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Tampa Bay Buccaneers legend Derrick Brooks spoke with NFL Fantasy LIVE’s Dave Dameshek and offered his advice when considering current Bucs players in fantasy football drafts. The player Brooks believes will make the biggest impact is Vincent Jackson, who the former linebacker says “upgrades their offense immediately.” Jackson will be the most-tenured wideout on the squad and provides a dynamic the team has been missing since the days of Keyshawn Johnson, who helped the Buccaneers win a Super Bowl in 2002. Jackson currently holds an ADP of 61.93, which slates him as a borderline No. 2 or 3 wideout in fantasy leagues. Selecting Jackson in the middle-rounds provides solid depth for owners, especially when he faces the third-easiest strength of schedule among all fantasy wideouts in 2012.
The good matchups also bode well for quarterback Josh Freeman, who faces the second-easiest strength of schedule among quarterbacks. Brooks believes “having two deep-threat guys” in Jackson and Mike Williams will ease the pressure off Freeman and allow him to return to his 2010 form. In that season, Freeman finished seventh among fantasy quarterbacks with 258.44 total points. Though his 364 yards rushing certainly helped his cause, it is worthy to note Freeman reportedly showed up to camp 20 pounds lighter this year. Expect the fourth-year pro to be selected as a No. 2 quarterback with upside in the later rounds.
As for the run game, the addition of Doug “Muscle Hamster” Martin in the 2012 NFL Draft added some much-needed speed to the position. Though Brooks believes Martin will eventually “mature into that role” of starter, he does see the backfield being one of a committee approach shared with LeGarrette Blount. Neither Buccaneers back is being selected higher than the sixth or seventh rounds in NFL.com fantasy drafts, but consider Martin the one to target. His speed and ability in the open field have drawn comparisons to Maurice Jones-Drew, and he has shown flashes of that potential during preseason action. Consider Martin a borderline No. 3 or 4 running back in drafts, although he warrants higher consideration for those playing in keeper or dynasty formats. It’s only Year 1 of the revamped Buccaneers squad under coach Greg Schiano, but there is finally some fantasy excitement to be had in Tampa Bay.
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