Fred Jackson was in the midst of a fantastic season in 2011 before it was derailed by a fractured fibula.
Well, Jackson is back and claims he's fully healthy and ready to get back in the mix. And the Buffalo Bills really need him if they want to be successful in 2012.
Here are five reasons why you should draft Jackson in your fantasy football league.
Jackson had the following to say about the fractured fibula that forced him to miss most of the season's second half in 2011:
I don't really consider my injury last year as serious as a lot of people say. It was just a dumb bone that I fractured. But I was walking around on it two weeks later without any problem. It's a non-weight bearing bone. I'm fine, 100 percent ready to go.
Well he has me sold. Let's just assume he's good to go and not worry about any lingering effect that "dumb bone" may have.
In 10 games last season, Jackson rushed for 934 yards and six touchdowns on 170 carries. His average of 5.5 yards per carry was the best in his career. In addition to that, Jackson had 442 yards on 39 receptions, which gave him an incredible 11.3 yards per catch average.
Simply put, Jackson was in the middle of a breakout season in 2011 before his injury. In addition to that, Jackson was injured in Week 11 and after he left that game, the Bulls went 1-6 to finish the season.
Buffalo needs Jackson to win games and must use him as much as possible.
C.J. Spiller filled in admirably for Jackson after he was out for the season, but there is no doubt that a healthy Jackson will be Buffalo's primary back.
Jackson is a tough, rugged back who can go between the tackles, run outside them and catch balls out of the backfield. Yes, Spiller and Jackson will split carries, but in crunch time and near the goal line, Jackson should be the go-to guy.
He won't just get you yards—he should get your touchdowns.
Jackson and the Bills agreed to a two-year, $8.7 million extension this offseason, which means he can feel secure that he's locked in and doesn't have to play for a contract. Instead, he can focus on just playing.
He is entering his sixth NFL season, which mean's he can now be considered a seasoned veteran. And the fact that he has a contract in place that will keep him in Buffalo for the next few seasons should help him relax and settle back into a role coming off the injury.
Expect Jackson to be relied upon as a key part of Buffalo's offense and expect him to reward the Bills for giving him an extension.
In 2009, Jackson rushed for 1,062 yards on 237 carries (4.5 yards per carry), while catching 46 passes for 371 yards. In 2010 he had 927 yards rushing on 222 carries (4.2 yards per carry), and 215 receiving yards on 31 catches.
Then last year he was on his way to blowing all of those numbers away. He is a guy who doesn't disappoint and won't this year either.
If you draft Jackson, you will not be disappointed. He'll be a consistent producer.