NFL fans didn’t get the NFC South shootout they wanted to see between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints in Week 1, but the two teams are set to face of in a Week 9 rematch at Raymond James Stadium. The Buccaneers have control of the divison but the Saints aren’t far behind. This could shape up to be a much better matchup than the first meeting between these two teams.
The Buccaneers haven’t lost in three games and blew out the Green Bay Buccaneers and Las Vegas Raiders before just edging out the New York Giants in Week 8. The tandem of Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette has worked well out of the backfield and Tom Brady’s star-studded receiving corps is set to add Antonio Brown to a group that already includes two Pro Bowl players. Evening up the season series against a divisional rival could do a lot for Tampa Bay.
The Saints have managed to win four straight games since losing back-to-back contests in Weeks 2 and 3 without Michael Thomas, who has been sidelined with an ankle injury for five games. Drew Brees has put up modest numbers without his top option but the versatility of Alvin Kamara and a strong run defense has kept New Orleans afloat. Thomas is working toward making a return in Week 9 and could give the Saints a much-needed boost against a tough opponent.
Date: Sunday, Nov. 8
Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
Notable Statistical rankings (Football Outsiders)
Saints: #7 Overall — #7 offense, #8 defense, #5 special teams
Bucs: #1 Overall — #6 offense, #1 defense, #13 special teams
Saints: +4.5, +188
Bucs: -4.5, -220
Fantasy football start/sit advice
Alvin Kamara, Running Back, $8,100
Kamara has showed up in every game this season. While the Buccaneers excel against the run, Kamara scored two touchdowns against them in the season opener and could remain the Saints’ top offensive weapon if Thomas isn’t ready to compete at a high level coming off a high ankle sprain.
Drew Brees, Quarterback, $6,100
Brees hasn’t put up star numbers but has improved significantly since his lackluster performance in Week 1. He’s been able to produce with role players while Thomas is out and the return of his W1 should open up New Orleans’ offense. I’m not saying he’ll have eye-popping stats, but he’s likely to trail Kamara and rank second among Saints players in fantasy points.
Tom Brady, Quarterback, $6,900
Brady has thrown for eight touchdowns with no interceptions since losing tot he Chicago Bears and is about to add Brown to an already dynamic receiving corps. Brady will be like a kid in a candy store if the has Evans, Godwin, Brown, and Gronk to work with. He should bounce back in a big way after falling short of expectations in Week 1.
Rob Gronkowski, Tight End, $4,900
Gronkowski’s price has dropped despite three straight games with touchdown reception. He might not have any monster games under his belt but remains a premium red zone target alongside Mike Evans.