Jumping on fantasy bandwagons is no fun. You have nothing to gain. If you’re right, well, of course you were, because it was obvious. If you were wrong, of course you were, because you followed the notoriously unreliable public sentiment.
So why is the Madman jumping on the Breshad Perriman bandwagon? Well, first, let us say we’re doing it reluctantly. When Mike Evans went down, we thought the primary beneficiary would be Justin Watson, based on the target share he got in Week 14 vs. the Colts and with a bit of influence based on the history of Perriman routinely disappointing.
What do you want us to say? We were wrong. We weren’t just wrong, we were “2001 Patriots were a fluke” wrong, “Tokyo Drift” is the death of the “Fast & Furious” franchise wrong, or “the Internet is a fad” wrong.
Perriman exploded for five catches and 113 yards with three touchdowns Sunday against the Lions. Now, before you point out that this was against a Detroit team that ranked 24th versus opposing fantasy wide receivers heading into the week, or that his TD-to-catch ratio of one TD for every four receptions is unsustainable, understand we have considered these points. And if the Buccaneers’ passing game was fully healthy — or if it properly utilized tight ends, or if it had a stable running game — we would harbor those same reservations.
However, now, not only is Evans out, leading receiver Chris Godwin left Sunday with what appeared to be a hamstring injury — after the game coach Bruce Arians told reporters “it doesn’t look good.” So the Bucs might be without their top two receivers. It should be noted, those receivers also occupy two of the top three spots in the entire league for receiving yardage for the season.
Could these injuries force the Buccaneers to alter their offensive scheme? That seems unlikely, since they have attempted more passes than any team in the league and have the most passing yards.
Couple that with the fact their rushing game has produced a league-worst 3.35 yards per carry. That suggests the Bucs won’t be able to capitalize on a Texans run defense that rates worse than its pass defense. Though, we also propose that pass defense is overrated, and the stats aren’t truly representative of how vulnerable it is — an idea supported by the passing and rushing efficiency ratings by Football Outsiders.
When you combine these factors, it is clear they all point in one specific direction: The Texans are more vulnerable against the pass than the run, despite fantasy numbers; the Buccaneers are clearly better at passing the ball than running the ball; thus, the Bucs’ passing game should fare well; that is the same passing game missing its top two receivers; and Perriman has been the biggest beneficiary of the fantasy fallout from those injuries. Summary: Everything points to Perriman.
We don’t like chasing points. But this week, consider the Madman the dog, and Perriman is the car.
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