NFL Playoffs Fantasy Picks: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Buccaneers vs Washington Wild Card Game
By Max Staley
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers face off with the Washington Football Team in what is quietly one of the most intriguing matchups of the weekend. Tom Brady and the Buccaneers are hefty 7.5-point favorites over the Football Team, per FanDuel Sportsbook's NFL playoff odds.
If you're still looking to get your fantasy football fix, there are plenty of formats available to keep playing throughout the NFL Playoffs. Here's some start 'em, sit 'em advice for this Tampa Bay-Washington clash.
Ronald Jones Fantasy
Start Ronald Jones, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Washington's defense matches up surprisingly well with what Tampa Bay does offensively. The Football Team should be able to generate pressure at will, sitting tied for the fourth-best pressure rate (25.6%) in the NFL, and Brady has been a much different (and worse) QB when pressured in 2020. That could force Tampa Bay to go to Ronald Jones early and often. Jones is averaging 88.0 rushing yards per game over his last five appearances, and he should get plenty of touches as the odds suggest Tampa Bay will be playing from ahead.
J.D. McKissic Fantasy
Start J.D. McKissic, RB, Washington Football Team: Expect J.D. McKissic to get a ton of targets. Since Alex Smith entered the fray in Week 9, McKissic is averaging a whopping 8.6 targets per game, turning that into 6.1 catches for 45.1 receiving yards per contest. And with Washington likely to be playing catchup for most of the game, this team should be passing early and often. McKissic is a good bet to lead this team in receiving on Saturday.
Tom Brady Fantasy
Sit Tom Brady, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tom Brady is arguably the hottest QB in the league right now, averaging 379.0 passing yards per game with 10 TDs to 1 INT over his last three games. Notably, he did that despite sitting out the entire second half in Week 16. But as mentioned above, Washington is a terrible matchup for him. When playing from a clean pocket, Brady leads the league in passing yards, has thrown the second-most TDs and has the sixth-highest passer rating. But his passer rating drops to 54.5 (No. 21 in the NFL) when he's facing pressure. Led by Chase Young, Washington boasts one of the best pass-rushing units in the NFL, sitting tied for fourth in pressure rate (25.6%) and sixth in sacks (47). This is a bad matchup for Brady, and most of his down games have come when facing a pass-rush like Washington's.
Antonio Gibson Fantasy
Sit Antonio Gibson, RB, Washington Football Team: The Buccaneers are the best rush defense in the league. They were the only team in the league that gave up fewer than 1,400 rushing yards, surrendering just 1,289 in fact. Tampa Bay also sits at No. 1 by Football Outsiders' rush defense DVOA. None of that bodes well for Antonio Gibson. Already likely to have an inefficient day, Gibson could also struggle to see volume if this game plays out like the oddsmakers expect it to. There are better RB options elsewhere.
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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.