Running back Doug Martin entered the 2013 NFL season as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' top offensive option. After several weeks of iffy production, a torn labrum in Week 7 has put Martin on the shelf for the foreseeable future. In the interim, the team's top wide receiver, Vincent Jackson, becomes the No. 1 alternative for the Buccaneers as they face the Carolina Panthers Thursday night.
Through six games this season, Jackson has 36 catches for 544 yards and four touchdowns, including three different hundred-yard games. Jackson was held in check during his first game with new starting quarterback Mike Glennon in Week 4, but since the team's Week 5 bye, he has 252 receiving yards and all four of his touchdowns in the team's last two games.
Fantasy impact: The Carolina defense is third in the NFL in passing yards allowed, with a strong front seven that really hampers teams' passing games. That might temper Jackson's numbers slightly Thursday night, but with a new starter at running back in Mike James, the team isn't likely to make much headway on the ground. If they're going to do anything, Jackson has to be involved.
Jackson is a mid-level WR1 in Week 8 and is a must-start in basically any league.