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The Buccaneers are heading to Detroit to take on the Lions this Sunday. The Buccaneers have been one of the best pass offenses this season, throwing for an average 298.2 yards per game, the second most in the league. The Lions are a bottom ranked pass defense, so I’m expecting a lot of points from the Buccaneers. However, despite a powerful passing offense, the Bucs still have a losing record, and I think that can be attributed to their lacking run game and their lacking pass defense. The Lions are going to be throwing against an easier Buccaneers secondary. Blough is coming off of a 205 yard two-interception game, so he’ll be looking to right himself against the Bucs. Overall, I’m expecting a win out of the Buccaneers this week as I think they’re going to outscore the Lions. Click here for more details and betting information on the Buccaneers @ Lions matchup.
Date: Sunday, December 15, 2019
Time: 10:00 AM PST
Location: Ford Field, Detroit, MI
Buccaneers: T.J. Logan (O), Mike Evans (D), Alex Cappa (Q), Anthony Nelson (Q), Scott Miller (Q), Donovan Smith (Q), Jameis Winston (Q)
Lions: Marvin Jones (O), Bo Scarbrough (Q), Austin Bryant (Q), Matthew Stafford (O), Jamal Agnew (Q), Da’Shawn Hand (Q), Rick Wagner (Q), A’Shawn Robinson (Q)
The Buccaneers have been a high-flying passing offense this year. Jameis Winston has thrown 26 touchdowns, tied for 2nd most in the league with Russel Wilson. He’s also thrown for 4,115 yards, the 2nd most in the league. On average, the Buccaneers throw for 298.2 yards per game, also the 2nd most in the league. These passing stats look great on their own, but especially when considering that the Lions are a bottom five ranked pass defense. I’m expecting some serious points out of the Buccaneers on Sunday. Unfortunately, it’s looking like they’ll probably be missing Mike Evans, so their passing game could take a hit. Their impressive passing numbers also beg the question: why do they have a losing record? Part of the reason is that Jameis Winston throws a lot of interceptions. He’s thrown 23 this season, the 1st most in the league with 2nd place being the Miami Dolphins with 17, a whole 6 fewer. Winston threw for 456 yards and 4 touchdowns last game, but also 3 interceptions. That stat line might fly against a team like the Lions, but such a high turnover rate is incredibly unsustainable when you’re trying to win football games. Luckily, the Lions only have 5 interceptions on the year, tied with the Cowboys for fewest in the league, so Winston might be safe this game. Additionally, the Buccaneers haven’t been able to get their run game going very much this season and running a pretty one-sided offense can be difficult against tough passing defenses.
I think the biggest reason for their losing record is their defense. Specifically, their passing defense. Their run defense has been fantastic — one of the best in the league. They allow an average 3.4 yards per carry, the 2nd fewest in the league, and an average 75.5 rushing yards per game, the fewest in the league. The Lions haven’t been a rushing team this season, so I’m expecting these stats to hold up great against the Lions. The Buccaneers passing defense allows an average 278.8 yards per game, the 2nd most in the league. They’ve allowed 29 passing touchdowns this season and their defense allows 29.3 points per game overall. The Lions are down to their third string quarterback David Blough, who threw for 205 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions for a rating of 60.9 last game. I think the Buccaneers’ secondary is going to get a break this weekend.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Depth Chart
The Lions run a very one-sided offense. They’re a passing team and have been relying heavily on the pass. This worked for them a little bit at the beginning of the season, but the tides quickly turned the other way. Especially with the absence of Stafford from their offense, they’ve been really struggling; they’ve lost their last six games in a row. Last week, Blough threw 24-40 for 205 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions for a rating of 60.9. Stats like this can sometimes still result in a win for a team that has a strong rushing offense, but the Lions only rushed for 70 yards. When their passing game gets shut down, they have nowhere to turn, which is especially tough considering they’re working without their star quarterback. Luckily, the Buccaneers are one of the lowest ranked pass defenses in the league. Blough has a great chance to right himself this week and put up some pretty impressive numbers. I don’t expect their rushing offense to be able to get much done, as the Buccaneers allow the fewest rushing yards per game on average. The offense is going to be resting heavily on Blough’s shoulders, and he’ll have a good chance to show what he’s made of.
The Lions defense is going to need to step it up if they’re going to contain Jameis and the Buccaneers. The Lions allow 276.5 passing yards per game on average, the third most in the league. This stat is not a great look when compared to the Buccaneers 298.2 passing yards per game, the 2nd most in the league. The Lions passing defense is also tied with the Cowboys for the fewest interceptions in the league, with only 5 on the season. Winston throws a lot of interceptions, so if the Lions can get a couple this week they might have a chance at outscoring the Buccaneers and taking the win.
Detroit Lions Depth Chart
With the way both of these pass defenses look, I think this is going to be a huge passing game with a lot of points, especially on the Buccaneers’ side. As far as waiver pickups go, there aren’t a ton of prospects in this game. I know I just said that it’s going to be a high-flying passing game, but you might want to look at some of the running backs for these teams. In high scoring games like I’m expecting this to be a running back could easily pick up a touchdown or two on a quick couple yard goal line run. Peyton Barber sits around 37% ownership and although he’s their second string back he had a big 18.4-point game against Jacksonville two weeks ago. Scarbrough, the Lions’ starting back, is questionable with a rib injury. But based on how great the Buccaneers rush defense has been, I don’t think it would be worth it to start him. If you have Chris Godwin on your fantasy team he’s a definite start. Mike Evans is probably out, so Godwin would be seeing even more targets than usual.