The Tampa Bay Buccaneers added a big-time playmaker to their offense with the signing of wide receiver DeSean Jackson in free agency, which should immediately boost quarterback Jameis Winston’s fantasy football value in 2017.
The Buccaneers franchise quarterback improved his play in his second season under center, leading Tampa Bay to a 9-7 overall record, while recording career-highs in completions percentage (60.8), passing yards (4,090) and touchdown passes (28). Tampa Bay’s 6-foot-4, 231-pound quarterback continued to develop a rapport with standout wide receiver Mike Evans and tight end Cameron Brate in 2016, but gets a much-needed deep threat with the addition of Jackson.
The Buccaneers newly acquired receiver recorded five receptions of 40-plus yards in 2016 with the Washington Redskins and has caught at least one 60-yard pass every year since entering the league in 2008. The addition of Jackson should not only open up passing lanes for Winston, but should also open the door for deep play-action passes, if Tampa Bay is able to re-establish its ground game this upcoming season.
Winston finished the fantasy football season as the league’s 17th highest rated quarterback in terms of fantasy points in standard leagues, but should see an increase in numbers in 2017, particularly due to the addition of Jackson. The Buccaneers former No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft was on average the 15th overall quarterback selected in 2016 fantasy football drafts, but should surely leap Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, and even potentially Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer in fantasy drafts this summer.
Despite improved numbers from Winston in 2016, the Buccaneers as a team took a step backwards offensively. Tampa Bay finished the regular season with the 18th ranked offense in terms of yards after finishing fifth in 2015, but know their lack of a rushing attack clearly impacted the team’s overall numbers. The Buccaneers also have questions that need to be answered along the offensive line, and know scoring points in the NFC South will be at a premium in 2017.
Tampa Bay finished with the lowest scoring offense (22.1 PPG) in the division with rivals Atlanta and New Orleans recording the top scoring offenses in the NFL last year, and will look to head coach Dirk Koetter and Winston to get the offense rolling in 2017.
Koetter has surely already started to figure out ways to implement Jackson’s big-play ability into Tampa Bay’s offense next season, and compared the signing to when the Buccaneers acquired wide receiver Joey Galloway from the Dallas Cowboys in 2004.
“Joey Galloway, I used to be amazed by him, for his age how he could get behind defenses and do all of those things,” Koetter said last month, via the Buccaneers’ team website. “I think that is a really, really good comparison.”
While Winston likely won’t be one of the first quarterbacks off the board in fantasy drafts later this summer, Tampa Bay’s new dynamic duo of Jackson and Evans should surely elevate his fantasy value.