It's time to admit the reality that has been staring us in the face the past few seasons of the NFL; the time of the dominant rusher is gone.
In today's NFL, it's all about airing it out, with more and more teams switching to a pass-first friendly offense. With this change, power backs of the past like Jerome Bettis and Jamal Lewis have become obsolete. To be an elite fantasy footbal running back in today's game, you have to practically be half wideout in order to get the amount of touches that used to be common place in the old hand it off style of NFL year's past.
With this new style of play in mind, we look at today's topic of buy or sell: Steven Jackson.
Jackson is the starting running back for the St. Louis Rams and for longtime fantasy owners, he was once one of the most prized backs in football. At the highest point of his career, back in 2006, he accounted for over 2,300 total yards and 16 touchdowns. Though father time may have diminished his overall pop, he still is riding a seven year span of rushing for at least 1,000 yards.
This consistency is what attracted many fatnasy owners this past summer to draft him as their number two back. Unfortunately, through five sub-par games, Jackson has failed to deliver on expectations.
So far this season, Jackson has only rushed for 271 yards and has failed to reach the endzone once. On the bright side, his best outing of the season did come this week when he put up 76 yards on 18 carries against a tough Arizona Cardinals defense.
Another sign against Jackson is that the Rams have agreed to allow him to opt out of the remainder of his contract and become a free agent at the end of the season. This may lead to a lessening of Jackson's role in the offense as the season progresses. St. Louis is certain to get some time in for possible replacements.
Overall, the window is rapidly closing on Jackson's relevancy in the 2012 fantasy game. As each week passes, he fails to make any considerable noise. While it is possible that Jackson might see a second half swell in production due to his upcoming free agency, it's highly unlikely that it will be anything to change his current status as a bye week replacement.
For Jackson owners, now is the time to try to package him for maybe another area of need. You won't get top talent back for him but you may be able to add some depth.
Final Verdict: Sell
James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.
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