Opponent: San Diego Chargers
Location: Raymond James Stadium (Home)
Josh Freeman has come a long way this year toward proving to fantasy owners that his problems in 2011 were not a measure of his ability and they are now trusting him again. He has had a very soft schedule since the bye in week 5 facing the Chiefs, Saints, Vikings and Raiders – this is the main reason that fantasy analysts are still somewhat sceptical. The Chargers are a stiffer pass defense and so Freeman is still no better than a marginal starter.
What a coming out party last week was for Doug Martin as he ran for 251 yards off 25 carries and scored 4 TDs against the Raiders with his 51 points one of the three best fantasy scores this century. I expect the San Diego Chargers will give the “Muscle Hamster” a much sterner challenge but I also believe he is a must start as an RB1. As for LaGarrette Blount, he’s been completely marginalised by last week’s game but I believe he needs to be owned in most leagues as a handcuff to Martin who will occasionally get a short yardage TD.
He’s been the most inconsistent elite fantasy receiver for a number of years but since joining the Bucs this year Vincent Jackson has finally settled down and put up good numbers most weeks. I do however think fantasy owners should be wary of Jackson this week – often we attribute a game against an old team as giving the player a boost but in this case I would contend that with how inconsistent Jackson was in his time in San Diego that they have seen all the ways to stop him implemented in the past and will have an effective plan to shut down Tampa Bay’s leading wideout – I rank him therefore as a mid to low WR2. However, this is good news I believe for Mike Williams who I see having a very good game as a result of the increased attention on Jackson.
The Chargers have been very strong against tight ends this season and Dallas Clark has seen better days – leave him on your bench or better yet leave him on waivers.