Vincent Jackson: Breaking Down Receiver's Fantasy Profile at Midseason

Thomas GaliciaContributor IIOctober 25, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 16:  Vincent Jackson #83 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers makes a catch and runs in for a touchdown in front of  Michael Coe #37 of the New York Giants during a game at MetLife Stadium on September 16, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Vincent Jackson came to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to be their no. 1 receiver. So far he has done just that.

In the Buccaneers' first seven games, Jackson has been targeted 66 times and has caught the ball 29 times, for 626 yards and five touchdowns.

Against the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday, Jackson wasn't too big of a factor in the passing game, but he delivered the very few times he was needed, raking in two catches for 40 yards.

When the Buccaneers are in closer games, though, he's an even bigger factor, as seen in Week 7 against the New Orleans Saints, when Jackson had seven receptions for 216 yards and a touchdown.

With a young team still looking to sneak into the postseason conversation in the NFC, the Buccaneers will continue to look to Jackson to come up big in their passing game. By far, Jackson is Tampa Bay's no. 1 receiver and the most important weapon in quarterback Josh Freeman's arsenal.

Tampa Bay's only other threats are Mike Williams and Tiquan Underwood, who are good enough to merit enough coverage to free up Jackson but haven't produced at the same rate.

Being the Buccaneers' top receiver means Vincent Jackson is a safe bet on anyone's fantasy team as a second or third receiver. He will also get some help from the emergence of Tampa Bay's running game, which saw rookie Doug Martin break out in a big way on Thursday night against Minnesota.

Part of the Bucs' running game emergence is also due to Jackson, who has done a very good job blocking. This makes Martin an even more valuable asset, fantasy-wise.

If you have both players, consider yourself very lucky.

While Jackson wasn't all-world against Minnesota, he will be useful on your team in many of Tampa Bay's upcoming games. Starting him next week against the Oakland Raiders and their 22nd ranked pass defense will give you big numbers, as will Week 10's game against the 25th ranked San Diego Chargers, Week 11 against the 19th ranked Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay's game in New Orleans later on this season.