Week Sixteen Analysis:
For the vast majority of his first nine seasons, Steven Jackson was a yardage monster who struggled to score, so the last month has been a new look for him. He's now scored five touchdowns in his last four games, while averaging a mundane 71 combo yards. In short, he's the exact opposite of what he used to be. San Francisco's seventh-ranked run defense has only given up three touchdowns to the position in their last seven games, so if you're starting Jackson, you're just hoping that Atlanta lands on the stripe. Basically, it's the same thing you hoped for with Michael Turner last season.
Week Fifteen Analysis:
In his last three games, Steven Jackson's improbable late-season run of production has included averages of averages of 20 touches for 73 combo yards and a score. Not bad for a guy who was pushing up daisies less than a month ago. Jackson will have a nice opportunity to keep chugging this week against a Washington defense that's given up a league-worst 19 touchdowns to the position. In fact, despite being a fairly average yardage opponent, opposing backfields have notched multiple touchdowns in six of Washington's last nine games. Anything less than Jackson's recent averages of 73 combo yards and a score would be a disappointment.
Week Fourteen Analysis:
We've been trying to bury Steven Jackson, but he refuses to go quietly. He's now scored three times in the last two games, after scoring just once in his first six. In fact, it's been over two calendar years since he's scored three times in a two-game span. He's also averaged a healthy 22 touches for 82 combo yards over those two games, so he's shockingly relevant heading into the fantasy postseason, especially against Green Bay. The Packers have allowed seven touchdowns to opposing backs in their last six games, and an average of 212 combo yards over their last five. You can actually start Jackson with a modicum of confidence this week.
Week Eight Analysis:
It looks like we'll see Steven Jackson this week for the first time since September 15th. He racked up 122 combo yards in his Falcons debut, and then injured his hamstring on a touchdown reception the following week. Since then, lousy line play and receiver injuries have allowed opposing defenses to clamp down on the Falcons' 26th-ranked rushing attack, to the tune of just 67 yards per game. However, despite the yardage struggles, backup Jacquizz Rodgers has scored four times in the last two games alone. Arizona's once-dominant run defense has allowed an average of 123 combo yards and a touchdown per game to opposing backfields the last two weeks, so if Jackson is close to 100%, he's got an opportunity.
Week Two Analysis:
Steven Jackson took advantage of a soft matchup in his Falcons debut, totaling 122 combo yards on 16 touches against the Saints. That box score included his first 50-yard run since September of 2009; although he looked like Michael Turner left his cement shoes back in Atlanta. Jackson should have an extra spring in his step this week against his former team. The Rams were a neutral matchup last year, and they were untested by Arizona's non-existent running game in the opener. It's a fine matchup for Jackson, and considering Roddy White's ankle injury and St. Louis' fierce pass rush, Jackson could certainly be in for a bigger role.
Week One Analysis:
Thirty-year-old Steven Jackson enters his 10th season in new digs, leaving behind nearly 3,000 career touches and a largely wasted career in St. Louis. Despite averaging 337 touches and over 1,550 combo yards in the last four seasons, he's never topped six touchdowns once during that span. However, the vastly inferior Michael Turner racked up double-digit touchdowns in each of his five seasons in Atlanta, and Jackson couldn't have a better opportunity to reach pay dirt in his first game as a Falcon. Last season against opposing backs, the Saints ranked 32nd in rushing yardage, 29th in receiving yardage, and only one team gave up more than their 18 touchdowns.
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Steven Jackson is entering his 10th season, is about to turn 30, and has amassed an ungodly 2,824 career touches. However, Jackson's missed just two games in the last four years, and he's averaged 1,551 combo yards over that span. His sole fantasy flaw has always been the lack of scoring opportunities in a defunct offense, but that's sure to be fixed in Atlanta. Michael Turner dragged his decomposing corpse around the field enough to tally double-digit touchdowns in each of his five seasons as a Falcon. Jackson has been liberated, and he'll be as motivated as ever in his final chapter.