Of all the moves to take place during this year’s free agency period, no move better encapsulates a team knowing what they need than DeSean Jackson moving to Tampa Bay.

As one of the most aggressive passers in the league, Jameis Winston will absolutely love throwing to Jackson.

Per NFL Fantasy’s Matt Harmon, Jackson created 2.89 yards of separation at the target point in 2016, which was the second-most in the league among receivers that saw 100 or more targets. This blends beautifully with Winston’s passing style. 68% of Winston’s passing output in 2016 came from yards-in-the-air (passing yards minus yards after catch), which was the highest rate in the league among qualifying quarterbacks. This simply means that Winston derived a higher rate of his total passing yardage through the air as opposed to his receivers accounting for the majority of yardage gained after the catch.

Jackson is excellent at creating separation. Winston loves airing it out. It’s a perfect marriage.

Not only is DeSean Jackson a great fit with Winston, he fills the Bucs’ much needed position opposite Mike Evans. While fantasy gamers may expect Evans’ target share to take a slight hit with Jackson in town now, Tampa Bay has plenty of open opportunity to spread around:

Vacated Targets

Vacated Target Share

Vacated Air Yards%

Vacated Red-zone Tgt Share





The Bucs' passing game is pretty scary now...Evans and Brate and D-Jax, oh my!Since Tampa Bay is not returning a bunch of middling talent in the fold, they have a ton of non-running back opportunity available heading into the 2017 season. While Evans led all receivers in the NFL in target share (30%) in 2016, it’s likely DeSean Jackson’s addition does little to really harm Evans’ volume.

We should also make special note of how many Air Yards the Bucs’ have available. Jackson was clearly brought in to take the lid off of defenses and he will seamlessly fit into the Bucs’ open void. For what it is worth, Jackson saw 18% of Washington’s targets and 30% of their Air Yards in 2016. Paired with Winston’s affinity for throwing aggressively, the Bucs’ have a perfect amount of opportunity open for the 30-year-old Jackson.

It will certainly be interesting to see where Jackson gets selected in fantasy leagues in the upcoming season. He will likely still be a boom-or-bust player and a better bet in best ball leagues as opposed to re-draft, but with the Bucs’ bountiful opportunity available, Jackson should be in the WR2 discussion once again in 2017. Mike Evans and Cameron Brate should soak up their fair share of the Bucs’ red-zone targets, but Jackson’s home-run ability is unparalleled. Among qualifying receivers, DeSean Jackson led all receivers in yards (579) on passes thrown 20-plus yards downfield in 2016. Keep in mind, Jackson missed one game last year and was banged up for about a quarter of the season while dealing with various injuries.

The Bucs’ passing offense just got a whole lot better.