2013 Fantasy Football Team Defense Week 1 Sleeper: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

By Dustin Manko
Tampa Bay Bucs Defense
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

I’d be willing to bet that you didn’t use a draft pick on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers team defense. The Bucs are owned in 63 percent of Yahoo! Fantasy leagues, and have a tasty matchup against the offensively challenged New York Jets this Sunday, who gave up the most fantasy points to opposing defenses in 2012. If for some reason you don’t like your defensive matchup this weekend, the Bucs have sleeper status all over them.

The Jets will be starting rookie Geno Smith at quarterback who has done his best to give the job away, but with Mark Sanchez out with a shoulder injury Smith gets the call. I’ve written before about how you should avoid the Jets in fantasy football and the only exception to that rule is when you play the opposing defense against the Jets. Smith struggled during the preseason, and with a chance to lock up the starting job prior to Sanchez injuring his shoulder, Smith promptly threw three interceptions and ran out of the back of the end zone for a safety.

The Jets have been a feast for opposing defenses, and I see no reason why that trend won’t continue this week. The Jets can’t keep the ball, as they have turned it over 20 times in their last six games. Maybe the turnovers have something to do with the quarterback being pressured as in the last 10 games, the Jets’ quarterbacks have been sacked an incredible 36 times. You almost have to try to be that bad.

The Jets’ air attack will rely on Santonio Holmes, Stephen Hill and Jeff Cumberland. I’ll take a minute if you need to Google those guys. It’s okay, Jets coach Rex Ryan might not know who they are either, but I’m sure he gave them a vote of confidence anyways. The Bucs have added defensive back Darrelle Revis, formerly of the Jets, who despite having limited fantasy value as an IDP’er is about as effective as they come in real football. He will completely shut down whoever he lines up against. Mark Barron and Dashon Goldson at safety for the Bucs are no slouches either and should have no problems negating the Jets’ second and third passing options.

The running game is headed by Bilal Powell and Chris Ivory. Ivory is a capable runner, but with a terrible quarterback scene and a possibly worse preseason he is not worthy of a fantasy start. Add in an obviously bad offensive line coupled with the very solid defensive front of the Bucs, and things don’t look good for the Jets faithful. Remember that the Bucs were the best in the NFL at stopping the run last season. The Jets have scored 19 points or less in eight of their last nine games, and come next Sunday afternoon, it will be nine out of ten games.

If for some reason you don’t like the matchup with whatever team defense you drafted and are looking for a plug and play, look no further than Tampa Bay.

As always, I welcome your comments. If you think I’m wrong, I’m willing to listen. Just back it up with some facts and solid evidence. Thanks for reading and good luck this season.

Dustin Manko is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @DustinManko, ”Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

Read more at http://www.rantsports.com/fantasy/2013/09/03/2013-fantasy-football-robert-meachem-returning-to-new-orleans-saints-fantasy-implications/

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