Do You Even Lift? 2013 Steven Jackson Profile

If you’re like me and you’re always the last one to know about the latest/greatest YouTube videos or memes, this title probably means nothing to you, so let me explain. Basically, there are YouTube videos of this guy walking around to places like the beach, the mall, and other public areas. He’s goes around videotaping meat heads who, more often than not, skip leg day. If they are talking to a female, even better. He then goes up to the them and straight up asks, “Do you even lift?” The responses from the guys he messes with are hilarious, ranging from “Let’s go to the gym right now I’ll show you how much I can lift” to “I’m going to bench you right here right now.” This guy’s got a lot of courage because a few times it looked like he was about to get smacked up. It’s funny too because all the host wants to do is provoke a response, even though the obvious is angrily staring him in the face. I see this a lot in the fantasy community when it comes to Steven Jackson: everything is set up perfectly for SJax and yet people still doubt that Jackson is a sure-fire 1st round pick. It’s time to put an end to this.

This offseason, Steven Jackson went from a team trying to find its way in the NFL to a Super Bowl contender. Touchdowns have always been the limiting factor on Jackson’s fantasy value, but that will no longer be the case. While the Atlanta Falcons are one of the league’s premier passing offenses with Matt Ryan leading the way, once they get close to the goal line, they tend to hand it off. Over the past three years, Michael Turner had 102 carries inside the 10-yard line. Jackson had 43. With Turner gone and both Jaquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling projected to be change of pace backs, all these carries should go to Jackson.

Even with the NFL’s 6th best passing game, expect to see a lot of Ryan to Jackson handoffs in 2013
- Courtesy sj39.com

Stay with me here because this is when the information gets thicker than the arms of some of those guys from the videos, but it’s the most important part of the article. Here’s a table that I’m going to explain regarding the type of season that Turner and Jackson had in 2012. I take no credit for these stats or this table, all of this comes from Mike Clay over at ProFootballFocus.com. We had a lengthy discussion where he explained what all these numbers mean, so I’m going to try to break it down to the bare basics.

Player

Att

rADEZ

TD

oTD

Diff

Michael Turner

222

48.9

10

11.5

1.5

Steven Jackson

258

57.3

4

5.3

1.3

The three main columns you want to look at are TD, oTD and Diff. TD refers to the number of touchdowns that were scored on the ground last season. As you can see, Turner outscored Jackson by quite a bit. Not only did he outscore Jackson, he also had an oTD value that is double that of Jackson. oTD is basically a measure of how many opportunities a running back had to score a TD, factoring in distance from the end zone and number of opportunities received. Thus Turner had double the number of “goal line” chances that Jackson had in 2012.

The difference between the actual TD count and the oTD value shows how effective a back was at punching it in; the higher the difference, the better the back was and vice versa. From the column labeled “Diff” we see that based on distance and attempts, Turner and Jackson were quite similar, separated by only 0.2, which tells us that had Jackson been given the same amount of opportunities that Turner had, he might have been the one scoring 10 TDs last year instead of 4. With that, he would have finished as a RB1 in 12-team leagues, and we’re just talking about an uptick in TDs here. Jackson has rushed for 1,000 yards in 8 straight seasons, and there’s no reason to doubt that his yards from scrimmage will increase now that he’s no longer facing eight to nine guys in the box.

If you want a more in-depth look at oTD and how it might affect your pre-draft rankings for 2013, I suggest that you head over to Mike Clay’s website at ProFocusFootball and check out his detailed analysis on how to standardize the red zone carry statistic.  I hope that my explanation made sense and was easy to understand.

His threat in the passing game is also something that is overlooked. Turner was rarely utilized in this fashion because he had worse hands than Kwame Brown, and wasn’t quick enough to make any separation anyways. A return to his career average of 45 receptions isn’t out of the question.

Jackson looks good in the Red and Black
-Courtesy sj39.com

Doubters will point out his injury prone label as well as his age. For whatever reason, Jackson has had the “injury-prone” label attached to his name, but that is totally unfounded. Over the past 4 seasons, he’s missed only two games and has become known as one of the toughest guys in the NFL. He never let injuries get in the way of his game, playing his heart out for a franchise that never had much to play for. In regards to his age, Jackson scoffed at those who doubt him, pointing out that the game has evolved from back in the day as well as his recent diet change. While he will be turning 30 at the end of July, he’s not your typical 30-year old running back. Head coach Mike Smith has already said that he is going to get limited reps in the pre-season to keep him fresh for the upcoming season.

All this said, I hope that I have convinced you to remove any doubt when it comes to drafting Steven Jackson. He has both a high ceiling and a high floor when it comes to 2013, and should be drafted as such. According to FantasyPros ADP data, Jackson is the 17th guy off the board overall and only 11th in terms of running backs. This is too low. Jackson is a safer pick when we compare him to guys like Alred Morris, Trent Richardson and even CJ Spiller in my opinion, though I am lower on CJ than most. Don’t let a guy like Jackson fall too far in your draft, as he will finish the season as an RB1. When he does, feel free to send me one of these ridiculous t-shirts as your way of saying thank you.

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