It’s amazing how true Rod Stewart’s words — “Some guys have all the luck” — are for some NFL players, who seem to have absolutely no history of short and long-term injury. At the same time as Stewart also says in his next line of lyrics — “Some guys have all the pain” — and for purposes of this conversation get injured way too often.
Insert Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson, who like so many NFL players with huge unrealized potential (hello Austin Collie), seems to lack the luck and has all the pain, both fantasy and reality. The latest “freak” injury Jackson suffered was a sprained ligament in his knee that, according to BuffaloBills.com, will not sideline him the rest of the season. Instead, the Bills’ primary runner should be ready by Week 5 against the 49ers.
“… I’ll definitely be back in four weeks,” said Jackson. “Without a doubt.”
“No tear. I’m good,” he said. “Obviously I’m not where I want to be right now, but I feel good after looking at the film and then getting evaluated. So hopefully things happen sooner rather than later.”
According to The Bufflalo News Jackson was focused on carrying the Bills’ offense this season and had high expectations for himself and fellow backfield runner C.J. Spiller. Now, his goal is just to work hard to get back in to the starting lineup as quickly as possible, while letting Spiller carry the load.
“I personally want to be a catalyst in this offense,” Jackson said before the season. “I have to have a lot of success for us to be successful on offense and take some of that pressure off. That’s how we feel. C.J. and I know we’ve got to go out and make plays for us to be successful as a team. That’s just it. We want to go out and lead this team to where we’re trying to get. Whoever’s on the field needs to go out and make a play.”
Jackson’s fantasy owners were really counting on him having a big rebound season, but will now have to make the proper adjustments. Spiller owners will reap the benefits in the upcoming weeks, as he seems to have improved his overall game (especially after seeing last week’s numbers of 169 yards and one touchdown) and has the confidence of his offensive teammates.
“C.J.’s got speed and strength, and he showed at the end of last year he can be a No. 1 back in this league and he can carry the load,” Bills center Eric Wood said.
With the Kansas City Chiefs on the schedule next for the Bills, Spiller should keep his rushing momentum moving forward. He is a must have for every fantasy owner who is looking for a player with major upside for the next four weeks.
R.R. — Rapid Reactions
– The best way to describe how fantasy owners will respond to Julio Jones’ Week 1 six catch, 108 yard performance is to whip up a Dennis Green. “Julio was as good as I thought he would be.” My smart ass response, “Well, if you want to crown him, then crown him.” Oh, and by the way, Roddy White quietly caught six balls for 87 yards while being targeted just one less time.
– The most traded first round player this week was probably Chris Johnson (just a guess). The player with the least amount of trade value though is Chris Johnson. In other words, if you don’t have Chris Johnson, go get him. If you do have Chris Johnson, stash him on your bench until Redskins coach Mike Shanahan decides Alfred Morris is only as good as the last memorable Redskins’ runner to wear 46 — Ryan Torain.
– After watching Peyton Manning dissect the Steelers defense on Sunday night I’m clearly convinced that, unless something catastrophic happens, all those who hated on his value will likely be crying at the end of the season like a foolish X-Factor contestant.
Manning’s back and he’s making fantasy believers look smarter than Simon Cowell.
– I thought the “Suck for Luck” campaign was over. Evidently Michael Vick and Brandon Weeden didn’t get those memos in their inboxes last Sunday morning.
P.O.T.W. — Play Of The Week
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson made a much stronger return last week than expected. Why?
The play: Weak formation — HB Blast (through the seven gap)
On this play in overtime, the Minnesota Vikings stay true to their run-first offensive character and exploit some gaps in the Jacksonville base 4-3 defense. Running back Adrian Peterson dashes for 20 yards to set up the game-winning field goal.
Now, there were four key blocks on this play. The first was rookie left tackle Matt Kalil helping to push the Jaguars best defensive lineman Tyson Alualu inside. The second was tight end Kyle Rudolph keeping rookie defensive end Andre Branch from going inside. The third was fullback Jerome Felton exploding through the line to take out backup linebacker Kyle Bosworth. And the fourth was Kalil bouncing off his first block to occupy Paul Posluszny, keeping him from moving to his right.
All four blocks were executed perfectly, which opened a nice running line to the left for Peterson to take advantage of; great news for Peterson owners. More importantly, though, it exposed a big weakness in the Jaguars defense that teams will continue to take advantage of in the coming weeks.
The bottom line is the Jaguars’ lack of depth at linebacker, and as long as linebacker Daryl Smith’s groin injury continues to nag and keep him sidelined they will continue to struggle against the run, especially to the left side where two young developing talents (Bosworth and Branch) are trying to man the outside.
Arian Foster, Ben Tate and the Houston Texans roll in to Jacksonville with one thing in mind – to exploit the left side of the Jaguars defense with tosses around the nine gap and blasts through the seven gap. The Texans have the personnel up front to execute, so it won’t surprise me to see Foster and Tate put up big numbers this week.
W.2.F.H.S – Week 2 F.I.R. Hot Sheet
It’s a new season, so I’ve decided to go with a new look for the fantasy hot sheet. The new hot sheet is simple. Each player listed on the hot sheet is either rated hot (red) or cold (blue) for the week. For this week I’ve also provided a played (green) rating as well for players who already played.
S.O.W.P. – Speaking Out Without Protest
I have a few thoughts regarding a few topics this week, so instead of going on for three paragraphs about one subject I’m going to provide you a bullet point presentation of different topics. Oh, and by the way, there won’t be any unionized protesting. I wouldn’t want to leave you with discounted rate talent.
– Anyone who continues to compare Aaron Rodgers’ fiery outburst after James Jones messed up big and broke off his route, to that of Jay Cutler‘s continued sideline hissy-fit chest bumps needs to get off the 4:20 kick. Rodgers is a Super Bowl champion with untouchable season records and a couple of MVP honors. Cutler is a fashion champion with a few bowling trophies and an attitude worthy of being on the Dr. Phil Show.
– Last Sunday night before the Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos game I witnessed Peter King on the NBC countdown show mumble out in so many different words that he didn’t really see any major flaws (outside of the Seattle-Arizona game) with the way the referees were calling games. Huh?! Either Roger Goodell slid him a couple hundred Ben Franklins under the table, or he needs to see a new optometrist. My guess, based on the Goodell coupon-cutting mentality, it’s probably the latter.
– Lately, I’ve had a little extra time to start up my Xbox 360 and play a little Madden 2013. Yeah, that’s right. I’ve been practicing about an hour a week hoping that by next season I’ll have enough practice to be able to participate in the Madden 13 Challenge. It’s either that or I can quit my job, make a grape soda bong, and sit in my man cave all day long hoping that I can hone my button pressing skills to win the $140,000 top prize.
If you feel like you are leading the wrong professional life, you aren’t alone. If you love grape soda, you aren’t alone. If your ultimate goal in life is to push colorful buttons in front of a plasma high definition machine all day, then you need to be alone.
Thanks for reading!
Eric Huber is a Senior Writer for fantasysharks.com and is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). Email him your thoughts firstname.lastname@example.org