NFL Soup|Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Thursday Night Football Fantasy Versus: Buccaneers vs. Vikings Preview 

It may not be the greatest match-up between two teams, but when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Minnesota Vikings meet on Thursday Night Football, there will be many fantasy football players involved in the game. Doug Martin and Adrian Peterson are a two players just to name a few, and while you’re probably starting both of them this week, we are here to help you make some other difficult decisions for tonight’s game.

In our last Fantasy Versus Decision Maker on Monday night, I made two bold calls. I took Jay Cutler over Matthew Stafford (Stafford had 14 fantasy points compared to Cutler’s 13), while neither performed like I hoped, Cutler looked better and if it wasn’t for a garbage time touchdown I would have gotten that one right. The other bold call was Brandon Marshall over Calvin Johnson. Marshall had 14 fantasy points, and Johnson had 3.

Let’s take a look at the best fantasy match-ups for tonight’s game in what we like to call our Thursday Night Football Fantasy Versus Decision Maker for Week 8:


Josh Freeman (Buccaneers) vs. Christian Ponder (Vikings)

 Freeman lit up the New Orleans Saints last week to the tune of 420 passing yards and 3 touchdowns, while going on to be the second highest scoring fantasy quarterback in week 7. Minnesota is giving up the 9th most fantasy points to quarterbacks, but that number is a bit skewed, because they have given up the most rushing yards and touchdown to QB’s this season. Freeman is a pocket passer not a runner.

Ponder has looked good at times this year, but his 58 yard, 2 interception game last week doesn’t look good.

I don’t expect big games from either of these quarterbacks, since I have to choose, I’ll take Ponder.

Running Backs

Doug Martin (Buccaneers) vs. Adrian Peterson (Vikings)

Minnesota has a very underrated defense and they can be very stingy against the run.

I’m in a league where I own both of these players and I’m starting Peterson over Martin, but that’s because I also have LeSean McCoy, so I am obviously taking Peterson over Martin tonight.

Wide Receivers

Percy Harvin (Vikings) vs. Vincent Jackson (Buccaneers)

Jackson is the third highest scoring fantasy wide receiver with 85 points, while Harvin is two points behind him in forth place, but if you’re in a PPR league, Harvin has 24 more fantasy points then Jackson.

Tampa Bay is giving up the 6th most fantasy points to receivers this season and they will be without their top defensive back, Aqib Talib who is missing his third of four games after being suspended for performance enhancing drugs.

I could see Jackson having a nice game, although I’m taking Harvin over him Thursday night.

Mike Williams (Buccaneers) vs. Jerome Simpson (Vikings)

 I kinda like Simpson this week based on the weak Tampa Bay secondary. He might not catch a ton of passes, but if you’re in a deeper league he’d be a nice sleeper this week as I think he gets in the endzone tonight.

Williams has had a sneaky good year so far, so it’s hard to bet against him, but I’m going for another bold move and taking Simpson over Williams.

Tight Ends

Kyle Rudolph (Vikings) vs. Dallas Clark (Buccaneers)

Having been a non factor through the first six weeks of the season, Dallas Clark burst on to the scene in week seven with 52 receiving yards including one touchdown. It might have been an anomaly but he still should be a player to keep an eye on moving forward.

Rudolph has had two games in which he hasn’t scored any fantasy points including last week, while that could kill your fantasy team, the good news is he is till getting targets to be a factor especially in the redzone.

The jury is still out on Clark, so I’ll roll with Rudolph.


Blair Walsh (Vikings) vs. Connor Barth (Buccaneers)

Arguably the best rookie kicker in the NFL, Walsh has converted 16 of his 17 field goals this season.

I trust the Vikings offense more then the Bucs. Give me Walsh over Barth.

Team Defenses 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers D/ST vs. Minnesota Vikings D/ST

Minnesota has scored the third most fantasy points this season with 74 points, on the other side Tampa Bay is near the bottom with only 32 fantasy points.

I’ll take the Vikings defense/special teams.




About the author: Trevor Gunn

Trevor Gunn has been involved in fantasy sports for over 10 years, and brings extensive football knowledge to NFLSoup. In addition to his fantasy football expertise, Gunn also covers the NBA at Follow him on Twitter @NFLSoupTrevor.

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