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Falcon Crest?

Steven_Jackson5

The Falcons may have just added the last piece of the puzzle in their quest to create a truly dynamic and complete offense as they agreed to terms with former Rams running back Steven Jackson on a three-year deal worth $12 million. Jackson turned down $7 million this season alone to play for the Rams, but did so in order to join a contending team in hopes of playing in the Super Bowl. He should have at least a puncher’s chance of doing that as he joins a Falcons team that features Roddy White, Julio Jones, Tony Gonzalez and Matt Ryan on offense.

For Jackson, this is truly a best case scenario.

A washed up Michael Turner was the RB16 in many leagues last year and had 51 carries in the red zone alone (almost twice as many as Jackson) while averaging a less than stellar 3.6 yards per carry, his career low. Jackson averaged over four yards per carry with a putrid offensive line in St. Louis, while posting his eighth straight 1,000 yard season in 2012. Jackson is a true three down workhorse and he should have his best season in years, especially in the touchdown and pass catching departments. A reasonable projection for Jackson would likely be around 1,500 total yards, 40-50 catches and close to double digit scores if he can stay healthy.  For contending teams, he’s the perfect player to target right now. If you’re out of the mix and have him on your roster, now may be the best time to unload him and get some good value.

This signing puts a bit of a pin in the balloon of Jacquizz Rodgers. He’ll be more of a change of pace option than a “lightning” complement to Jackson’s thunder. It’s obvious the Falcons don’t feel he can carry much of a load, but they’ll likely find some creative ways to get him involved. Regardless, those who had Rodgers pegged as a “buy” candidate as a possible featured back have to be disappointed in the news. As far as emotions go, owners of Isaiah Pead and Daryl Richardson of the Rams have to be rejoicing.

Jackson is an absolute bruiser of a running back and ends his nine year career with St. Louis after posting 10,135 rushing yards, 472 catches, 3,324 receiving yards and 64 total touchdowns. The amazing thing is he only had one season with double digit rushing touchdowns (13 in 2006).  Even with the constant offensive woes in St. Louis, he’s had only one season where he averaged fewer than four yards per carry. While some question his durability, he’s only missed 13 games in nine years in the NFL as well.

He joins a truly explosive offense in Atlanta and should finally flirt with double digit touchdowns again next season. A rejuvenated Jackson wants to win a title and this was really the best place for him from a dynasty perspective. While the Packers would have also allowed him a chance to start, they employ such a pass heavy attack that his value would have been inflated in dynasty circles.

The Falcons will have a much more balanced attack next year, but will still look for Roddy White and Julio Jones to make the big plays first. With defenses keying in on those two monster receivers, Jackson should find some good running lanes for the first time in years.

It’s tough not to get excited about the prospects of Steven Jackson and Tony Gonzalez joining forces for one last shot at glory. The 49ers and Seahawks have both done a lot to improve their football teams, but the Falcons just got a shot in the arm.

Contending teams with Jackson on their roster just got one, too.

For the complete free agency rundown, visit our Offensive Free Agency Blog in our Premium Content that details each and every relevant move. We also have an IDP Free Agency Blog this year that covers all the IDP moves as they come in.

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Ken Kelly

Ken Kelly

Senior Partner - Executive Editor at DynastyLeagueFootball
Ken is a corporate trainer by day an a tireless editor of dynasty content by night. His passion for the World Champion Seattle Seahawks is second only to his love of fantasy football and the dynasty format.

Ken is on Twitter at DLF_KenK
Ken Kelly
13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Ray Voeller

    March 14, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    Not a Jackson owner but wow considering division foes weak Ds dynamic offense of falcons could be 1 year of fantasy gold. From a nfl fan perspective Jackson deserves a shot

    • Ken Kelly

      March 14, 2013 at 8:15 pm

      He won’t miss playing against SF and SEA twice a year, that’s for sure…

      • Derek

        March 14, 2013 at 8:18 pm

        TB had the #1 ranked defense against the run last year… just sayin’

        • DLF_KenK

          March 14, 2013 at 9:24 pm

          …Saints were last, so it evens out I guess. Shold be interesting to watch.

        • German Cowboys

          March 14, 2013 at 11:12 pm

          T.B. had the 1 run D last season, they must be good right, but who would run against them, if you could pass against them, who were one of the worst pass D in the NFL.
          any offense would pass all day against the Bucs.
          besides in their own division, which RB’s were they stopping, Turner? or the Saints runner, who could not show how good they could run, as the Saints had to pass all day because of their weak D and coming from behind because of that.
          i guess that leaves Deangelo Williams and the ultimate Teaser Stewart of the Panthers….well last time they did someting were years back.
          T.B. had or still has a good run D, but some of that positive credit goes to the gameplan of their opponent , who did pass all day on them.
          SJ should have a career season in Atlanta. IF his Hammy’s hold on.

          • Bubba

            March 15, 2013 at 5:27 am

            “any offense would pass all day against the Bucs”

            Yeah that was last year my friend. The Bucs were in rebuild mode last year and yes we were hurting at CB badly.

            Turn the clock ahead to this season. We snag the best Safety in FA and possibly in the NFL in Goldson. Pairing him with Mark Barron to form one of the hardest hitting Safety tandems in the NFL.

            Next will be to address the CB problem which Revis seems very possible at this point.

            I dont see TB being the team you describe above. And considering we are talking about SJax NEXT season this is all that matters.

      • DK

        March 15, 2013 at 5:13 am

        St.Louis had a pretty good defense as well. S.Jax is gonna be loving this weak run division. And the lanes? Has he ever NOT had 8/9 in the box?

      • seth

        March 15, 2013 at 6:37 am

        Ironically, the Falcons play the NFC West this year, so Jackson will face SF and Seattle, albeit just once.

  2. Jon

    March 15, 2013 at 6:41 am

    My only concern is his durability. He has a lot of wear and tear on those tires. If Atlanta incorporates a 75-25 split and uses S.Jackson wisely along with J.Rodgers, I could see him putting up one of his best ever statistical performances of his career. This will be the most talented group of players he’s ever been surrounded by. I don’t own him in any league but respect him for what he’s done over his career. For the sake of the game and for S.Jackson himself, I hope he does well. Here is to he and T.Gonzo giving it one last go. What an impressive supporting cast. Although I’m a Vikings fan, I’m rooting for Atlanta to do well.

  3. Nathan Mizell

    March 15, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    Sky’s the limit. Really no telling how big his year could be if he plays 15-16 games. 1500-1600 yes and 12-13 TDs possible. Ryan/Smith like a balanced offense especially in red zone.

  4. Brett

    March 15, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    As an owner of Jacquizz Rodgers, this is some terrible news. I was literally dancing when I heard Turner burned out finally. ‘Quizz is one of those rare RBs who are able to be highly involved in the passing game as well. In a PPR league, I am constantly looking for someone who fits this build (Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles, Ray Rice…) but I can get for a reasonable price.

    I hope Jackson ends up doing a 50/50 split, but I have a feeling that my bench will be staying warm for a while yet.

    • Silver&Black

      March 15, 2013 at 11:31 pm

      I know how you feel. I loved Quizz because our league rewards PPR. He’s not going to blow you away with his rushing yards, but with PPR he can be respectable, especially in deep leagues.

      I had Jackson last year, and ended up franchising him for 2013 as I see Quizz getting more of a KR/PR and replacement back for quick breathers.

  5. Chris R.

    March 19, 2013 at 9:52 am

    I spent a 2014 1st on him, hopefully I don’t regret it. Our league is 14 teams and starts up to 4 RB’s max if you flex 2 of them in so with me starting Lamar Miller & David Wilson at 2 spots, with likely Lacy filling the other RB spot with my 1.01, I felt Jackson was the perfect buy to complement some of my youth at the position. Even if I only get 2 stud years for him I think it’ll be well worth it, just have to hope he stays healthy and I don’t hate myself for mortaging the future.

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