Steven Jackson is about to complete a full decade as a premier RB in the NFL. And after his nine seasons as an absolute gladiator for the Rams, he has already generated over 10,000 yards (10,135) and 56 TDs during his career. He also accumulated 2,395 carries, while absorbing extensive punishment throughout the process. That includes 257 rushing attempts last season, when he collected 1,042 yards, scored four TDs, and participated in all 16 regular season contests. That outcome also rewarded fantasy owners that selected him 14th among all RBs during the 2012 drafts. That collective decision not only was executed out of respect for his abilities, but also with confidence that long-term wear and tear would not shorten Jackson’s season.
Jackson Was Productive In Struggling Offenses
Jackson managed to accrue those numbers, despite the fact that he was often the only consistently productive weapon on an otherwise unimposing offense. That misfortune was also prevalent throughout the majority of his tenure in St. Louis. While the Rams did rank within the top 10 in total offense during Jackson’s initial three seasons in the league (2004-2006), the franchise has been mired in the bottom 10 for sixth straight years since that time. But in 2013, Jackson will be performing for an Atlanta franchise that possesses one of the NFL's most potent attacks. Not only should owners plan on selecting Jackson very early during their fantasy drafts as a result of his southward migration, but can do so with confidence that he will deliver even better results in 2013.
Jackson Now Joins An Elite Offense
The Falcon offense stands in stark contrast to the recent units that Jackson participated with in St. Louis, ranking eighth in total offense last season, while averaging 369 YPG. They also scored just over 26 PPG, which was the league’s seventh highest total. The Falcons also finished sixth in passing with 282 YPG, which established a new franchise record. Matt Ryan posted career bests in yardage (4,719), TDs (32) and completion percentage (69%). And the prolific trio of Julio Jones, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez combined to gather 264 of Ryan’s throws.
Jackson Should Thrive In Dirk Koetter's System
But even with Atlanta’s assortment of impressive numbers, the team also ranked a lowly 29th in rushing, averaging just 87 YPG, and 3.7 YPC. Jackson can boost those numbers sizably this season, while capitalizing on the opportunity to perform within such a potent unit. His new OC Dirk Koetter is undoubtedly a proponent of sustaining an ongoing aerial assault against opponents. Yet you should not be concerned that Jackson will be prohibited from receiving an acceptable number of carries. Last season, Koetter was in the process of dialing up 23.6 per game with Atlanta, while utilizing a diminished Michael Turner and a disappointing Jacquizz Rodgers as the rushing weapons. Meanwhile, Jackson’s Ram offense attempted an average of 25.6 runs per contest. That is correct... a mere difference of two rushing attempts per game.