The Week 3 matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers presents an intriguing head-to-head matchup at the running back position. We've got the fantasy projections courtesy of numberFire.
Los Angeles Rams
The Los Angeles Rams have yet to score a touchdown this season, yet the team finds itself with a 1-1 record after a surprising victory over the Seattle Seahawks last week. They’ve done this with Case Keenum looking like a third-string quarterback and running back Todd Gurley totaling just 98 yards rushing through two games combined so far. Tampa Bay has been generous to running backs so far this season, but, with the Rams struggling in almost every facet of offensive play, Gurley is going to face stacked boxes all year long. Nobody questions his ability, but everybody questions the team around him. Fantasy owners have to keep starting him, but hitting his fantasy point projection is going to require help from teammates. That help may not be coming any time soon.
The only other Rams player worth looking at this week is Tavon Austin. He’s the team’s most consistent receiver, albeit in an anemic offense. Austin caught five passes for 50 yards last week. More than half of those yards came on one catch, however. The entire team needs to be better on the offensive side of the football and it starts with the quarterback. Austin has all the talent in the world but things just aren’t going well for the Rams. It will be tough for any player on the team to reach their projected totals this week in Tampa Bay.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It appears running back Doug Martin will miss at least the next three weeks thanks to a knee injury. It’s time for Charles Sims to step up. He only has 33 rushing yards on the season so far, but he can catch passes out of the backfield. Teammate Jacquizz Rodgers should also see some touches, but Sims has more fantasy value. Sims could surprise some people this week. He may be worth a look in deeper formats and could reach beyond his projected totals in leagues that count receptions.
More than likely, however, Sunday’s game will be the Jameis Winston show. After picking apart the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1, the Arizona Cardinals were all over Winston last week. Everybody knows he has a strong arm. His passing numbers last year were similar to Cam Newton’s rookie season. There’s a lot of promise in Tampa Bay, but fantasy owners will want to see if Winston can bounce back from a poor performance in Week 3. The good ones always have a tendency to block out their bad games and move on quickly. Fantasy owners are hoping Winston will expose the Rams this week.