One of the biggest names in free agency was veteran running back Steven Jackson. Jackson, who is 29 and will turn 30 before the season begins, has spent his entire ten year NFL career with the Saint Louis Rams. This offseason, Jackson jumped ship from his loyal Rams to the Atlanta Falcons.
The reason for signing Jackson was because they needed to fill a void left when the Falcons released Michael Turner. Turner’s production saw a steady decrease over the last few years as his carries went up. However, Turner still produced at a decent rate on paper, giving Atlanta 800 yards on 222 attempts. With the stats still there, will Turner be a better fantasy option in 2013?
Turner is going to have to find a place to play if he even wants to be considered a better fantasy option than Jackson. From what it seems like, Tuner’s market is small to none. Any GM is smart enough to pass on a running back that has little to nothing left in the tank. For our analytic sake, let’s just say he is signed to an ideal situation.
In an ideal situation, Turner would get 150 attempts and not be a three down back. This is the role he would have gotten if Atlanta resigned him, but he didn’t get resigned. Steven Jackson has the ideal role in Atlanta, where he will get 250+ carries and a three down role. Jackson still has enough gas in the tank to make a big impact for Atlanta.
Fantasy wise, this question is close to irrelevant. Turner may have to wait for an injury in the middle of the season to find a new home. I doubt Turner will be drafted in a lot of fantasy football leagues. As for Jackson, he could be a very good flex player and he may be good enough to be a second running back. The obvious better fantasy running back for 2013 is Steven “Action”Jackson.