Fantasy Football Handcuffs: Steven Jackson Has Antone Smith, Jacquizz Rodgers, Devonta Freeman For Atlanta Falcons Thursday

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Sep 17, 2014 11:25 AM EDT
Steven Jackson #39 of the Atlanta Falcons
Steven Jackson #39 of the Atlanta Falcons runs with the ball during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on September 14, 2014 in Cincinnati, Ohio. "

The Fantasy Football Week 3 matchups start on Thursday and for the Atlanta Falcons, some fantasy RB handcuffs to look at for Steven Jackson include Antone Smith, Jacquizz Rodgers and Devonta Freeman for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game on Thursday night football and while it will be hard to spread the ball around to all those running backs, a couple of them should be in line for solid games.

Jackson came into the season as the starter after dealing with injuries issues last year and now he has a full stable of backs behind him that are stealing carries. Jackson is a solid fantasy option, but he is not as strong as other starters because of his age and the quality of players behind him. Rodgers has shown that he can be an explosive option out of the backfield and Smith has also stolen some carries from everyone else.

Freeman and Smith are only worthy starters in deeper leagues, but with Jackson and his health issues always a concern, there is a good chance those players will get more carries as the season moves along. The Buccaneers are a tough matchup for the Falcons and Atlanta comes into the game after getting beat badly by the Bengals. Jackson will likely get the most carries of the group, but he is not putting up RB1 numbers for fantasy football owners this season.

The best option behind Jackson for fantasy owners is Rodgers, as he gets carries and catches out of the backfield and he also has the speed to turn one into a touchdown. The other players are talented and could be solid in deeper leagues, but for anyone looking to get the most points out of the game on Thursday, Jackson or Rodgers are the names to go with. Matt Ryan has two of the best receivers in the league with Roddy White and Julio Jones, but White is hobbled a bit. While he is going to play, owners should be ready for him to be limited a little bit and that could boost the running game for the Falcons.

Jackson led the team last week with 11 carries and one catch for seven yards and he totalled 46 yards in the game as well. Jackson has 98 yards on the season and has not scored a touchdown yet and since there are four decent backs here, he is not a great start for fantasy owners. Jackson played in 12 games last season and had just 542 yards, his first time under 1000 yards since he was a rookie.

Rodgers is the player to start past Jackson on Thursday, as he is in line to get the second most carries on the team. Rodgers had five carries last week for 23 yards and that is a solid average and he comes in with 57 yards on 11 carries this season with a TD. Rodgers is averaging over five yards per carry and if he keeps that up he should get more carries as the season moves along.

Smith has just seven yards this season on the ground, but he was impressive scoring a TD with a catch out of the backfield and he has 73 yards on three catches. Freeman came into the season as a sleeper and he has 15 yards rushing and four catches for 40 yards.

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