Four Downs: Fred Jackson, weekly starter?

Updated: November 29, 2010, 4:17 PM ET
By Eric Karabell
Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson wasn't a popular fantasy start in Week 12, which was understandable because he was facing the Pittsburgh Steelers. That defense is terrific, the toughest against opposing running backs in fantasy. I still ranked Jackson 20th at running back for the week, a rating that was still within starter range but not indicative of how well he had been running the ball. I didn't feel great about him, but I didn't have any problem leaving him active in two leagues, one as a starting running back.

However, I think there's more to why Jackson was active in a somewhat embarrassing (in hindsight) 23.3 percent of ESPN.com standard leagues in Week 12. Clearly people still don't trust him. I mean, c'mon, among the running backs active in more leagues in Week 12 were two players on actual injured reserve and out for the season (DeAngelo Williams and Ryan Grant), several players ruled out for the week (Joseph Addai, Pierre Thomas and Ryan Mathews) and a slew of others who just were worse plays (Beanie Wells, Danny Woodhead and Jahvid Best). Granted, there are plenty of mismanaged (or unmanaged) teams out there, but the low percentage shows that fantasy owners still had something against Jackson entering this week.