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News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fantasy football: The new view of Steven Jackson

The Rams' Steven Jackson turned 29 on July 22.

In NFL running back years, that's 65 for you and me. Almost retirement time.

And Jackson has been playing like it.

In five games, counting Thursday's win over the Cardinals, the former fantasy stud has rushed for 271 yards on 77 carries, a 3.5-yard norm. He has yet to score a touchdown, and much more surprisingly, he has only seven receptions for 48 yards.

Jackson not racking up touchdowns is nothing new. He had 16 TDs in 2006, and he has 30 scores in 75 games since (counting Thursday).

Jackson not being a threat in the passing game is a new development.

He has four consecutive seasons with at least 40 catches, and he had 90 receptions for 806 yards in his monstrous 2006 campaign.

This season, he is on pace to rush for 867 yards -- which would end his streak of seven consecutive 1,000-yard seasons -- and catch 22 passes. In St. Louis' last three games, he has three catches.

Part of the reason for his struggles is a groin injury that has hampered him most of the season, but nagging injuries are nothing new for the 6-foot-2, 240-pound back.

To Jackson's credit, he hasn't missed a game this season, and he's played in all but two of 53 contests since 2009.

At some point, however, we realize the current numbers mean much more than Jackson's résumé.

He should be considered a low-level No. 2 running back at best in a 12-team league.

Ideally, he's a No. 3 back you can use as a flex option when bye weeks or injuries have left you short-handed.

Is Jackson near the end?

It's obviously too soon to tell, but this certainly seems to indicate the Rams believe that's the case.

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