Atlanta Falcons Nab Top Available RB
When the Atlanta Falcons released Michael Turner last month, it was obvious that they were going to look to free agency to fill the void left in their backfield. Consider it mission accomplished.
The Falcons have agree to terms with the top-rated free agent running back on the market, former St. Louis Ram Steven Jackson.
Since becoming a starter in 2005, Jackson has surpassed 1000 rushing yards in each season while maintaing a healthy 4.2 yards-per-carry average throughout his career. Jackson, 30, has spent his entire career with St. Louis and decided to test the free agent market this off-season for the first time.
While struggling with injuries in the early on, Jackson has been very durable of late. He’s only missed two games in the past four NFL seasons.
Along with durability, Jackson is a tough inside runner and excellent receiver. The only thing that has lacked in Jackson’s fantasy career has been a low touchdown total.
While Michael Turner began to wear down over the past three seasons, he still maintained fantasy relevance as a touchdown scorer. Turner surpassed double-digit scores in each of his five seasons with the Falcons.
The role of designated short-yardage scorer for an elite Atlanta offense will now go to Jackson, who should be primed to have his first double-digit touchdown season since his break-out 2006 season. Unlike Tuner, Jackson is also an excellent pass-catcher who will add an additional element to Atlanta’s backfield.
Fantasy Factor: This was probably the best case scenario for S-Jax and fantasy football fans. While Green Bay might be a more glamorous destination, the Packers just don’t place an importance on the running back position, while Atlanta tailbacks have had a long history of fantasy relevance. Jackson should easily surpass Turner’s numbers from the last two seasons and, provided he stays healthy, should be a shoo-in for 1200 rushing yards and 10+ touchdowns. Jacquizz Rodgers will see a handful of touches per game as a change-of-pace runner and part-time receiver.
Steven Jackson’s current ADP is 58.96, making him the 23rd running back off the board in 2013 fantasy drafts. That number is about to shoot up, as his value is going to do nothing but increase in a high-powered Falcons offense. Steven Jackson should be considered an excellent RB2 for the 2013 season and has even more value in a PPR.