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Fantasy Football Picks: Buccaneers vs. Lions DraftKings NFL DFS Saturday Showdown Strategy

Stan Son preps you for Saturday’s 1:00 p.m. ET contest between the Bucs and the Lions with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

For this week, we have a matchup between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-5) visiting the Detroit Lions (5-9). DraftKings Sportsbook has the Bucs favored by 9.5 points with the Over/Under at a healthy 54 points. The Bucs enter this matchup winning two in a row and can clinch a playoff spot with a victory, while the Lions have lost two in a row and are counting down the days. To compound matters, much of the Lions coaching staff, including Darrell Bevell, are unavailable due to COVID-19 protocols.

Can the Lions turn their whimper into a roar? Let’s dig in from a Showdown perspective and find out.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $100K Showdown Special [$25K to 1st] (TB vs DET)


Big Play Payday

Opt-in and if a 20+ yard touchdown is scored in the 4th quarter of Saturday’s TB vs. DET game, you get an entry to a $100K contest next Sunday (1/3). See the DraftKings Big Play Payday page for more details!



Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Detroit Lions

SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Captain’s Picks

Leonard Fournette ($12,000 CP) - Ronald Jones II isn’t playing in this game, so it will be the Fournette show. Again. Last week, Fournette garnered 66% of the snaps, rushing 14 times while received five targets. He also scored two touchdowns from the one-yard line.

With the Lions being the 28th in rush defense DVOA, this matchup is one of the juiciest in football. They have also allowed the most fantasy points to the running back position. The 9.5-point spread portends for lots of rushing from the Bucs in this one.

That being said, it’s also important to note the Lions they are the proud owners of the worst pass defense in the league. So, there is some risk with this selection. Should Detroit put up points, Tom Brady has reason to feel comfortable throwing more.

But, even if the game script turns more pass-heavy, Fournette is involved in the passing game and gets the goal line carries.

Matthew Stafford ($16,200 CP) - I know, the price is steep. The Bucs are stout on defense, especially against the run. They are rank first in rush defense DVOA and only three teams have eclipsed the 100-yard mark against them all season: Vikings, Saints, and Giants.

Unfortunately, the Bucs are also seventh in pass defense DVOA, but it’s the path of least resistance. They have held four teams to under 200 yards passing and only three quarterbacks have gone over 300 yards. However, last week, Matt “The Ice has melted” Ryan torched them for 369 yards.

If you think the Lions are going to score points, the likeliest avenue is via the arm of Stafford.


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FLEX Plays

T.J. Hockenson ($6,400) - The Bucs defense is seventh-most generous to opposing tight ends. Much of that is due to the coverage of linebacker Devin White, who’s allowed 79 receptions on 91 targets (86% catch rate) for 712 yards and four touchdowns. The passer rating against is 113.9.

Hockenson is a physical freak and his PlayerProfiler page is a sight to behold. I mean, the best comparable is listed as Travis Kelce.

On the season, he’s received 92 targets (second on the team) and caught 60 for 675 yards and six touchdowns. He also leads all Lions receivers with 15 red zone looks. Again, if the Lions are going to score points, it’s likely through the air, with Hockenson being a primary weapon.

Marvin Jones ($8,200) - Sensing a theme here? With Kenny Golladay (hip) out, Jones is the alpha of the wide receiver group. Since Week 10, he’s received 10, 6, 12, 12, 8, and 12 targets.

In the secondary for the Bucs are Jamel Dean, Carlton Davis, and Sean Murphy-Bunting. Dean and Davis are allowing a passer rating under 96, while Murphy-Bunting is the weak link, allowing a 133.3 passer rating. They have all given up at least five touchdowns, though.

The Lions move Jones all over the formation, so I’d imagine they hunt Murphy-Bunting quite often in this one.

Antonio Brown ($7,200) - All of the Bucs receivers could feast in this one, but I’m focusing on Brown mainly because of the price. He’s $1,400 cheaper than Chris Godwin ($8,600) and $2,200 less than Mike Evans ($9,400). While he’s been playing fewer snaps than both of them, Brown is receiving comparable targets — and actually received the most red-zone looks (two) last week.

Reminder: the Lions have the worst pass defense in the league. Amani Oruwariye, Justin Coleman, and Mike Ford man the secondary, while the defensive line is 28th in adjusted sack rate. Not a good combo.


Fades

D’Andre Swift ($10,400) - Swift is a fantastic player but this matchup is a tough one. The Bucs have the best run defense in the league. They are so good that teams don’t even bother trying, with the 243 rushes against Tampa Bay being the fewest by 15.

There is a modicum of hope, though, for Swift because the Bucs allow the most receptions to running backs (90) and are second in RB targets. Unfortunately, he’s the third-highest priced player on the slate and Adrian Peterson ($3,000) is still involved around the goal line.


THE OUTCOME

I love home dogs and can easily see a scenario in which the Lions cover the 9.5 since Stafford can produce magic and has some explosive offensive weapons. I can’t see them outright winning, though — the defense is just too porous and Tom Brady ($11,800) is too good.

Final Score: Tampa Bay 35, Detroit 27

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $100K Showdown Special [$25K to 1st] (TB vs DET)


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