With the news of the pending trade for LeSean McCoy, 34-year-old Fred Jackson becomes a clear backup. The oldest running back in the league led the Bills in rushing last year with 525 yards and averaged just 3.7 yards per carry in 2014.
Fantasy Impact: Don't assume Jackson will fall completely off the radar. With his blocking and receiving skills, he makes an ideal third-down back. He led the Bills with 66 catches last year, third among all running backs. Also, with a shaky QB situation and strong defense, the Bills may run more than any other team in 2015, so there will be plenty of touches to go around. Jackson could still be a late-round steal in PPR leagues.
Fred Jackson ran 18 times for 58 yards in the season finale at New England. He caught just one pass for four yards.
Fantasy Impact: With the Bills in control the whole game, they didn’t need to throw a lot of checkdowns, but he still ended up leading the team this year with 66 receptions, one more than Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods. Jackson is the oldest running back in the NFL and will be 34 next season, so at best, his role and/or effectiveness figures to diminish. But the savvy, popular, blue-collar veteran has surprised people who have written him off for his entire career.
Almost all of Fred Jackson’s production in Week 16 at Oakland came in the passing game, as he caught nine passes for 93 yards on 12 targets, all team highs. On the ground, he ran six times for 10 yards.
Fantasy Impact: Jackson is up to 65 receptions on the season, which is third among all running backs. That makes him immune to Buffalo’s pitiful run blocking, and a DFS asset in PPR scoring. The Bills will likely be throwing a lot next week at New England, so Jackson figures to have another big receiving day.
Fred Jackson ran 20 times for 71 yards and caught three passes for 27 yards in Week 15 against Green Bay.
Fantasy Impact: A typical workmanlike effort from FredEx, but he's no more than a PPR flex play because he's been in the end zone just twice this season. He has a chance for a last hurrah next week against Oakland, which came into the weekend tied for second-worst in fantasy points allowed to running backs. That puts him on the DFS radar, at least.
Fred Jackson ran eight times for 35 yards in Week 14 against Denver, but most of his value was in the passing game as he had 10 catches on a team-high 14 targets for 37 yards.
Fantasy Impact: Jackson was PPR gold as he gained more points on catches than his combined yardage. Kyle Orton has become Captain Checkdown, so more of the same is a strong possibility next week against Green Bay. If you’re still alive and have Jackson in PPR, he’s a great flex play, but in a standard league, he needs a touchdown to help you; he’s scored just three of those all year.
Fred Jackson took full control of the Bills’ backfield in Week 13 against Cleveland, carrying 21 times for 70 yards and catching three passes for 27 yards. He was on the field for 74 percent of the Bills’ offensive snaps.
Fantasy Impact: Back at full health, Jackson returns to legit RB2 status. However, he next faces a Denver defense that allowed a league-low 3.18 yards per carry going into Week 13 and held Jamaal Charles to 59 total yards Sunday night. The Bills will likely throw a lot, so Jackson is a solid PPR start.
Fred Jackson punctuated his return to the Bills’ backfield with a seven-yard touchdown Monday night. He had 10 carries for 32 yards, and caught three of his four targets for 13 yards. He led the Bills’ backfield with 32 snaps, which was still less than half.
Fantasy Impact: This is about what we can expect from Jackson: a shared workload, some receiving value and weekly touchdown potential. That makes him a solid PPR flex with a high floor but low upside. He does have a plus matchup next against Cleveland.
The Bills expect Fred Jackson (groin) to play Monday night against the Jets in Detroit. He's listed as questionable. (Source: ESPN.com)
Fantasy Impact: Jackson has several strikes against him: 1. How recovered he is from his groin injury is unknown; 2. He's in a crowded backfield with Boobie Dixon and Bryce Brown; 3. The Jets are one of the league's toughest run defenses; and 4. How will he and the rest of the team play after a chaotic week marooned in their own homes by an epic snowstorm? That said, he's a receiving threat out of the backfield, so he has some PPR flex appeal.
Bills coach Doug Marrone said Monday that Fred Jackson (groin) will be back at full capacity after missing Thursday night's game at Miami. (Source: Joe Buscaglia on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: What that means in Buffalo's three-headed backfield is anyone's guess. The Jets are a tough opponent in any case; they've allowed just 3.4 yards per carry, third-lowest in the NFL, and only three rushing TDs. Jackson may have some PPR value, but otherwise it may be best to wait a week to see how he does.
The NFL Network's Albert Breer tweeted Thursday morning, "Decent chance that Bills RB Fred Jackson sits tonight's game against the Dolphins out. Much more up in the air than last week." (Source: Albert Breer on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Jackson saw limited action against the Chiefs in Week 10 and is facing a good Dolphins defense, so he probably wasn't in a lot of lineups anyway, but considering this report, he shouldn't be in any right now.
Fred Jackson didn't get a full workload in his first game back after a groin injury. He ran three times for 10 yards and caught four passes for 39 yards. He was in on 27 snaps, same as Bryce Brown and eight more than Boobie Dixon.
Fantasy Impact: Jackson gets little time to progress before his next game, as the Bills go to Miami on Thursday night. The short week, tough matchup and uncertainty over whether he can handle a bigger workload make him someone to avoid for now, except as a deep PPR RB3.
After what was thought to be a lengthier time out for Jackson, he is active today to play against the Chiefs. (Source: Adam Schefter on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: All signs point to Jackson going right back into his role prior to injury. He likely wouldn't be playing unless his groin injury was healed enough to make it through a game. Although he's safe to put in your lineup, this isn't the greatest matchup as the Chiefs are the only team to not allow a rushing TD all season. They rank in the middle of the pack in yards allowed to running backs. Jackson is not a must start and should be considered a RB2/FLEX play.
Fred Jackson is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against Kansas City, but coach Doug Marrone was on the downside of that tag Friday, saying "We're still not where we need to be for him to get out there." (Source: Mike Rodak on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: If Marrone is saying that on Friday, you can all but count FredEx out. But he made some progress this week in his comeback from a groin injury, and his outlook could be brighter for next Thursday night.
Fred Jackson participated in practice for the second day in a row Thursday as he recovers from a groin injury. Bills coach Doug Marrone said, "I think Fred's not ready to go yet, so we'll see how that keeps progressing during the week. But right now, I'm not sure." (Source: WGR 550.com)
Fantasy Impact: Jackson will have to make progress in Friday's practice to be able to play Sunday against Kansas City. With Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown in the backfield, Jackson might not get his normal workload on Sunday even if he plays.
Fred Jackson was a limited participant in Wednesday's practice, his first time back on the field since suffering a groin injury in Week 7.
Fantasy Impact: His initial range for return was two to four weeks, so he could come back Sunday against Kansas City. With Sammy Watkins' availability in question, the Bills will lean on their running game, so follow Jackson's practice reports closely. If able, he'll lead the committee.
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport tweeted Sunday night that Fred Jackson's worst-case scenario is missing four games with his groin injury, and that he's eyeing a Nov. 6 return. (Source: Ian Rapoport)
Fantasy Impact: Considering Jackson's tearful trip off the field on a cart Sunday, this is good news. He can be held if you don't need the roster spot, and teams likely to make the fantasy playoffs may want to trade-and-stash.
Fred Jackson was carted off early in the game with a groin injury. He is out for the remainder of the game. (Source: John Clayton on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: The Bills relied heavily on the veteran and he has produced well considering C.J. Spiller has also been available all season. With Spiller also going out in the game, Anthony (Boobie) Dixon and Bryce Brown will be key pickups on the waiver wire.
Fred Jackson's touches were limited in Week 6, as his ankle obviously wasn't 100 percent. He had 10 carries (still a team high) for 26 yards and a touchdown, and four catches for 17 yards.
Fantasy Impact: Even a hobbled Jackson is still the Bills back worth starting in fantasy, because of his receiving skills and because he's the likeliest to find the end zone, as he showed. Minnesota is an inviting matchup; the Vikes just allowed five catches for 75 yards and a touchdown by Theo Riddick.
Despite being limited in practice this week, Fred Jackson is expected to be a "full-go" this week when the Bills host the Patriots. (Source: sbnation)
Fantasy Impact: Make sure Jackson is in your lineup against an underperforming (so far) Pats defense. Jackson has averaged double-digit fantasy point totals against the Patriots in his career (11.8 in standard scoring).
Fred Jackson further established himself as the Buffalo back to own, running for 50 yards on a team-high 11 carries in Week 5 against a very tough Lions defense, and catching seven passes for 58 yards. He also ran for a two-point conversion.
Fantasy Impact: Unlike C.J. Spiller, Jackson excels in the Bills' inside running game, squeezing through tight spaces, getting more than what's blocked and finding the right lane. With 21 catches over his last three games, Jackson is a must-start in PPR and a good RB2 in standard leagues. He suffered a minor ankle sprain in the fourth quarter but returned to the game. Assuming he'll be OK, start him against New England in Week 6.
Fred Jackson racked up most of his fantasy points in the passing game in Week 4. He caught six of his seven targets for 52 yards, and added 33 yards on seven carries.
Fantasy Impact: Jackson's receiving prowess -- 14 catches for 130 yards and a touchdown over the past two weeks -- makes him a solid RB2 in PPR leagues and just as good a play, if not better, than C.J. Spiller even in standard leagues because he's more likely to score a touchdown. Jackson will have to produce through the air again at Detroit, which has been stout against the run, so he's just a flex option in standard leagues.
Fred Jackson had the only respectable fantasy day for the Bills in Week 3, as he caught eight of his 10 targets for 78 yards and a touchdown, while running six times for a team-high 34 yards.
Fantasy Impact: Jackson is an every-week flex starter in PPR, but a high risk in standard leagues because in a backfield shared with C.J. Spiller, you never know when his good days will come. He's worth the risk in Week 4 against Houston, because the Texans have given up a league-worst 5 yards per carry and are coming off a 176-yard stomping by Rashad Jennings. Start Jackson as an RB2 in all formats.
Fred Jackson ran 12 times for just 24 yards in Buffalo's Week 2 victory over Miami. He also caught two passes on four targets for 27 yards.
Fantasy Impact: Jackson and C.J. Spiller got the same amount of carries, but Spiller did far more with them. In a crowded backfield, Jackson delivers value only if he scores touchdowns, and he hasn't yet this year. He's a passable PPR flex, but keep him on your bench otherwise unless Spiller gets hurt.
Fred Jackson rushed for a team-high 61 yards on just seven carries, including a 38-yard rumble in overtime to set up Buffalo's victory in Chicago. He also had three catches for 13 yards.
Fantasy Impact: At a league-high 33, the old man is still Buffalo's best running back. That said, 10 touches is not a formula for fantasy success. He had just 31 yards from scrimmage in regulation time. With Buffalo's crowded backfield, none of their backs are reliable plays, but Jackson's receiving and TD potential make him a PPR flex play.
Fred Jackson should be the focal point of the Bills' offense Sunday at Chicago. He fits the running scheme better than C.J. Spiller, and the Bills will want to keep the Bears' explosive offense off the field while limiting shaky QB E.J. Manuel. Look for Jackson to get a lot of dumpoffs, and he'll be the goal-line back if they get that close. But he won't get the touches of a feature back, and he's dependent on an offense that didn't score a single touchdown against a first-team defense in five preseason games. (Source: FantasyPros)
Fantasy Impact: Jackson is projected for 66 total yards and a better-than-average chance at a touchdown. He's an ideal flex play, especially in PPR, and a serviceable RB2 in Week 1.
Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller will be splitting time heading into the 2014 season. The Bills will have to run the ball early and often this season given the state of their offense.
Fantasy Impact: With Jackson in-line to get most of the goal line work for Buffalo, he looks to be the more valuable fantasy RB for the Bills. Given his ADP, Jackson is the back to target in your drafts. Jackson posted 187.1 standard scoring fantasy points in 2013 while Spiller posted 124.4 (233.1, 158.4 respectively in PPR).
Fred Jackson had five carries for 15 yards, including an eight-yard touchdown, as well as four catches for 23 yards Saturday against Tampa Bay.
Fantasy Impact: The touchdown and the catches are what make Jackson a serviceable RB3 and low-end RB2 in PPR leagues. He's still the primary TD threat in the Bills' backfield and a favorite outlet for E.J. Manuel. If you need some RB depth around the eighth round, that's where he's being drafted.
Fred Jackson caught seven passes for 28 yards during Saturday night's game in Pittsburgh. He also had six carries for 27 yards as the Bills' first-team offense played the entire first half.
Fantasy Impact: Jackson can be useful in PPR leagues, and he'll compete with Anthony Dixon for carries near the end zone. In standard leagues though, his eighth-round ADP may be a little too rich for the NFL's oldest running back in a crowded backfield.
Fred Jackson has signed a one-year contract extension with the Bills. A source tells Ian Rapoport that it's for $2.6 million plus $1 mil in incentives. (Source: BuffaloBills.com)
Fantasy Impact: At 33, Jackson is the oldest RB in the NFL. His role as the Bills' No. 2 back is prolonging his career, but it limits his fantasy appeal to low-ceiling, TD-dependent depth. Even if C.J. Spiller got hurt, Jackson would still be in a crowded backfield with Bryce Brown and Anthony Dixon (who has been getting goal-line reps in camp).
Fred Jackson came up limping and walked to the locker room under his own power during Friday night's practice. Buffalo News beat writer Mark Gaughan tweeted that "it doesn't look too serious." (Source: Mark Gaughan on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: FredEx has been one of the Bills' few bright spots over the past few years, but this is a reminder that his 33-year-old body is nearing the end. He's being drafted around the eighth round, but that's too high if you want to get ahead of a player's breakdown — especially one who shares a backfield with C.J. Spiller and Bryce Brown.