Steven Jackson's Instant Fantasy Reaction Heading into 2013 Fantasy Playoffs

Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 1, 2013

Dec 1, 2013; Toronto, ON, Canada; Atlanta Falcons running back Steven Jackson (39) runs the ball in for a touchdown during the first half against the Buffalo Bills at the Rogers Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Spor

Steven Jackson’s 2013 season for the Atlanta Falcons has been marred by disappointment and injury, but that didn’t stop him from dominating the Buffalo Bills’ defense in Week 13.

Fantasy owners that selected Jackson with an early pick or spent more money than they should have on him in auction drafts were finally rewarded in a critical late-season matchup. Jackson rushed for 84 yards and two touchdowns, good enough for more than 20 points in standard Yahoo! fantasy formats. He helped Atlanta win in overtime, 34-31.

If you stuck with Jackson and plugged him into fantasy lineups this week, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back.

Chances are, though, many were wary of Jackson this week, especially since he has yet to crack 100 yards in a single game. However, he seems to be hitting something of a stride with the fantasy playoffs right around the corner. He found the end zone against New Orleans last week and dashed the Bills’ defense in Week 13.

The best news for Jackson owners is the next two opponents he will be facing. The Falcons play the Packers and Redskins in their next two games, both of which have vulnerable defenses.

The Packers rank 27th in the league in opposing rushing yards per game as of Sunday’s action, while the Redskins check in at 14th. Washington is more susceptible against the pass, which means Jackson could get involved in the screen game.

It’s been a frustrating season for Jackson fantasy owners, but he may finally be worth starting heading into the playoffs. Those who have endured his bumpy season should take advantage.