Outlook for Bucs WRs Against Rams: Not Good

Anyone who owns Tampa WRs in fantasy football knows the Rams are expected to be a tough matchup. The Rams are currently the stingiest defense in the league against wide receivers in fantasy. So what can Godwin/Evans/AB owners expect on Monday night against the Rams? Is there any chance the Bucs receivers can turn in respectable fantasy performances?

Let’s take a look at how opposing wide receivers have fared against the Rams defense by week, starting with week 1:

  1. Cowboys: Dak Prescott passing, 25/39 for 266 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs.
    1. Amari Cooper: 10 catches on 14 targets, 81 yards. (18.1 PPR points.)
    2. CeeDee Lamb: 5 catches on 6 targets, 59 yards. (11.9 PPR points.)
    3. Michael Gallup: 3 catches on 5 targets, 50 yards. (8.0 PPR points.)
  2. Eagles: Carson Wentz passing, 26/43 for 242 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs.
    1. DeSean Jackson: 6 catches on 9 targets, 64 yards. (12.4 PPR points.)
    2. Jalen Reagor: 4 catches on 4 targets, 41 yards. (8.1 PPR points.)
    3. Greg Ward: 1 catch on 1 target, 5 yards. (1.5 PPR points.)
  3. Bills: Josh Allen passing, 24/33 for 311 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT.
    1. Cole Beasley: 6 catches on 7 targets, 100 yards. (16.0 PPR points.)
    2. Stefon Diggs: 4 catches on 6 targets, 49 yards. 1 TD. (14.9 PPR points.)
    3. Gabriel Davis: 4 catches on 4 targets, 81 yards. (12.1 PPR points.)
  4. Giants: Daniel Jones passing, 23/36 for 190 yards. 0 TDs, 1 INT.
    1. Darius Slayton: 3 catches on 7 targets, 48 yards. (7.8 PPR points.)
    2. Damion Ratley: 3 catches on 4 targets, 34 yards. (6.4 PPR points.)
    3. Golden Tate: 4 catches on 6 targets, 20 yards. (4.2 PPR points.)
  5. Washington Football Team: Kyle Allen + Alex Smith combined passing, 18/30 for 111 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs.
    1. Terry McLaurin: 3 catches on 7 targets, 26 yards. (5.6 PPR points.)
    2. Isiah Wright: 1 catch on 1 target, 3 yards. (1.3 PPR points.)
    3. Dontrelle Inman: 1 catch on 1 target, -2 yards. (0.8 PPR points.)
  6. 49ers: Jimmy G passing, 23/33 for 268 yards. 3TDs, 0 INTs.
    1. Deebo Samuel: 6 catches on 6 targets, 66 yards. 1 TD. (18.6 PPR points.)
    2. Kendrick Bourne: 2 catches on 3 targets, 44 yards. (6.4 PPR points.)
    3. Brandon Aiyuk: 2 catches on 3 targets, 12 yards. (3.2 PPR points.)
  7. Bears: Nick Foles passing, 28/40 for 261 yards. 0 TDs, 2 INTs.
    1. Allen Robinson: 4 catches on 4 targets, 70 yards. (11.0 PPR points)
    2. Darnell Mooney: 3 catches on 7 targets, 40 yards. (7.0 PPR points)
    3. Anthony Miller: 3 catches on 5 targets, 20 yards. (5.0 PPR points)
  8. Dolphins: Tua passing, 12/22 for 93 yards. 1 TD, 0 INTs.
    1. DeVante Parker: 1 catch on 2 targets, 3 yards. 1 TD. (7.3 PPR points)
    2. Preston Williams: 2 catches on 5 targets, 15 yards. (3.5 PPR points)
    3. Jakeem Grant: 1 catch on 1 target, 15 yards. (2.5 PPR points)
  9. Bye
  10. Seahawks: Russell Wilson passing, 22/37 for 248 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs.
    1. Tyler Lockett: 5 catches on 9 targets, 66 yards. (11.6 PPR points)
    2. Freddie Swain: 3 catches on 4 targets, 37 yards. (6.7 PPR points)
    3. DK Metcalf: 2 catches on 4 targets, 28 yards. (4.8 PPR points)

So right off the bat, it’s not looking good for the Bucs’ WRs this week.

The Rams have only allowed 3 total TDs to receivers this season: Stefon Diggs in week 3, Deebo Samuel in week 6, and DeVante Parker in week 8.

No wide receiver has scored more than 18.6 PPR points against the Rams. Deebo Samuel has the best performance at 18.6 points, followed by Amari Cooper at 18.1. The third-highest is Cole Beasley who had 16 points.

The best QBs the Rams have faced this year are Dak Prescott, Josh Allen and Russell Wilson. Josh Allen had the best passing performance of the three.

The Rams defense is only allowing 199.7 passing yards per game this season, 3rd best in the league behind only the WFT (194.7) and the Colts (198.7). Yikes.

The most alarming thing here for people who own Bucs WRs in fantasy is that it has not just been one wide receiver getting shut down by Jalen Ramsey, which is what most probably expected to see.

For the most part, the Rams have shut down all opposing wide receivers. Their secondary is more than just Jalen Ramsey.

If you’re primarily worried about Ramsey, he’s played 374 snaps this season on the outside, 113 in the slot and 40 in the box as a linebacker, according to PFF.

It’s not a totally bleak outlook for the Bucs, though. They have the best WR corps. the Rams will face all season, even better than the Cowboys in week 1 and the Seahawks last week. I don’t think anybody would deny that.

And Tom Brady will be one of the best QBs the Rams have faced all season. I’d say he’s either the best or 2nd best QB the Rams will face this year. It’s a toss-up between Brady and Russ in my view.

Right now, the Bucs are 4-point favorites in the game according to FanDuel. Vegas has set the over/under at 48.5, meaning they expect about a 26-22 Bucs win. That would not seem to be a score in which all the Bucs WRs are poised to eat. Vegas could be wrong, of course, but it’s generally not smart to discount what they think about a game.

I understand most people who own Godwin and Evans do not have the luxury of benching them in favor of a better matchup, but most AB owners probably do, I would assume.

In a standard league, this is a no-brainer avoid matchup for Bucs WR owners. The only opposing receiver to get at least 100 yards was Cole Beasley in week 3, and he got exactly 100. Since that week, the most receiving yards the Rams allowed to an opposing WR was Allen Robinson’s 70 in week 7.

It’s not looking good for the Tampa WR corps this week. I can’t really find much reason for hope, although it’s always possible they can “Buc” the trend (sorry) and torch the Rams secondary despite the fact that nobody else has been able to do it all season.

If you must start one or multiple Bucs WRs, don’t expect much out of them. For some reason my gut is telling me AB will have the best night of their three main guys, primarily because Jalen Ramsey has tended more towards the slot as the season has progressed (bad news for Godwin) and the Rams will likely view Mike Evans as the biggest threat. So it’s possible AB could slip through the cracks and have a decent night. But again, this is just a gut feeling.

Start the Bucs WRs only if you must.

Octavian

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