall for his huge 58-yard-catch and run that went for a touchdown against the Giants. Brate is still the TE to roster on the Bucs, and Howard is still more of a stash if you’re holding on to him.
Gillislee is an interesting play here, but he’s so dependent on touchdowns it’s risky business when you are playing him. There’s a chance he falls into the end zone here once or twice, but Gillislee has been taking more of a backseat to James White. If you have better options look elsewhere if possible.
Doug Martin/Jaquizz Rodgers
Finally Martin is back and according to his history this is a year that he’s due for a top ten performance, but Thursday night is not that night. I know this could very well bite me, but Rodgers has also made a strong case to be very well involved in this offense and I see a committee between these two Thursday night. Even if Martin was getting the bulk of the carries just the fact that he needs to find that in-game rhythm he’s a Step Aside for me as well as Rodgers, because figuring out which back will fall into the end zone is a headache as it is.