What Does Fred Jackson's Injury Mean for Bills, Fantasy Owners?

Jesse ReedCorrespondent INovember 13, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 11: Fred Jackson #22 of the Buffalo Bills is helped off of the field by members of the medical staff after getting injured in the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots during the game on November 11, 2012 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Fred Jackson has been ruled out for the Buffalo Bills' Thursday Night Football tilt against the Miami Dolphins—a development that will impact the Bills offense, as well as fantasy football owners around the nation.

Per the Buffalo Bills:

UPDATED: Fred Jackson out for Thursday with concussion ow.ly/fepwX #Bills

— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) November 12, 2012


Jackson is coming off of an impressive performance against the New England Patriots last week that saw him gain 115 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns—a fantasy gold rush. 

Let's take a look at how his absence will affect both the Bills and fantasy owners.



As crazy as it may sound, losing Jackson for this game may greatly increase the Bills' chances of winning. 

C.J. Spiller's biggest games this season came when Jackson went out with his early knee injury. After Jackson left the game against the New York Jets in Week 1, Spiller went on a two-game tear, rushing for 289 yards and three touchdowns and catching five passes for 69 yards. 

Spiller is much more explosive in the open field than Jackson, and when he's given any chance at all to tote the rock, he produces. For the season, Spiller has rushed for 632 yards and four touchdowns on 87 carries.

With Jackson out of this upcoming game against the Dolphins, I'd expect Spiller to get at least 15 carries. If recent history holds true, that means a huge game for Spiller.

As long as Spiller isn't rotting away on the bench (i.e., the Bills don't abandon the running game), the Bills have a chance to gash the Dolphins defense—much like we saw from Chris Johnson and the Tennessee Titans.


Fantasy Owners

Obviously, you're SOL this week if you own Jackson and have been counting on him for points. 

From a long-term perspective, his concussion shouldn't keep him out for more than a game, and if not for the fact that the Bills are playing on Thursday night, he may have been cleared to play in Week 11. 

If you need a short-term solution, take a look at these three options for Week 11:

  • Jacquizz Rodgers, Atlanta Falcons: Michael Turner was terrible against the worst rushing defense in the NFL in Week 10. Given the way Rodgers contributes in the passing game, he's a solid option, at least for one week.
  • Chris Ivory, New Orleans Saints: Ivory busted out with 85 yards and one touchdown on eight touches last week against the Falcons, and I'm expecting him to continue getting opportunities to shine.
  • Marcel Reese, Oakland Raiders: Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson are both nursing high ankle sprains, and until they return, Reese is the main man for the Raiders. He responded well last week, gaining 104 total yards last week against the Baltimore Ravens.

Jackson hasn't had many big games this season, due to the fact that he's been ravaged by injuries. That said, if you have room to keep him stashed on your bench, you should do so.

Chances are, he's going to have another couple of big games this season, and if you study his matchups and start him when the timing's right, he'll come through in a big way for your fantasy football team.


Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78 and check out my weekly NFL picks at Pickfactor.com