2013 Fantasy Football: Steven Jackson in for Big Year With Atlanta Falcons

By Rich Arleo
Steven Jackson - St. Louis Rams
Mark J. Rebilas – USA Today Sports

Veteran RB Steven Jackson made a decision on his future Thursday and agreed to join the Atlanta Falcons with a three-year deal that fantasy football players should be thrilled about.

One of the top running backs of the past 10 years, S-Jax takes his 10,135 career rushing yards to the Falcons and will likely replace Michael Turner as the starting back. He is coming off his eight-straight 1,000-yard seasons and has a career 4.2 YPC (yards per carry) average. Throughout his career with the St. Louis Rams Jackson has always been a borderline fantasy RB1, but his lack of scoring (which was mostly the fault of his team failing to give him scoring chances) was always a big downside. Over the past six seasons as a starting runner averaging over 1,000 yards, he found the end zone a total of just 34 times. To put that in perspective, Arian Foster managed half (17) of Jackson’s six-year total in touchdowns just last season.

While Jackson is certainly getting up there in years and miles, he showed last year that when healthy he’s still one of the more dangerous backs in the league. The move to Atlanta was a smart move because he will have a chance to share some work with Jacquizz Rodgers. We’ve seen aging backs (Frank Gore) thrive after getting subbed in and out at times in games and Jackson should do the same. Throughout his career Jackson has always been a workhorse, but the game has changed and basically every team uses at least two backs consistently in games. While he will probably start and lead the team in carries, the occasional break will be nothing but beneficial for the veteran.

The other main reason this is a smart move for his career and his fantasy stock is that finally, after 9 years with the Rams, Jackson should finally see consistent scoring chances. Turner scored at least 10 touchdowns in five seasons with the Falcons; even last season in a year he averaged just 3.6 YPC. Jackson, who at this point in their careers is a better runner than Turner, has always been a big back that excels in short-yardage situations. Fantasy owners can look for S-Jax to score double-digit touchdowns for just the second time in his prestigious career. The move to Atlanta should bump the veteran RB up your rankings significantly.

Rich Arleo is a fantasy sports expert with Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @Rarleo, ‘Like’ him on Facebook and add him to your networks on Google.

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