On Nov. 6, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers shut down quarterback Jameis Winston to rest his injured shoulder. He is expected to miss at least two weeks.
Winston said he did not aggravate the sprained AC joint he suffered three weeks earlier. The injury happened before halftime on Sunday when he was sacked by Cameron Jordan and Alex Okafor.
Coach Dirk Koetter said he was definitely hurt after the play. That led to backup Ryan Fitzpatrick replacing him. With Winston out, how will the other players respond without him?
Mike Evans and Desean Jackson
For starters, Mike Evans will miss this week due to suspension. But in the times Fitzpatrick has played, Evans is his first target as he throws to him 21 percent of the time according to Graham Barfield of Fantasy Guru. He should remain a solid starter with Fitzpatrick, who likes his tall receivers.
In 2015 as a the starter for the New York Jets, he had the best season of his career with Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. He threw for 3,905 yards and 31 touchdowns, making Marshall and Decker remain reliable fantasy players. Evans will remain a key contributor with Fitzpatrick because of his size and ability to catch anything in any area.
As for DeSean Jackson, it’s not the best of news. He has only been thrown to 10 percent of the time even with a touchdown from Fitzpatrick. Jackson is known as a deep threat, and his new quarterback isn’t the best at it.
But Jackson has been inconsistent mostly due to some bad throws and his inability to find other ways to get open. However, Jackson does have a favorable matchup this week against the Jets and is a high flex play this week.
RUNNING BACKS and Cameron Brate
Doug Martin could be the safest play in the next couple weeks. Even though he was dominated by the Saints last week, he should gain a lot of production. As for the other running backs in the passing game, including Martin, Fitzpatrick has targeted all running backs a combined 19 percent of the time, which is second in total attempts by Fitzpatrick. Running backs like Jacquizz Rodgers and Charles Sims could be in play in deep leagues, especially if Martin struggles again.
Cameron Brate is another intriguing fantasy player. With Evans out, Brate is likely to see a bump in production. The Jets have given up the seventh most fantasy points to tight ends.
Some concern is that Fitzpatrick has only targeted Brate 15 percent of the time, which is behind Evans and the running backs. It’s even behind Adam Humphries! So his fantasy appeal may not be great, but is a safe play for this week in his favorable matchup.
Winston going forward
As for Winston, he is expected to miss only two weeks. But he really isn’t worth it at this point especially with the shoulder injury this late in the year.
I expect that if the Bucs aren’t in a good spot, he could be out the rest of the season. There are other good quarterbacks to go get like Josh McCown of the Jets, Jay Cutler of the Dolphins and maybe even Fitzpatrick.
Winston should be dropped from fantasy teams at this point with the concern of his shoulder.
Featured image from profootballtalk.nbcsports.com.
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