The Buffalo Bills like to run the ball, which makes for good fantasy football production. The only problem is that the Bills have three legitimate RBs on the depth chart. C.J. Spiller is going to be the main back, but it gets a little more blurred behind Spiller. In the later rounds of your draft, should you take a chance on Fred Jackson or Bryce Brown?
Last year, Jackson tied with Ryan Mathews as the No. 10 RB in standard scoring leagues. Jackson actually had four more carries than Spiller in 2013, and both RBs rushed for about 900 yards last year. However, Jackson took away nine rushing TDs from Spiller, and he quietly had 47 receptions for just shy of 400 yards compared to Spiller’s 33 receptions for less than 200 yards.
Despite being 33 years old, Jackson has relatively fresh tires with just over 1,400 career touches. However, I expect a healthy Spiller this season to have more rushes and receptions than his 2013 totals, though Jackson may continue to vulture away goal-line looks from Spiller.
While I think Jackson will be the main complement to Spiller if healthy, I think it’s likely that he misses a few games this year. Prior to last season, Jackson played in only 10 games per season in 2011 and 2012. If Jackson misses any time in 2014, Brown should be the immediate fill-in. More importantly, Brown will also benefit if Spiller is unable to play for any length of time.
The Bills traded for Brown this offseason for good reason. The Bills recently extended Jackson’s contract through the end of 2015, but he is still near the end of his career. More importantly, it’s interesting to note that Spiller has not received any extension, and his 2014 performance and ability to stay healthy will determine the likelihood of a new contract.
While with the Philadelphia Eagles, Brown performed well as the backup to LeSean McCoy. He has a career yards per carry of 4.6, and he had an interesting run when McCoy missed four games in 2012.
In that span, Brown had two great games totaling over 340 rushing yards and 12 total TDs as well as two terrible games totaling just 40 yards. But in the two good games, Brown also lost three fumbles. But then in the two bad games, Brown still had three receiving TDs. I’m really not sure what to think of Brown at this point, but he’s shown flashes of pure talent.
For me, it’s not even close. I would much rather draft Brown (currently going undrafted) than Jackson (current ADP in round 10). Late in the draft, I want the guy with insanely high upside rather than the aging veteran. As a bonus in keeper leagues, Brown has an outside shot of being the starting RB in Buffalo in 2015.