Sunday was an absolute disaster for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers thanks to a 42-14 loss against the Tennessee Titans, but at least fantasy owners found a silver lining with the performance of tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
Seferian-Jenkins was the only Tampa Bay pass-catcher to notch more than 51 receiving yards, and veteran Vincent Jackson was a letdown for fantasy purposes. Here are the final stats for the two playmakers:
|Tampa Bay Pass-Catchers' Week 1 Stats|
|Player||Receptions||Receiving Yards||Touchdown Catches||Targets||Fantasy Points|
|Source: NFL.com standard fantasy scoring|
It is all about potential for Seferian-Jenkins, who was a second-round pick in the 2014 draft. He only appeared in nine games a season ago because of ankle and back injuries and notched 221 receiving yards and two touchdown catches.
Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com suggested this could be the start of a big 2015 season for the tight end:
Seferian-Jenkins has all the ingredients to develop into a prime-time fantasy performer. He checks in at 6’5” and 262 pounds with impressive athleticism that helped him notch 21 touchdowns in three collegiate seasons with Washington. His size and speed make him lethal on paper in the red zone, and the chemistry he showed Sunday with quarterback Jameis Winston is encouraging.
Both Winston and Seferian-Jenkins are youngsters trying to find their footing in the NFL, and Winston appeared to trust the tight end Sunday even in defeat.
As for Jackson, it is easy to become discouraged as a fantasy football owner during the first week of football after a long offseason, but don’t give up on the receiver as a must-start. The track record is impossible to ignore considering Jackson notched more than 1,000 receiving yards in six of the past seven seasons, including all three with Tampa Bay.
What’s more, Jackson would have turned in a more productive fantasy day if the official hadn't called back his touchdown catch for offensive pass interference.
On the surface, the absence of Mike Evans means Jackson should have taken advantage of his 11 targets that may not all come when the receiving corps is healthy, but Jackson also faced increased defensive attention Sunday.
Opposing defenses cannot afford to double-team Jackson as much when Evans lines up on the other side with Seferian-Jenkins in the middle, especially if the young tight end continues to make an impact like he did Sunday.
Jackson is still 6’5” and will serve as a security blanket for Winston in the red zone. The fantasy points will come this year.
The bottom line is fantasy owners should proceed with guarded optimism when it comes to Seferian-Jenkins until the 22-year-old proves himself beyond one week of production.
The fact Tampa Bay fell behind so early means it threw the ball 33 times, which is likely more than the coaching staff is comfortable with for Winston at this point. Running back Doug Martin also figures to get more carries in future contests in an effort to take some of the pressure off the rookie signal-caller.
Still, the athleticism and potential are there for Seferian-Jenkins. Another week of production like fans saw Sunday will make the former Washington Huskies star a high-upside starter in fantasy circles, especially at a position that isn’t as deep as wide receiver and running back.
As for Jackson, trust the track record, and don’t overreact to a single performance with a rookie quarterback in his first career start.