2012 Fantasy Football Profile and Projection: Buccaneers' WR Vincent Jackson
Excluding his five-game season in 2010 that was shortened due to a contract dispute and an injury, new Bucs receiver Vincent Jackson posted very similar overall numbers in his previous two full seasons: 2009 and 2011.
With his 2009 numbers in parenthesis, Jackson finished with 60 receptions (68) for 1,106 yards (1,167) and nine touchdowns (nine) last year.
That said, nobody would describe Jackson as being a model of consistency, especially after last season.
If you owned Jackson last year, you were certainly frustrated by his game-to-game variability. As an example, he thrilled fantasy owners with 141 yards and three touchdowns in Week 11 and then disappointed them in Week 12 with one catch for 22 yards.
Last year, Jackson had four 100-yard games. He totaled 27 receptions for 586 yards and seven touchdowns during those four games. In the remaining 12 games, Jackson had only 33 receptions for 520 yards and two touchdowns.
Unlike in 2009 when he had at least five fantasy points in all but two games, Jackson had less than five fantasy points in half of his games played (eight) in 2011.
As a free agent, Jackson signed with the Bucs this offseason and enters into a situation that is unlikely to improve his fantasy outlook.
Even though his old quarterback, Philip Rivers, and his new quarterback, Josh Freeman, both had disappointing seasons with 20-plus interceptions last year, few would argue that Freeman is a better quarterback than Rivers. Both should have better seasons in 2012, though.
In the past four seasons, Jackson has averaged at least 17.2 yards per reception each year. During that span, he ranks third among all receivers with at least 100 receptions with an average of 18.0 yards per reception during that span after only Pittsburgh's Mike Wallace (18.75) and San Diego's Malcom Floyd (18.51).
But now Jackson will be playing in what should be a (much more) run-oriented offense under new coach Greg Schiano. While LeGarrette Blount had a disappointing season last year, he is two years removed from a 1,000-yard season, and the Bucs traded up and back into the bottom of the first round to draft Boise State's Doug Martin.
Although he's the team's top receiver, it's unlikely that he is setting any career highs in 2012.
(Strength of) Schedule
Based on the cumulative fantasy points allowed to wide receivers last year by all of the Bucs' opponents this year, Jackson and the Bucs' receivers have the sixth-most favorable schedule from a fantasy perspective and 10th-most favorable in the fantasy postseason (Weeks 14-16).
Jackson is just outside my top-20 fantasy receivers, so if you're in a 10-team league, he is a WR3 or a flex if your league starts only two receivers. As the team's No. 1 receiver, Jackson should get targeted more than any of the team's other receivers and have an opportunity to post his third 1,000-yard season in the past four years. That said, you may be frustrated by the path it takes him to get there.
At only 29 years old, Jackson still has several of his best years ahead of him, but it will be within the Bucs' run-first offense, as he signed a five-year deal with the franchise. From a dynasty perspective, Jackson is a low-end WR2 or high-end WR3.
Projection: (Receiving) 65 Receptions, 1,035 Yards, 8 TDs; (Rushing) 20 Yards
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