If you’re still playing meaningful fantasy football in Week 16 then congratulations, you’re either in your league’s semifinals or championship, and making an appearance in either is no easy task.
If you made it this far, chances are Atlanta Falcons running back Steven Jackson had very little to do with it. Jackson likely cost you a second-round pick on draft day but he missed five games due to injury, scored more than six fantasy points just once prior to Week 12 and is ranked 32nd among running backs in total fantasy points.
Jackson is averaging just 3.3 yards per carry since returning from injury, and he’s ranked 38th among running backs, averaging just 1.98 yards after contact per attempt. This week, the Falcons take on the San Francisco 49ers, whose defense is sixth in the NFL against the run, allowing just 99.4 rushing yards per game. They allow the fewest yards in the NFL after contact. This is not a recipe for success for Jackson and Atlanta’s rushing attack.
If you’re starting Jackson this week, you’re hoping he scores a touchdown. Jackson has been extremely touchdown-dependent in scoring fantasy points this season. He scored 11 fantasy points in Week 1 thanks to 77 rushing yards and 45 receiving yards, but the only games where he’s scored double-digit fantasy points since have been games in which he’s scored a touchdown.
Last week, Jackson scored two touchdowns and touched the ball 19 times, and somehow managed just 15 fantasy points. If Jackson doesn’t get into the end zone, it’s extremely unlikely he’ll provide fantasy owners with any sort of value.
The 49ers have given up just four rushing touchdowns in their last 11 games and they have allowed the fewest yards after contact within their own 10-yard line. The chances of Jackson scoring a touchdown — albeit anything can happen in any given week — are slimmer than usual in Week 16, and he’s demonstrated a year-long inability to make up for lost goal-line production between the 20s. Leave Jackson on your bench in Week 16.
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