TNF Primer: Week One Bucs / Cowboys

Updated: Sep 15, 2021

By: Little Italy (Publisher)

Follow on Twitter: @LILITALY853

Current DK Sports Book Line: TB (-8.5) 51 Total

The Travelers:

Dak Is BACK which is exciting for all us sports bettors, fantasy managers, and yes of course all the fans of America's Team. However, what isn't exciting is the matchup that awaits the young lad in his return. Dak has a tough test ahead of him right out of the gate as he gets a TB defense that gave up the 4th least fantasy points to the QB position last season (14 FPPG on AVG). With the Cowboys going into this tough matchup without arguably their best offensive lineman, Zack Martin, I'm both excited for Dak's return yet I'm hesitant in my belief he balls out tonight. Dak comes into week one ranked as my QB9 with his projected 23.33 FP, which is solid in this spot. The TB front is going to make it very difficult for the ground game to get going, as we saw the last time this unit was on the field just completely blowing up that high powered Chiefs offense, who was missing key pieces up front. So you take that into account and couple in a game script that should favor the passing attack and it's easy to see who should be busy tonight for the Cowboys (Dak, Lamb, Cooper, and Gallup).

What about Zeke? Though I do see Dallas relying on the passing game more than the rushing game Zeke will still get enough work to make him a fantasy starter, which let's face it as a first round pick in fantasy drafts you HAVE to use him, just temper expectations. Zeke comes into the opener ranked as my RB13 with a projected 14.7 FP. Pollard will see some work, but not enough to hinder Zeke in this matchup, which has me worried about Zeke is the TB run defense itself, which was ranked first in DVOA against the run last season, and guess what all those guys are back.

The Homers:

We know a few things coming into tonight's opener when it pertains to the defending Super Bowl Champs. We know that Brady is going to come out motivated. We know Brady is going to have a top shelf WR corps at his disposal. We know Bruce Arians is going to be as red as the flags draped over the big pirate ship in the back of the end zone, but there is one thing that we don't know and that his the touch share of this backfield. Over the off season Brady was able to land his James White, which he clearly missed at times in 2020, when the team went and secured Gio Bernard via free agency. Gio is going to be the passing down/ third down back for this offense, as the preseason told us (Bernard took every third down snap). With Gio being cemented in this role we know the ceilings of both ROJO and Lenny are capped. So who should we rely on tonight out of the aforementioned backs in tonight's opener against a Dallas defense who projects to be better then we last saw them, but still not that good. My projections lean towards the back who has the skillset that thrives in a Tom Brady led offense. My projections lead to a back who is explosive enough to take advantage of this Dallas defense who will be looking to stop the passing attack, leaving space for Ronald Jones to take advantage. That's right I have Ronald Jones projected for more yards and touches then Lombardi Lenny. Ronald Jones finished 2020 as fantasy footballs RB16 last season while only seeing 42% snaps played. That stat is telling in itself as to just how explosive he his in this offense. This number shows us that he doesn't need a lot of touches to produce thanks to his home run ability. So I like Brady, Evans, Godwin, AB, and ROJO the most in tonight's contest for the champs.


I love Antonio Brown in tonight's contest for both season long and daily contests. This contest has so many high level options at the WR position to choose from I lean towards Brown who is cheaper than Cooper, Lamb, Evans, and Godwin, yet should produce similar if not better numbers than most of these players. Arians has recently stated that Brown looks like the Brown from five years ago, which is coming from a coach known for his B.S. coach speak. However, I believe there is some truth in that statement. Regardless of how he has looked we know two things for sure; one we know Brady loves himself some A.B, and two, we know A.B loves himself some prime time spot light. So sure, Gallup could be more of a savvy move with the way he will be used both inside and out tonight, but the offensive line question mark likely will force Dak to get the ball out quickly, which doesn't bode well for a teams deep threat, who still figures to be Gallup most of the time. With that said Brown becomes the no brainer for me this week as my DFS Gem.


This spread sat at TB (-7.5) for quite awhile until more money came in on the TB side. I had zero interest in betting that -7.5 number let alone the now -8.5, instead I saw this as a prime candidate to tease down, so that's what I did. I bet three units taking TB -8.5 and teasing it down six points to TB -2.5 and then paired it wit the LA Rams who I teased down to -1.5 from -7.5 when they go against the Andy Dalton led Bears on SNF. So with that said I'm also going in on the TB money line in a couple of parlays and straight up itself. As far as the 51 total, I'm not betting it either way, as I believe this could be a lower scoring game then many are anticipating, with Dallas failing to be able to keep up scoring with the Bucs.

Player Props to Target:


Leonard Fournette 2.5 Receptions

-UNDER- My projections have him with just one reception tonight with him having his passing work reduced with Gio now in the fold. (L)

Dalton Schultz 2.5 Receptions

-UNDER- Blake Jarwin is back in the fold tonight after his season ending injury, which will limit Schultz's usage in tonight's contest. I have Schultz projected with just one reception. (L)

Blake Jarwin 19.5 Receiving Yards

-OVER- Correlating with the above Schultz prop I am going over on Jarwin's yardage tonight which is just a hair too low. I have him projected with 28 receiving yards in this one. (W)

Dak Prescott 12.5 Rush Yards

-OVER- I have him projected with 14 rush yards tonight. I think he has well over that projection even in his first action back from that gnarly ankle injury. I believe the TB defense will force him out of the pocket which will turn into rush yards adding up well past this 12.5 line. (W)

Tony Pollard 10.5 Receiving Yards

-OVER- Zeke will get the majority of the work tonight out of the backfield, but Pollard will get some action, especially as a pass catcher as that safety valve for Dak. I have Pollard projected for 16 receiving yards tonight. (W)

Antonio Brown 50.5 Receiving Yards

-OVER- I have AB projected with 56 receiving yards tonight. I think he will be busy and has the potential to blow this 50.5 yards line out of the water. (W)

CeeDee Lamb 61.5 Receiving Yards

-OVER- My projections have Lamb leading all Dallas receivers tonight in this contest with 71 yards. (W)