2012 Team Outlook: Tampa Bay

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2012 Team Outlook: Tampa Bay

A fantasy football preview of the Bucs this year. Profiled players include Josh Freeman, Dan Orlovsky, LeGarrette Blount, Doug Martin, and Mossis Madu.

The Buccaneers' offseason acquisitions of wide receiver Vincent Jackson (free agency), All-Pro guard Carl Nicks (free agent) and running back Doug Martin (NFL Draft) should benefit the offense and third-year quarterback Josh Freeman greatly this season. Freeman is coming off a disappointing sophomore campaign in which he threw more interceptions (22) than touchdowns (16). If Freeman rebounds, he could be an excellent bargain for fantasy owners-- making him worth targeting in the middle rounds of all fantasy drafts.

Dan Orlovsky appeared in eight games with five starts late last season for the Indianapolis Colts, completing 122-of-193 attempts for 1,201 yards with six touchdowns and four interceptions. Orlovsky played well enough to earn a two-year contract as a free agent from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to serve as Josh Freeman's backup. Unless Freeman misses an extended period of time due to injury, Orlovsky can be ignored in all fantasy leagues this season.

One of the biggest disappointments in fantasy football last season, LeGarrette Blount followed up a breakout rookie campaign with an injury-plagued and ineffective sophomore season in which he rushed for 781 yards and five touchdowns on 184 carries. The Buccaneers added Boise State rookie running back Doug Martin in the first round of the NFL Draft, which means that Blount's days as Tampa Bay's starter may be numbered.

The Buccaneers drafted Doug Martin in the first round of the NFL Draft with the hope that he would challenge LeGarrette Blount for the starting job. Martin, who rushed for 1,000 yards with double-digit touchdowns in each of his final two collegiate seasons at Boise State, appears to have overtaken Blount for the starting job in the pre-season and should have an immediate impact as a rookie. The Buccaneers significant upgrades to their offense with the additions of All-Pro guard Carl Nicks and wide receiver Vincent Jackson make Martin is an excellent sleeper candidate in all fantasy leagues this season.

Mossis Madu, a seldom used reserve as a rookie last season, will have a difficult time making the Buccaneers' final roster this season, much less have a fantasy impact. Madu rushed for just 55 yards on 15 carries last season. If injuries decimate Tampa Bay's backfield, he could get a look, but otherwise Madu's fantasy value is slim to none.

Vincent Jackson posesses every physical tool necessary to develop into an elite fantasy wide receiver, but it is hard to imagine that after leaving San Diego as a free agent this past offseason, that it will happen now in a new system with a new less-experienced quarterback. Despite eclipsing 1,000 yards receiving in three of the last four seasons, Jackson has never caught more than 70 passes in a season or scored double-digit touchdowns. The talent and upside is there, but there are also reasons to be wary of overpaying for Jackson on draft day.