The Atlanta Falcons finished as the worst rushing team in all of football last season. The team signed former St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson, but he missed four games. The Falcons backup rusher Jacquizz Rodgers started in his place. However, he disappointed fantasy owners and Falcons management alike. With a little competition, Rodgers can easily bounce back and be a viable handcuff to Jackson owners.
With Jackson getting older, turning 31 in July, the Falcons need to find a replacement quick. Rodgers was used a change-of-pace back to give Jackson some rest. In those moments, Rodgers succeeded. He recorded 96 carries for 332 yards and two touchdowns. Those two scores, however, came in Week 5. Rodgers was an added passing weapon for Matt Ryan, too. Rodgers caught 52 passes for 341 yards and another two touchdowns.
With no more Jason Snelling, Rodgers is the No. 2 running back for the Falcons. He is a good pass-catcher in the backfield and can break free on the outside for a long run. The Falcons offensive line has improved from last season, which will help the Falcons not finish as the worst rushing team again.
The Falcons drafted Devonta Freeman in the fourth round of the 2014 draft. Jacquizz scored only two rushing touchdowns, both in the same game. His season-high rushing yards in the 2013 was 86 yards. However, those 86 yards came on 18 carries (4.78 YPC). He finished with 3.46 YPC at season’s end.
Rodgers is not big enough to be an every-down back, coming in at just 5-foot-7 and 190 pounds. Freeman is two inches taller, but weighs a little more. The bigger size will help Freeman rush up the middle and break through the trenches, like Jackson. Freeman will give Rodgers a run for his money during Training Camp.
Rodgers will have no fantasy value to anyone but Jackson owners. Even then, Freeman may beat out Rodgers for the backup position. Rodgers should be drafted in only the deepest of leagues, 16-18 team leagues. If Jackson goes down again with an injury, Rodgers will have some value, but it won’t last long. Don’t spend anything more than a 14th round pick on Rodgers.
Bye Week: 9
Projected Round: 16
Auction Value: $1