November 23, 2011
Bills coach Chan Gailey said [Fred] Jackson is out for Sunday's key AFC East game against the New York Jets. And Gailey said Jackson might be done for the year.
"Fred's not good, and I know he'll miss this one," Gailey said. "Then we'll have to decide what happens from there."
Asked if there was a chance Jackson could be back before the end of the season, Gailey said: "I don't know about that. We'll have to wait and see."
At the moment, Fred Jackson(notes) ranks second in the NFL in scrimmage yards (1,376), third in rushing (934), and he's third among all running backs in standard fantasy scoring (173.6). Jackson injured his right calf late in Buffalo's disastrous Week 11 loss at Miami, and the problem is clearly much worse than anyone anticipated. So this is a high-impact fantasy event. It's also a killer for the Bills, obviously, because so far this season, Jackson has accounted for 40 percent of the team's offense. Brutal.
CJ Spiller(notes) gets the first crack at replacing Jackson. Spiller has actually matched Fred's yards-per-carry average so far this year (5.5), but he's only had 21 carries to Jackson's 170, so ... well, so this is basically a ridiculous point of comparison.
Spiller hasn't given us a highlight play since the 2010 preseason — here it is, hope you enjoy it — and his team's offense is clearly in a multi-week nosedive. And he's about to face a tough Jets defense, on the road. I'm starting him in a pair of leagues this week (14-teamer, 16-teamer), but I'm not ranking him as anything more than a flex. He's clearly a pickup in most formats, however, since he has a shot at a significant rest-of-season workload.
Johnny White(notes), a fifth-round rookie, now becomes Plan B for the Bills. It wouldn't be a huge surprise if White took, say, a third of the touches. He's not the flashiest player and he wasn't a heavy-workload back in college, but he'll get a look if/when Spiller falters — and perhaps he'll get a chance at the goal line, too. Right now, his most appealing trait is that he is not CJ Spiller.
In any case, this is not the sort of backfield where you should feel obligated to handcuff, so I can't recommend owning two Buffalo RBs. For me, one is plenty ... and even that might be one too many.
Update: And the Jackson hits keep comin'. He's reportedly been placed on IR, ending his season. Broken bone. Terrible end to a stellar year. The Bills won the waiver claim on Tashard Choice(notes), so ... um ... yeah. Spiller it is.
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