Josh Freeman

 

Just to be clear, Love Him doesn’t mean refuse a trade that will blow your doors off.  No player is untradeable if the price is right.  And List Him doesn’t mean trade him for a sack of dirty jock straps.  Try and trade him for what his current value is worth.

 

 

 

Josh Freeman the 24 year old QB for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  He stands 6-6, weighs 240 lb and ran a 4.9 forty at the Combine.  Freeman was a stud QB in high school where he set 10 school records.  Going into college he was a highly rated QB prospect, although at least one program wanted to switch him to tight end due to his size.  Freeman’s goal was to be a signal caller so he enrolled at Kansas State.  Freeman appeared in 11 games, starting eight, in his freshman year and set several school freshman records.  In 2007 as a sophomore he set more school records but it was his junior year when he really impressed, adding a running game to his repertoire.  Besides throwing for 20 TD’s he ran for another 14 averaging nearly 4 yards per carry.  The Bucs were obviously impressed with this as they drafted Freeman 17th overall, the third QB chosen in 2009.

 

In his rookie year Freeman started 10 games, and predictably struggled as most rookie QB’s do.  He won his first start to end the Bucs 11 game losing streak but overall for the season he completed only 55% of his passes and had a QB rating less than 60.  He also tossed 18 picks compared to 10 touchdowns.  In 2010 Freeman was awesome.  He threw for almost 3,500 yards, 25 TD’s and only six interceptions.  His QB rating was just over 95.  From a fantasy perspective he was the sixth best at his position between Payton Manning and Drew Brees, pretty heady company.  Unfortunately Freeman could not quite duplicate his success last year.  But was it as bad as many have indicated?  Here are his stats from 2010 and 2011 for comparison:

 

Season

GP

Att

Comp

Comp%

Yds

YPC

YPA

TD

Int

Rating

2010

16

474

291

61.4

3,451

11.9

7.2

25

6

95.9

2011

15

551

346

62.8

3,592

10.4

6.5

16

22

74.6

 

The first thing that pops out at you is the huge increase in interceptions.  But while his attempts, completions and yards all went up his yards per completion and yards per attempt went down.  Still, if it weren’t for all those picks his stat line last year would look pretty comparable to his breakout year in 2010.

 

Freeman’s ADP for 2012 fantasy leagues was around 130, so generally he was taken in the 10th – 11th round as a backup or possibly a timeshare QB.  On average he was the 18th QB drafted.  Last year the Bucs finished dead last in overall team defense, which would help explain Freeman’s propensity to throw so many picks as he tried in vain to get his team back into games.  Generally the pre-season predictions were for the Bucs to be more of the same this year, so expectations for Freeman were understandably low.  He finished 16th in fantasy points for QB’s last year and the consensus seemed to be he’d finish up in about the same spot this season.

 

So far in 2012 his numbers look decent enough, his completion percentage is down but YPC and YPA are higher than both 2010 and 2011.  He’s on pace to clear his TD passes from 2010 but also double his interception number.

 

GP

Att

Comp

Comp%

Yds

YPC

YPA

TD

Int

Rating

7

223

123

55.2

1,800

14.6

8.1

14

5

93.3

 

I think at least this early in his career Freeman’s numbers will be a reflection of how his team is doing as opposed to the other way around.  In 2010 Tampa had a strong ground game and a top ten defense.  Both of these can be seen as helpful to a young quarterback.  Defenses focus on stopping the run which provides Freeman more open targets down field and an effective play action game.  Opposing offenses weren’t running up the score so there’s less pressure on Freeman to have to win games with his arm. And less stress on him that one mistake could cost them games.  2011 was a different story, the running game was near the bottom and the defense was dead last.  Now teams could drop more defenders into coverage and bring more pressure, and Freeman found himself behind more often and in more third and long situations.  His inexperience handling that type of game is the major factor in how many picks he threw.

 

So far in 2012 both the offense and defense are a little better than middle of the league, and I believe again Freeman’s results are a reflection of that.  In the first four games the Bucs went 1-3 and Freeman was not really impressive in any of the games.  The next three games Tampa was 2-1 and Freeman looked good in all of the games.  If you look at what he’s done against which teams thus far, he has a pretty clear pattern of laying an egg against the better pass defenses and excelling against the bad defenses:

 

week

opponent

rank QB FPts against

Freeman FPts

1

Carolina

11

12

2

at NY Giants

22

18

3

at Dallas

3

8

4

Washington

32

16

6

Kansas City

24

29

7

New Orleans

31

35

8

at Minnesota

12

28

 

 

Other than against the bottom ranked Redskins, Freeman has performed up or down to the level of the defense he’s facing.  So let’s have a look at whom he will face the rest of the way:

 

week

opponent

rank QB FPts against

9

at Oakland

23

10

San Diego

26

11

at Carolina

11

12

Atlanta

4

13

at Denver

21

14

Philadelphia

14

15

at New Orleans

31

16

St. Louis

15

17

at Atlanta

4

 

Atlanta is the only top ten defense Freeman will face the rest of the way, and one of those games is week 17, irrelevant for fantasy purposes.

 

 

One Year League: Love Him.  You could make a case that Freeman would be a serviceable number one the rest of the way – other than vs. Atlanta – but preferably you have him partnered with a Rivers or Cutler and you can play the match ups.  I would definitely snap him up off waivers if he’s available in your league if you need an injury or bye week replacement – other than vs. Atlanta.

 

Keeper/Dynasty League: Love Him.  Definitely.  He’s only 24 and he’s already shown the potential to be a productive fantasy QB.  His value may be a bit high after the last few weeks but if you can get him at a fair price and are in need of either a timeshare guy now or a future prospect, I’d make the move.

 

Survivor Update: Last week I recommended Minnesota, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Green Bay.  Not sure why I was convinced Philly would knock off Atlanta, other than the way the Falcons played against Oakland the week before.  This week my best bets are San Diego, Carolina, Houston and Seattle.

 

FanDuel Update: Last week I finished 93rd out of 127, Ugh!  I had:

 

Ben Roethlisberger

Willis McGahee

Ryan Mathews

Wes Welker

Marques Colston

Reggie Wayne

Heath Miller

Garrett Hartley

Indianapolis Colts

 

Watch for the next contest, try your hand at winning some cash courtesy of DobberFootball and FanDuel

 

 


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