|2009 X Factor: Steven Jackson|
|Written by Jeff Hoffman, Editor|
|Monday, 20 July 2009 03:14|
When you look at the rankings of various websites and magazines, one thing really sticks out at you. With the exception of Adrian Peterson at the number one spot, the rest of the first round is full of risk, unknown, and risky upside. When you consider that even in a year where the top ten are predictable about 40% of the first round players end up being busts, the fact that the top ten this year is full of question marks, just makes the first round this year, a bigger crapshoot than is past years.
Given this, after Adrian Peterson when looking for a player to take in the first round that is a convergence of low exposure and upside, to minimum your chances of a bust, and maximize the changes of a home run. Let’s look at a few players we can consider:
Michael Turner: A solid option, but has limited upside above his 2008 numbers, and is not a factor in the passing game. Chances are his numbers will go down.
Matt Forte: Another solid choice like Turner, but the Bears did not get Cutler just to hand off the ball. Chances are Forte’s numbers will also go down.
Maurice Jones-Drew: Huge upside has many taking him number two, but he has no track record of being a number one back, and has a high chance of injury given his size and limited workload I the past.
DeAngelo Williams: Chances of matching his 2008 production? Slim. In addition he has another high quality back he needs to share touches with.
LaDanian Tomlinson: One of my picks to be the best value of the first round, but his high downside makes him a risky choice in 2009 until the end of the first round.
Clinton Portis: Low downside, and a proven solid producer. The problem is his supporting cast is weak, along with his upside.
Brian Westbrook: Can be the top back in any format, but he is coming off injury (as usual) and now has a talented back to share the load with. His represents a high chance of a bust or at least a slump in numbers.
Brandon Jacobs: Can put up solid numbers, but is in a RBBC and tends to get injured.
Wait……where is Steven Jackson……remember when I said you need to find a balance of a small chance of a bust, with a nice upside for this first round? This is where Mr. Jackson comes in. I think that after Adrian Peterson he might just be the pick in the first round that best balances risk vs reward. Before you dismiss this based on Jackson’s up and down history of production, consider these facts:
Since he has become the starter for the Rams Jackson has never produced less than 1300 yards, 38 receptions and six touchdowns. This is his floor, and makes his bust chances quite low, except for a serious season ending injury which could happen to any player.
He has proven he can be the top back in football, as seen with his 1800 yards, 90 catches, and 16 touchdowns in 2006. This is clearly his ceiling, and everything would have to go right for him and the Rams to hit this level of production.
So in Steven Jackson we have a proven fantasy producer with a high floor (barring as serious injury), and a player that has proven he can be an elite running back. So while your deciding who you should choose after Adrian Peterson is off the board, don’t forget this undervalued Ram and his potential to be both a safe pick and a productive one.
|Last Updated on Monday, 20 July 2009 03:16|