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Thursday, September 20, 2007
Steven Jackson: 0-2 doesn't sit right with me

By Steven Jackson

As I said last week, let's not hit the panic button just yet. I'm obviously not happy with 99 total yards, not for personal reasons, but because we're 0-2. That's not us. That's not the 2007 Rams; we're a much better team than that, and I think you'll see this as the year unfolds. If I have to put the responsibility for that on my shoulders, then I will. And your fantasy team will benefit with us. Nobody likes being 0-2 heading into Week 3. Not me, not you, not anybody. We have some kinks to work out, and I'm hoping we can have the ship running smoothly by game time on Sunday.

Speaking of "ship," we've got the Bucs this week. They looked good last week: 31 points, Joey Galloway caught a couple touchdown passes. And Jeff Garcia looks good, too. But let's not forget about our guy, Marc Bulger. Everyone wanted to talk about how he got sacked a few times, but he threw for 368 yards. That's huge. And the Niners are no joke on defense. I think Marc played just a tough, gutsy game. And if you had him on your team, you definitely benefited.

And here's a little tidbit for everyone out there who wonders if we have friends on other teams, or talk to other players in the league. Brian Kelly, the cornerback for the Bucs, is my workout partner in the offseason out in Vegas. We both live there and have the same agent, Gary Uberstine at Premier Sports Management. Brian's a cool guy, and after being out last week, he is back for our game, which is undeniably huge for the Bucs. Check this out: Since 2001, they are 37-30 with him, and 12-19 when he has missed games with injuries. He went to USC and I went to Oregon State, so we get some shots in at each other over Pac-10 supremacy, but, yeah, we'll be seeing him on the field in a couple days.

So here's something I thought would be cool to address -- and maybe you all can help flush this out in the comments (which I've been reading, and I appreciate the love, ESPNers) -- this "handcuff" strategy in fantasy is kind of funny. I mean, we've got Brian Leonard here in St. Louis. I'm trying to take him under my wing, show him the ropes, get him acclimated to life in the NFL. And I find out that some of you guys who own me also own him, in case I get hurt? People! That is not a good omen! I mean, it's great if you want him on your team just to have him -- I don't know if you noticed this, but he caught a couple passes last week for 20-plus yards -- but just don't have him there in case I get hurt. My goal is to play 16 games this regular season, and then get us holding that trophy on the stage with all the confetti coming down on us a few games later. If I get 200 yards a game, and Brian gets 100, then we're all good. In fact, I'd be ecstatic. So let's look at this "handcuff" situation like that: All of you with both of us on your team are expecting us both to plow down the field and score touchdowns in bunches.

And we start this Sunday in Tampa Bay.

Hope you all enjoyed another week of fantasy success. See you in seven days!

Steven Jackson is a weekly contributor to ESPN.com Fantasy.