New York Giants (3-6, 5-4 ATS) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3, 3-6), 8:15 p.m., MNF
Brolley’s Giants Stats and Trends
The Giants are riding a three-game ATS winning streak.
New York’s defense has held the Panthers (3 points), Chiefs (20), and Raiders (16) to 39 combined points in their last three games.
The Giants nearly knocked off the Buccaneers on Monday Night Football last season, dropping a 25-23 decision as 13-point home underdogs.
New York has excelled on the road over the better part of the last four seasons with their 21-6 ATS record away from MetLife Stadium.
Saquon Barkley finally looks ready to return after a false-positive result on a COVID test resulted in him missing Week 9. He looked primed for an elite RB1 push before his fluky ankle injury in Week 5, posting 51 FP in Weeks 3-4 with 29/103/2 rushing and 11/117/1 receiving. He gets a first tough test in his return to the lineup against a Buccaneers’ defense that’s allowing the second-fewest rushing yards per game (58.0) to RBs, but they’re at least giving up a generous 7.1 catches per game (2nd-most) to backs.
Daniel Jones has fallen below 18 FP in five straight games, and he’s been crushed by injuries to his top skills players but that will change this week. He completed 15/20 passes for 110 yards (5.5 YPA) and one touchdown and he added 4/17 rushing in a victory over the Raiders in Week 9. He completed 25/41 passes for 246 yards, two TDs, and two INTs and he added 3/20 rushing when these teams met on MNF last season.
Kadarius Toney has managed just 8/71 receiving in his last three games since exploding for 16/267 receiving in Weeks 4-5. He played on just 57% and 55% of the snaps in his last two games as he nursed his ankle injury. Terry McLaurin posted 6/59 receiving in this matchup last week.
Kenny Golladay is still searching for his first touchdown entering his seventh game with the Giants. He played just 55% of the snaps in his first game back from his knee injury before their bye week, and he managed just 2/28 receiving on three targets. The Buccaneers are middle of the pack with one receiving TD per game allowed to WRs so far.
Sterling Shepard could return off of his quad injury this week after yet another leg injury knocked him out of the lineup in Week 8. He’s been active when has been in the lineup, averaging 6.4/64.8/.2 receiving on 8.6 targets per game. The Buccaneers are giving up the eighth-most catches per game (13.7) to WRs this season
Evan Engram is averaging by far a career-low 8.6 YPR, which is nearly two yards below his previous career low of 10.4 yards from last season. He has posted between 10.4-12.8 FP in three consecutive games thanks to New York’s many injuries at the skill positions, but they’ll be playing with a near full deck this week. Washington TEs combined for 6/55 receiving in this matchup last week.
Brolley’s Buccaneers Stats and Trends
The Buccaneers have lost consecutive games for the first time since the end of last November, which was right before they went on an eight-game winning streak to capture the Lombardi Trophy.
Tampa Bay is 2-5 ATS in its last seven games overall, but 7-1 ATS in its last eight home games.
Tom Brady threw multiple INTs for the second consecutive game, and he’s now thrown two INTs in 3-of-9 games. He’s still gone for 24+ FP in six of his nine games, and he’s thrown for multiple TDs seven times. Brady completed 28/40 passes for 279 yards and two TDs when these teams met last season. The Giants limited Derek Carr and Patrick Mahomes to one TD pass each with 15 or fewer FP.
Mike Evans has scored in three consecutive games with five total TDs in that span, and he’s one score off of Cooper Kupp’s league-leading 10 TD receptions. On the downside, he’s caught exactly two passes in three of his last four games even with Antonio Brown (heel) and Rob Gronkowski (back) mostly out of the lineup in that span. Evans and James Bradberry have a long history against each other dating back to Bradberry’s days with the Panthers, and Evans posted 5/55/1 receiving in this matchup last season.
Chris Godwin has been the volume receiver for Brady over the last month-plus, catching 7+ passes in four of his last five contests. He’s found the end zone just four times compared to Evans’ nine scores this season, but slot WR Hunter Renfrow posted 7/49/1 receiving the last time the Giants took the field. The Giants are giving up the seventh-most catches per game (13.8) to WRs.
Tyler Johnson managed just 3/17 receiving on five targets and a season-high 69% snap share last week. Scotty Miller (toe, IR) could return this week to fight for targets with Brown unlikely to play again. Chris Godwin and AB didn’t play in this matchup last season, and Miller and Johnson each finished with 35 receiving yards.
Rob Gronkowski (back) returned to practice this week after playing just six snaps since Week 3. He managed 4/55 receiving on seven targets the last time he played a full game back in Week 3, which snapped his run of two touchdowns in each of the first two games. Gronk finished with 4/41/1 receiving when these teams played last season.
Leonard Fournette was back in business last week after his 7.3 FP performance in a tough matchup against the Saints in Week 8. He finished with 11/47 rushing and 8/45 receiving against Washington, which gives him 16.9+ FP in five of his last six games. Fournette led the backfield in this matchup last season, finishing with 15/52 rushing and 3/19 receiving.
Barfield’s Pace and Tendencies
Pace (seconds in between plays): 26.6 (15th)
Plays per game: 66.0 (20th)
Pass: 62.5% (10th) | Run: 37.5% (23rd)
Pace: 26.5 (12th)
Plays per game: 68.6 (9th)
Pass: 67.2% (4th) | Run: 32.8% (29th)
All pace / play data is from the last eight weeks.
Last week’s game for the Bucs’ was an odd one. Tom Brady threw two first-half picks and Washington killed the game in the fourth quarter with the longest drive of the season (10:26). As a result, Tampa had just two drives that lasted longer than 7 plays and were wiped out in time of possession by Washington (39:08 Total TOP) as they only had the ball for 20:52 of game clock. My bet is that won’t happen again! Brady and the Bucs’ are throwing the ball at the fourth-highest rate above expectation (+9%) and now are getting to face a Giants defense that is facing the highest pass rate above expected (+10.7%).
This game has the fourth-best adjusted combined pace between these two slightly above-average offenses in seconds per play. It also doesn’t hurt that the Giants are getting healthier. This game has massive scoring upside if Daniel Jones can take advantage of his weapons being near 100% for the first time all year and keep the Bucs’ foot on the gas all game long.
Huber’s Key Matchup Notes
I’m calling for a 100% guarantee on Tampa Bay taking the victory on Monday Night Football. The GOAT does not lose back-to-back games. It’s science. And he is going to build an early lead in Raymond James Stadium. A negative game script is something the Giants only dealt with for one minute and 38 seconds in Week 9. A game where they handed the ball off on 61% of snaps and devoted all of 6% of their 20 targets to Kadarius Toney. It was a spot in which he should have gone nuclear. And I think he’ll get the negative gamescript in this one.
Leonard Fournette is my RB1 value of Week 11. The floodwaters have breached the perimeter defenses of New York’s run defense. Opponents are having their way with the G-men on the ground at all three levels. They are allowing 28.2 FPG to opposing RBs (fifth-most) on the season. And 13.9 of those FPG are being provided through the air (sixth-most). That’s significant for Lenny since he’s already collecting 7.4 pure receiving FPG this season (10th-most).
Dolan’s Vantage Points
It looked like Giant RB Saquon Barkley was going to play in Week 9 before the bye as he returned from an ankle injury. But a false positive COVID test kept him out of practice, and coach Joe Judge prudently opted to hold Barkley out. But now he’s an extra two weeks removed from the injury, which throws him right back into fantasy relevance.
Of course, it’s an awful matchup against the Bucs’ run defense, but the Bucs are getting crushed through the air by opposing RBs, and that’s where we want Saquon to make his hay anyway. He’s an RB2, though one with a super-high ceiling, and the Bucs are down DT Vita Vea (knee).
From my perspective, given the projected negative game script for the Giants, the biggest news is that both WRs Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney are off the injury report, while Sterling Shepard (quad) seems unlikely to play. In the Giants’ last game action, Daniel Jones threw 20 passes… with just 5 of them directed to WRs. I’d love to see the Giants get Toney back into a full-time role as he appears to be over his ankle injury, but I consider both of these guys WR3s for this matchup with Tampa.
The biggest takeaway I had from last week’s surprise loss to the Team, outside of how pissed off Tom Brady is going to be on Monday night, is how RB Leonard Fournette is no longer gamescript dependent. Even in a negative flow from the start, he was the Buccaneers’ bell cow — with Giovani Bernard playing just an ancillary role and Ronald Jones playing no role.
Here’s Scott Barrett from the XFP Report:
“Over Tampa Bay’s last four victories, Leonard Fournette has played on 65% of the snaps, averaging 20.6 XFP and 21.4 FPG. Both numbers would rank top-3 if over the full season… But Tampa Bay didn’t win last week. They lost 19-29 and trailed throughout. And still, Fournette saw shockingly good usage. I would have expected more usage from Giovani Bernard (the supposed scatback), but he only played on 30% of the team’s snaps. And Ronald Jones only played on 1 snap… In total, Fournette played on 65% of the team’s snaps, earning 11 of 12 carries and 9 of 12 targets out of the backfield. So, now, we have to rank Fournette quite a bit higher on the bell cow spectrum. 9 targets is exquisite usage for a RB in any situation… He’s still fairly gamescript dependent in my eyes, but something like a mid-RB1 in victories and a high-end RB2 even in losses.”
Frankly, I disagree with Scott’s last assertion that he’s still slightly gamescript dependent, but I don’t think it matters too much overall because the Bucs are still good and I still expect them to win the majority of their games. I love “4NET” this week.
Latest to me on #Bucs WR Antonio Brown (ankle): "We'll see. He's got a long way to go," per league source.— IG: JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) November 18, 2021
We'll monitor how long "long" means based on football time. Brown posted "fireworks soon" on IG Tuesday. He last played Oct 14 vs the #Eagles. #Bucs face #NYG Monday night.