By Jim Sarantes. Early in free agency, former Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson agreed to a three year $33.5 million deal with $20 million guaranteed to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. From a fantasy football perspective, this makes all the sense in the world.
The Buccaneers were just not getting much out of veteran, now free agent Vincent Jackson, who missed 17 games over the past two seasons. This caused quarterback Jameis Winston to lean on Mike Evans in the passing game which was good from a fantasy football perspective for Evans, but not good from the perspective that the Buccaneers missed the playoffs yet again despite a 9-7 winning record. Adding DeSean Jackson should help the Buccaneers be more productive as their modest 2016 passing numbers suggest.
From a league perspective, the Buccaneers offense concentrated on running the football more than they passed it, ranking seventh in rush attempts (453) verses ranking sixteenth in pass attempts (578). Yet, the Buccaneers were more productive in passing yardage ranking sixteenth overall (245.4 yards/game) versus rushing yardage ranking twenty-fourth overall (101.0 yards/game). The Buccaneers were more effective in pass scoring finishing eighth in the league with 29 pass touchdowns versus finishing fourth from last in the league with just 8 rushing touchdowns. Adding DeSean Jackson should only help the Buccaneers passing game which relied on Mike Evans for nearly half of its production last season.
Evans will remain Jameis Winston’s go-to wide receiver despite adding DeSean Jackson. The chemistry between Winston and Evans has been undeniable even when Vincent Jackson was active. DeSean Jackson will help relieve some of the coverage from Evans. Jackson should also be in line for a solid season in his own right.
DeSean Jackson is more valuable in non-PPR leagues than PPR leagues (points-per-reception) as he has topped 80 receptions just once in his nine year career. View Jackson as a candidate for 60 receptions and 1,100 yards receiving with 6 touchdowns, making him a WR3 in most formats. Mike Evans remains a WR1 while Jameis Winston will dance with QB1 numbers.