Josh Freeman caught people’s attention after his first full season as a starter in 2010. He threw for nearly 3,500 yards and had a fantastic ratio of 25 touchdowns to six interceptions. The following year, he let people down when he ended up throwing more interceptions than touchdowns (16 touchdowns, 22 interceptions).
Then 2012 happened.
Freeman threw for over 4,000 yards and had 27 touchdowns, both franchise records. From Week 6 to Week 11, Freeman was a top-10 quarterback for all but one week. He went on a six-game run where he averaged 285 yards and had at least two touchdowns (in four out of the six games he had three touchdowns).
He was among the fantasy elite, or so it seemed.
Saying Freeman struggled at the end of the season is putting it mildly. In the six games following his hot streak, Freeman managed to throw 10 interceptions while averaging just one touchdown a game. He only had one game where he threw above the 285-yard average he had during his hot streak.
It was such a big drop in production that it leaves people wondering what Freeman has in store for 2013.
The fifth-year quarterback is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and there are no signs that the Bucs will sign him to an extension anytime soon. This means that it’s a make-or-break type of season for Freeman.
Tampa Bay even drafted a quarterback, Mike Glennon, in the third round this year to increase the pressure.
With weapons like Vincent Jackson, Mike Williams and Doug Martin, the team has done everything it can to put Freeman in a position to succeed. He also has a solid offensive line with two Pro Bowl guards in Davin Joseph and Carl Nicks. If they can stay healthy, there’s no excuses for Freeman.
Even though Freeman set franchise records in 2012, he still has a lot to improve on.
His 55 percent completion percentage from last year is something we would see from Mark Sanchez. He’s also thrown a league-worst 39 interceptions in the past two seasons, which is a cause for concern.
For 2013 to be Freeman’s breakout year, he needs to be more consistent.
Outside of the six-game stretch where he had success, it was really a poor year for Freeman. If he can turn that six-game stretch into a full season, or just most of one, he has a chance to be a steal in fantasy.
Right now, Freeman’s ADP is falling. In the past few months, he’s gone from the 11th round to the 14th. He’s the 24th quarterback coming off of the board, according to Fantasy Football Calculator.
We have seen the potential of Freeman in past years. If he can find a way to reduce his interceptions and play efficiently in 2013, he could turn into a top-10 option at quarterback.