Fantasy Football 2013: Don't Discount Fred Jackson

By Adam Pfeifer
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports


I absolutely love Clifford Spiller Jr. You know this, my parents, brothers, friends, heck, everyone on planet Earth probably knows it by now. I think he will be a top-5 fantasy running back in 2013, and obviously the man crush is real. However, as a Buffalo Bills fan, I also am quite fond of veteran running back Fred Jackson. And although I am all in on Spiller in terms of fantasy football, I’d be crazy to believe that Jackson won’t be in the mix at least a little bit in 2013, which still makes him pretty fantasy relevant in my eyes.

It’s tough to put a whole lot of stock into Jackson in 2013. I mean, there is pretty much nothing going for him. Spiller has emerged as “the guy” in this offense, and at 32-years old, Jackson is coming off back-to-back IR stints with leg injuries. However, Jackson still has a ton of talent, and could probably be a starting running back on a handful of teams in this league. And also, for some sneaky fantasy value this year, Jackson does have at least one thing going for him this year;

Doug Marrone.

The Bills new head coach has always been a run-oriented guy during his days at Syracuse. And while he already stated that he won’t pull Spiller during short-yardage situations, Jackson will still see his fair share of touches. Will it be enough to land him inside the top-25 among fantasy running backs? No, probably not. However, Jackson has the opportunity to still be a big piece to this Bills offense, and considering how thin the running back position is this season, he will help one fantasy owner out one way or another.

If you look back at some of Marrone’s offenses at Syracuse, as well as with the New Orleans Saints, he often featured dual running back systems. Now, of course, he’s never had a back as explosive and talented as Spiller, but I don’t see him giving Spiller the ball 30-35 times per game.

Year Player Team Attempts
2006 Deuce McAllister NO 244
2006 Reggie Bush NO 155
2007 Reggie Bush NO 157
2007 Aaron Stecker NO 115
2008 Pierre Thomas NO 129
2008 Deuce McAllister NO 107
2010 Delone Carter SYR 231
2010 Antwon Bailey SYR 114
2012 Jerome Smith SYR 227
2012 Prince-Tyson Gulley SYR 158


Clearly, Marrone has implemented multiple backfield situations many times over the course of his coaching career. I’m not saying that Spiller won’t be the focal point, because let’s face it, Marrone won’t make the same mistake that former head coach Chan Gailey made last season. Besides, Marrone also wants to implement a fast-paced style of offense, one that can score points in a hurry. Spiller is obviously the better fit for that situation. However, Jackson will still very much be involved in this offense, whether it’s at the goal line or whatever, making him relevant in fantasy land. Oh, and if Spiller is forced to miss time due to injury, Jackson immediately becomes a hot commodity once again.

But that’s not going to happen, is it, fantasy gods?

Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.

You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.

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