Fred Jackson: Fantasy Owners Should Avoid Bills RB vs. Patriots

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistSeptember 30, 2012

Sept 9, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson (22) breaks a tackle by New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott (57) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE
Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

I've got good news, potentially bad news and realistic news for owners of Fred Jackson in fantasy football leagues.

Which would you like first?

Truthfully, we can combine the good and the realistic via Josina Anderson of ESPN, so let's start there.

Bills RB Fred Jackson just told me he's playing, & he'll wear this brace

— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) September 30, 2012

Yes, he's playing, folks, so you'll probably be rushing to slot him back into your lineups if you own him. But that sure is a hearty knee brace, isn't it? Sort of makes you wonder if he'll truly be 100 percent upon his return, doesn't it?

That's the reaction I had, at least.

Remember, Jackson is returning from a knee sprain, so it's not unrealistic to think he might be a step slower in his return to game action. If he's on the field I expect he'll be ready to play, but I'm not sure he'll be quite as effective as usual.

I know what you're thinking. Fine, I should temper my expectations for Jackson in his return. But I still have to start him, right?

Hold your horses, folks. According to Tim Graham of The Buffalo News, C.J. Spiller is expected to play, though a final decision won't be made until the pregame warmups. And Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk reports the Buffalo Bills are expected to announce that Spiller is active for the game and will play.

Jackson will get the start, so there is value there. But given how well Spiller has played thus far this season, if he does play he's definitely the running back you'll want rather than Jackson. One would imagine his presence will limit Jackson's touches.

How this situation will play out over the course of the season remains to be seen. Jackson is the incumbent starter, but Spiller was one of football's most explosive players in September and deserves a larger role in this offense.

Moving forward, Spiller seems like the more appealing fantasy option.

But even today, I don't love Jackson. He'll start, but I expect Spiller and even Tashard Choice will see a fair amount of touches. Plus, Jackson isn't 100 percent healthy. And against the New England Patriots, the Bills could quickly find themselves behind and turn heavily to the pass in order to catch up.

Remember, the Patriots have lost two straight games. They're going to come out guns blazing in this one.

I know that if you have Jackson, you're probably going to start him. Don't say I didn't warn you. At this point, I have him as nothing more than a flex option. 

If he finishes with more than 10 fantasy points today, I'll be legitimately surprised. I'm projecting him for 70 yards from scrimmage and no touchdowns on Sunday.

In other words, you can do better.


Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets are on point like Geno Smith.

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