Aug 16, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone (C) talks with running back C.J. Spiller (28) and running back Fred Jackson (22) during the second half at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 19-16. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Football 2014: Buffalo Bills RB Rundown

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Probably the biggest fantasy football disappointment of last year’s draft was Bills RB C.J. Spiller.  Spiller showed big time potential and everyone bought in last season only to get an extremely disappointing return as Spiller barely topped 200 carries and 1,000 all-purpose yards and never really delivered on the promise he flashed in 2012.

Will things be different for Spiller this year? While the expectations are wildly different for him this season, it appears his role has been even more reduced and he’s getting so little usage that he could even be a disappointment as your RB3.

If Spiller isn’t getting the work, who will be able to emerge as a fantasy option? Check out my thoughts on all the Bills RB below as we continue our RB Rundowns.  The rankings included are from my top 80 RB which came out last week and which will be updated later this week.

26

C.J. Spiller

RB, Buffalo Bills

Spiller has such elite talent that it’s hard to drop him too far in the rankings since he has the slash and flash to be a special player in this league. The problem with Spiller is that the Bills seem set on using him as a change-of-pace, non red-zone, non-receiving down option.  If he’s that limited in his touches his health may hold up for the season but his numbers will be too inconsistent to be a reliable starter.  Spiller’s issues last year were partly due to a nagging high ankle sprain, but the more concerning issue is the way his coaches seem set on him filling such a limited role.  Spiller has huge upside, but I wouldn’t draft him as anything more than a mid-level RB3 which is much later than he’s going in most drafts.
38

Fred Jackson

RB, Buffalo Bills

In contrast to Spiller, Jackson is a really nice value where he’s going and can be picked up as your fourth or fifth RB in many drafts making him an awesome depth option.  Right now, it looks like Jackson will be the primary workhorse and get the red zone carries for Buffalo.  The Bills offense has struggled this preseason and may not create a ton of chances, but Jackson looks in line to get most of them.  Because of the load sharing, you want to avoid using him as a regular starter, but he’s a pretty solid flex play in PPR leagues and a pretty safe depth pick to add to your roster if you’ve gone risky with your early picks.
73

Bryce Brown

RB, Buffalo Bills

To further complicate the backfield split in Buffalo, the Bills really seem to like Bryce Brown who they brought in from Philadelphia this offseason.  Brown is definitely behind Jackson and Spiller, but next season he’ll probably step in for Jackson as the primary back.  Barring injury, it’s unclear how many touches he’ll get on a weekly basis, but be ready to get Brown off the wire if he starts getting any work in the Bills attack.  Brown has upside as a late-round stash in deep leagues, but isn’t someone who needs a roster spot in standard formats.
NR

Anthony Dixon

RB, Buffalo Bills

The Bills also brought in former-49 running back Anthony Dixon this offseason and look to be incorporating him as a third-down option in their attack.  He also could get some looks in short yardage situations, so monitor how Coach Doug Marrone defines his role going into the season.

This post is part of a series detailing the backfield situation for each NFL team from a fantasy football perspective. Check out my top 80 rankings and click here for the full series.

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Tags: 2014 Fantasy Football Anthony Dixon Bryce Brown Buffalo Bills C.J. Spiller Fantasy Football Preview Fantasy Football RB Fred Jackson RB Rankings RB Rundown

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