We all want name value. We want our names to be recognized for something, be it professional success, or a spot on your local steakhouse’s wall of fame as one of the few and proud brave enough to consume a 46-ounce slab of animal, and live to tell the tale.
But when a player’s only redeeming quality is the value of his name in fantasy football, he’s in a sad, sorry state. Pour some liquor out for Steven Jackson, guys.
Jackson has progressively faded into the middle ground of the Rams’ backfield to the point where he could quickly be Shaun Alexander’ed at the end of this season. Or quite possibly even sooner, with NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi reporting this morning that Jackson could be shopped aggressively prior to the trade deadline. He’s already splitting carries with Daryl Richardson, a seventh-round pick last spring who had 76 rushing yards last week (44 of which came on one play) to Jackson’s 52 on nearly even carries.
But despite his decline, Jackson is still feebly holding on to a modicum of value. Only as an RB3, though, and therefore also only as a flex play most weeks. On this particular Sunday against the Packers, the venomous combination of an unfavorable matchup, the time share with Richardson, and the Rams’ possible desire to limit Jackson’s carries even further to keep a valuable and notoriously brittle trade chip healthy make him a poor play even in the flex position.
This is a Packers defense that gave up only 29 yards to Arian Foster a week ago on his 17 carries. That’s only 1.7 yards per carry to one of the league’s premier running backs who had been averaging 106.4 yards per game, a severe outage that goes beyond the blowout status of that game.
With the backlog of byes this week, it’s difficult to bench a Steven Jackson, simply due to the lack of options to replace him even at the flex position. To review, the list of top RBs on byes today is long, and it makes you instinctively insert your head between your knees. Michael Turner, Willis McGahee, Jamaal Charles, Reggie Bush, LeSean McCoy, and Ryan Mathews are all just chillin’, watching football with pet tigers napping on their laps. All NFL gluttony is judged by a players’ pet tiger ownership.
But if there’s an option on your bench not named Steven Jackson — any option — I’d roll with him, especially given the Rams’ inability to score on the ground, and the Packers’ ability to prevent said scores. The Packers have allowed a modest four rushing touchdowns through six games, while the Rams are still waiting for their first rushing score from a running back. That doesn’t bode well for Jackson’s production today with the bulk of your fantasy points at the running back position often coming from touchdowns.