The Tampa Bay Buccaneers erased a 17-6 deficit at New Era Field Sunday, taking a 27-20 lead late in the fourth quarter. It looked as if they would pull out a road victory until Sean McDermott’s Buffalo Bills rallied to score 10 points in the game’s final 3 minutes to seal a 30-27 victory. While the Buccaneers may have lost the real battle, some of their players turned in season-high afternoons in terms of fantasy football production against our Bills.
QB Jameis Winston
After allowing no more than 11.82 points to an opposing quarterback through the first four games of the season, the Bills have now allowed a 15.32-point output from Andy Dalton in Week 5 and a 24.36-point showing from Winston on Sunday. The Bucs’ quarterback threw for 384 yards and 3 touchdowns on the afternoon, but he also threw an interception and lost a fumble on the day. He showed no ill-effects from a shoulder injury he suffered the week prior in a loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
TE O.J. Howard
Right position, wrong guy. I highlighted Cameron Brate, the veteran tight end, before the game, but it was Tampa Bay’s first round pick who had the game’s highest scoring output at 24.8 points. The rookie from Alabama had 6 catches for 98 yards and 2 touchdowns, including one on a play that Bills’ linebacker Lorenzo Alexander categorized as an “oh s - - -” screen that left Howard wide open in the end zone. For his part, Brate did manage 6 catches for 60 yards on the afternoon, good for 9 fantasy points. Coming into the game, the Bills had allowed 17 catches and 166 yards to tight ends on the season. The Buccaneers annihilated that number, nearly doubling each category in one afternoon. Hopefully, that was just a blip on the radar for a stout Buffalo stop unit.
WR Mike Evans
The big man had himself a big day, securing 7 receptions for 88 yards and a beautiful touchdown to momentarily put the Buccaneers ahead in the fourth quarter. His 18.3 fantasy points were the second-most scored by a Bills opponent this season, behind only A.J.Green’s dominant Week five performance for the Cincinnati Bengals. The importance of E.J. Gaines to Buffalo’s pass defense has shown over the last two games, as Shareece Wright has been beaten often opposite rookie Tre’Davious White. Gaines, who has missed time in each game due to injury, needs to stay on the field against the Oakland Raiders, whose 1-2 tandem of Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree is among the best in the league.
RB Doug Martin
The Bills kept Tampa Bay’s running game in check, only allowing Martin to gain 49 yards on 20 carries for the game. He also added 2 catches for 31 yards, which brought his point total to 9 for the game. The Bills have allowed four running backs to break into double-digits in fantasy scoring on the season: Jamaal Charles (12.2 points), Tevin Coleman (16.2 points), Devonta Freeman (14.8 points), and Joe Mixon (11.1 points). The front seven has done a great job defending the run all year, and Martin was unable to find many holes as a result.