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Don Who? I’m sorry Ms. Jackson, but no one knows your son. But that’s all about to change. Eddie Lacy is expected to miss several weeks due to an ankle injury, with the possibility of being put on IR. James Starks is expected to miss four weeks after undergoing meniscus surgery. The Packers had Ty Montgomery and Randall Cobb taking snaps at running back. To show how dire the situation in Green Bay is, the Packers traded for Knile Davis, he of the career 3.3 average on 233 attempts.

So, who is Don Jackson?

Jackson is 23 years old and played his college ball at Nevada, where he rushed for 2,368 yards on 527 carries (4.5 average), caught 23 passes for 269 yards, and scored a combined 21 touchdowns over three seasons. He’s 5’10”, 210 pounds, and ran a 4.47 40-yard dash with a 7.09 3-cone at his pro day. He was not invited to the NFL Combine and was selected by the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent.

So, why do I like this Jackson guy?

His YouTube highlights look good, yo!!! Ok, everyone’s YouTube highlight reel looks good. Or at least it should. Watching the tape, he does look quick and has some nice change of direction ability. He’s a smaller back, so there will be questions if he can hold up to the pounding of the NFL. There’s no way one can be sure until we see it in action, which segues me perfectly to my next point. Doing a little due diligence into Jackson brought me to an article regarding the trouble he used to get into in his younger days. He used to be a tough guy. Not the internet tough guy that we so often come across, but a genuine OG. He sought out brawls and “wore the stigma of being a tough guy from the tough streets of south Sacramento like a badge of honor.” Physcially, it remains to be seen if his body can handle the grind of the NFL. Mentally, I have no doubt that he can handle whatever is thrown his way. He has a huge chip on his shoulder. Couple that with the fact that he’s not an entitled pansy, I like the mental toughness that he brings to the table.

Physical talent? Check. Mental toughness? Check. Now come the two most important aspects for Jackson to becoming fantasy relevant. Opportunity and performance. As stated earlier, both Lacy and Starks will be out for an extended period. The Knile Davis signing seems like a depth signing to me. I can definitely understand the perspective that the Packers wouldn’t trade for a player if they didn’t intend to utilize him. Hear me out though. The Packers are one of the few teams that prefer to develop and promote from within. Kevin Clark of the Wall Street Journal wrote a great piece on the “Packer way” back in January of 2016. For me, the telling quote was “the Packers practice squad is populated with players they expect one day to suit up for the team. With that in mind, assistant coaches say they coach the practice squad guys as often and as hard as top draft picks, a rarity in the NFL.” The Packers saw something in Jackson and kept him on the practice squad. He’s versed and been coached up the Packer way. He’s been receiving first-team reps this week. Knile Davis was acquired for a 2018 conditional seventh-round draft choice. That’s really not high draft equity to give up. Like I said, looks like a depth signing to me. As for Ty Montgomery, he’s a wide receiver, not a running back. Can you occasionlly line him up in the backfield? Sure, but after a while defenses are going to figure it out and not respect the threat of the run at all.

Which brings us to the performance part. Will he perform? I have no freaking clue. If I knew that, Vegas would be sending me money, instead of the other way around. Here’s the thing, though. If he does perform, he has an excellent opportunity in front of him. There’s limited competition, the Packers have a great quarterback and excellent wide receivers, which should provide plenty of seams to run through.

The final and, most important, variable in this Jackson equation is cost. You can get him for next to nothing. If he pans out, you’ve struck gold. If he doesn’t, there’s really no harm. I’m pretty sure you have a guy at the end of your bench that is meh. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be reading this article anyway. Maybe you spent some FAAB money on him, but last time I checked, the winner of fantasy football titles does not go to the owner that has the most FAAB money at the end of the year.

VERDICT

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  1. Lord Metz says:
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    Would you drop Gillislee for Don Jackson in a 10 Team .5 PPR?

    • Son says:
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      @Lord Metz: I think Gillislee is more proven, in a more run-friendly offense, and Shady is hurt. There is just too much unknown with Jackson. Upside is high if he can become the man, but he could easily get sent back down to the practice squad. I’d stick with Gillislee

  2. William Hung says:
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    Knile Davis or Don Jackson?

    • Son says:
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      @William Hung: I’m a Don Jackson guy and think Davis acquisition was for depth. With that said, I don’t dismiss the possibility of Davis being the guy

  3. Jammer McSlam says:
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    I have Bortles & Stafford at QB, but really need a RB.

    Would you do Stafford for Hyde in a .5ppr?

    • Son says:
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      @Jammer McSlam: You feel comfortable rolling with Bortles? No QBs on the wire?

  4. Sock says:
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    It’s official Lacy was placed on IR; this is basically ending his 2016 fantasy season he can’t return until week 15.

    I’m interested to see how don Jackson performs. One thing Jackson has going for him is the GB o line is good, plus it’s a home game, it’ll also be a clear night tonight in Green Bay. But with Knile Davis would he even be ready? They just traded for him

    • Son says:
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      @Sock: Yeah, I saw that. Man, it really is a death sentence when players go for that dreaded second opinion from that doc.

      I’m with you. I’m very interested in how Jackson is utilized and plays. I’m still of the belief that Davis was just a depth acquisition, but I know the possibility exists that he could be the man at some point. Everything that I’ve read had Montgomery and Davis getting first-team reps. Montgomery is a WR, so he’s not running between the tackles. Maybe more of a third down option

  5. Zandy says:
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    Drop deandre washington for Jackson? Std league
    i already own Knile and TY Mont

    • Son says:
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      @Zandy: In your situation, I would. I thought Deandre had a chance to take the lead roll in Oak, but it’s going to be a 3 1/2 back committee over there. By getting Jackson, you potentially lock down the GB backfield, which could be very prosperous. Starks could throw a monkey wrench in that later, but that’s 4 weeks away at a minimum

      • Zandy says:
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        @Son: done. u sold me on it

        • Son says:
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          @Zandy: Hope it works out for you. Good luck

      • Alex Prado says:
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        @Son: STD league? Did yall meet at the Dr’s office? lol

        • Son says:
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          @Alex Prado: Haha. Yeah, herpes and gonorrhea went 1 & 2.

  6. robbyrobdu says:
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    Great article…deep information is what the fantasy world needs.

    IMHO I add Knile any and everywhere as well as Ty Montgomery…and the latter NOT for RB opportunities…he has the look of a Steve Smith type to me and will have opportunity with Davante hurt, no viable TE’S thus far and a piss poor run game.

    Don Jackson is extremely intriguing however! The cone drill is a little weak…a smaller RB should be shiftier, but it’s not all about measurables.

    • Son says:
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      @robbyrobdu: Thanks. I appreciate that. I like your rationale regarding Davis and Montgomery.

      I agree the cone drill is a little weak, but not everyone can be Dion Lewis. Let’s see what Mr. Jackson can do tonight!

  7. Gio says:
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    .5 ppr predicament… I need help with my 2nd flex. I currently have montgomery in but also have a waiver claim in for j. rodgers. Problem is, if I do not get rodgers ( i have 6 teams in front of me) I am stuck with starting hill. Do I just stick with montgomery and play it safe?

    • Son says:
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      @Gio: I like Hill’s matchup against Cleveland. As long as he’s healthy, I’d lean that way

  8. David says:
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    RB is an issue for me so would like to take a flier. I’m in a deep PPR league. Starting roster has 2 RB slots plus 2 flex slots. My team is deep enough to only really need to start 2 RB’s and win. I have 6 viable starting WR options (Julio, Cooper, Demaryius, Kelvin, Meredith, Shepard).

    My RB’s are Zeke, Jones, Powell, Rainey, Morris, Perkins. I’d say the choice would be over the last 3 options here. I’m hesitant to drop Morris because of handcuff status.

    Ben injury is forcing me to keep a 4th QB (in a 2QB league) otherwise I’d drop one of them.

    It comes down to does this guy have the potential to takeover starting duties? If yes what type of role over starks when he returns healthy. I do believe he has a big opportunity here. Is it worth dropping Perkins who I drafted and this is a keeper league BTW. Long term, unless he becomes a force, he would have to be better than Jones to make my starting lineup.

    How would you decide?

    • Son says:
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      @David: I’d take a shot on Jackson over Perkins. You have Rainey, so there may be some redundancy there. I agree that Morris is too valuable. You’ve got a good squad with depth. I think you can afford to take a shot. If it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t really make a dent for you.

      • David says:
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        Yep, that was my thinking as well. Thought it would process but its a FAAB league and resets everyday. Since he’s playing tonight he will be off limits until wednesday then. Gives an opportunity now to scout him.

        Good piece today. Thanks.

        • Son says:
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          @David: Thanks for the kind words

  9. Jeff says:
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    Well-written article. Thank you so much for giving us the background on Don Jackson. I find myself very intrigued now in him and what he can do

    • Son says:
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      @Jeff: Thanks Jeff. I’m very much intrigued as well. I picked him up in all my leagues so in invested

  10. Jeff says:
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    And I read the Sacramento Bee article. GREAT FEEL-GOOD story

    • Son says:
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      @Jeff: For sure. I had the same thoughts. There was another article in which a high school teacher told his girlfriend that he should dump Jackson because he would either be dead or in jail.

  11. Rice says:
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    Decisions, decisions!

    My only drop options to give the Don a shot would be Dwayne Washington, Golden Tate, or Kyle Rudolph.

    RBs: Devonta, Ingram, Gore, Forte, Jaquizz, Gillislee, Washington
    WRs: Julio, Demaryius, Moncrief, Enunwa, Tate
    TEs:: Hunter Henry, Rudolph

    • Son says:
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      @Rice: I’m not a big fan of carrying two tight ends

  12. Brian says:
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    PPR, need 2. go with james white, tyrell williams, or ty montgomery?

    • Son says:
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      @Brian: White and Williams

  13. Justin says:
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    10 team, standard scoring (but hurting at RB thank to injuries and underperformers), would you hold with White as my bench/flex guy or take a flier on Jackson?
    Thanks!

    • Son says:
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      @Justin: I think you have to stay with White

  14. maximumxpower says:
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    What do you think about dropping Willie Snead for Kenny Britt?

    • Son says:
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      @maximumxpower: I prefer Snead but I don’t have a problem with that move

  15. Bobby says:
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    I have Frank Gore, Jay Ajayi, Spencer Ware, Arian Foster, DeAngello Williams and Don Jackson. Which two should I start? Im thinking the obvious here would be to start by benching Foster and Williams. Which leaves me down to Gore, Ajayi, Ware and Jackson. I don’t feel confident about Ajayi’s workload considering he has Foster a week healthier. Ware is in the same boat as Ajayi with Charles. I still think Ware is a start this week. I think my other starter is Gore, but I’m considering Jackson or Ajayi? Who do you think would be my ideal two running backs and why?

    • Son says:
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      @Bobby: Ware for sure. He’s really good, is still receiving more snaps than Charles, and the Saints D is an abomination. The second one is a little tougher but I’d go with Gore. The ceiling is capped but you know what you are going to get. Ajayi has a tough matchup against the Bills. I’m not getting gassed by last week’s performance. It’s tough to start Jackson, as no one has any idea what his usage is going to be and how he will perform. If you going to YOLO, then by all means, but I think you have enough options to not have to venture down that path.

      • Bobby says:
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        @Son: That’s pretty much how I feel about the situation. I was planning to go with Gore and Ware, but I think I’m going YOLO. Your article made me think about the upside. I did some brief research and last week Montgomery had only 3 carries, Ripkowski had 1, and Rodgers had 1. The Bears run D is poor, and according the usage last week, when the Pack had no other options at RB, they still didn’t hand the ball off to a WR much. Someone has to carry the rock, and the Packers against the Bears should be high scoring. At least at minimum one of the sides will score at lot of points. This will be interesting to see if it pays off and I look like a genius to my league. Im sure Knile Davis will take over early and run away with the job now that I’m starting him.

  16. JRJ says:
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    Hunter Henry or Zach Miller?

    • Son says:
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      @JRJ: Henry

      • JRJ says:
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        @Son: mm
        Thx

        • Son says:
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          @JRJ: anytime

  17. Zandy says:
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    So what’s the verdict? Are we dropping Jackson or knile? Keep holding both and Ty?

    • Son says:
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      @Zandy: Hard to tell because he got injured, but Ty is doing well. I’m going to hold but, if I need the roster spot, I wouldn’t hesitate to drop.

      • Jeff says:
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        @Son:

        It’s really tough to rise to stardom in your first NFL game, even after several NFL games. These things take time, and I didn’t mind taking a flier on this happening last night or possibly in the next few games if Jackson is healthy. He seems to have the makeup to succeed in the NFL, as you outlined in this article, but we’ll just have to see how it all pans out for him

        • Son says:
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          @Jeff: Well said.

          Until we see him perform when given the opportunity, it’s tough to make any formal judgements. With that said, hopefully he’s given an opportunity to showcase what he has.

          • Jeff says:
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            @Son:

            No doubt. It’s gonna be tough to see him getting an opportunity this season though, seeing as the Packers are looking to go pass-heavy now with the run game in flux. It’s also hard to see Rodgers throwing the ball 40-50 times every game, as defenses are going to key in on that. Something has to give

            • Son says:
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              @Jeff: Every year, I feel like the Packers have like a mid-season crisis and realize they need more balance to be successful. Because of that, I think an opportunity could arise for Jackson. It’s really too bad he got injured last night. I also don’t think they want to pound Montgomery and Cobb between the tackles all game long. Now, with that said, there’s no denying how good Montgomery looked last night. I still think Davis was a depth signing, but he could emerge as well. I’m going to hold, but I think things should become evident over the next few weeks.

              • Jeff says:
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                @Son:

                Agreed. I think we have to keep this last game in perspective in that this was against a reeling and declining Bears team on a short week

                • Son says:
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                  @Jeff: You are wise

  18. Rondo says:
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    .5PPR – Gio, Mckinnon or Tevin this week?

    • Son says:
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      @Rondo: I’d rank them Tevin, Gio, then McKinnon

  19. bluety says:
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    I currently have C. Plamer at QB. I have been offered Brees in a trade for next year picks. I would be giving up my 5th round pick and getting Brees and his 8th round pick. Is this a move i should make as C. Plamer isn’t doing much? Thanks

    • Son says:
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      @bluety: How many teams are in the league? That could make a difference, but I think I’d do it regardless

      • bluety says:
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        @Son: 12 teams. I have the 2nd over pick next year.

        • Son says:
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          @bluety: I’d do it. I’m assuming you are in contention this year. Play for this year and deal with next year next year

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