Steven Jackson: Evaluating the Rams' RB's Fantasy Value Going Forward

Travis Wakeman@@traviswakeman10Featured Columnist IVSeptember 28, 2012

CHICAGO, IL- SEPTEMBER 23:  Steven Jackson #39 of the St. Louis Rams is tackled by  Lance Briggs #55 of the Chicago Bears on September 23, 2012 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Chicago Bears defeated the St. Louis Rams 23-6.  (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
David Banks/Getty Images

For years, St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson has been one of the top point-producers in fantasy football.

Remember when you went to your draft with the running back first approach? Maybe you still do, but with the NFL becoming more pass-happy, many leagues don't work that way anymore. Still, Jackson has always been one of the more consistent players at the position—one who would produce solid points in your lineup.

But now that Jeff Fisher has come in as the new head coach, it doesn't seem that the offense is centered on the workhorse running back anymore.

In the first three weeks of this season, Jackson has rushed for a mere 140 yards and is averaging just 3.4 yards per carry. He has also yet to find the end zone.

In Week 1 against the Detroit Lions, Jackson had 25 touches and a decent day. But the following week in a win over the Redskins, Jackson was pulled from the game after getting a frustrating unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. After the game it was reported that Jackson was suffering from a groin injury, and that led to him being questionable throughout the following week.

After the Rams' first offensive series against the Bears, Jackson was shown on the sideline with a heavy ice pack around his leg, nursing the injury. Jackson is again listed as questionable heading into Week 4 against Seattle.

Add the fact that the Rams seem to have found a nice spark off the bench in Daryl Richardson—a rookie from Abilene Christian—and this may be the year that Jackson sees his role decreased.

Richardson has rushed for 119 yards in spot duty on the season and is averaging a very nice 5.6 yards per carry.

Jackson has never really shared the backfield with anyone in St. Louis since supplanting Hall-of-Famer Marshall Faulk and becoming the team's featured back. But he is 29 years old, and Fisher seems eager to give other players a chance. the Rams also spent a second-round draft pick on Isaiah Pead.

From a fantasy perspective, you will probably see Jackson listed as 'questionable' and a 'game-time decision' very often this year. If you own him, hopefully you have good depth at the position, but if you're like most fantasy users and spent a pick on him within the first four rounds, he was probably supposed to be your No. 1 running back.

The time has come to realize that Jackson is no longer a No. 1 running back in the world of fantasy football. If you can get anything close to value for him, try to dump him on another owner. If not, you will be have many Sunday headaches.