Often times running befuddled, unassertive and timid last year, the second-round pick, who averaged a paltry 3.6 YPC in 11 games, is in the process of destroying the harmful bacteria that hampered his fantasy value.
Pushed by critical views that he's an injury prone flop, Jackson worked tirelessly this offseason to build strength and better grasp the nuances of the NFL game. Now more comfortable with the Pack's zone-blocking scheme, he's starting to showcase the talents that made him a popular mid-round fantasy selection a season ago.
Taking advantage of Ryan Grant's brief holdout, Jackson has drawn high praise from the Green Bay coaching staff in training camp. Mike McCarthy labeled him a "breakout candidate." Meanwhile, running backs coach Edgar Bennett has been boastful of his advancements telling the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel July 30:
"As far as everything we thought this kid was capable of being and doing, we're starting to see more of that. We saw that last year, but now you're seeing it more on a consistent basis. The sky's the limit for him. I'm not going to say it just to say it. I mean it."
With Grant on the sidelines nursing a tender hammy Monday, Jackson grabbed the spotlight rushing for 44 yards on just six carries (7.3 YPC) against Cincinnati. His powerful 22-yard Kitty-dragging dash in the first quarter (Seen at the 1:30 mark here) was particularly impressive. However, his failure to pick up a corner blitz earlier nearly decapitated Aaron Rodgers.
Despite the blocking miscue, McCarthy again showered B-Jax in praise:
"That's the Brandon Jackson that we all know and watched grow up in front of us. Brandon had a nice evening. We'll see more going forward."
Clearly determined and focused, Jackson could force McCarthy to rethink Grant's workload with another strong performance Saturday at San Francisco.
Grant probably isn't a one-year wonder, but given his upright running style, he is vulnerable to injury. If the starter suffers a significant setback, Jackson could easily produce sensational RB2 totals against flexible defenses in a featured role.
Currently owned in a tiny four percent of Y! leagues, Jackson is rosterable in all 12-team formats. If you've yet to draft, place him in the same class as elite backups Andre Hall, Pierre Thomas and Leon Washington. With an ADP of 151.1 per Mock Draft Central, he's one of the better post-Round 10 investments out there.
Image via AP
- Brandon Jackson
- Mike McCarthy