Fantasy Football: 5 sleeper quarterbacks for 2022 season

These sleeper quarterbacks could add great value to your roster in fantasy football.

It’s going to be hard to land Josh Allen, the assumed QB1, in fantasy football this year because his stock is off the charts.

If you’re OK with passing on Allen — and the rest of the consensus top-12 QBs — in your fantasy draft, it’s still possible to find good QB value later in the draft with sleeper picks at the position.

Here’s a quick look at five sleeper quarterbacks to consider for the 2022 NFL season.

Fantasy football PPR live draft review

A second PPR draft in mid-May showed a few different patterns emerge.

Much like with our May edition of the Mock Draft Series, out of respect for the hosts of this draft, no reference will be made to its identity so the content remains fresh on their end, nor will the entire draft results be published here.

The blurbs about my team below were provided to the draft host and will appear in a magazine as part of a larger evaluation of the draft. Before getting into my individual picks (we didn’t write up our final four), here are a few observations from an 18-round, 12-team, PPR draft.

  • This group was hyper-aggressive with selecting wide receivers early in the first round, especially atop the draft. Four of the first seven selections were wideouts, including Cooper Kupp going No. 3 overall. Detroit running back D’Andre Swift going 12th was the only thing close to a surprise in the opening round. Three tight ends and six receivers went in the second round. The rest were running backs.
  • The first QB came off the board was Josh Allen was taken with the fifth selection of Round 3, which is the earliest any quarterback has gone in the first three drafts of this series. Justin Herbert went with the final pick in Round 6, followed two spots later by Patrick Mahomes. Only Lamar Jackson (Pick 8:09) would go over the next 24 choices.
  • In the first 100 picks, 5 QBs, 42 RBs, 44 WRs and 9 TEs were taken. During the PPR draft a week prior, we watched 6 QBs, 39 RBs, 45 WRs and 10 tight ends.

Here’s a snapshot of the first 10 rounds broken down by number of positional picks:

1st: 8 RBs, 4 WRs
2nd: 3 RBs, 6 WRs, 3 TEs
3rd: 1 QB, 5 RBs, 4 WRs, 2 TEs
4th: 6 RBs, 6 WRs
5th: 3 RBs, 8 WRs, 1 TE
6th: 1 QB, 4 RBs, 6 WRs, 1 TE
7th: 1 QB, 5 RBs, 6 WRs
8th: 1 QB, 6 RBs, 4 WRs, 1 TE
9th: 5 QBs, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 3 TEs
10th: 1 QB, 4 RBs, 6 WRs, 1 TE

My team

We were asked to write 35 words per pick to give a little insight as to our draft thoughts:

1:02) RB Austin Ekeler, Las Angeles Chargers: It came down to Derrick Henry being dominant one more time, Cooper Kupp as the safest pick here, or Ekeler remaining healthy. I was most concerned about not having a strong enough RB1 if I chose the wideout.

2:11) WR Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Knowing the drafter at the turn had an elite RB and presuming WR-WR was in play, I went with Evans before another back. It played out as expected. Evans and Keenan Allen were the best remaining WR1s.

3:02) RB Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns: I hoped Chubb would survive the turn, and my Round 2 decision paid off. Injuries and time-sharing concerns are real, but Chubb is a TD machine and gives me a legit RB1 as my second back.

4:11) WR Terry McLaurin, Washington Commanders: The debate was McLaurin and Courtland Sutton, who went with the very next pick. McLaurin has proven to be mostly QB-proof and makes for a quality WR2, even with Carson Wentz under center.

5:02) RB Damien Harris, New England Patriots: Three drafts, three Harris selections … it’s not that I’m necessarily a huge fan, but he’s a tremendous RB3. Thanks to Harris’ scoring prowess, none of the remaining backs were definitively better options at this stage.

6:11) WR DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals: A strong draft start afforded this gamble. Hopkins will miss six games, sure, but he’s a borderline WR1 lock in PPR upon his return. It’s not too often you can plug that kind of talent into your WR3 slot.

7:02) QB Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs: Securing my third-ranked passer in Round 7 ahead of the long end of my wait, Mahomes was tough to let pass. While the WR talent regressed, he makes players around him better and will be fine.

8:11) WR Allen Lazard, Green Bay Packers: Lazard may emerge as the top fantasy receiver in Green Bay after the Davante Adams trade. It’s worth a late-round wager to find out. At a minimum, he’s adequate depth for me while Hopkins is out.

9:02) TE Austin Hooper, Tennessee Titans: I’m much higher on Hooper’s rebound than most, and since I tend to wait on TEs, this one was a no-brainer. Tennessee’s WR situation is shaky, at best, and Hooper is an ideal fit for the system.

10:11) WR Kenny Golladay, New York Giants: Can the talented Golladay stay on the field? His quarterback situation could hold him back, but I’m willing to bank on Brian Daboll getting the most out of Daniel Jones. The rest is up to Golladay.

11:02) RB Marlon Mack, Houston Texans: I should’ve taken Tyler Allgeier over Golladay. The rookie went at the turn, forcing a pivot to Mack. A whole lotta “meh,” but he has a chance, which is all one can ask for this late.

12:11) TE Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears: Kmet is one of my favorites for a breakout season, and the third-year tight end covers my backside if the Hooper gamble doesn’t pan out. There’s legit TE1 potential in Chicago’s new offense.

13:02) RB Jamaal Williams, Detroit Lions: Since the Mack pick could go either way, a safe, reliable veteran was the target, and Williams fits the bill. Plus, D’Andre Swift has proven to be less than a model of health thus far.

14:11) WR Jamison Crowder, Buffalo Bills: In three years with Buffalo, Cole Beasley was a PPR powerhouse out of the slot, and Crowder should have little trouble assuming the role in this pass-heavy system. He provides excellent value-to-upside ratio.

Rounding out the draft: Arizona Cardinals RB Keaontay Ingram (Round 15), PK Daniel Carlson (Round 16), QB Jameis Winston (Round 17) and Miami Dolphins defense/special teams (Round 18).

Fantasy Football Market Report: Week 5

Fantasy football risers and fallers entering Week 5.

There is a fantasy football trend becoming more popular all the time – complementing every-week stars in your lineups with players going against teams fielding high-powered offenses and shaky defenses that look worse when they’re in “prevent” mode to close out a win.

Opposing quarterbacks facing the Kansas City Chiefs have thrown for more yards than Patrick Mahomes. Opposing quarterbacks of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have thrown for more yards and thrown more touchdowns than Tom Brady. Opposing quarterbacks facing the Dallas Cowboys have thrown for almost 300 more yards than Dak Prescott. Opposing quarterbacks facing the Baltimore Ravens are averaging 293 yards a game. Opposing quarterbacks facing the Green Bay Packers have thrown more touchdown passes (10) than Aaron Rodgers has (8). The Rams are allowing more yards a game (397) than they’re producing (391).

The only exception to this has been the Buffalo Bills. After losing in Week 1 at home to Pittsburgh, they’ve outscored their opponents 118-21. They still beat up people the old-fashioned way, but for a lot of the teams getting the tout as being Super Bowl contenders thanks to their offenses, their own prowess is coming back to roost on their defenses.

The longstanding tradition of stacking your lineup against the dregs of the league will likely never go away. But with the aggressive offenses that are reaching the top, more people should be looking at when are the Chiefs, Bucs or Cowboys coming to town.

Here is the Week 5 Fantasy Market Report.

Fantasy Football Risers

RB/WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Atlanta Falcons

Patterson has never lived up to being a regular in fantasy lineups (at least those who aspire to win), because he’s never deserved to be. He’s bounced around the league and may have finally found his spot. Known more as the most dangerous kick returner in the game, he’s become the main scoring threat in Atlanta. He’s second on the team in receptions (18). But, Matt Ryan has thrown eight touchdown passes and four have been to Patterson. He also is second on the team in rushing (27-119) and has their only rushing touchdown. And he can still return kicks 109 yards to get you needle-in-the-haystack points. When one offense has nine touchdowns and one guy has five of them, you should want that guy.

TE Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills

Is Knox the Robert Tonyan of 2021? When evaluating the talent of the Buffalo pass game, Knox doesn’t come to mind, because he has just 15 catches for 144 yards. But, in his last three games, he has scored four touchdowns. When Josh Allen gets to the red zone, Knox is clearly his first choice, because he has scored one more touchdown than Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders combined.

WR D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers

He doesn’t get mentioned a lot among the discussion of the league’s elite wide receivers, but few have been the sole focus of their QB. Sam Darnold is cocked and locked on Moore. He has double the targets of any other Panthers receiver, has caught 30 passes, including eight each in the last three games. His low-water mark for receptions and yards is six and 79, respectively. He’s been a fantasy scoring machine and still seems to be slightly flying under the radar for what he has accomplished.

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TE Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys

The thing about tight ends in TE-mandatory leagues is that you have your handful of guys who are deemed to be elite, and then you have guys that get taken because they’re viewed as “red zone guys.” The Tonyan experience. Every few years, a pedestrian tight end catches lightning in a bottle with his quarterback and breaks out. Andrew Luck was really good at finding those guys. Schultz emerged last season when the ordained heir to the Jason Witten throne (Blake Jarwin) went down with injury. Jarwin is back but still an afterthought. He has been targeted just 12 times, catching nine of them. Schultz has been targeted 23 times and has caught 20 of them for 201 yards and three touchdowns. He’s gaining steam as the season goes on. In his last two games, he has caught 12 passes for 138 yards and three TDs – numbers that would surpass many of the big-name tight ends. He has Dak Prescott’s confidence. That’s worth something in fantasy football.

WR Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers

I think everyone is in agreement that it may be time for Ben Roethlisberger to throw in the Terrible Towel and limp off into the sunset. But, aside from being a difficult “Wheel of Fortune” answer because of having every vowel in his first name, Johnson is tearing it up. He’s played only three games but has nine receptions of two them — 92- and 105-yard outings — and a touchdown in the other one. He has consistently brought fantasy owners to the pay window while JuJu Smith-Schuster and Chase Claypool lag well behind. It’s time to be jump off the Steelers bandwagon, but Johnson may be the exception to the rule.

Fantasy Football Fallers

TE George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers

Kittle has never been known as a huge touchdown scorer. His fantasy value has always been tied to receptions and yardage. He has neither this season. He hasn’t scored a touchdown – not a huge surprise given his career penchant for droughts – but he has four receptions in three of his four games and 40 yards or less in two of those. Those who have Kittle on their roster came into with the knowledge he won’t score 10 TDs, but there was a legitimate expectation for 100 receptions. You don’t get there when you’re collecting them four at a time.

QB Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints

In Week 1, Winston seemed to pound a stake into the heart of Drew Brees with a five-touchdown beatdown of the Packers. Since then? Not much. Through four games, he has thrown for 613 yards and provided little in the run game. It’s time to jump off any hope the Winston train will roll again.

RB Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles

Sanders was brought onto rosters to be an every-week starter. He has yet to score a touchdown, and his rushing numbers gave gone down quickly and steadily (74-55-27-13). He has fewer rushing yards than his quarterback and fewer receptions than his backup. These are hard times for Sanders, and it doesn’t look to be getting any better, barring a significant change of course offensively.

WR Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos

The fantasy football world has been waiting to see what Denver could have in the receiver tandem of Sutton and Jerry Jeudy. Last year, they were denied because Sutton was injured. This year, they’ve been denied because Jeudy is hurt. Sutton has yet to score a touchdown and, with the exception of roasting Jacksonville (who doesn’t?) in his other three games, he has nine catches for 98 yards and no touchdowns. That gets old in a hurry.

TE Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers

He was the golden boy last year and has just eight catches for 74 yards and a touchdown through four games – a standard daily stat line for guys like Kelce. He is one-trick pony. Last year, it was a great trick. This year? Not so much. If you aren’t supplying the bread, there’s no need for butter.

Fantasy Football Market Report: Week 2

Fantasy football risers and fallers entering Week 2.

I was involved in a football roundtable discussion leading up to the start of Week 1 and the moderator asked, “What preposterous statement can you make about the 2021 season?”

I offered to go first.

“All four teams from the NFC West will make the playoffs.”

The rest were in unanimous agreement that my idea was preposterous. Last year was the first time such a concept was possible, but these are four teams built to win now. Russell Wilson has never had a losing season. Many project Seattle to finish last in the division. San Francisco has the personnel on both sides of the ball to make a Super Bowl run – their betting odds to make it show that. The Los Angeles Rams like to go all-in for a short-term run and felt all that was missing was a QB and traded for Matt Stafford. Arizona won eight games last year and is viewed by many as the trendy team to make the next big jump to relevance and dominance.

The new playoff format has four division champions and three wild cards in each conference. It can logically be assumed that Tampa Bay and Green Bay will be the prohibitive favorites to win their divisions. Someone has to win the NFC East crown. Beyond two-and-a-half teams, what team would you take right now over any of the four teams in the NFC West to make the playoffs in a head-to-head bet?

In Week 1, none of them played each other and they went 4-0. Three were on the road. Three were against 2020 playoff teams. And they won them all.

Thanks to the expanded schedule, what you do in the division has less of an impact if you have four quality teams than it ever has. Only six of the 17 games are played against division rivals. The other 44 games they collectively play will be against teams from other divisions (4-0 to start that slate), including the NFC North and AFC South.

Injuries may derail one of them, but it can’t derail all of them. Pay attention to the non-division games the NFC West plays this year. The only reason we won’t see more 4-0 weeks is that they’re going to start playing each other. It’s too early to be flying the “Mission Accomplished” banner, but we may be witnessing history that will be hard to replicate.

Here is the Week 2 Fantasy Football Market Report.

Fantasy football risers

RB Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers

Injuries help make careers and the 49ers have made their share in recent years at running back because of injury. Mitchell, a sixth-round rookie, was supposed to be an afterthought on the practice squad. However, an injury to Jeff Wilson and a healthy scratch of third-round rookie Trey Sermon, left Mitchell as the next man up. He responded with 19 carries for 104 yards and a touchdown and made a case that he should be in the mix at a minimum and the lead dog at a maximum considering Raheem Mostert is out an expected eight weeks.

QB Jameis Winston,  New Orleans Saints

With so many weapons missing from the New Orleans offense, it’s insane that Winston threw just 20 passes in his debut as the front man for the Saints. He completed 14 of them and, of those, five went for touchdowns. While one game doesn’t a fantasy starter make, one thing seems certain: Putting the boots to Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers has earned Winston the designation as the unquestioned starter – something that wasn’t a guarantee heading into Week 1. Winston was on the field for 60 of the Saints 62 offensive plays. He’s the starter – for better or worse and can be had on the waiver wire.

WR Corey Davis, New York Jets

There were a couple other mid- to late-round fantasy receivers I considered here (Deebo Samuel and Ja’Marr Chase), but Davis was a player who, despite being handed the No. 1 receiver job with the Jets, was an extremely modest acquisition for a fantasy owner. In his debut, Zach Wilson spent most of the day running for his life. Most of his completions were of the short slant variety, but Davis caught five passes for 97 yards (a 19.4-yard average) and two touchdowns. The Jets didn’t win, and Wilson didn’t look great, but it was obvious Davis is the clear-cut No. 1 guy for Wilson. They’re only going to get more comfortable with each other as the year goes by.

RB Mark Ingram, Houston Texans

There are certain guys I seemed to end up with every year. One who comes to mind is Frank Gore of Indy vintage. He would be my third or even fourth running back because everyone else projected him to hit the wall. He didn’t … until about seven years after that chatter started. He was a draft-and-trade guy in late September. I’ve always loved Ingram. He was ready to bust out before Alvin Kamara showed up in the Big Easy, and they meshed nicely – although cutting into each other’s value. In Baltimore, he showed out before he was quietly shown the door. Any running back for Houston is a problem because they’re going to be behind a lot this year. But, in Week 1, he had 26 carries – 11 in the first half and 15 in the second half. Granted, he only had 85 yards (3.3 a carry), but scored a touchdown. When you’re looking for depth, he’s not going to maintain that workload, but it’s nice to know it’s there. At worse, he’s a 1-yard belly flop for a touchdown late. If Ingram played Jacksonville every week, he’d be a starter every week, but there is value here.

QB Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles

I will be the first to admit that I’m not a big fan of Hurts – he strikes me as a poor man’s combo of Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield. However, the Eagles thought enough of him to cut bait on Carson Wentz and stick with cribbage buddies Joe Flacco and Gardner Minshew. A lot of quarterbacks fatten their stats against Atlanta, but Hurts had arguably the best game of his career, all things considered. He completed 27 of 35 passes for 264 yards and three touchdowns. He had an incredible target share for the seven players to whom he threw. He had three TD passes to three different guys and no interceptions. And he ran seven times for 62 yards. He hasn’t reached the point that you bench a pedigreed starter to put him in, but he’s getting closer.

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Fantasy football fallers

RB Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys

What makes Week 1 so troubling for those who used a first-round pick on Elliott was that the Cowboys were never in deep hole. Yet the Cowboys dropped back to pass 63 times and Elliott had 11 carries. Whether that was a one-game anomaly or not against a dominant run defense, it sure looked like an offense fully prepared to pass 50 times like it did when Dak Prescott was lighting up the NFL in September 2020. The fact Elliott had 11 carries for 33 yards and two receptions for six speaks unseemly toward his consistent role. The one takeaway was that, although the Cowboys had a chance to win Thursday night, they lost. That may have changed the tempo had they given Zeke a chance to do what he does.

QB Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

The thing the separates great quarterbacks from good ones and good one from bad ones is the regularity with which they have an absolutely garbage game. Donning a man bun and looking almost disinterested, Aaron Rodgers had one of the worst games of his career against New Orleans. Considering it was his first game after his redemptive MVP award, he couldn’t have looked worse. He completed just 15 passes on 28 attempts for 133 yards, no touchdowns — throwing two picks — for a passer rating of 36.8. Nobody who has him is going to bench him, but it least it has to creep into consideration if anything close to this continues.

RB Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings

Often when Minnesota struggles, it is because they don’t get the ball in Cook’s hands often enough. That wasn’t the case in Week 1. He had 26 touches, which, for Cook, should translate into 150 total yards and a couple of touchdowns. He had 20 carries for 61 yards (3.1 per carry) and had six catches for 43 yards (7.2 yards per). The problem isn’t Cook. He still managed 100 total yards and a touchdown. But, his offensive line is hideous – maybe the worst in the league. Things aren’t going to get appreciably better until they have a starting five they can live with – and the left tackle (when he plays) is a rookie. Injuries kill fantasy players and sub-standard starters don’t do much better.

WR Julio Jones, Tennessee Titans

In his debut with the Titans, of the 36 passes targeted to receivers, only six came Julio’s ways. Two that he caught each went for 10 yards. One went for nine. And he got called out by his new coach for a stupid penalty. There is no questioning that Jones is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but he is out of his comfort zone for the first time in his career. The early returns are brutal, which could lend to making a low-ball offer of magic beans to a Jones owner because things will get better, but he is known for lapses in production that string together. He will be benched more this week than perhaps any time in his career.

RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs

When CEH was drafted by the Chiefs, the dreams of huge things were running through Andy Reid’s head. Edwards-Helaire’s rookie season was supposed to be the making of legend. It wasn’t. In 13 games, he had three outings with 70 or more rushing yards and two games with more than 40 receiving yards. That was with Le’Veon Bell and Darrel Williams cutting into his time. He didn’t lack for opportunity in his second act. He had 14 of the 16 running back carries and had three receptions. They accounted for 72 yards – 43 rushing, 29 receiving. A trend becomes a trend when it continues.

Saints starter Jameis Winston faces uphill climb in fantasy football

Despite being named the starter, Winston’s outlook is far from pretty.

The New Orleans Saints have named Jameis Winston the starting quarterback for Week 1. What are the ensuing ramifications to know entering upcoming fantasy football drafts?

Following 15 seasons of mostly elite-level play from Drew Brees, the Saints will hang their 2021 fortunes on the right arm of Winston after he beat out Taysom Hill.

When Brees went down last season, the Saints turned to Hill, who went 3-1 in his four starts, albeit against teams that finished a combined 13-34-1. That didn’t stop New Orleans from re-signing Winston, and the general vibe most of the offseason has been that the former Tampa Bay Buccaneer was the slight favorite to start all along.

It makes sense as Winston is four years younger and boasts a stronger arm. He also features a more comparable skill set to Brees as a pocket passer and has more experience — Winston has thrown 2,559 career passes to Hill’s 134. Moreover, the 31-year-old Hill is just not that talented of a thrower in comparison to Winston.

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Individual skill has never been in doubt when it comes to Winston. Ball security is sure to be a major focal point after Brees averaged a paltry 8.2 interceptions over his final eight seasons, which is an area that Winston has struggled in the past. Not every throw needs to be a hero ball, and head coach Sean Payton won’t have much patience for this kind of play.

Of course, if Winston is asked to operate the same type of quick-hitting passing attack as Brees, turnovers figure to be less of an issue. To a large degree, Payton can manipulate Winston into favorable situations.

He will play behind a strong offensive line and has among the league’s best one-two punches at running back in Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray to lean on.

The receiving corps will be patchwork to begin the year, however. All-star wideout Michael Thomas (ankle) may not return until close to midseason after surgery, although he professes to be ahead of his rehab schedule. This leaves mostly unproven preseason darling Marquez Callaway as the likely WR1, followed by an amalgamation of Tre’Quan Smith (hamstring), who once again is injured and may be in doubt for Week 1, Deonte Harris, and Lil’Jordan Humphrey. The trio of Callaway, Harris and Humphrey generated 49 combined career catches in the regular season. It felt like Thomas caught that many balls by halftime some weeks.

Winston starting drastically raises the floor for all of his weapons, though. His arm talent will make players around him better, particularly the deep threats, such as Callaway.

Starting tight end Adam Trautman (foot) has been widely pegged as a breakout candidate, but he was carted off in the season preseason game with a foot injury and doesn’t have a clear prognosis just yet. Media reports say he escaped serious injury but is week-to-week. To further complicate things, his backup, Nick Vannett, is out up to a month, which puts the first two games of the season in doubt.

Jameis Winston fantasy football outlook

Winston will be asked to do very little in the first couple of games. Play smart football, hand it off, check it down to Kamara, and then take the occasional deep shot to Callaway. Look for Harris to be a creatively used gadget weapon early on, while Humphrey is somewhat of an X-factor.

The Saints open vs. Green Bay, Carolina, and New England, followed by the New York Giants and Washington before a Week 6 bye. Thomas is likely to return in Week 7. The early-season expectations for Winston should be rather low. All of those teams but Carolina have high-end pass defenses, and the Panthers’ improved pass rush could mask their deficiencies.

Even after the bye, life doesn’t get much easier, so Winston profiles as more of a spot-starter than a set-and-forget option. Some of the matchups could create more passing by necessity, and it will be a double-edged sword. Until we consistently see him protect the ball, increased passing from Winston is bound to lead to more mistakes than what you’d see from most other starters.

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Speculatively, he could become a victim of circumstance and lose his starting job through little fault of his own. With pretty close to a murderer’s row of a first five-game slate, coupled with limited weaponry, a 1-4 start, give or take, could compel Payton to make the move to Hill coming out of the Week 6 break. Be aware of this possibility if for some reason Winston is pegged to be your full-time starter.

Draft Winston as a low-end QB2 with marginal upside. He will use this opportunity as an audition to prove he can play intelligent football. His long-term fantasy worth is directly tied to the ability to make wise choices and show he isn’t a turnover vending machine.

Taysom Hill fantasy football outlook

Hill should be used in the same hybrid role he has filled the past couple of years, only with more snaps at QB. Payton had no qualms about pulling Brees in favor of Hill at pivotal times in the past few seasons, so one can bet that won’t change with Winston. If anything, we should see even more of Hill. As a standalone player, unless Winston implodes, no one should be playing Hill in 2021 leagues.

Great defensive effort by Bucs squandered by another Winston pick

Despite great field position, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were again let down by quarterback Jameis Winston.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are slated to bring quarterback Jameis Winston back in 2020 in some capacity. But, after seeing how he’s played in the first half of today’s game against the Houston Texans, they may want to rethink that decision.

Winston has already thrown three interceptions, bringing his league-leading total to 27 now. He threw one on the opening drive for a pick-six, only to throw an interception on the next drive, too.

His third pick of the day squandered a terrific effort by the Bucs’ defense, who had forced a Houston fumble before Bucs rookie linebacker Devin White scooped it up and took it back to the Houston 31. But, the team couldn’t capitalize on the great field position as Winston threw a pick on the very first play.

Surprisingly, Tampa Bay still only found themselves down 10-3 at that point. But, all those points by Houston can be attributed to the miscues of Tampa Bay’s quarterback — one the team will be bringing back again next year.

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Instant Analysis: Bucs win fourth-straight as Winston continues to shine

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers dominated the Detroit Lions for a 38-17 victory that pulled their record back to .500.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are officially on fire after beating the Detroit Lions today for their fourth-straight win. The Bucs have pulled their record back to .500 at 7-7 and with two games left — both at home — they have a chance to finish with their first winning record since 2016.

With that, here are some instant thoughts and analysis from today’s win.

Winston going wild

One of my bold predictions for today’s game was that Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston would throw for five touchdowns and at least one interception. Winston ended up throwing four touchdowns and one pick, while also setting a new career-high in passing yards with 458, one week after setting the previous high with 456 against the Colts. Winston now has 24 interceptions on the year, tying him with Doug Williams for the second most in a season by a Bucs quarterback. But, let’s cut Winston some slack. After all, Vinny Testaverde threw 35 interceptions in a season once as the Bucs quarterback. 24 doesn’t look so bad now, huh? More importantly, though, Winston’s Bucs are winning, which will likely be the reason he’s brought back to Tampa Bay next season.

Defense continues to grow

One prediction I was glad to see come true was the Bucs defense holding the Lions under 20 points, with the defense picking off Detroit quarterback David Blough twice and Shaq Barrett tying Warren Sapp for the franchise’s single-season sack record (16.5). Michigan native Sean Murphy-Bunting had quite the homecoming, picking off Blough for a pick-six that essentially sealed the victory for the Bucs. This defense is gaining some great experience over these last few weeks, and unlike years past, the team can go into the offseason knowing they have a solid defense to work with.

Godwin injured

Chris Godwin finished the day with five receptions for 121 yards before leaving the game with a hamstring injury. This comes just one week after Mike Evans suffered a hamstring injury that will sideline him for the rest of the year. We don’t know how serious the injury is for Godwin, but, there’s a chance the team could hold him out the final two games as a precaution.

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