Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. San Francisco 49ers Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Players To Target Include Chris Godwin, Deebo Samuel, Brock Purdy, and Others

Who are some of the fantasy-relevant players you should be looking to start in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. San Francisco 49ers matchup in Week 11?

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ fantasy football preview focuses on a slumping Chris Godwin, while the San Francisco 49ers’ fantasy outlook tries to figure out which pass catcher will be left behind in this matchup.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Francisco 49ers

  • Spread: 49ers -11.5
  • Total: 41.5
  • Buccaneers implied points: 15
  • 49ers implied points: 26.5

Quarterbacks

Baker Mayfield: Don’t look now, but Mayfield has been a QB1 in four straight games after posting just one such finish in his first five games this season. His connection with Mike Evans elevates his ceiling in a significant way, though his reliance on a big-play option like that is what creates a low floor that we could see in this brutal matchup.

Mayfield is well off the radar in standard-sized leagues this week, but this is the last matchup he has that I truly fear for the next 1.5 months. Don’t write him off completely as someone who could matter for deeper leagues.

Brock Purdy: Remember the three straight losses for the 49ers before the bye that had the general public panicking? Purdy put those fears to rest with a 19 for 26 showing in Jacksonville that saw him rack up 296 yards and three scores against a rested Jaguars defense.

The QB6 finish was his highwater mark for the season, and while that sort of production is a little much to project moving forward, Purdy has four finishes this season in the 10-13 range, something I could see him consistently offering down the stretch.

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This is a good matchup (seventh-most yards per pass attempt allowed), and with a healthy supporting cast, Purdy’s weekly floor is stronger than any other option in this tier of fantasy signal-callers.

Starting a few players that won’t lose you your matchup holds value, and that’s exactly what you can count on from Purdy both this week and for the remainder of the 2023 season.

Running Backs

Rachaad White: I don’t like to throw around the “S” word very often, but White has earned it. He has posted four straight finishes inside of the top 20 at the position, producing over 6.5 fantasy points as a pass catcher in each of those contests.

Over that stretch, he’s averaging 20.3 touches per game and gets home a different way every week. Per the Week 11 Cheat Sheet:

  • Week 10: 43-yard TD catch
  • Week 9: Two 1-yard TD runs
  • Week 8: 28% reception share with a 100% catch rate

Critics will point to the fact that White has 132 carries this season and is still searching for his first 20-yard gain. I say, imagine the fantasy upside if he accesses the big play on the ground!

I’ll say it. White has been nothing short of special. At a position with crazy swings in role and production, White has been there for you every step of the way. He’s left us no choice but to rank him as a high-end RB2 who could be an RB1 over the final month (Panthers – Falcons – Packers – Jaguars – Saints).

Christian McCaffrey: Imagine a world in which a running back averages 5.9 yards per carry, commands 37% of the targets, and — fantasy managers are complaining.

“Complaining” might be a little strong, but I’m on more than a few group chats that were disgruntled about CMC failing to reach the end zone last week.

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McCaffrey is the best player in fantasy, and I promise you that he’ll be in the end zone sooner than later.

Wide Receivers

Mike Evans: He has seven fewer targets now than he had total receptions last season, and yet, he’s already matched his touchdown total (TD catch in three of his past four games).

Evans’ scoring equity is as strong as any receiver in the league right now, which drives his weekly top-15 ranking. Ranking him highly, however, doesn’t make him a perfect player.

Did you know that we are nearing a 13-month stretch in which Evans has one game with more than six receptions? How about that the one exception to that rule was a Week 17 game in which the Bucs were force-feeding his targets to get him past 1,000 yards for the season?

That means that, within the flow of their “normal” offense, Evans holds a catch ceiling of six. That’s a small nit to pick, but it’s my job to keep you aware of both ceiling and floor cases.

It’s been smooth sailing for the majority of this season. Just be careful in assuming that he’s on the list of the game’s safest options at the position.

Chris Godwin: We entered the season expecting Godwin to be the consistent Buccaneers receiver, and he’s been that. It’s just been in a consistently underwhelming manner.

The veteran has finished outside of the top 25 wide receivers in seven of nine games this season and has just one score on his ledger.

The floor has been acceptable (Week 3 was the last time he finished outside the top 40), but in an era of wide-open offenses that encourage big plays from WRs, the lack of a ceiling is concerning.

The 49ers are a top-six team in terms of time of possession and limiting opponent yards per pass attempt. This is a dangerous spot for a receiver who lacks one-play upside.

Godwin is just inside of my top 35 receivers this week, ranking behind most of the others with consistent volume and ahead of the Gabe Davis’ of the world who rely on one play.

Brandon Aiyuk: After scoring on the first drive on a jump ball of sorts, Aiyuk was hardly heard from last week in Jacksonville as the team welcomed Deebo Samuel back from a shoulder injury that sidelined him for a pair of games. For the game as a whole, Aiyuk earned a discouraging 11.1% target share.

I’ve said it all season, and I’ll continue to say it: This is exactly what you signed up for.

It’s going to be hard for an offense that relies on efficiency more so than volume to support an elite running back and three pass-catchers. The lack of looks last season is a minor red flag, but nothing that I’m overreacting to.

For DFS purposes and betting, this receiver room requires a good amount of homework every week to make your final decision. The process is easier in annual leagues — you play all your 49ers every week.

Deebo Samuel: I think it’s cliche, but in this case, I think it’s true, so I’m going to use it.

“Samuel means more to the 49ers than he does to fantasy teams.”

  • 30-30-30-35-42-17-34
  • 17-17

That first set of numbers are the point totals for the 49ers when Samuel is active this season, and the second grouping represents the two games he missed.

It’s a tiny sample, but there’s no denying that his versatility has a very Steph Curry feel to it in that the gravity of him makes life easier for everyone around him.

Samuel ran for a score in his return from a shoulder injury. While that’s great, six of his seven touches didn’t gain more than nine yards.

His one game with high-end receiving numbers this season came with Aiyuk banged up, something that is no longer the case. You’re playing a dangerous game in counting on any San Francisco pass catcher (games like last week where they all score don’t happen very often) in a one-week situation.

The Bucs are a rare high-blitz, high-opponent-a-DOT defense, and on a spreadsheet, that profiles as more of an Aiyuk spot than a Samuel one. You signed up for risk when you drafted Samuel, so you’re playing him every week and banking on the good weeks to outweigh the poor ones.

Tight Ends

Cade Otton: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If you want to talk yourself into Otton being a viable fantasy TE, you cite the one metric that all viable options share: playing time.

As it turns out, you have to be on the field to score fantasy points, and with Week 10’s rates (95.4% of snaps and 85.7% route participation) in line with what Otton does every week, he certainly checks that important box.

MORE: 2023 TE Fantasy Football Rankings

That’s a good place to start, but the optimism runs out in a hurry.

Otton has been held under 30 yards six times this season, which means he needs to score to matter. Generally speaking, I don’t mind that profile in the right spot at the TE position, but as the fourth option in a Mayfield-led offense, you can do better.

George Kittle: The 66-yard TD strike was perfect execution. Get a plus athlete moving vertically in single coverage and take your chances.

The big play resulted in a strong fantasy week for Kittle, but he saw just three other targets. For the season, he has seen fewer than five targets in the majority of games, putting his floor well below that of the TEs he shares a tier with (Engram and Schultz).

Much like his receiver teammates, Kittle’s range of outcomes is wide. Unlike his teammates, though, the down weeks aren’t lethal due to the position he plays. Plug in Kittle every single week and hope that the high-end performances come when your team needs them most.

Should You Start Brock Purdy or Joshua Dobbs?

As good as the Dobbs story is, Purdy, with his trio of pass catchers against a pass funnel defense, is simply too much to ignore. The 49ers are a different offense with Deebo Samuel active and that elevates Purdy’s floor far higher than that of Dobbs.

Should You Start Chris Godwin or Jerry Jeudy?

Do I have to pick? Godwin is pacing for under 1,000 yards this season and has one touchdown, but I do think his reasonably stable catch count is enough to justify him being ranked just over Jeudy in the low-end Flex ranks.

Jeudy’s next finish as a top-25 receiver will be his first this season. It’s been a brutal season if you invested in Jeudy this summer, and I’m not sure that changes any time soon.

Looking to make a trade in your fantasy league? Having trouble deciding who to start and who to sit? Setting DFS lineups? Check out PFN’s Free Fantasy Football Trade Analyzer, Start/Sit Optimizer, and DFS Lineup Optimizer to help you make the right decision!

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