Don't expect Rams' Jackson to carry a fantasy team on his back

Is Steven Jackson worth a first-round pick in fantasy football drafts?

We all know that there's no such thing as minor surgery or a minor car accident when it happens to you.

So when Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo described Jackson's April back surgery as a "minor procedure," fantasy owners wanted to hear it from the source.

Since then, even Jackson has described the operation as being no big deal. All reports coming out of St. Louis are that the surgery is nothing to worry about, recovery is going along nicely, and that the Rams' star will be ready to go come Kickoff Weekend.

That Jackson's back is now reportedly sound is good news. That it's ever been a problem is bad news.

Now I'm no doctor, but it seems to me that trying to maneuver through tight spaces while 250- and 300-pound athletes are doing everything they can to keep you from moving forward can be hard on your back. And that makes you wonder if a back problem in the past will mean a back problem in the future.

For the past couple of years, Jackson's value has remained high even as the rest of the Rams' position players have deteriorated. And even with the herniated disk in his back, Jackson last season remained one of the few every-down backs left in the NFL and ranked fifth in the league with 1,738 yards from scrimmage.

But Jackson's meager touchdown total in 2009 (he scored only four times) already created some doubts about his status as a first-round pick in 2010 fantasy drafts.

The Rams' woeful offensive line - although the club has taken steps to improve it in the past two drafts --doesn't help. Neither does having a rookie quarterback. Now comes the news about Jackson's back. That's too many question marks for Round 1.

Bottom line: We're not ready to throw dirt on Jackson's fantasy value just yet, but the first round is not the place to take chances.

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