Buccaneers preparing for Week 3 without WR Joey Galloway

     by Bryce McRae on September 18, 2008 @ 07:59:04 PDT


Jim Flynn, of PewterReport.com, reports Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Joey Galloway (foot) was unable to walk on his injured foot Monday, Sept. 15, and will not practice Thursday, Sept. 18. He is not expected to play in Week 3.

With Galloway's expected absence this week, wide receivers Antonio Bryant (three receptions, 43 yards) and Michael Clayton (one reception, six yards) are the likely starting receivers. Bryant is expected to start at split end in place of Galloway, while Clayton should start at flanker.

Wide receiver Ike Hilliard, the team's leading receiver with 10 catches for a mere 86 yards, is receiving his fair share of targets in the offense even with Galloway and Bryant starting. Hilliard has received 12 targets over the first two games (six each game) compared to Galloway's 17, Bryant's 11 and Clayton's one.

Wide receivers Maurice Stovall (neck) and Dexter M. Jackson are both on the roster. Stovall has received just one target, and Jackson has been used primarily on special teams through two games. Stovall may not play this week after missing their Week 2 contest, and Jackson is a rookie in a West Coast offense, which generally kills fantasy value.

Hilliard, for fantasy purposes, should be acquired immediately if he is available in your league. He poses the greatest value, at least from the low-risk sense, and is available in 79 percent of leagues polled.

Both Bryant and Clayton should receive a slight bump in fantasy value without Galloway in the fold. Bryant (93 percent availability) could be used as a flex option this week, and he has some legitimate upside, while Clayton (99 percent availability) is not someone to consider starting until he shows something. In other words, the risk is too great to take a chance on Clayton. Consider Bryant a moderate risk.

This week they face the Chicago Bears, who have allowed 14.5 receptions, 145.5 receiving yards and 0.5 touchdowns per game to the position this year. The Bears defense isn't exactly a stalwart against the wide receiver position, so there is reason to believe the Buccaneers can exploit this weakness and reward owners with moderate production. Keep in mind, Griese has considerable knowledge of the Bears on both sides of the ball.

Tight end Jerramy Stevens returns from a two-game suspension, so it's tough to account for how he will factor into the passing game, but he could take a few targets away from Hilliard and Co.

Galloway should be stashed until the full extent of his injury is known. Hilliard is the must-grab of this group due to his experience. For now, pick up Bryant in deeper leagues if you are scrambling for an able-bodied receiver. Clayton should remain on the waiver wire except in the most extreme cases.

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About Bryce McRae

Bryce McRae is a Managing Editor with KFFL and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1999. He joined KFFL as a volunteer writer in March 2005 before becoming a Hot off the Wire Analyst in March 2006. He began working in his current capacity in September 2008. His work has appeared on fantasy sports sites such as Yahoo! and CBS Sportsline as well as in print. He graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2008 with a B.A. in History and U.S. Studies.

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