In three such matchups, Freeman has completed 72 passes for 942 yards, tossing six touchdowns without throwing a single interception in the process. His numbers have increased dramatically, as he has improved his yardage total by at least 84 yards and thrown one more touchdown with each passing showdown.
I’m not hinting that that trend will continue (420 yards and three touchdowns last season is tough to match, let alone improve), but Freeman’s fantasy production has, not surprisingly, shown a direct correlation to the talent level around him.
Three years ago, Cadillac Williams (yea, that Cadillac Williams) was the team’s leading receiver when the Bucs hosted the Saints. In 2011, it was Arrelious Benn who paced the offense. The week six matchup last season saw Vincent Jackson lead the way, but Mike Williams and Doug Martin had yet to fully break out.
Say what you will about Freeman and the Bucs, but there is no denying that the 2013 version has as much talent as any team during his career in Tampa Bay.
In addition to the increased weaponry at his disposal, the Buccaneers coaching staff has put the game (for better or for worse) in the hands of Freeman when facing Drew Brees. “If you can’t beat them, join them” seems to be the mentality, as Freeman is averaging 42 pass attempts at home against the Saints (10 more than his career average).
I’m not saying you should bench an elite quarterback if you have one, but don’t be surprised if Freeman exits Week 2 as a top-12 quarterback.