Tuesday, September 18 – 4:25 PM
When preparing for any fantasy draft, I always start by making a list of all the players who I don’t want. This usually works pretty well, as the players who I don’t want are often guys who I feel will be drafted too early or will cost too much, so it’s not like I’ll be missing out on a bargain opportunity. Back in early-August, when I started to formulate my football draft game plan, Steven Jackson was on my “Don’t Draft” list. I don’t know, there was just something about him that I didn’t like. He was getting up there in age (Yeah, 29 is old for a running back!), the Rams’ offensive line was expected to be weak and the team as a whole was just not that good. But the more I thought about Jackson’s fantasy value, the more I changed my tune. He had only missed two games over the past three years, so the old/injury-prone label was unfair. He had averaged more than 1,200 rushing yards a year over the past three seasons. And most important, he was the undisputed starting running back. I really hate dealing with those running back by committee situations where you don’t know whether your guy will put up 20 fantasy points or be held to 3 points. If I could get Jackson as an RB2, well, that would be something.
Long story short, I did draft Jackson as an RB2 in one of my auction leagues, paying a bit too much for him to boot. I also own him in NAIFFL, not out of choice though, as I inherited a roster where he’s the clear-cut running back keeper. I could’ve traded a draft pick for an upgrade at running back, but since we’re not allowed to keep more than one player at any position, I figured that I’d rather have Jackson and a high draft pick than a slightly better running back and no pick.
Through two weeks, the 2012 Jackson experience has been a disaster. First, he puts up a stinker in the season opener, running for a meager 53 yards on 21 carries. Then in Week 2, he gets injured. There was speculation that S-Jax sat out the entire second half as punishment for spiking the football in disgust over what proved to be an incorrect call by the refs. But it turns out that a groin injury was to blame. If only the benching was a punishment, I’d be in a much better mood right now.
Wednesday, September 19 – 11:18 AM
The biggest difference between my championship team from last season and my 2012 auction league squad is the depth factor, particularly at the running back position. Last year, I drafted Michael Bush, who went from a cheap lottery ticket to an every-week fantasy starter thanks to Darren McFadden’s injury. I even had Pierre Thomas, a viable bye-week replacement, especially in PPR formats. Who do I have this year? Roy Helu. Yup, I picked the wrong Redskins’ running back to own. I thought I’d have some time to sort this issue out, as Ray Rice’s bye week doesn’t come until Week 8 and Steven Jackson is off for Week 9. But now Jackson’s injury situation has forced me to address this problem much sooner than I had expected. In NAIFFL, I’m fine. I’ve got enough running back depth and my $6 FAAB bid on Daryl Richardson was enough to claim him. But in this league, a league where we don’t use FAAB for pickups, I’m out of luck. Richardson? Claimed. Andre Brown? Claimed. And that does it for this week’s impact waiver wire running backs. If Jackson is inactive on Sunday, I’ll be starting Roy Helu. Now that’s scary. But the sad truth is that he’s my best fallback option.
Friday, September 21 – 10:36 AM
Or maybe not. Meet the newest member of my team: Jackie Battle. Last night, purely out of desperation, I put in a claim for Battle, and my prayers were answered. OK Zach, let’s not get too overdramatic here. This is Jackie Battle we’re talking about! But Battle did put a strong stat line last week in place of the injured Ryan Mathews, and while Mathews is expected to play this week, he could always suffer a setback, or at the very least be limited. I’ve changed my mind. If Jackson is inactive, I’ll be starting Jackie Battle.
Or maybe not. Roy Helu or Jackie Battle? Hmm.
What a mess!
I need Steven Jackson to play.