Tears. Pure tears of joy.
There is no other way to describe how I feel when watching C.J. Spiller break a long run. We all know the explosiveness that Spiller possesses. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more elusive, exciting back in football, and when Spiller is right, he’s incredible. Well, impatient fantasy owners, Spiller may be back.
After sitting out a week to nurse a nagging ankle injury, Spiller exploded against arguably the best defense in football in Kansas City. The week off paid dividends for Spiller and fantasy owners, as he carried the ball 12 times for 116 yards. He also hauled in two balls for 36 yards. Spiller broke an electric 61-yard run in this game, which showcased his cutting ability and elusiveness. Too many times have I seen Spiller break a long run, only to come up limping. Well, it appears that the Bills back hasn’t suffered any setbacks, and has been a full participant in practice. It’s the first time since Week 4 that he isn’t on the injury report. Head coach Doug Marrone stated that he is excited to get his explosive back more touches. Before suffering the ankle injury, Spiller was averaging 18.75 offensive touches per game, but that number dropped to 11.6 after the injury. Let’s just hope Buffalo is finally sincere with their claims to feed him the rock, rather than forcing fantasy owners to throw up, rather than Spiller.
But while everyone is excited about Spiller’s potential resurrection, Fred Jackson continues to quietly serve as a top-10 fantasy back. He’s made the most out of his touchdown opportunities, and has been a strong pass-catching option. As a Bills fan, I obviously love both of these guys, but fantasy owners should love them too.
Especially in Week 10.
It’s been odd to see Buffalo’s Week 10 opponent, the Pittsburgh Steelers, struggle this much on the defensive side of the ball. Known for the Steel Curtain days, this defensive unit has been an absolute mess this season, especially when asked to stop the run. Pittsburgh is currently the 31st-ranked run defense in football, allowing 131 rushing yards per game, while surrendering 12 touchdowns on the ground. Teams know they can run the ball against them, too. Opposing offenses are averaging 31 rushing attempts per game against the Steelers. Only Jacksonville is allowing more. Combined that with the fact that Buffalo is currently second in rushing attempts per game with 33.7, and there’s going to be enticing volume in this game. For those who have been rolling with Jackson, keep it going. The Steelers are allowing opponents to see 3.4 red zone scoring attempts per game this season, which is 10th-most among defenses. Meanwhile, Jackson is currently 5th in the league in rushing touchdowns with six.
Also, the guys over at numberFire do a spectacular job of using advanced metrics to determine how good or bad players or teams are. JJ Zachariason (LateRoundQB on Twitter) states that using numberFire’s Adjusted Defensive Rankings, the Steelers are actually the sixth-worst defense in football. It’s incredibly odd to watch this defense unravel, but they are bad, folks.
This could be a glorious week for the Bills running backs, and with Jackson producing like an RB1 and Spiller just about fully healed, they are both flirting with must-start territory this week, and hopefully for the rest of the season.
*Stats provided by Team Rankings and numberFire.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.