Fantasy Football: WR Vincent Jackson a Must-Have in 2014

By Meng Song
Vincent Jackson Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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There have been quite a few changes for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers since the end of the 2013 season. There are a lot of factors still up in the air before we can determine how the team as a whole will perform in 2014, but that shouldn’t deter you from drafting Vincent Jackson. Here’s why he will be a phenomenal fantasy WR for you next year.

First, Doug Martin should be healthy and ready to go. Martin was placed on IR last November after suffering a torn labrum in his left shoulder. These types of shoulder injuries affect WRs more so than RBs, as they can inhibit a player’s ability to extend and make difficult catches.

But for a RB like Martin, the injury won’t affect his future carrying capabilities or his ability to catch short passes out of the backfield. More importantly, his legs and lower body strength, key components that allow a RB to succeed, haven’t been weakened. With Martin in the backfield, Tampa Bay should have a very strong running game.

Then you have Jackson’s sheer physicality. At 6-foot-5 and 230-pounds, Jackson is the definition of both a solid possession receiver as well as a prototypical red zone threat. Since joining the Buccaneers, Jackson has averaged about 1,300 yards and eight TDs in the last two seasons. Expect these numbers to go up as the clear-cut No. 1 WR on the team.

Who else does Tampa Bay have in their receiving corps? The Buccaneers traded WR Mike Williams to the Buffalo Bills for a sixth-round pick. Newly added TE Brandon Myers has yet to prove anything or establish a rapport with the offense. Even if the team drafts a WR, a rookie WR will have a lot of growing pains. Jackson will be the reliable WR the Buccaneers QB will look to first in 2014.

Speaking of which, it doesn’t matter whether Josh McCown or Mike Glennon will be throwing to Jackson next year. McCown has proven capable of managing a game, and if Glennon steals away the starting job, he has also shown himself to be a decent QB and should only improve on his performance in his second year.

Finally, here’s why I’m really excited for Jackson in 2014: Tampa Bay’s new head coach is Lovie Smith. Remember when Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler targeted Brandon Marshall 194 times in 2012? Part of that was due to their connection from playing together as Denver Broncos from 2006 to 2008, but Smith clearly doesn’t mind targeting the No. 1 WR on his team repeatedly if that’s their only capable receiver.

If Vincent Jackson gets even close to 194 targets next year, he easily has the potential to be a top-5 fantasy WR. He has the size, speed and experience to be that go-to guy for the Buccaneers offense. Don’t miss out on him in August. Grab him early and watch him explode.

Meng Song is a writer for Follow him on Twitter @ms0ng, “like” him on Facebook or add him to your Google network.

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