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Start 'Em or Sit 'Em: Buccaneers vs. Patriots

Which Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots should you start or sit in fantasy football this week?

Sunday Night Football between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots could play a major part in the final score of your Week 4 fantasy football matchups.

Michael Fabiano and the Sports Illustrated Fantasy team have six suggestions for your lineups stemming from Sunday night's game. You can find each recommendation below.

Full SI start/sit recommendations

Start 'Em

Buccaneers QB Tom Brady (QB start of the week): Is this one obvious? Absolutely. But who else but Brady would be the start of the week in his first game back at New England? He’ll be motivated to beat his former coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Their defense has been tough on quarterbacks on paper this season, but the opposition has been the likes of Tua Tagovailoa, Zach Wilson and Jameis Winston. 

Patriots WR Jakobi Meyers: Meyers put up a nice stat line last week, posting nine catches for 94 yards on 14 targets. I like him as a FLEX starter in Week 4, as he'll face a potential negative game script against the Buccaneers. Their defense has allowed 62 catches, 723 yards, seven touchdowns and the most fantasy points to wideouts in their first three games, and the Patriots will have to throw a ton.

Buccaneers TE Rob Gronkowski (TE start of the week, if he plays): Can you say … revenge? Much like Tom Brady at quarterback, Gronkowski is my start of the week at his position in a contest against the Patriots. The matchup is bad on paper, as New England has surrendered the third-fewest points to tight ends in their last eight games. But you know coach Bruce Arians will want to get Gronkowski involved in a big way this week.

Note: SI posted its fantasy recommendations earlier in the week before Gronkowski was listed as doubtful for the game. However, we've kept Gronkowski on this list in the event that he is able to play - it would be a surprise, but at the same time, we can't rule Gronkowski out against his former team until it becomes officially official.

Update: Gronkowski will not play on Sunday and is not making the trip to New England, per report. Adjust your lineups accordingly.

Also start: Buccaneers RB Leonard Fournette

Sit 'Em

Patriots RB Damien Harris (RB sit of the week): Harris is coming off his worst line of the season, scoring a mere 3.1 fantasy points in a loss to the Saints. Things are unlikely to get better this week, as the Patriots will face a Buccaneers defense that has allowed just 57.2 rushing yards per game this season. This game could go sideways in a hurry for New England, so the potential for a negative game script is clear as well.

Patriots TE Jonnu Smith: This week’s matchup against the Buccaneers is a nice one on paper, as their defense has allowed the 10th-most points to tight ends. The problem is that Smith has run a pass route on just 37.1 percent of Mac Jones's dropbacks after three weeks. That's far less than Hunter Henry, who has run a route on nearly 70 percent of dropbacks. At this point, Smith is a fade for me.

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