Rams vs. Bucs: Daily Fantasy Sleepers, Lineup Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2022

Rams vs. Bucs: Daily Fantasy Sleepers, Lineup Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings

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    Jason Behnken/Associated Press

    The Los Angeles Rams-Tampa Bay Buccaneers divisional-round clash has the lower over/under of Sunday's two games, but it has the potential to set the tone for a fantastic day of football. 

    No one needs to tell you how fantastic Tom Brady's resume looks in January and February because it speaks for itself.

    The reigning Super Bowl champion is expected to link up with Mike Evans and Rob Gronkowski a lot in an attempt to pick apart the Rams defense. 

    Matthew Stafford should counter that with a heavy volume in the direction of Cooper Kupp. The "Triple Crown" winner in the receiving categories should play a massive role in a potential Rams victory.

    Cam Akers will likely compete with Kupp to make the biggest impact from the Rams offense. 

    Akers looked tremendous in his first volume role in his return from an Achilles injury against the Arizona Cardinals. He could be the Rams' perfect answer to Tampa Bay's strong run defense. 

Rams' Lineup Picks

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    Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

    WR Cooper Kupp

    The top part of your daily fantasy football lineup should be easy to choose. 

    Cooper Kupp is an easy addition at one of the wide receiver spots because of his level of production within the Los Angeles Rams passing attack. 

    Kupp only caught five balls for 61 yards in the Wild Card Round, but he still found the end zone and was the team's most impactful wide receiver. He was a fantasy football player's dream selection during the regular season as he led the NFL in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches. 

    He draws a tough matchup against a Tampa Bay secondary that made life difficult for Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles last weekend, but Kupp should find ways to get open to help Stafford move the ball down the field. 


    RB Cam Akers

    Cam Akers surprised everyone with how well he looked in the wild-card win over Arizona. 

    The Rams running back produced 55 yards on 17 carries and caught one pass for 40 yards. 

    Monday's output marked the first time Akers played a significant role inside the Rams offense this season. He returned from his preseason Achilles injury in Week 18, but he did not do much against the San Francisco 49ers. 

    Los Angeles needs Akers to help break through the tough Tampa Bay front seven that can take away the impact of any rushing attack. 

    The Bucs held the Eagles, who had the NFL's best run offense, to 95 ground yards in the Wild Card Round and limited seven regular-season opponents to fewer than 70 rushing yards. 

    Los Angeles' ground game may not run rampant on every play, but Akers gives it the best chance to achieve success. After what we saw Monday, he should be more than up for the task.

Bucs' Lineup Picks

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    Mark LoMoglio/Associated Press

    QB Tom Brady

    It could be easy to ignore Tom Brady as a daily fantasy football option at quarterback for Sunday's two-game slate. 

    Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes generate most of the attention at the position because the Buffalo-Kansas City clash is projected to have the most points of the divisional-round weekend. 

    Brady should put up some strong numbers of his own to be in the mix for the weekend's No. 1 quarterback. 

    Brady had a casual 271-yard, two-touchdown performance in the wild-card win over Philadelphia. He completed over 70 percent of his passes for the second straight week. 

    Brady has eight touchdown passes and one interception in the last three weeks, and he has five straight playoff games with multiple scoring throws. 

    The legendary quarterback is one of the most reliable players on Sunday's slate and could be utilized in a Tampa Bay lineup stack with Mike Evans and Rob Gronkowski.


    TE Rob Gronkowski

    Rob Gronkowski knows how to find an extra gear this time of year. 

    The experienced tight end came up with a touchdown on one of his five catches in the Wild Card Round to set another Super Bowl run with Brady in motion. 

    Gronkowski entered the postseason with back-to-back 100-yard performances and could have a massive game Sunday, especially if more attention is paid to Evans. 

    He could have more red-zone opportunities than he did in the wild-card blowout because of the expected close nature of the contest. 

    Gronkowski is Brady's most trustworthy target and has four multiscore games in his last eight postseasons, with the most recent one coming in the Super Bowl win over Kansas City.

    Evans is a solid choice to pair with Brady as well, but Gronkowski's touchdown potential gives him a slight edge. 

Sleeper Picks

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Los Angeles WR Van Jefferson

    Van Jefferson flies under the radar in the Rams offense because everyone talks about Kupp and Odell Beckham Jr. 

    Jefferson only caught one pass in the wild-card win over Arizona, but that was a 41-yard reception. He is the deep-play target in the Los Angeles offense and could thrive in that role. 

    The Florida product had four games with at least 80 receiving yards in the regular season, and he might play a vital role if Kupp and Beckham are covered up on certain plays. 

    If anything, Jefferson is worth the risk as a third DFS wide receiver because of his deep-play potential. 


    Tampa Bay RB Giovani Bernard

    Giovani Bernard was the unexpected fantasy star of Tampa Bay's wild-card victory.

    The veteran running back earned 13 carries for 44 yards and he caught five of his seven targets. 

    Bernard likely will not play that large of a role in the ground game with Leonard Fournette back in the fold, but he could still thrive in the aerial attack. 

    Tampa Bay is down a few wide receivers because of a handful of issues, so Brady may opt to combine with his veteran running back instead of the young wideouts on the roster. 

    Brady favored Bernard over Tyler Johnson and Scotty Miller last week, and the same situation could play out versus the Rams. 

    Do not expect Bernard to have anywhere close to 18 touches on Sunday, but he could pop up with 40-50 receiving yards and a touchdown that could make him the ideal sleeper play. 


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