Fred Jackson: Why Bills RB Is a Fantasy Must-Start in Week 4 vs. Patriots

Mike ShiekmanFeatured ColumnistSeptember 29, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 13:   Fred Jackson #22 of the Buffalo Bills at Cowboys Stadium on November 13, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Now that Fred Jackson has been cleared to play against the New England Patriots this Sunday, he will be running wild at Orchard Park Stadium.

What a boon for Jackson fantasy value; owners can breathe a sigh of relief knowing their starting running back should be a contributing factor this weekend.

Jackson got off to a rough start to 2012 with a sprained right knee in Week 1 against the New York Jets. The Bills were never the same in that game, as the Jets blew them out of the water that day.

This injury was a huge blow to Jackson fantasy owners and was thought to keep him out at least 4-6 weeks. He'll be making his return in two weeks time.

Chan Gailey loves his running backs so Jackson should be a large part of the game plan against the Patriots. Whether backup C.J. Spiller will join Jackson on the grass is still up in the air.

Spiller's presence could affect Jackson's fantasy ceiling negatively as he'll steal a few touches from him. Gailey has said there's a "legitimate chance" both backs will play.

In his only appearance last year against New England, Jackson was a difference-maker in their winning effort. He had 161 total yards and a touchdown on the day.

The Bills coaching staff will give Jackson all the opportunities to pass those numbers in this matchup. Buffalo needs a reliable rushing attack to have any chance in this game, and of course, to keep Tom Brady off the field.

Not to mention Jackson's best career rushing and receiving numbers have come against New England. There's a lot of miles left on his tires to keep those stats piling up.

Now that he's been cleared to play, Jackson should be back to his Patriot-wrecking ways. Get him in your fantasy lineup while there's still time.