Steven Jackson: Injury Concerns Make St. Louis Rams RB a Poor Fantasy Play

Brian LeighFeatured ColumnistSeptember 28, 2012

ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 16: Steven Jackson #39 of the St. Louis Rams rushes against the Washington Redskins t the Edward Jones Dome on September 16, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

If you're a Steven Jackson fantasy owner, it may be time to start scouring the waiver wire.

Jackson returned to Rams practice on Friday but, according to beat writer Jim Thomas, he looked "very limited" by his groin. Jackson was at less than full strength against the Bears in Week 3, so this news from his first practice back is highly discouraging for Ram fans and Jackson owners.

Per that same tweet from Jim Thomas, St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher isn't even sure Jackson will be able to play this Sunday, preferring to wait and see how he looks and feels during pregame warm-ups.

You have to imagine he'll give it a shot, though. As awkward as it is to say in Week 4, this is kind of a must-win game for the scrappy Rams. St. Louis picked a bad season to be half decent: for the first time in God knows how long, the NFC West actually looks like a competitive division. Hell, between the Cardinals, 49ers and Seahawks it might actually be the best division in football [cue Hell freezing over]!

The Seahawks look almost unbeatable at home, meaning that this game is ostensibly needed to avoid being swept by a divisional opponent. Considering those stakes, it's hard to imagine Jackson sitting out.

That being said, even if he plays––even if he were healthy––the Seahawks dominant run defense would make him a shaky RB2 play at best. Here's how running backs have fared against Seattle this season:

Player Carries Yards TDs
Beanie Wells (ARZ) 7 14 0
Ryan Williams (ARZ) 8 9 0
LaRod Stephens-Howling (ARZ) 2 4 1
DeMarco Murray (DAL) 12 44 0
Felix Jones (DAL) 1 1 0
Cedric Benson (GB) 17 45 0
Total: 47 117 1

Let's put it more clearly: The best RB fantasy performance against Seattle this year came from the Cardinals' third-stringer, who had two carries for four yards. Arizona's leading rusher against Seattle was actually WR Andre Roberts, who had one carry for 15 yards.

A healthy Steven Jackson would stand a chance at bucking this alarming trend of stoutness. A groin-hampered Steven Jackson would be lucky to crack thirty yards.

Maybe this is where you give rookie Isaiah Pead a chance to make something happen? Maybe you just target Danny Amendola 25 times, using him as an extension of the running game. Either way, this week does not bode well for Steven Jackson owners.

But hey, Tashard Choice is still available in most leagues!