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Week 15 NFL DFS: Tom Brady, Bucs ready to light up Saints

·6 min read
In this article:
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  • New Orleans Saints
    New Orleans Saints
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Tom Brady
    Tom Brady
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Mike Evans
    Mike Evans
    American football player, wide receiver (1993-)
  • Taysom Hill
    Taysom Hill
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Leonard Fournette
    Leonard Fournette
    American football running back

By Jordan Vanek, 4for4

Special to Yahoo Sports

Yahoo's single-game DFS offering has a roster construction of one "Superstar" that scores at a 1.5 multiplier, while the remaining four FLEX roster spots accumulate points at the normal rate. This is half-point PPR scoring and the "Superstar" salary does not change from the Utility. All scoring and rules can be found here. 

In the regular season, the Saints have yet to lose to a Tom Brady-led Buccaneers team, but this time around is much different than the recent games. Taysom Hill is the starting quarterback which has turned the Saints to be a more run-dominant team, Sean Payton is out due to COVID and they will be without Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramscyzk. The Buccaneers secondary is dealing with some injuries like it has all year, but their front seven is fully healthy and that will be the key to them beating the Saints.

Vegas Lines

Over/Under: 45.5

Saints Implied Total: 17

Buccaneers Implied Total: 28.5

The Buccaneers are heavy favorites in this one, and this game is a dream matchup for how they operate as a defense. The Buccaneers rank top five in rushing yards and touchdowns allowed, and the Saints are also going to be without Sean Payton. The loss of Payton as the play-caller could impact how well the Saints make adjustments on offense at halftime.

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Potential Game Flow Scenarios

Divisional rivalries are always a little bit unique, but the Buccaneers are playing extremely well as of late, and the Saints are 1-5 in their last six games.

Tom Brady has found a rhythm with this Buccaneers offense and has thrown for over 300 yards in three of the last four games. Brady averages 7.5 yards per attempt, a 6.5% touchdown percentage, and a 1.8% interception rate on the season. The first time against the Saints, Brady threw the ball for 375 yards and four touchdowns but was sacked three times, intercepted twice, and one of them was for a touchdown. Mike Evans continues to struggle against Marshon Lattimore, and Evans's production will be touchdown-dependent.

The advantage for the Buccaneers will be Chris Godwin, who had eight receptions for 140 yards and a touchdown in their first game and has 32 targets in their last two games. Without Breshad Perriman, Tyler Johnson will be the WR3 in this offense and will be needed to move the ball against the Saints. Leonard Fournette popped up on the injury report but has been their lead back in the offense, getting 15 or more touches in five straight games. Ronald Jones hasn't had more than 20% of the snaps since Week 2 and has had 19 touches since week 11. Jones could see more usage with Fournette dealing with injuries, but the Saints are a top-end run defense, giving up only 3.66 yards per carry and 95 rushing yards a game.

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 12: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Quarterback Tom Brady (12) looks for an open receiver during the regular season game between the Buffalo Bills and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on December 12, 2021 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Tom Brady should be in line for another big game as the Buccaneers might have a tougher time running against the Saints. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Taysom Hill is completing 58% of his passes for 7.1 yards per attempt, a 2.9% touchdown percentage, and a 7.1% interception rate. Since taking over, the Saints have rotated many wide receivers, but Marquez Callaway and Tre'Quan Smith are the two wide receivers running around 75% of the routes. Alvin Kamara missed Hill's first start, and the last game was targeted five times on 21 pass attempts. The Buccaneers only give up 91 rushing yards a game, which is the third-lowest in the NFL. However, amongst the teams giving up less than 100 rushing yards a game, they are giving up the most yards per carry.

The Saints are going to give the Buccaneers offense problems, but the Saints offense will give the Buccaneers short fields that they will capitalize on. I expect the Buccaneers to not be able to get much going in the running game, which puts the game onto Brady's shoulders.

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Here's a brief rundown of which players would likely benefit the most from various game flow scenarios.

Close, low-scoring game

  • Tom Brady

  • Leonard Fournette

  • Chris Godwin

  • Mike Evans

  • Rob Gronkowski

  • Buccaneers DST

  • Taysom Hill

  • Alvin Kamara

  • Tre'Quan Smith

  • Marquez Callaway

  • Saints DST

Close, high-scoring game

  • Tom Brady

  • Leonard Fournette

  • Chris Godwin

  • Mike Evans

  • Tyler Johnson

  • Taysom Hill

  • Alvin Kamara

  • Tre'Quan Smith

  • Marquez Callaway

Blowout for the home team

  • Tom Brady

  • Leonard Fournette

  • Chris Godwin

  • Mike Evans

  • Tyler Johnson

  • Rob Gronkowski

  • Buccaneers DST

  • Taysom Hill

  • Alvin Kamara

  • Tre'Quan Smith

  • Marquez Callaway

Blowout for the road team

  • Tom Brady

  • Chris Godwin

  • Mike Evans

  • Tyler Johnson

  • Taysom Hill

  • Alvin Kamara

  • Tre'Quan Smith

  • Marquez Callaway

  • Saints DST

Cheap/Unique Stacking Option

Superstar Mike Evans $28/Tom Brady $40

Chris Godwin is the player to be fading if you are going to be unique, and if you play Evans at the superstar spot I can see you getting the leverage against the field. There aren't many worlds where Evans outscores Brady, but he is capable of getting multiple touchdowns — in their first matchup he found success on a big play against Marshon Lattimore.

Low-Salary Volatile Plays

Buccaneers Defense $18

Without their starting tackles and Taysom Hill under center, the Buccaneers defense will have opportunities to make big plays. The Buccaneers have the third-highest pressure percentage in the NFL, and Hill has a high interception rate.

Saints Defense $14

Brady has been sacked three times and thrown two interceptions in each regular-season game against the Saints. If the Saints' offense isn't completely incompetent, they will have the same opportunity against him.

Tre'Quan Smith, Saints $12

Smith has the most intended air yards on the team since Taysom Hill has returned, and if the Saints are going to be playing from behind, there is an opportunity to make big plays down the field.

Marquez Callaway, Saints $12

Callaway is second on the team in intended air yards and will have an opportunity against the Buccaneers, who will be keying in on the run.

Tyler Johnson, Buccaneers $10

Breshad Perriman is out, so Tyler Johnson will have an upgraded opportunity against the Saints. In their first matchup, he had five receptions for 65 yards.

Superstar Plays

Tom Brady, Buccaneers $40

Brady will end up being one of the most popular Superstars. Since joining the Buccaneers, Brady has thrown at least two interceptions and been sacked three times in each regular-season game versus the Saints. If you are deploying him as the Superstar, I would onslaught the Buccaneers because I don't see him being optimal as the Superstar trying to come from behind against a run-heavy offense led by Taysom Hill.

Chris Godwin, Buccaneers $31

Godwin will likely be the most popular player overall on the slate. The Saints are the only team in the NFL that heavily runs a Cover 2 Man, Godwin can beat man coverage consistently.

Mike Evans, Buccaneers $28

Evans will be one of the least popular Superstars on the slate, which makes him very intriguing because he is capable of making the big play and did score a 40-yard touchdown in the first matchup.

This article originally appeared in its full form on 4for4.com

Jordan was born and raised in South Florida. He started playing DFS at 18 years old. In the last five years, he has had 10 top-10 finishes in GPPs on both Fanduel and Draftkings. His primary strategy for DFS is combining a blend of analytics and film study to perfect his lineups.

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