F-Jax and CJ, pregame (USA Today Sports Images)
Within the fantasy community (and probably within the global community of Bills fans), there's been much consternation this season regarding the Buffalo backfield. It's been a year-long issue, with only occasional breaks.
Fred Jackson, when healthy, receives a larger share of the touches. CJ Spiller, however, has been substantially more productive. Jackson is averaging 3.8 yards per carry and 6.4 per catch; Spiller's averages are 6.6 and 10.4. And as we all learned late last season, when Fred was sidelined in the final weeks, Spiller's productivity doesn't really slip when he's seeing 15-20 touches per game. He's a terror, basically.
Well, following Buffalo's Week 14 loss to St. Louis, the team's backfield has become much simpler to read, for all the wrong reasons. The rushing workload will tilt heavily in favor of Spiller down the stretch, because Jackson sustained yet another injury, this time to his right knee. He'll miss "a minimum of two to three weeks" according to Bills head coach Chan Gailey.
Or, in other words, the remainder of the season.
Jackson is an easy guy to root for, so you hate to see his year conclude this way. This is an easy situation to spin for fantasy purposes, of course -- we've had the Jackson/Spiller fire drill a few times over the years. Spiller gets a serious bump in value, as he'll receive all the work he can handle in the closing weeks.
Here's the scoop from his coach:
"We'll play CJ as much as he can play," Gailey said. "Tashard [Choice] will rest him when he needs rest."
Hopefully, Spiller won't need many of those rests when the Bills are near the goal line. But in the past, we've seen Gailey use Choice as if he were flexing him in a points-only league, so we'll see.
In any case, Spiller is in for a bunch of work in the most important weeks of the fantasy season. His owners have to feel pretty good about his short-term outlook. Spiller's match-ups in Weeks 15-16 are terrible, we should note, as the Bills will face Seattle, then Miami. Those defenses both rank top-10 against the run. Still, Spiller is an obscene talent, a player you can't sit when he's in line for a full load. If he's getting 15-plus carries, regardless of the opposing D, he's likely to make something like this or this or this happen with one of 'em.
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