Fantasy Football: Jameis Winston a viable DFS option in Week 8

Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire

This particular recommendation might not make DFSers too comfortable, given the rollercoaster he’s taken his season-long owners on, but Jameis Winston represents a value play in Week 8.

While his Pro Football Reference page has the consistency of Sandra Bullock’s filmography, the Bucs’ franchise quarterback brings a lot to the table this week.

Mostly, the thing here is the mercurial second-year passer faces the Raiders at home.

They of the No. 32-ranked total defense and aerial stoppers, the Raiders are not a good bet to contain Winston throughout the afternoon. They could beat the Buccaneers — they are 3-0 on the road this season — but that victory is likely to come in a shootout, not a blowout. Save for their rout of the hapless Jaguars last week, the Raiders just don’t do that to teams.

While Oakland’s defense received some good news in the form of Mario Edwards and Aldon Smith being headed in the right direction, neither are playing for this week’s defense — and Winston has carved up some better stoppage crews this season.

Winston slots as a middling starter on FanDuel and DraftKings this week, being the former’s No. 11-ranked passer and the latter’s No. 15-highest-priced quarterback. He’s one of the players you want to look at if you’re into loading up on skill-position talent this week.

Clicking on Winston’s green arrow allows for a plus matchup and savings for ball-possessors who are more stable.

The controversial Heisman Trophy winner has indeed authored some rough outings in the form of two catastrophes, against the Cardinals and Broncos, but carved up the Falcons, Rams and 49ers. Which end of the defensive spectrum would you place the Raiders?

Oakland has ceded 500-plus yards to the other two NFC South teams it’s faced and allowed four 280-plus-yard passing days. Their more successful outings came against Blake Bortles (whose career is quickly careening into Jai Courtney territory) and offenses uninterested in modern-era aerial proficiency in the Titans and Chiefs.

While you have to think the Raiders are going to get better, they’re the only team allowing 300-plus yards passing per game. And they’ve been torched by receivers much worse than Mike Evans.

Tyrell Williams, Travis Benjamin, Marqise Lee and Steve Smith have surpassed 100 yards in games this season vs. Oakland. Despite Winston’s Bucs not being especially deep at receiver, a Raiders coverage corps that puts D.J. Hayden and Malcolm Smith in key stoppage roles can be attacked by teams that sport less-than-stellar auxiliary cogs. Reggie Nelson isn’t exactly proving last year wasn’t a fluke, either.

Winston has three games with at least three touchdown passes — having combined to throw for 10 against the Falcons, Rams and 49ers — and while the TD-to-INT ratio isn’t where you’d like it to be (12-to-9), he’s not facing a team that’s proven much of anything in forcing QBs into uncomfortable spots (nine sacks, 28th in the league).

Oakland will be without key inside player Stacy McGee and isn’t a good run defense anyway, so the surprising Jacquizz Rodgers unearthing should help keep pressure off Winston, who is playing without his top two running backs.

Again, if you want surefire production from your quarterback, pay the high price and click on Tom Brady’s arrow. Or maybe Matt Ryan’s or Matthew Stafford’s. If you’re into exploiting matchups at QB and paying for skill talent, look at Winston. He’s not a lock to dissect the Raiders, but there will be plenty of opportunities to do so. They haven’t been even close to the kind of deterrent many expected them to be.

Until they do show something close to what many anticipated, quarterbacks playing them are to be considered — especially when it doesn’t cost much to acquire them.

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