Thursday Night Takeaways – Week 2 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers

Thursday Night matchups have continued to be fantasy football wastelands, as we saw another underwhelming game from the Buccaneers and Panthers. Jameis Winston made no crucial mistakes and the defense held strong against the run, resulting in a surprising upset by the Buccaneers who seemed completely lost on offense just a week ago. Here are my five big takeaways for fantasy football from last night’s game.

Cam Newton Might be Done for Fantasy Football

For the second straight week, Cam Newton has dropped a massive stink bomb in your fantasy football lineup if you were unfortunate enough to start him. Cam’s fantasy football value is predicated on his ability to run the football. So far this season, Cam has run the ball 5 times for -2 yards. Even though he passed for over 300 yards, Cam looked downright skittish when it came to lowering his shoulder for the run, instead opting to try and run laterally. It’s clear he’s worried about re-injuring the shoulder, and if he doesn’t run the football, he’s going to bust as a fantasy football quarterback this season.

Christian McCaffrey Owners Should Not Worry

These things happen. Run CMC owners should not be panicking, as the Buccaneers defense is underrated. Former Jets head coach Todd Bowles has rejoined Bruce Arians in Tampa Bay, and the defense showed what they can do under the right coaching staff. The production wasn’t there, but the volume was, and in PPR leagues McCaffrey will usually provide a safe floor for fantasy football owners. Please, do not accept any trade offers you might receive from owners looking to capitalize on one bad game.

The Buc Stops Here

The Buccaneers defense is underrated. As mentioned in the above take, defensive coordinator Todd Bowles has rejoined Bruce Arians’ coaching staff in Tampa Bay. Bowles is an excellent coordinator who managed to keep some pretty bad Jets teams respectable, especially on defense. He’s already had proven success with Arians in Arizona, and that is quickly translating to Tampa Bay. Vernon Hargreaves made plays all over the field, and the defensive line swallowed up the run. This is not a team that you can blindly stream against.

Chris Godwin is the Truth

The one bright spot on the Buccaneers offense has been the emergence of Chris Godwin. For the second straight week, Godwin caught a touchdown, but more impressively, he operated as Jameis Winston’s go-to receiver early and often. Mike Evans is still clearly battling back from illness, but even when he’s at full strength, Winston has already demonstrated an affinity for Godwin which is encouraging for his rest of season projection.

OJ Howard is Fetch

OJ Howard was my tight end sit of the week and hopefully, you took the advice. Howard’s ADP this offseason had me saying “OJ Howard is fetch, he is not a thing.” Howard dropped a big ol’ goose egg yesterday, and was again outplayed by fellow tight end Cameron Brate. Look, OJ Howard is an incredible athlete, but those skills have not yet been translated to a successful season on the field, and that may never come to fruition in Tampa Bay. Unless Howard gets traded somehow, he’s pretty much drop worthy at this point.