Despite a slow start to his career, Vincent Jackson remains one of the best and most productive wide receivers in the league.
Jackson was drafted by the upstart 2005 Chargers who were coming off a successful 2004 campaign where the team won twelve games. Jackson was always considered a promising young athlete at the time he entered the professional ranks. At 6’ 4” tall, 241 lbs., with 4.51-forty speed, Jackson had the stature and size of a tight end rather than a wide receiver. A former basketball player, Jackson amazed with his ability to grab a ball in md-air. If there were knocks against Jackson, they were the usual rookie ones like route running.
When Jackson joined the Chargers, he joined an already talented receiving group which included Eric Parker, Reche Caldwell, and the ageless Keen McCardell. Better than that, Jackson’s first wide receiver coach was the great, former Packers James Lofton. Eventually, Jackson would become one of the most dependable wide receivers in the league. After three modest seasons from 2005 through 2007, Jackson’s best season was in 2007 when he posted a mediocre 623 yards receiving and 4 touchdowns on forty-one receptions. In 2008, however, everything changed.
From 2007 to 2008, Jackson’s numbers rocketed to 59 receptions for 1,098 yards and 7 touchdowns. This was due in part to a career best 18.6 yards per catch compared to 15.2 yards per catch the season before. While the difference seems minute, it pushed Jackson up the ranks from a top thirty wide receiver to a top ten wide receiver, yardage and scoring. Jackson accomplished this despite not passing the benchmark 80 receptions (or more) like most top wide receiver finishers. And, Jackson did it again in 2009 with 68 receptions for 1,167 yards and 9 touchdowns. It seemed that not only did Jackson arrive, but he was here to stay. Besides a 2010 contract dispute where Jackson sat out eleven games of the 2010 season, Jackson was a model of consistency in his final season with the Chargers in 2011 where he caught 60 receptions for 1,106 yards and 9 touchdown grabs. Then, in his first season with his new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jackson hauled in a career high 72 receptions for 1,384 yards and 8 touchdowns. It seemed that things could only get better for Jackson with the Buccaneers.
Unfortunately, the 2013 started rough for the Buccaneers as their young, third year quarterback Josh Freeman struggled in the passing game, totaling a meager 571 yards through three games and just two touchdowns. Initially, Jackson seemed unaffected by Freeman’s struggles as he caught 154 yards in the first game of the season. However, the number fell to 77 yards in the second game, and 34 yards in the third game. And then, before the Buccaneers could get deep into the season, the switch was made to rookie quarterback Mike Glennon. How Jackson and the team would respond was unknown. Fantasy football managers didn’t know what to do. Keep Jackson or trade him? One could sense, however, that so long as the rookie could the ball within the vicinity of Jackson, Jackson would be alright.
After a throw away game in Week 4 to get some game tape on rookie Glennon, “Glennon to Jackson” has become a regular weekly play-by-play pronouncement. While there were two games where Jackson was held to under thirty yards receiving against two tough defenses (Seahawks, Dolphins), in the other four games, Jackson has hauled in 496 yards and 5 touchdowns! It’s an incredible pace, all things considered. If Jackson can hold the course with Glennon, Jackson is on pace to breaking his career best in yardage and touchdown scores.
This week, Jackson plays against a Lions team allowing an average of 283.8 passing yards per game. More importantly, the Lions have allowed their opponent’s No. 1 receiving options to total 639 yards and 7 touchdowns in the last five games! That’s an average of 127.8 yards and 1.4 touchdowns per game. Jackson is in line for a top five performance this weekend. Vincent Jackson is The Fantasy Greek’s top wide receiver play in fantasy football this weekend. Vincent Jackson is The Fantasy Greek’s fantasy football player of the week.
For more Top 5 starts at the quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, kicker, and defense/special team positions, visit TheFantasyGreek.com, “Your Second Opinion For Your Fantasy Football Instinct.”
Written By: Jim Saranteas – @TheFantasyGreek and @JimSaranteas on Twitter
Founder of the fantasy football advice site TheFantasyGreek.com
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