Which big free-agent receiver signing will you go with in Week 1?
Will it be Washington Redskins top receiver, Pierre Garcon? Or will you go with the receiver that had success on the West coast and hopes to keep it going in the Gulf coast in Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Vincent Jackson?
For matchup and necessity purposes, roll with Garcon in Week 1.
It is expected that Washington will be in a shootout with host New Orleans today, and Garcon is slated to be rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III’s top target and deep threat. Garcon goes against a 30th-ranked pass defense from a year ago that allowed 24 TDs through the air.
The same can be said for Jackson in Tampa Bay. He is expected to be the top target and the deep target and go against a bad pass defense.
Carolina’s was 24th in passing yards allowed per game (246.8) and 25th in TDs allowed (28). In half-point PPR scoring, the Panthers allowed 11 receivers to have double-digit days. However, Atlanta, Detroit, Green Bay and New Orleans receivers, all top eight passing offenses a year ago, accounted for seven of the 11 double-digit outputs.
It is expected that Carolina cornerback Chris Gamble will cover Jackson. Gamble allowed 27 catches and two scores on the 60 times he was thrown at, according to Pro Football Focus. PFF ranked him as the 17th-best cornerback last season. Not too shabby for a player in a division with the Falcons and Saints.
Now the Panthers face a Tampa Bay offense that many assume will be run, run, run and more run from new coach Greg Schiano. The Buccaneers were 16th in passing yards per game last season (228.1) and 26th in TD passes (17). Meanwhile, Carolina was 24th against the run in the NFL last season (246.8 yards per game).
Jackson was the big free-agent signing for Tampa Bay in the offseason, but on a team that is run first and will take its shots when it can, I’d rather roll with the team that is likely to be in a higher-scoring affair and must throw to keep pace.
Even if the Buccaneers get gashed on the ground and have to go to the air to keep up, I’d rather not gamble on the guy facing Gamble to get me the trash points late.
Give me Garcon for Week 1 and monitor Jackson’s progress in the opener. If he has success against Gamble or is targeted frequently, it will be a sign that perhaps it is not all ground and pound in Tampa.
—Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter