5 Reasons to Draft Steven Jackson in Your Fantasy Football League
The ninth-year veteran has tallied over 12,000 total yards throughout his career and has been a fantasy football stalwart for years. But much of the talk surrounding Jackson this summer has focused on the end of his fantasy relevance.
Here's a handful of reasons why that just isn't the case, and why savvy fantasy owners should strongly consider making Jackson part of their backfields again in 2012.
1. Production, Production, Production
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The last I checked fantasy points are awarded to running backs based on the yardage they rack up on the field, and Steven Jackson has been consistently doing that on the ground for years.
With the exception of his rookie season in 2004 Steven Jackson has topped 1,000 rushing yards every year he's been in the NFL.
Jackson's done that playing behind an offensive line that has been mediocre at best against defenses that were stacking the line of scrimmage to stop him.
His worst fantasy finish over that eight-year stretch in standard scoring fantasy leagues? 14th in 2007 and 2008, when he missed four games.
2. Steven Jackson Can Catch, Too
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Not only has Steven Jackson shown to be more than capable of racking up yardage on the ground throughout his career, but Jackson is also an excellent receiver.
Jackson has averaged nearly 45 receptions per season over the course of his eight-year career, including a ridiculous 2006 campaign in which he caught 90 passes and racked up over 2,300 total yards.
Steven Jackson's worst career fantasy finish in leagues that award a point for receptions (excluding his rookie year) was 15th in 2007 and 2008, which were once again the two years in which he missed four games.
That means that, regardless of scoring format, the worst that Steven Jackson has ever finished in fantasy football leagues is as a high-end RB2.
3. The Wheels Haven't Fallen off Yet
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Granted, no active running back in the NFL has more career carries than Jackson's 2,138—and it's that number that many fantasy pundits have pointed to as the sign that Steven Jackson is ready to break down—someone appears to have forgotten to tell Jackson that.
The 29-year-old has missed all of two games in the past three years and 10 total since taking over as the Rams' full-time starter in 2005.
Meanwhile, Darren McFadden of the Oakland Raiders missed nine games in 2011 alone.
Jackson also reportedly showed up for training camp in phenomenal shape, telling Mike Sando of ESPN recently "234.8 pounds and 5.1% body fat. I'm ready, let the games begin."
4. Steven Jackson's ADP Is a Steal
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Apparently a great deal of fantasy drafters are also ready to start throwing dirt onto Steven Jackson's fantasy football relevance as well.
According to MyFantasyLeague.com Jackson is currently being taken in the fourth round of fantasy drafts as the 15th running back selected.
Jackson is being drafted after the likes of Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles (both of whom tore their ACLs last year), Darren McFadden (who has yet to make it through a full season in four years) and Trent Richardson (who has all of zero career NFL carries).
Simply put, there's no better value pick at running back right now than Steven Jackson.
5. If You Want a Stud QB or TE Then You Need Steven Jackson
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It's become a fashionable draft strategy this year to use a first-round pick on a stud quarterback such as Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers or grab an elite tight end like Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots.
I won't get into a big diatribe about whether or not I agree with that strategy here, but should you choose to go that route, Steven Jackson can allow you to have your cake and eat it too.
By grabbing that quarterback or tight end in the first and then pairing Jackson with either the running back or wide receiver you chose in the draft's second round, you'll have built a very strong foundation for your fantasy team.
It may not exactly be the way I'd do it, but that dog will hunt.