Friday - Feb 22, 2019

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Blood in the Water: Targeting Fred Jackson Owners

Fred Jackson was a player, who was drafted in the second round of most drafts. His backup CJ Spiller was drafted as late as the eighth round but as early as the fifth or sixth rounds in drafts last summer. For those Jackson owners who made the smart move and spent that pick on Spiller…good for you and may the fantasy gods bless you and give you good fortune.

The reality is, though, there’s a large number of Jackson owners who weren’t able to draft Spiller, just like there are a large number of Arian Foster owners, who couldn’t spend a seventh-round pick on Ben Tate. We’ve all read 2,348 articles on how important handcuffs are, but sometimes other owners make a reach and grab our guy. Or the Jackson owner just got careless and didn’t think they’d need Spiller and built up depth in another area.

At the end of the day, the reason for Jackson owners not picking up Spiller is irrelevant. What is relevant is that there’s blood in the water. An owner in your league is panicking and his season is in serious jeopardy. Jackson’s serious leg injury could have him out for three weeks, a month…maybe more. You can read all about the gory details of the injury here.

In the best case scenario where Jackson returns in three weeks and he shows no residual signs of his injury, he won’t be coming back to the same backfield he left in Week 1. Spiller filled in for Jackson in an amazing way with 169 rushing yards and a touchdown last Sunday. Jackson’s days as the feature back in the Buffalo offense could very well be done. This is a full, true blue, FDA-approved running back by committee in the greatest case scenario.

Last season, when Spiller had to fill in for Jackson, he was tremendous. In his last three games, he had more than 400 yards from scrimmage and four total touchdowns. Spiller showed us last year and last Sunday that he is ready for the challenge. So, regardless of whether Jackson comes back soon or not, his owners are screwed any which way you slice it.

So, there’s blood in the water and Spiller-less Jackson owners are desperate and looking for a solution. Any solution. If you’re one of these Jackson owners, the cheapest “solution” is to look for my pick for the Sleeper of the Year, Jonathan Dwyer. He may still be available on the waiver wire, and if he’s not, you can still get him for a good price as he’s probably the RB5 or even RB6 of most owners.    

Dwyer acquitted himself nicely in last Sunday’s showdown with the Denver Broncos, nearly doubling Isaac Redman’s snaps (42-24) and gaining 22 more yards than him, rushing for 54 yards on 11 carries. Dwyer also had a touchdown called back. Coach Mike Tomlin has already said that Dwyer’s role is going to increase in the offense and the stage has been set for Dwyer to take control of the Pittsburgh backfield.

Is Dwyer the ultimate solution to Jackson owners?  Of course not, and in no way am I saying that Dwyer’s close to Jackson’s level, at least not at this point. I’m simply saying Dwyer’s a start; a stop-gap at a cheap price. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

For the rest of the lucky fantasy world, who didn’t spend a second-round pick on Jackson, it’s time to target desperate Jackson owners. If you have an extra running back on your roster, and you don’t have Darren McFadden on your team…you need to be taking a long look at the rosters of Jackson owners.

Nearly every team has a part of it that can be improved. Odds are Jackson owners have some player which would improve your roster and improve your chances of winning a title. Even if you hadn’t planned on making a trade this early in the season, you still can’t ignore this great opportunity to improve your team.

The first thing you’re going to need to do is offer the respectable lowball offer. Try and include a couple turds off your roster that you’re trying to get rid of, if you can. The bigger the trade, the better if you’re trying to get rid of some dead weight.

If the respectable lowball offer gets rejected but the other owner’s still interested, now it’s time for you to offer a more respectable lowball offer. Remember, the key to this trade is that it’s not fair to the other owner. Jackson owners are in a desperate spot, and that’s the only reason you’re interested in trading with them.

Time to get ruthless, my friends. This site’s called Fantasy Sharks, not Fantasy Nice Guys.

Good Hunting!

Ed Bonfanti

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About Fantasy Sharks began in 2003, disseminating fantasy football content on the web for free. It is, or has been, home to some of the most talented and best known fantasy writers on the planet. Owned and operated by Tony Holm (5 time Fantasy Sports Writer Association Hall-of-Fame nominee,) Tony started writing fantasy content in 1993 for the only three fantasy football web sites in existence at the time.