31-Year-Old Running Back – Atlanta Falcons
2014 Fantasy Football Outlook
Considering that Jackson lost four games to a hamstring injury and was playing behind one of the league's worst offensive lines last year, it's forgivable that he fell short (far short) of 1,000 yards...
Steven Jackson Contract Information:
Signed a three-year, $12 million deal with the Falcons in March of 2013.
Jackson (hamstring) returned to practice Monday, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
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|Rushing||Rush Distance||Big Rush Games||Receiving||Kick Ret||Punt Ret||Fumbles|
|2014 Proj||30||ATL||Subscribe now to see our 2013 projections for Steven Jackson|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Fantasy Points Per Game||Rushing Stats||Red Zone Runs||Receiving Stats||Red Zone Targets|
|2014 Proj||30||ATL||Subscribe now to see our 2014 projections for Steven Jackson|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Snap Count||Rushing||Rush Distance||Receiving||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret||Red Zone Runs||Red Zone Targets|
A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Steven Jackson: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)It was an injury to the right hamstring that cost Jackson four games last season, with the historically-durable back finishing with the lowest rushing total and average yards per carry of his career. Despite his coach's encouraging outlook, it's difficult to bank on Jackson reemerging as a 1,000-yard rusher as he enters his age-31 season. In addition to the injury concern that will likely result in an abbreviated training camp along with last season's decline in productivity, Jackson may lose carries during the upcoming season to backup Jacquizz Rodgers and rookie Devonta Freeman, both of whom have significantly less tread on their tires.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)Smith also added that a running game starts with the offensive line, and it's no secret that the Falcons' line was a disaster in 2014. Atlanta would only save about $1.8 million in 2014 cap room by cutting Jackson, who signed a three-year, $12 million contract last offseason. Between the contract and Smith's words, it seems likely that the veteran running back will return to Atlanta in 2014. Jackson ran for just 543 yards (3.5 YPC) and six touchdowns on 157 carries last season, but his team context and health were undoubtedly factors. While he's well past his prime, Jackson could get another crack at the Falcons' No. 1 running back job in 2014, though he'll certainly face competition for touches, at the very least.
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
After eight consecutive 1,000-yard seasons in St. Louis, Jackson heads to Atlanta this year on the wrong side of 30 and with 2,395 carries on his legs. The hope is that joining one of the NFL's elite passing offenses will allow Jackson more room to run and more goal-line opportunities. The latter should come to fruition – Michael Turner totaled 61 attempts inside the 10-yard line the last two years for the Falcons while Jackson languished in St. Louis with 22. But whether Jackson will improve upon his 4.2 YPC career rushing average is a tougher question. Jackson held up well last year (16 games, 257 carries, 4.1 YPC in a tough division), and he'll always give you something in the passing game – he's caught at least 38 passes in each of the last eight years. That said, third-year back Jacquizz Rodgers had 59 targets in 2012 and could see work on third downs, cutting into Jackson's total.
Jackson has eclipsed 1,000 yards rushing in seven straight seasons, including last year, when he totaled 1,478 yards from scrimmage with six scores. The low TD production can be attributed directly to an inept offense that provided him with just five goal-line carries – the same amount given to Jacquizz Rodgers and Tashard Choice – and Jackson converted only one for a score. Had Trent Richardson lasted three more picks, there’s a real chance the Rams would have selected the exciting rookie runner, possibly leading to Jackson’s release. That didn’t occur, so Jackson remains St. Louis’ feature back, though the new coaching staff has already stated they believe second-round pick Isaiah Pead is the long-term answer at the position. Jackson has missed just two games the last three seasons and still isn’t 30 years old, but he’s accrued 2,138 career carries, which is a legitimate concern moving forward. With his punishing style of running, Jackson is a candidate to break down.
Jackson managed to play in all 16 games last season for the first time since 2006, and though he recorded a career-low 3.8 YPC, he still totaled 1,624 yards. Jackson is still just 28 years old, but he’s already approaching 2,000 career rushing attempts, as no back in football has been worked harder in recent memory. In fact, he has more touches than any other RB in the NFL since 2005 – this despite missing 10 games over that span. Jackson has averaged just 6.0 touchdowns the last six years, and on 10 rushes inside the five-yard line last season, he gained a net total of zero yards, reaching paydirt only twice. Part of the blame belongs to the Rams’ porous offensive line, but the heavy workload has also sapped some of Jackson’s explosiveness. He remains a hard runner with excellent vision and will again be asked to carry St. Louis’ offense, but Jackson is a pretty significant injury risk now on the downside of his career. With offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels coming onboard and Sam Bradford likely to take a leap soon, the Rams are moving in the right direction, but unfortunately, it’s at a time in Jackson’s career when he’s moving the other way.
Jackson totaled 1,738 yards last season over 15 games — and scored just four touchdowns. He definitely deserves some blame for that low number, as he was terribly inefficient at the goal line (converting just 23 percent of his chances), but there were also 15 other running backs who got more attempts from in close, as an inept Rams’ offense continued to hinder Jackson. There’s no doubting Jackson’s on-field skills, but he’s played in 16 games just once during his six-year career. Offseason back surgery certainly won’t help ease the injury concerns that come with drafting Jackson, but the surgery that took place in late April is supposed to have an eight-week rehab process, so he should be fine for training camp. One thing to keep in mind regarding his surgery it that the doctor who performed the procedure estimated a recurrence in about 20 percent of cases involving football players, especially a running back who takes a lot of hits. If scar tissue develops, that can also have an effect on the nerve, which makes the herniated disk such a problem to begin with. Put simply — while the surgery ideally fixes a problem that has bothered Jackson for years, it could also be considered a red flag moving forward. Jackson is one of the true difference makers at running back in the NFL, but considering his team and questionable health – he’s got a lot working against him.
Jackson gained 1,421 combined yards with eight touchdowns last season despite missing four games for the second straight year. He finished strong upon his return, totaling 637 yards with four touchdowns over the season’s final five games, but he averaged a career-low 4.1 yards per carry, and he’s now played a full 16-game schedule just once during his five-year career When healthy, Jackson is a powerful back with breakaway speed and a dangerous option as a receiver out of the backfield. He scored just three touchdowns on nine goal-line carries last year after going just 3-for-13 from in close during 2007. However, the team signed center Jason Brown and fullback Mike Karney during the offseason, and when you combine that with the drafting of tackle Jason Smith No. 2 overall, St. Louis’ offensive line should be greatly improved. New head coach Steve Spagnuolo is defensive-minded and knows Jackson is the team’s best player, already naming him the centerpiece of the offense. New offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur has concurred, stating his plans to make it a run-heavy offense. While it seems like Jackson is a long-time veteran, he’s still just 26, and remember, he posted a monster 2,334-yard, 90-catch, 16-touchdown season just three years ago.
Jackson continues to battle the injury-prone label, missing three more games last year and being limited in a few others. His 2007 season was no doubt disappointing, but coming off a 2006 campaign in which he posted the fifthmost yards from scrimmage in NFL history, expectations were quite high. Jackson's running style leaves him susceptible to injury, but he did manage 933 total yards with five scores over the second half of last season, gaining 4.6 YPC in the process. Jackson is a terrific receiver, a punishing runner who doesn't shy from contact and possesses breakaway speed; in other words, he's the total package. Despite having just the 15th-most carries in the league, Jackson recorded the secondmost runs of 40-plus yards in the NFL with four. Health isn’t Jackson's only concern, unfortunately, as the Rams have an aging offense, starting with the deteriorating line. After being completely decimated by injuries last year, the O-line can only improve in 2008, and a healthy campaign from Marc Bulger would certainly help as well. New offensive coordinator Al Saunders plans on making Jackson the focal point of St. Louis' offense, so expect a return of increased activity in the passing game. Jackson is entering a contract year, thus running with his eyes toward a big payday. He'll still only be 25 this season, so he has fresh legs and plays in an NFC West division that is typically soft defensively.
Jackson shook off durability concerns and produced a monster 2006 season, highlighted by a remarkable 90 receptions. He had shown flashes before, but Jackson was too often banged up and seemingly didn’t see eye-to-eye with former coach Mike Martz. Jackson certainly enjoyed playing for Scott Linehan, however, as he tallied 2,334 yards from scrimmage last year, the fifth-best total in NFL history. Setting career highs in nearly every category, including touchdowns with 16, Jackson has become the focal point of St. Louis’ offense. The fourth-year back played an insane 83 percent of the offensive downs last year. Jackson not only answered questions about his durability by playing in all 16 games last season, but he also became a much tougher runner between the tackles, converting more third-and-1 situations into first downs (14) than any other back in the league. After never catching more than 43 passes in a season, Jackson also emerged as a huge receiving threat out of the backfield, benefiting greatly from the Rams’ emphasis on check-downs in Linehan’s offense. Jackson has also become a better blocker in pass protection and blitz pickup but still needs work. Considering his injury history, Jackson isn’t likely to withstand such a grueling pace again and has expressed hope of St. Louis bringing in a back to ease the load. Rookie Brian Leonard should help. The Rams also want to reduce Jackson’s reception total to the 60-70 range next year, as opposed to the astronomical 90 in 2006. Still, there’s plenty to like here, as offensive coordinator Greg Olson is slated to continue calling plays in 2007. After Olson took over play-call duties in Week 12 last year, Jackson averaged 172 total yards per game and scored 11 touchdowns in his six-week span at the helm. If Jackson played a full season like he did over the second half last year, his final numbers would rival even LaDainian Tomlinson’s.
Mike Martz’s departure and the end of the “Greatest Show on Turf,” leaves the Rams offense looking for an identity – with Jackson in uniform, though, they shouldn’t have to look very far. A powerful, fluid runner, Jackson proved to be more versatile than expected in 2005 as he make a nice contribution in the passing game, more than doubling his catch total from his rookie season. Jackson, however, is not exactly the complete package. His red zone conversion rate of 20 percent (9-for-45) was lower than you’d like to see from a power back and was actually padded by a couple of short TD receptions, but he was a solid 5-for-11 on his touches inside the five. With a renewed focus on the ground game under new head coach Scott Linehan, expect an improvement in those numbers in 2006. Another area of concern is Jackson’s health. He has yet to play a full season in his brief time in the NFL and battled through rib, ankle and hip injuries in 2005. St. Louis will want to increase his involvement in 2006, but as yet he hasn’t proven he can hold up under the 300-plus-carry, 400-touch workloads true feature backs have piled on their shoulders. Couple that with the addition of what appears to be a healthy Stephen Davis and Jackson owners might be disappointed to see Linehan limiting Jackson early in the year to save him for the stretch run. All that aside we still expect 22-27 touches a game for Jackson who should average close to 100 yards and close to one touchdown a game if everything goes as planned.
With Marshall Faulk taking a paycut and accepting his role as Jackson’s backup, the second-year man out of Oregon State will get the chance to carry the load for the Rams this season. At 6-2, 233 pounds, Jackson is an aggressive runner who punishes defenders at the point of attack and wears them down as the game goes on. Jackson also has good speed, but takes a while to accelerate, and he’s not shifty enough to evade tacklers. Jackson is nowhere near the pass-receiver that Faulk was, but he’s capable of making plays as a receiver. Jackson scored on 3-of-8 carries from inside the five a year ago, which is about league average, and, truthfully, too small a sample from which to draw. Given his excellent size and power, we expect him to be a successful goal line runner this season, and given coach Mike Martz’s willingness to give the ball to Faulk in close in the past, we expect Jackson to get his share of chances in the Rams’ productive offense. Jackson had arthroscopic knee surgery in January, but the procedure went well, and he’s completely healthy at press time. Moreover, St. Louis installed FieldTurf, which has been likened to playing on natural grass, in its home stadium, and that should be much easier on Jackson’s knees.
Another must-get in keeper leagues, Jackson’s upside is tied to Marshall Faulk’s health. Expect up to a half-dozen starts, but not much during the weeks when Marshall is active.