Between Marshall Faulk and Steven Jackson, it’s been a long time since the Rams have had to worry about the starting tailback position. Since Jackson took over the starting job, though, the second-string spot has been far less secure.
Free-agent signee Jerious Norwood might have been the answer, but he’s coming off a knee injury. Now, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch (via Twitter), the Rams have added Cadillac Williams to take over as Jackson’s primary backup.
There’s no doubt that Jackson—long a fantasy football stalwart for his dual-threat presence in an otherwise up-and-down offense—will still get the lion’s share of the touches for the Rams. But the addition of Williams will cut into Jackson’s numbers, and thus, his fantasy value.
Williams, like Jackson a potent receiving threat, established himself as a third-down back for Tampa Bay last season. He’s likely to play a similar role in St. Louis as the Rams look to alleviate the crushing workload that’s already started to wear down the 28-year-old Jackson.
As such, the biggest damage to Jackson’s fantasy presence will come in leagues that award points for each reception. With Jackson likely to see fewer obvious passing downs, he’s not going to catch another 46 passes this season.
As for rushing yardage, while Jackson’s production will probably dip, he won’t lose enough yards to change where he should go in fantasy drafts. The real question is how much his loss of receiving performance will affect him in a given league.
Fantasy owners should still keep their eyes on Jackson, but he may be available a few spots later in the draft now that his role in the passing game will be reduced.