Week Seventeen Analysis:
Fred Jackson has only hit 80 rushing yards three times this season, but two of them have come in the last two games, including last week's season-high 111. He's averaged 20 touches in those two games, and he's now scored three times in his last four, so he's a viable option against a Patriots defense he shredded for 108 combo yards in the opener. Over New England's last five games, opposing backs have averaged 147 combo yards and a score. It's a split backfield in Buffalo, but Jackson's been the best bet all year.
Week Sixteen Analysis:
Last week in Jacksonville, Fred Jackson ran a season-high 17 times for 80 yards, which represented his best rushing total in his last 10 games. In fact, it was just the second time he's eclipsed 55 yards during that 10-game stretch, which tells you everything you need to know about him at this point. He's now gone scoreless in five of his last six outings, and Miami hasn't allowed a touchdown to the position in five straight. Fortunately, the Dolphins rank 25th in rushing yards and 20th in receiving yards, and Jackson managed 85 combo yards and a score in the midseason meeting between these teams. That's probably his upside this week.
Week Thirteen Analysis:
Both Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller have been battling injuries for the bulk of the season, so it's hard to project distribution coming out of Buffalo's long-awaited bye. Jackson has been the preferred fantasy option by a wide margin, but he was running on fumes into said bye, averaging just 67 scoreless combo yards in his last three games. Still, considering his body of work, he's earned the nod this week against Atlanta's 30th-ranked run defense. In their last four games, the Falcons have given up at least 160 combo yards and a score to Andre Ellington, Marshawn Lynch and Bobby Rainey.
Week Eleven Analysis:
The Jets come out of their bye this week fresh and ready to continue their domination of opposing fantasy backs. They currently rank first in rushing yards allowed, and third in receiving yards allowed. Perhaps the most impressive opposing performance to date actually came from Fred Jackson, who totaled 109 combo yards on just 11 touches earlier this season. Jackson's now scored and/or topped 99 combo yards in eight of 10 games, and while he's been fading a bit recently, he remains the preferred Buffalo back as C.J. Spiller continues to battle an ongoing ankle injury.
Week Ten Analysis:
While C.J. Spiller has caused a roller coaster of emotions, it's been smooth sailing all season for Fred Jackson. He's now scored and/or topped 99 combo yards in eight of nine games. Moreover, he's done so with complete disregard for Spiller's involvement or availability, which happens to be in question again this week after he aggravated his ankle injury against the Chiefs. Either way, Jackson should continue to produce against a 29th-ranked Pittsburgh run defense that's surrendered a league-worst 12 touchdowns to the running back position. Five of those scores have come in the last two weeks alone, so keep Jackson locked into your lineups.
Week Nine Analysis:
Fred Jackson has scored and/or topped 100 combo yards in seven of eight games this season, and he's notched at least 14 touches in five straight weeks. It looks like C.J. Spiller will miss another game, but he's been almost completely irrelevant to Jackson's fantasy value anyway. Kansas City's top-five run defense has only given up two touchdowns to opposing backs all season, and they also rank top-10 to the position in receiving yards. It's a tough matchup, but Jackson's performed well against similarly tiered opponents like the Jets, Panthers and Ravens, so there's no need to panic.
Week Eight Analysis:
Fred Jackson is still playing effectively despite a lingering knee injury that briefly knocked him out of last week's game in Miami. However, he did return to score his fourth touchdown in as many games, and his 15 touches for 85 total yards dwarfed C.J. Spiller's nine-touch, seven-yard disaster. Jackson hasn't dipped below 14 touches in four straight games, which should be plenty in a neutral matchup with the Saints. In the Saints' last game, Stevan Ridley went for 110 combo yards and a pair of scores, so you're safe to keep plugging Jackson into your lineups.
Week Seven Analysis:
Last week against Cincinnati, Fred Jackson failed to score or top 100 combo yards for the first time this season. However, he once again led the Buffalo backfield with 14 touches, and he remained the undisputed goal line back. He'll have a great opportunity to get back on track this week against a middling Miami run defense that's given up over a touchdown per game to opposing backfields. Even better, Jackson's notched four catches in five of six games, and Miami ranks 31st against opposing backs by allowing over 64 receiving yards per game. CJ Spiller is still ailing, so Jackson's workload is assured.
Week Six Analysis:
C.J. Spiller finally popped a big run last week, but Fred Jackson responded with 93 combo yards and a pair of scores on a season-high 21 touches. The always-underrated veteran has scored and/or topped 100 combo yards in every game this season, rendering him a top-10 fantasy back in both standard and PPR leagues to this point. The Bengals have been a slightly above average fantasy run defense in all facets, but Matt Forte is the only quality back they've faced all season. Felix Jones, James Starks, Willis McGahee and LeGarrette Blount will make any defense look good, so keep riding the hot hand with Jackson.
Week Five Analysis:
Fred Jackson's knee injury is further along in recovery than C.J. Spiller's ankle injury, so it's looking like Jackson will get the bulk of the work on Thursday night, while Spiller will either be limited or inactive. Despite being on the short end of a 45-55 timeshare, Jackson's used his 15 touches per game to easily outpace Spiller in every major statistical category. Jackson's currently averaging 89 combo yards, three catches and a half-touchdown per game, and while he's less than 100 percent, the bump in touches should be an offsetting variable. Cleveland allows just 2.7 yards per carry, but they've surrendered three rushing scores in four games, so Jackson's viable if you're in a pinch.