There are a few key fantasy contributors that have had a number of injury question marks surrounding their playing status leading up to Week 4 of the 2012 NFL season. Here’s a little bit about these three and what you should consider.
Steven Jackson, RB, St. Louis Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks
Steven Jackson did not practice until Friday and that was on a limited basis. Now he gets Seattle’s defense — ninth best against fantasy running backs with 119 yards allowed on the ground and two scores and 18 catches for 136 yards and no scores allowed through the passing game.
Jackson is a RB3 — barely — through three weeks of the NFL season. He is the 36th-best fantasy back currently with 41 carries for 140 yards, six catches for 36 yards and no touchdowns via ground or air.
And whether it is Jackson, Daryl Richardson or current bust Isaiah Pead, the Rams are the third-worst team in the league in regards to fantasy RB production. They have just 259 yards and 10 catches for 63 yards with no scores either rushing or receiving.
Jackson ran for 42 yards with three catches for 19 yards in the first meeting at Seattle last season (Week 11) and followed with a 20-for-63-yard performance on the ground, a 3-for-60 performance through the air and one rushing score in a Week 14 home game.
The ONLY saving grace for Jackson in this game is his history indoors. He has played 78 of his 118 career games indoors and scored 43 of his 52 rushing touchdowns inside. But that’s where indoors stops.
Since he has nearly doubled his indoor games versus his outdoor games, Jackson’s yards per game and per carry are nearly identical and his catches and receiving yards per game are nearly identical.
Bottom line: If he were to miraculously have a good game today, sell, sell, sell.
Jeremy Maclin, WR, Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants (Sunday night)
Listed as probable, Jeremy Maclin practiced in full every day this week and is expected to be back in the lineup Sunday night against the Giants. It is a friendly matchup for Maclin, however, it is a not-so-friendly matchup for his quarterback, Michael Vick.
This is a tough call, due to Vick’s play at quarterback through three weeks.
Do you start a No. 1 receiver against a Giants team that is fifth worst against fantasy receivers this season, having allowed five receivers to eclipsed 70 yards and having allowed five touchdowns?
Or do you think that Vick’s play — six interceptions and three fumbles to three touchdowns — being put to the test against the Giants solid pass rush will make it a bad day for both?
Vick, regardless of his turnovers and TD production, has thrown for 317, 371 and 217 yards in the first three games and Maclin drew a team-high 14 targets in the only full game he’s played this season (Week 1 at Cleveland).
You roll with Maclin, who was Vick’s favorite target at 7.4 a game (13 games) last season, and expect there will be plenty to go around in a game with a line of 47.5.
Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks vs. St. Louis Rams
Doug Baldwin is only being mentioned for two reasons: He is on the injury report (shoulder) and he had a preseason grade that made him a WR4.
Oops! The second-year receiver has three catches for 13 yards on seven targets in two games. He plays with a rookie quarterback in Russell Wilson who has thrown for 153 or less in the first three games and is completing 57 percent of his passes.
You can only play two Seahawks until further notice: RB Marshawn Lynch and the Seattle defense/special teams.
— Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter