Fantasy football players are quickly discovering that their mid-round investment in new Buccaneers receiver Vincent Jackson. In Yahoo.com leagues, Jackson was drafted at an average spot of 60.2 (end of fifth round in a 12-team league), 25th among all receivers, but he’s currently ranked 14th among receivers in scoring in standard formats.
The real draft-day bargain, however, may be Jackson’s fellow Buccaneer starter, Mike Williams – especially for those who are getting Williams into their lineups early. The third-year receiver was drafted, on average, in the middle of the 10th round, and he’s scored more fantasy points so far than the likes of A.J. Green, Pierre Garcon, Jordy Nelson, Antonio Brown, Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin.
The key for Williams is his continued success in finding the end zone, particularly in the season’s first month. Since he first stepped onto the field as a rookie opening-day starter in 2010, Williams has scored 16 touchdowns. That ties for 14th in the entire NFL over that span, and it’s tied for 11th among receivers only, matching the totals of Miles Austin, Brandon Lloyd and Wes Welker.
Moreover, six of those 16 touchdowns have come during the first quarter of each season. In 10 games conducted in Weeks 1-4 during his three-year career (so far), Williams has found the end zone in six of them. That includes both games this year, as he scored on a six-yard pass in the opener against Carolina and on an acrobatic 41-yarder last Sunday at the Meadowlands.
The only player in the NFL with more receiving touchdowns through two games than Williams is San Francisco tight end Vernon Davis, who has three. Williams is one of 12 wide receivers in the league who have already scored twice, joining Austin, Dwayne Bowe, Brandon Gibson, Stephen Hill, Stevie Johnson, Julio Jones, Jeremy Maclin, Kevin Ogletree, Andre Roberts, Demaryius Thomas and Mike Wallace.
For those who like consistency in their fantasy players, there are exactly eight receivers in the league who have scored in both weeks so far: Williams, Austin, Gibson, S. Johnson, Maclin, Roberts, Thomas and Wallace. Williams has a good track record in that regard. Two years ago he broke the Buccaneers’ single-season record with 11 touchdowns. That number dipped to three last year, but with Jackson now drawing so much attention, he’s likely to get more open looks around the end zone.