Fantasy Football Impact: DeSean Jackson to the Buccaneers

Wide receiver DeSean Jackson is expected to become the newest member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers today. He joins an offensive unit with a boatload of potential. Combining young wide receiver Mike Evans and quarterback Jameis Winston makes for some appealing fantasy football possibilities.

Speaking of which, wide receivers are often only as good as the quarterback throwing to them (see: Hopkins, DeAndre). Famous Jameis was seventh in the league with 28 touchdown passes and threw the ball a ton last season. Winston attempted 35.4 passes per game with only two instances where he finished with fewer than 30 pass attempts in a game (both especially low scoring affairs against Seattle and New Orleans). Despite some inconsistencies, Jackson has maintained his ability to break free down the field with an average yards per reception of 18.0 in 2016. Additionally, the Bucs had starting RB Doug Martin available for most of the season and still threw 57% of the time. Bottom line: the Bucs love to throw and haven’t been shy about letting it rip with Winston. This should be music to the ears of a burner like Jackson.

As with the Giants acquisition of Brandon Marshall, the Buccaneers have assembled a receiving corps with a bigger stronger receiver in Mike Evans and smaller shiftier Jackson. Depending on what Tampa Bay does in the draft this could spell the end, at least for fantasy purposes, for free agent receiver Vincent Jackson. After playing only five games in 2016 and 10 in 2015, it’s clear that the 34-year-old Jackson is trending in the wrong direction. When considering his quarterback now has another viable target to throw to, it is highly unlikely Jackson would return to his 2012-14 form of 1,000+ receiving yard seasons.

Vincent Jackson’s health issues over the past couple years may leave some fantasy owners scratching their heads: should the Bucs really be signing another veteran receiver with injury issues? A player who has played a full 16-game season once in his career, and has missed multiple games in three of the last five seasons? More optimistic fantasy players might take solace in the fact that when DeSean Jackson is healthy, he has been a serviceable WR2/borderline WR1 option.

DeSean Jackson’s Production in Seasons with 15+ Games

Year GP Yds. Avg./Reception
2009 15 1156 18.7
2010 15 1056 22.5
2013 16 1332 16.2
2014 15 1169 20.9
2016 15 1005 18

Ultimately the addition of Jackson should be beneficial to fantasy players who either own him or Jameis Winston. When looking at Winston’s numbers on pass attempts of 40 yards or more, he only completed four such attempts all of last season. For a quarterback with as many passing attempts as he had, this is a little underwhelming when comparing triggers with similar amounts of attempts, i.e. Andy Dalton with 13, Phillip Rivers with 16 and Matt Stafford with 10. However, the young core of Winston and Evans have the potential to elevate Jackson’s fantasy value.

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