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Key Fantasy Matchups for Sunday’s Panthers-Bucs Matchup


Panthers QB Jake Delhomme vs. Buccaneers defensive backs

Delhomme has been fantastic over the years against the Bucs. He’s 7-1 with 13 touchdown passes and seven interceptions. He faces a Bucs defense that ranks 21st in the league against the pass, so there will be some opportunities there. Wide receiver Steve Smith dropped two would-be touchdowns this past Sunday, so look for him to be fired up this week.

Buccaneers RBs Earnest Graham and Warrick Dunn vs. Panthers defensive linemen

This season the Panthers have faced some top-notch running backs and shut them down. No back has run for 100 yards against the Panthers. That list includes the San Diego Chargers’ LaDainian Tomlinson, the Kansas City Chiefs’ Larry Johnson, the Minnesota Vikings’ Adrian Peterson, the Atlanta Falcons’ Michael Turner and the Chicago Bears’ Matt Forte. The Panthers have allowed only one rushing touchdown, and that was to a tight end. Graham struggled against the one tough run defense (Chicago Bears) he has faced. Dunn is real slicer type of back. He never gives a defensive lineman much to grab at because he runs low to the ground; he’s almost sideways as he cuts through the hole.

Buccaneers TE Jerramy Stevens vs. Panthers LB Jon Beason

Beason is one of the better young middle linebackers in the game, but he struggles to turn and keep pace with tight ends running down the seam. Stevens is one of the best in the league at getting down the hash marks, so the Bucs will look to take advantage of that weakness by running Stevens down the seam repeatedly. Not only will that give the Bucs a favorable matchup in the passing game, it should also take Beason out of the box. That should open up some room for the backs to get to the second level.

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