NFL Playoffs Fantasy Picks: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Buccaneers vs Saints Divisional Round Game

Tom Brady fantasy outlook makes him one of the top plays of the Divisional Round.
Tom Brady fantasy outlook makes him one of the top plays of the Divisional Round. / Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be hoping the third time's the charm as they prepare to take on the New Orleans Saints. New Orleans is 2-0 against Tampa Bay this season, winning those two by a combined margin of 72-26. Unsurprisingly, the Saints are 3-point home favorites, 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 Buccaneers-Saints Divisional Round rematch.

Tom Brady Fantasy

Start Tom Brady, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: We recommended you "sit" Tom Brady last week due to a matchup with the Washington Football Team. He proved us wrong, tallying 381 passing yards and 2 TDs. In fact, he would've had an even bigger game, easily hitting 400-plus yards with 3 or 4 scores, were it not for some untimely drops. While New Orleans has shut down Brady this season and presents the same matchup issues that Washington did, it's impossible to ignore what the GOAT is doing right now. Since Week 14, Brady is averaging 379.5 passing yards per game with 12 TDs to 1 INT in that four-game span. He also finally proved he can get it done against a ferocious pass-rushing unit on Saturday, which had been a problem for him all year. Plus, New Orleans may be without its leading sack artist in Trey Hendrickson, who sacked Brady 3 times in two games in 2020. If New Orleans can't get to Brady like it did earlier this year, the Saints will be in for a long night.

Michael Thomas Fantasy

Start Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints: Michael Thomas and Drew Brees have barely played together this year, but it didn't take long for them to rebuild their chemistry. Thomas' 7 targets were tied alongside Jared Cook and Deonte Harris for the team high in the Wild Card Round, and he turned that into 5 catches for 73 yards and a TD. With another week of game action under his belt, Thomas should go back to his usual, WR1 self against an up-and-down Buccaneers' secondary.

Ronald Jones Fantasy

Sit Ronald Jones, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ronald Jones injured his quad before recording even one touch in the Wild Card Round. Leonard Fournette filed in admirably, recording 132 yards from scrimmage and a TD against the Football Team's stout front seven. Even if Jones is back up to full strength, the potential for a timeshare against the NFL's second-best rush defense by DVOA does not bode well for either player. And if you're forced to choose between the two, Fournette's superior pass-catching ability and clean bill of health make him the preferred option.

Emmanuel Sanders Fantasy

Sit Emmanuel Sanders, WR, New Orleans Saints: With Thomas back atop the pecking order in New Orleans, Emmanuel Sanders is moving back down the totem pole. To make matters worse, even his status as the No. 2 option could be in jeopardy. Sanders saw 3 targets (for 2 catches and 3 yards) last week, putting him behind Cook (7 targets) and Harris (7). And don't forget about Alvin Kamara, who saw a career-high 107 targets this season. With concerns about his volume against a defense he's averaged just 26.5 receiving yards per game against in 2020, Sanders is not a great play here.

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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.

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