Winston, who has demonstrated a proficency for the deep ball over his first two NFL seasons, should see his overall fantasy value increase with the addition of wide receiver DeSean Jackson.
The third-year pro already has 97 pass completions of greater than 20 yards on his resume over his first pair of NFL campaigns, with 12 of those connections eclipsing 40 yards. What Winston hasn't been too prolific in is 300-yard games, as he's compiled a modest five over 32 starts to date. Those numbers could see a notable boost with the addition of Jackson, who proved he still has plenty of downfield speed last season by averaging 17.9 YPC and hauling in 19 completions of greater than 20 yards. Winston clearly would have benefited from a viable No. 2 option in the receiving corps last season, when a knee sprain knocked Vincent Jackson out of commission in October and the team was besieged by additional injuries at the position. Despite that challenge, the 2015 first overall pick still eclipsed the 4,000-yard mark for the second time in as many pro campaigns and also upped his touchdown total to 28, despite the fact that the Bucs ranked just 29th in yards after the catch. With Jackson bringing an abundance of play-making ability, Winston's already solid ceiling should see a considerable bump.
Winston's comments came in response to a question stemming from ESPN.com's Josina Anderson's report that the Bucs could be a possible destination for Jackson in free agency. Winston set new personal bests across the board in his sophomore campaign, but did so while seeing his wide receiver corps considerably handicapped by injuries, especially in the second half of the season. With veteran No. 2 receiver Vincent Jackson one of the wideouts that was sidelined for an extended period for a second consecutive season, Winston seems buoyed by the prospect of what a healthy speed merchant like DeSean Jackson could bring to the offense opposite Mike Evans. The 30-year-old Jackson had 56 catches for 1,005 yards and four touchdowns with the Redskins in 2016, eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark for the third time in four years and sporting the highest YPC (17.9) in the NFL for all receivers with a minimum of 30 receptions.
The 2015 first overall pick underwent a physical transformation last offseason and reportedly was very diligent in his preparation, which paid off in across-the-board improvement in 2016. Winston established new career highs in every major offensive category, but also saw an undesireable increase in the area of turnovers. Winston threw three more interceptions than he had in his rookie season, while also doubling the three fumbles he was guilty of in 2015. While he did have some notable single-game performances -- with respective tallies of 312, 331 and a career-high 405 yards passing -- the former Seminole struggled at times during the Bucs' playoff push, completing less than 60 percent of his passes in two of the last four games. However, he was unquestionably compromised by a slew of injuries to the receiver position, and overall, certainly provided plenty of reason for optimism heading into 2017. If the Bucs are able to upgrade their receiver depth through either free agency and/or the draft -- and Doug Martin is able to make a full recovery from the personal issues that are reportedly plaguing him -- Winston should be primed for another bump up in performance next season.
Winston endured his share of struggles once again with yet another trusted pass-catching option down in Cameron Brate (back), but did enough to secure a winning record on the season for the Bucs. His 10-yard scoring dart to Mike Evans with 3:13 remaining turned out to be the game-winning touchdown, and gave Winston at least one touchdown in all but two games in the 2016 campaign. While the gradual attrition at the receiver position clearly affected his play, the second-year signal-caller still finishes his sophomore season with improved numbers across the board over those of his 2015 rookie year.
Winston completed 23 of 35 passes for 277 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in Saturday's 31-24 loss to the Saints. He also gained 14 yards on three rushes.
Although he amassed one of his better passing yardage totals of the season, Winston threw multiple interceptions for the second straight week, which played a part in sinking the Bucs' chances. The 2015 No. 1 pick was twice victimized by veteran safety Jarius Byrd, with the second pick notably coming in the fourth quarter at the Saints' 17-yard line and Tampa down by a 31-21 margin. Although the extensive injuries and subsequent volatility at the receiver position has certainly played a part, Winston has come up short in two pivotal road games that were essential to the team's playoff hopes. The Bucs still have a remote chance for a wild card berth, but will need considerable help to get there. Meanwhile, Winston will try to bounce back and insure his squad does its part when they take on the Panthers in Week 17.
|2015||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||16||535||312||58.3||4042||7.56||68||22||15||27/190||57||9||84.2|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||16||567||345||60.8||4090||7.21||45||28||18||35/239||43||4||86.1|
|2015||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||16||54||213||3.9||21||6||2||18|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||16||53||165||3.1||14||1||0||10|
|2015||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||2||2.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||1||1.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2015||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||6||2||0||4||0||0||4||0|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||10||6||0||3||0||0||3||0|