On paper, this matchup looks tremendous. Two of the best to ever play the game, Tom Brady and Drew Brees, will take their stacked teams head-to-head in what should be the start of a battle for the NFC South.
We already have a good idea where the Saints sit, as they’ve continually put together strong teams under Sean Payton and Drew Brees. They are stacked offensively and defensively and are ready to make a run deep into the playoffs. The Buccaneers on the other hand are stacked offensively and defensively but have done zilch yet.
That zilch should turn into tangible wins on the field soon though, as the team added Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, first-round offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs, while keeping their strong defensive line intact and of course their top wide receiver duo of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. This team should be good both offensively and defensively and we’ll find out quickly if they are ready in this matchup.
Date: September 13
Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
Notable Statistical rankings (Football Outsiders)
Buccaneers (2019): 12th vs. Pass, 1st vs. Rush
Saints (2019): 13th vs. Pass, 5th vs. Rush
Buccaneers: +3.5, +148
Saints: -3.5, -182
I believe in these Buccaneers, but I’ll go with the team with more continuity from last season. The Saints should be able to pick up where they left off last season without much trouble, while the Bucs have a bunch of new moving parts to get in synch on game day.
DNP: WR Mike Evans (hamstring)
Limited: S Andrew Adams (hamstring), CB Parnell Motley (hamstring), CB Ryan Smith (ankle)
DNP: WR Mike Evans (hamstring), LB Jason Pierre-Paul (not injury related)
Full: S Andrew Adams (hamstring), CB Parnell Motley (hamstring), CB Ryan Smith (ankle)
DNP: DE Marcus Davenport (elbow), P Blake Gillikin (back), C Cesar Ruiz (ankle)
DNP: DE Marcus Davenport (elbow), C Cesar Ruiz (ankle)
Limited: CB P.J. Williams (hamstring)
Fantasy football start/sit advice
Tom Brady, Quarterback, $6,500
If you think this Buccaneers team can get Bruce Arians high-powered offense rolling in Week 1, then Brady is going to put up fantasy numbers. The Saints defense is good, but this game has a 50-point over/under and the Bucs are stacked with playmakers.
Chris Godwin, Wide receiver. $7,100
Godwin gets usage out of the slot and should be able to avoid Marcus Lattimore more than Mike Evans. He scored three touchdowns against the Saints last season and I expect will pick up where he left off.
Jared Cook, Tight end, $5,500
Cook took a while to get cooking with Drew Brees last season as he was new to the offense and both had injuries. But they did get things going and Cook was a big play machine in the second half of the season. Emmanuel Sanders could take some looks away, but the Buccaneers were poor against tight ends last season and I expect Brees to hurt them deep with Cook at least once.
Tre’Quan Smith, Wide receiver, $4,000
You’re already playing Brees, Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara, but Smith is a high upside wildcard worth considering in GPPs. He has had a good camp and looks like he’s in the lead for the No. 3 receiver job, which has big play upside.