The Los Angeles Rams will face a tough matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week, meaning tough decisions lie ahead for fantasy football owners.
Sports Illustrated's senior fantasy football analyst Michael Fabiano offers his expertise on who to start and who to sit ahead of Week 3.
QB Matthew Stafford
"Stafford had a mediocre stat line a week ago, scoring just 17.2 points in a win over the Colts. I'd keep him in lineups this week, as his next matchup against the Buccaneers could be a shootout. The over/under opened at 54.5, and Tampa Bay has allowed five touchdown passes and nearly 22 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in their first two contests of 2021."
Not only has the Tampa Bay secondary been susceptible to allowing touchdown passes, but Stafford's deep strike could be on display as they've been hit by the deep ball quite regularly this season. The Stafford to Cooper Kupp connection ranks third in yards this season, and with injuries to the Bucs' secondary, that's an area they could be vulnerable in for L.A. to exploit.
TE Tyler Higbee
"Higbee also had a bad stat line a week ago, seeing just one target in a win over the Colts. He did play 59 snaps, 32 of which resulted in a pass, and this week’s matchup against the Buccaneers makes him a low-end No. 1 option. In their first two games of the season, Tampa Bay’s defense has given up an average of eight catches and 76.5 yards per game to tight ends."
As Fabiano points out, the Bucs have had no answers for stopping opposing tight ends through the first two weeks thus far. Higbee is a mainstay on offense, having played 100% of the offensive snaps up to this point. Against an opponent who has yet to slow down the production from the tight end position, Higbee is a must-start in Week 3.
K Matt Gay
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"Gay has been solid to start the year, averaging 10.5 fantasy points in his first two games. I’d keep him active this week too, as the Rams host the Buccaneers in a game with an over/under of 55.5. Tampa Bay has allowed an average of eight fantasy points to kickers in their first two games, too."
Gay has been perfect in his opportunities, going 4 of 4 on field goal attempts and 7 of 7 on the point after attempts. With the Week 3 game destined to be nothing shy of showcasing an abundance of points, Gay is a kicker to start.
RB Darrell Henderson
"Henderson was injured in last week’s win over the Colts, so be sure to keep tabs on his status all week. Even if he is active, he’ll be at less than 100 percent in what is a brutal matchup against the Buccaneers. Over their last eight games, their stout defense has surrendered a total of just four touchdowns and the ninth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs."
Rams coach Sean McVay has reiterated this week that running back Sony Michel will be utilized. It appears as if that's a hint to the fact that even if Henderson is suited up, he'll likely see a smaller role than what he's encountered over weeks one and two.
"The Rams defense is tough to sit, but this week's matchup against the Buccaneers is difficult. No offense in the NFL has scored more points than Tampa Bay after two weeks, as Tom Brady and crew have been lighting up the scoreboard. This could be a serious shootout in Los Angeles."
Brady and the Bucs have scored more touchdowns than anyone in the NFL, therefore the Rams defense are a difficult play in fantasy this week. Despite having two All-Pros in defensive tackle Aaron Donald and cornerback Jalen Ramsey, the Bucs offense is the most lethal scoring attack through the early stages of the 2021 season.
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Nick Cothrel is the Publisher of Ram Digest. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickCothrel.