TNF Fantasy Preview: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Carolina Panthers

Mike Fanelli | September 12th, 2019

Last week’s Thursday Night Game was a boring game, in large part due to two impressive defenses and two underwhelming offenses. The matchup this week should be more entertaining between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers. Entering week two, several fantasy storylines have changed due to injuries and underwhelming opening week performances. One of those players was Jameis Winston, who had a horrible game against the San Francisco 49ers, throwing three interceptions and losing a fumble. Will he bounce back in week two?

General Fantasy Preview

As mentioned, Winston really let fantasy owners down last week, scoring just 7.1 fantasy points against a poor 49ers’ defense. Fantasy owners may hope he rebounds this week but I wouldn’t expect it. The Panthers held Jared Goff to just 9.4 fantasy points last week. On the other side of the ball, the Buccaneers’ defense should offer plenty of upside for Cam Newton and company. Last week Newton scored just 5.4 fantasy points against the Los Angeles Rams but should shake off whatever rust he has from a preseason injury to take advantage of this Buccaneers defense. Christian McCaffrey exploded for 42.9 fantasy points last week, making him the RB1 after week one and the second-highest overall scorer. Obviously, McCaffrey is a must-start each week but he could have his second 40 plus point performance in as many weeks come tonight.


Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers

Last week Newton disappointed fantasy owners, scoring just 5.4 fantasy points while finishing the game with no touchdowns and a pair of turnovers. He also didn’t produce on the ground, rushing three times for negative two yards. However, tonight he should shake off the rust from his preseason injury and take advantage of a poor Buccaneers defense. Last week the Bucs gave up 10.4 fantasy points to Jimmy Garoppolo but he also had a poor game. On a short week, facing a division rival at home, I expect Cam to come out firing (and running) and take advantage of the Buccaneers defense.

Ronald Jones, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Maybe I won’t have to die on this hill after all. During the offseason and preseason, many gave up on Jones, understandably so. Last year he averaged just 2.3 fantasy points per game and was the perfect buy-low player for dynasty owners during the winter. However, Jones out-touched Peyton Barber 14-10, while picking up 48 more scrimmage yards with his touches. Last week the Panthers gave up 17.3 fantasy points to Malcolm Brown and 11.1 to Todd Gurley. While Jones won’t give you 20 plus fantasy points tonight, he a solid flex play with RB2 upside.

Panthers D/ST

All I need is three words here: Winston turnover machine. Last week against the 49ers Winston had three interpretations, all returned for a touchdown and two fumbles, he did recover one. Needless to say, that is an awful performance for what’s supposed to be your franchise quarterback. The 49ers D/ST finished with 28 fantasy points last week, easily best in the league. Winston isn’t likely to have another four turnover game but the Panthers should get pressure on him and force turnovers or get sacks. It’s a revenge game for Gerald McCoy and I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets two sacks tonight.

Stay Aways

Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Given everything I said about the Panthers D/ST are you surprised to see why I’m staying away from Winston this week? If the Buccaneers still had Ryan Fitzpatrick as their backup quarterback, Winston wouldn’t have finished the game against the 49ers. Four turnovers resulting in 18 instant points for the 49ers should have gotten him benched. Hopefully, Winston bounces back tonight but I have him outside my top 20 quarterbacks this week and would look to the waiver wire for a better option. Winston is a must sit until further notice.

Peyton Barber, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I was never a big fan of Barber. While he had some good games last year, he struggled in week one. He averaged 4.1 yards per carry against the 49ers while Jones was much more productive with his touches. Jones might be starting his second-year breakout, which leaves Barber with little upside as the team’s RB2. Combine a lesser role with the fact that the Buccaneers are likely to be in a negative game script in the second half tonight, Barber should be on your bench and maybe even on the waiver wire.

Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers

Sadly, Olsen’s days as a fantasy-relevant tight end are over. He has missed 16 games over the last two seasons because of foot injuries and the Panthers’ offense has changed during that time. McCaffrey is the focal point of the offense, while young wide receivers D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel have growing roles in the offense. Combine his limited role with his current back injury, fantasy owners can find a better streaming tight end on the waiver wire.

Questions and comments?

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