Rams RB Jackson a risk-reward draft pick

If you’ve owned Steven Jackson in a fantasy league in recent seasons, you know what he’s all about — tons of potential, but almost always an injury risk.

So when news of his offseason back surgery to repair a herniated disc surfaced, it raised red flags in fantasy circles. Jackson, though, says he experienced immediate relief following the surgery.

“The surgery, really, was up to me,” he said. “I decided to have the surgery, because I was still in the gray area of needing the surgery or not going with the surgery. I met with three specialists around the country. No one definitely said, ‘Get the surgery,’ but looking at the season and being able to fully recover from the injury and being able to go to training camp, April was kind of the deadline.”

Jackson, who is already working out in a pool as part of his recovery, is expected to be fine for the start of the regular season. He’s also one of the true featured backs left in the league and has a very favorable schedule ahead.

Still, the veteran out of Oregon State hasn’t played a full 16 games since 2006. He’s also in an offense that, while improving after the addition of Sam Bradford, still doesn’t have another legitimate complementary playmaker. Jackson also doesn’t have a viable handcuff, either.

In the event that he falls prey to the injury bug again, fantasy leaguers are looking at Kenneth Darby or Chris Ogbonnaya as potential replacements off the waiver wire.

Ouch.

If you can somehow get Jackson in the second round (which is not likely outside of smaller leagues), he’s less of a gamble. But if you invest a first-round pick in him, and chances are you’ll have to, be certain to build backfield depth to avoid a potential catastrophe.

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