Both the Los Angeles Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers got through last week’s wild card games without much trouble, turning aside the Cardinals and Eagles, respectively, in lopsided wins. Things won’t be so easy this week, when the Rams travel to Tampa Bay for a divisional round showdown between two high-powered offenses. Let’s take a look at the matchup from a DFS showdown perspective.
Injuries to monitor
The most notable injury in this game, from a fantasy perspective, is definitely Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette. He’s working his way back from a hamstring injury that’s had him on the shelf since Week 15, but he was back at practice on Wednesday. That was a walkthrough, but he’s at least trending in the right direction. His backfield mate Ronald Jones is still dealing with an ankle injury, and he was not able to practice on Wednesday. Breshad Perriman, Cyril Grayson and Gio Bernard are also dealing with injuries this week, but Grayson feels like the biggest stretch to play.
For the Rams, offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth did not practice on Wednesday. He suffered a knee injury last week against the Cardinals, and ended up missing a significant amount of time in that game.
Captain’s chair picks
Matthew Stafford, QB, Rams — $15,000
Despite some criticism late in the season, Stafford had an absolute banger last week against the Cardinals. He threw for 202 yards and a pair of touchdowns, racking up more than 24 points in DK leagues. He didn’t throw any picks either for the first time in four games. The Rams are going to have to pass a lot in this one to keep pace with the Bucs, setting Stafford up for big points. The last time these two teams played, back in Week 3, Stafford threw for 343 yards and four touchdowns.
There are three players with higher captains salaries than Stafford, but two of them have a more volatile fantasy outlook, making Stafford a relative bargain.
Tom Brady, QB, Buccaneers — $16,200
The top two receivers in this game, Mike Evans and Cooper Kupp are going to get a lot of attention as DFS picks. They’re also going to get a lot of attention from the opposing defenses, both of which happen to be pretty good. From a fantasy perspective, it makes their production outlook tougher to nail down. However, both of these teams are going to be throwing the ball a ton in this one, making each quarterback a solid, safer choice for a captain spot on your roster.
Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Rams — $8,400
Cooper Kupp has the highest salary of any player on the board for this game, and understandably so. My concern with Kupp is that he’s going to get a lot of attention from the defense. That should open up more looks for Beckham, who had a strong outing last week against the Cardinals when he caught four passes for 54 yards and a touchdown.
Cam Akers, RB, Rams — $7,400
The Rams have learned to love the run lately, leaning into their ground game late in the season. There’s no reason to believe they won’t try to do it again this week. Akers carried the ball 17 times for 55 yards last week. He’s still splitting time with Sony Michel, but Akers had a clear edge in touches.