Draft Zone: 12th Ranked Running Back – Falcons Steven Jackson

Atlanta Falcons Steven Jackson is the 12th ranked running back in this year’s 2013 fantasy draft standings. With an Average Draft Position (ADP) of 17, he’s likely to be taken sometime in the second round of most fantasy drafts.

Jackson will be coming off a decent year with the Rams in 2012, as he recorded 1,042 yards, 321 receiving yards and scored 4 touchdowns.

Though he’s 30 years old, he’s about as consistent as they come. 2012 was Jackson’s 8th straight season with more than 1,000 rushing yards, and 5th straight with more than 320 receiving yards.

Jackson will be entering his first season with the Atlanta Falcons, where he will be taking over for Michael Turner as the team’s starter.

Last season, Turner got 220 carries, but was notably on the last leg of his career. Jackson should be able to carry an even bigger workload, and should figure to get around 250 carries like he did last season. In that instance, another 1,000 yard season seems within reach.

With a better passing offense to work with, Jackson should be just as effective or even more so in the receiving game. You can likely pencil him in for at least 300 yards receiving as well.

Jackson will join an offense that sees the goal line much more often than the Rams did, therefore giving him a chance to score more touchdowns than last season. This is the offense that helped a slow, aging, Michael Turner score 11 touchdowns last season. Jackson should be able to match or beat this total as he assumes Turner’s goal line carries. This combined with his solid yardage numbers can make him a great fantasy option.

Jackson’s age has raised some concern that he will stop producing. However, his consistency and well-fitting situation in Atlanta will put those concerns to bed. Taking Jackson in the second round is a decent choice, just be sure to draft his handcuff, Jacquizz Rodgers.

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