Week 13 MNF Fantasy Preview

  • Saints (+4) @ Buccaneers (-195) O/U: 40.5


    One of these two teams have won the NFC South title in each of the last five seasons, so few probably could have predicted that this primetime matchup in Week 13 would feature both with losing records. And yet, both are still squarely in the hunt for the division title even though all teams in the division actually have losing records. The Bucs were dealt a tough blow last week when All-Pro RT Tristan Wirfs suffered a high ankle sprain that could knock him out for roughly a month. Wirfs was the fourth-best graded tackle in football according to PFF, so it’s going to be a sobering absence that will be felt by the entire Tampa offense. It hasn’t been all bad injury news for the Bucs, as both WR Russell Gage (hamstring) and RB Leonard Fournette (hip) practiced and could both be making their return this week. The Saints, meanwhile, will look to shake off their first shutout loss in over two decades against a Bucs defense that has underperformed this year and is just middle of the pack overall.




    Andy Dalton remains the starter over Jameis Winston for now, but don’t rule out the possibility of that changing if the Saints offense continues to slog after scoring just three points in their past five quarters of play. Dalton needs to execute better in the red zone, and he might have one less reliable target in that area on Monday with TE Juwan Johnson not practicing with an ankle ailment. The QB also needs to diversify his target tree a bit more beyond Chris Olave. As previously mentioned, the Bucs’ defense as a whole has been mediocre, but their secondary is still a standout unit that ranks fourth-best according to PFF grade. Dalton is a very low-end QB2 option in superflex/2QB leagues.



    We know that Alvin Kamara is far too talented to continue slumping like he has for basically the past month now. Mark Ingram has been limited with a foot injury, so Kamara should continue to carry a heavy workload. The versatile back has not averaged better than 3.5 YPC in five straight games now, and now has to contend with the Bucs’ third-best run defense just a week after getting stonewalled by the Niners’ top run-stopping group. It’s unfortunately going to likely be tough sledding in the passing game for Kamara too — the Bucs have limited running backs to the fewest receiving yards in the league. Kamara is the kind of elite talent that could smash through bad matchups on paper, but fantasy managers should keep realistic expectations especially of the ceiling this week.


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