RB Fred Jackson, Buffalo Bills
HT: 6-1, WT: 215, Born: 2-20-1981, College: Coe, Drafted: ---
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Average draft position
Current as of June 11th. [Full ADP list]Overall: E Manning (97), B Brown (98), Fred Jackson (99), J Blackmon (100), T Austin (101)
Position: G Bernard (95-RB37), B Brown (98-RB38), Fred Jackson (99 - RB39), B Tate (104-RB40), D Williams (105-RB41)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of June 11th. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: E Manning (98), L Moore (99), Fred Jackson (100), J Cook (101), B Brown (102)
Position: D Richardson (92-RB36), M Leshoure (97-RB37), Fred Jackson (100 - RB38), B Brown (102-RB39), B Tate (105-RB40)
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It's been a rough stretch for Fred Jackson, who not long ago seemed ready to break out to be among the best in the NFL. Now, after two injury shortened seasons, he's taking a back seat to C.J. Spiller. Jackson still runs tough and still shows decent speed and ability but he just can't avoid ending up hurt. He's also not as good a fit as Spiller in the up-tempo offense Doug Marrone wants to install. While Jackson may not see as many carries as he did in 2010 or 2011, he still has the ability to be effective. In 2011 his yards per carry hovered around 5.5 and while it dropped to a 3.8 in 2012, he can still move the ball effectively. That said, barring injury, Jackson will be watching a lot of Spiller from the bench.
|1||New England Patriots|
|3||at New York Jets|
|5||at Cleveland Browns|
|7||at Miami Dolphins|
|8||at New Orleans Saints|
|9||Kansas City Chiefs|
|10||at Pittsburgh Steelers|
|11||New York Jets|
|14||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|15||at Jacksonville Jaguars|
|17||at New England Patriots|
2012 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Jackson found no room to run early in the game against the Jets and the Bills quickly fell behind by 3 touchdowns. Early in the second quarter, Jackson finally found a crease in the defense and picked up 7 yards but he was brought down with an awkward tackle that resulted in what looked like a serious knee injury. He was able to walk around afterwards, but was taken to the locker room and initial tests indicated that he suffered an injury to his LCL that will likely keep him out for a month or longer. The Bills will have a tough time recovering from the loss of a team leader like this, but his backup C.J. Spiller looks ready to take on a bigger role.
Week 4 - Fred Jackson's health didn't appear to be an issue in the game. He came out of the blocks early as his offensive line gave him good holes to work through for gains of 10, five and three yards. It may have just been a coincidence, but once right guard Kraig Urbik left the game, the Bills' offensive line failed to get much of a push or create any gaps upfront. From then on Jackson was mostly fighting for any yardage he got, which wasn't much. Jackson remains a threat as a receiver and showed off his ability to line up as a receiver with a deep reception down the sideline against Jerod Mayo. He also made a nice one handed reception on a screen play to convert a third and long. Jackson fumbled the ball in the fourth quarter. Brandon Spikes hit him hard, but Jackson covered the football with his arms and shouldn't have lost it at this level.
Week 5 - Jackson didn’t look himself during the first half. When holes opened, he looked a step slow and wasn’t able to hit them with any kind of authority. It wasn’t until the second half that Jackson started showing a little more power and speed in his runs, but the swarming defense of the 49ers kept him in check. Even when Buffalo tried to get him the ball in space with screen passes, the defense was relentless and Jackson wasn’t able to break free. He did make a very good one handed catch on a screen pass, as Fitzpatrick delivered an inaccurate pass that forced Jackson to readjust.
Week 6 - Finally able to lose the knee brace that has hampered him for the past two weeks, Jackson’s day could not have starter more disastrously. Taking the hand off on the first play from scrimmage, Jackson took a shot from Washington right on the ball and it squirted loose. Not hindered by the shaky start, Jackson was able to bounce back and show some lateral quickness and agility he hasn’t shown since going down with the knee injury in week one. On the Bills’ first TD drive, Jackson brought back memories of his 2011 running style. Like water working its way through a crack, Jackson pressed the closed hole before he glided to his left and stiff-armed two defenders on his way to a six-yard gain. Later, facing immediate pressure after taking the handoff, Jackson flashed consecutive jump cuts to turn a short loss into a four-yard gain. On the Bills’ 2nd TD drive, it was a nice block from Jackson on the outside that allowed Smith to pick up 16 yards. No one benefited more than Jackson from that run, as he took the next play in for a TD. Jackson also caught five balls out of the backfield, including a screen that saw Wilson nearly take Jackson’s head off. Fitzpatrick faked the hand off to Jackson before also faking to Graham on the end around. Wilson was not fooled and a high throw had Jackson extended and exposed to the hard-hitting safety. The play went for a loss, but Jackson was able to take the hard hit and continue to produce. Jackson only averaged three yards a carry, but was to able to consistently turn negative and no-gain plays into positive runs, helping to keep the offense in manageable distances and keep the defense off the field and fresh.
Week 7 - Just as Fitzpatrick was back to looking like his early 2011 self, the same can be said of Jackson. Finally healthy, Jackson looked damn good on Sunday, making quick cuts in the hole and consistently making the first guy miss to the tune of nearly eight yards a carry. On the Bills’ opening drive, Jackson took the handoff on a draw and was immediately met at the line of scrimmage. Making one small cut, Jackson had the potential tackler off balance before he quickly spun to completely break free picking up eight yards after the initial contact. Later Jackson was again hit at the line of scrimmage by DT Sen’Derrick Marks, but used his mean stiff arm to break free and rumble for a 13-yard gain. Where Chris Johnson had seven runs of two yards or less, Jackson only had two carries that went less than five yards. Never one go down after first contact, Jackson was always falling (and occasionally leaping) forward to pick up extra yardage, which is critical to keeping the offense (namely Fitzpatrick) in manageable positions. Jackson was also huge in the passing game on Sunday, topping the team in both targets and catches with 11 and 8, respectively. Jackson’s TD came on a screen from three yards out, perfectly sold by him as he sauntered into the end zone untouched. Part of the best RB tandem in the league, Jackson did his part on Sunday, amassing 120 yards of total offense, with a significant amount coming after contact.
Week 9 - Like Spiller, Jackson was really limited by the Bills’ inability to sustain much offensively. Like Spiller too, Jackson had 11 touches, but lacking Spiller’s explosion, he was held in check. Jackson’s best run came on the Bills first scoring drive, a run that could easily be used to show later generations of why so many saw water through cracks when Jackson touched the ball. Taking the carry into what appeared to be a stacked line, Jackson used a slight cut to find the tiniest of creases in the line. Slipping through essentially unscathed, Texans’ LBs appeared to be shocked to see Jackson coming through upright (and untouched). Jackson went 13 yards on the carry, his longest of the game (and season) when he truly should have been stopped at the line. However, the day was more frustrating than not, as Jackson was unable to get much else going. Jackson was often hit in the backfield, or promptly as he secured the catch (only picking up 14 yards on five catches). The ill-timed hiccups in the Bills’ offense kept Jackson from getting into much rhythm, severely limiting his production.
Week 10 - The offense was clicking on all cylinders on Sunday and Jackson was one of the main reasons why. Jackson set the tone early, catching a middle screen on his first official catch (after the one prior had been wiped out by a penalty) on 3rd and 15. Jackson slipped beneath the block and met first resistance six yards down field before two more Patriots collapsed on the RB. Jackson broke the initial tackle before dragging Jarod Mayo and safety Tavon Wilson four more yards to pick up the first down on his longest catch of the day. Not easy to top, Jackson did just that the following drive. Deep in Patriot territory, Jackson took the carry from the New England 14-yard line up the middle and hit the pile. Keeping his legs churning, Jackson fluidly spun off the crashing Mayo into open space before breaking one more tackle on his way into the end zone for his first of two TDs (and longest run of the day). Even Jackson’s short runs showed some flash, including a vicious stiff arm that only went for one yard. Running off left tackle, Jackson bounced outside and safety Steve Gregory did a nice job stretching the play out, but not before Jackson planted a Gregory with the stiff arm. Jackson’s 2nd TD was only a one-yard run, but featured a quick cut that easily beat crashing McCourty’s attempt at a tackle. Despite facing one of the league’s better rush defenses, Jackson averaged five yards a carry, leading the team with 16 carries. Jackson also delivered a spectacular block on the Bills’ final TD drive, allowing Fitzpatrick the necessary time to hit Jones for the TD. Bringing an all out blitz, Jackson chopped the unblocked Brandon Spikes down. Jackson was also targeted five times, catching four, including the aforementioned 15-yard screen, for 35 yards. Jackson fumbled the ball twice, including losing a very costly one just short of the end zone. Jackson took the carry 12 yards inside the Patriot one-yard line, again carrying tacklers with him the final five yards, but had the ball popped out as he was falling to the ground. Jackson’s 2nd fumble again came on an extreme effort play, as he tried to pick up the first down on the Bills’ final drive. With one tackler on his back, Jackson took a devastating shot to his head from Spikes and it appeared Jackson lost consciousness as he collapsed to the ground, dropping the ball as well. Jackson needed help off the field and did not return. Clearly not the explosive playmaker Spiller is, there is no denying Jackson’s worth to the team. When plays needed to be made on Sunday, the offense turned to Jackson and he often made them whilst carrying tacklers in the process.
Week 12 - Jackson returned after missing one game due to a concussion, but something was amiss and the team struggled because of it. Only getting six carries, Jackson appeared to be horribly out of rhythm and didn’t find his groove (or involvement really) until the final drive. Jackson received back-to-back carries on the drive, including his best carry of the day for seven yards where he carried two tacklers an extra two yards before going down. No one is denying the need to get the majority of the carries to Spiller, but the progression should not flow to Fitzpatrick next. Jackson is the heart and soul of the team (anyone who denies just isn’t watching) and while he lacks the huge play potential Spiller does, what he brings Spiller just cannot replicate. It was Jackson who took the team on his back, converting a 3rd and 15 early that kept the Bills from getting their doors blown off in New England two weeks ago. That same toughness was nowhere to be found on 3rd and one the following week in Miami as the Bills tried close out the Dolphins, having to punt the ball back when a first down would have closed the game out. The Bills offense, and more importantly the defense, needs sustained drives and only seven touches for Fred “the Grunt” Jackson is not nearly enough. There is room, and touches, for both backs, but the relegation on Sunday clearly impacted the offense negatively, especially preventing the establishment of any rhythm until it was too late.
Week 13 - Jackson led the team in carries, with 25, surpassing the century mark with 109 yards (averaging 4.4 yards a carry). It is safe to assume this wasn’t another changing of the guard for the Buffalo backfield, but more so the Bills looking to grind the remainder of the game away with a huge lead. Jackson didn’t get significant work until the Bills’ fourth drive, getting four consecutive touches and picking up 33 yards. On the final carry of the clump, Jackson literally ducked a clothesline from C.J. Mosley, slipping the tackle for the eight-yard gain. Jackson’s long of 15 yards came on the first drive out of halftime, hitting the gaping hole up the middle and not feeling contact until he hit the second level. The Bills’ eighth drive was entirely Jackson, as he six carries and caught a middle screen. The final carry of the six was a quintessential Jackson carry, and why he is so important to the offense. Hit almost immediately after taking the carry, Jackson leaked through the crowded hole with tacklers draped all over and picked up four yards when he had no business getting more than one yard. The final three drives were almost entirely Jackson, as he received nine carries on the Bills final ten plays, including his best run of the day. On 3rd and 10, Jackson cut the run outside, stiff-arming one tackler at the line. CB Mike Harris crashed down as Jackson reached the edge. As Harris attacked, Jackson laid the DB out with a vicious stiff arm, leaving Harris on his back and in his wake as he picked up a strong five yards. The run was insignificant to the final result, but one of those runs that had the Bills sideline going crazy despite the scoreboard. Jackson failed to find the end zone, but was the goal line back on Sunday, including getting one carry at the Jacksonville one-yard line. Jackson received three targets in the passing game, catching two for 10 yards, but wasn’t needed to do anything more than that as the script called for clock killing.
Week 14 - Magnified by Spiller’s success, Jackson really struggled on Sunday before leaving late with what appeared to be a significant knee injury. Jackson only averaged 1.4 yards a carry, but all 14 yards came on one run early in the 4th quarter. Running right, Jackson smoothly cut back into gaping space for the 14-yard run. The lone bright spot in the running game, Jackson was often hit in the backfield (including once by his own teammate) and never had any space to run. Jackson received five targets in the passing game, catching all five, but only picked up 16 yards with a long of nine yards. Coming on an important 3rd down, Jackson ran out of the backfield and into the flat. Fitzpatrick put it on him, well short of the marker. Jackson was upended on the catch, but was able to stretch the ball out and pick up the first down as he crashed to the field. Along with his rushing struggles, Jackson had another (his 4th, a career high) costly red zone fumble in the first half. As he was headed to the ground on a tackle, the ball was popped out of his arms.