Monday, October 27, 2014, 5:56pm
Bills RB Bryce Brown played on just 14 snaps.
Four of Brown's seven carries came in the first half but gained only six yards. Coach Doug Marrone said Brown would have received more time if the Bills were in a spread look on offense.
Instead, the Bills were in more of a ground-and-pound mode, playing with the lead for the entire game. That led to Dixon, the more bruising back, receiving more carries. He wasn't any more effective than Brown and finished with 22 carries for just 44 yards, his longest run was five yards. The Bills have a bye Week 9.
Friday, October 24, 2014, 6:26pm
Bills RB Fred Jackson (groin, out) missed practice all week and is out for Week 8. Jackson is expected to miss around four weeks with the groin injury. Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown are likely to split the workload with Jackson sidelined and C.J. Spiller out for most of the year. Dixon was working with the starters in practice, and should see more carries and most of the goal line work, while Brown would serve as the pass-catching speed back.
Thursday, October 23, 2014, 6:04pm
Bills RB Fred Jackson (groin) missed practice again Thursday. Jackson is expected to miss around four weeks with the groin injury. Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown are likely to split the workload with Jackson sidelined and C.J. Spiller out for most of the year. Dixon is first to work with the starters in practice, and should see more carries and most of the goal line work, while Brown would serve as the pass-catching speed back.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 6:13pm
Bills RB Fred Jackson (groin) did not practice Wednesday. Jackson is expected to miss around four weeks with the groin injury. Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown are likely to split the workload with Jackson sidelined and C.J. Spiller out for most of the year. Dixon was working with the starters in practice, and should see more carries and most of the goal line work, while Brown would serve as the pass-catching speed back.
In the portion of practice open to reporters Wednesday -- essentially just warm-up drills -- Dixon lined up with the first-team next to Kyle Orton, while Brown was paired with EJ Manuel and the second team.
That doesn't mean Dixon will receive more touches than Brown but it's further indication he's ahead of Brown on the depth chart.
This indicates that the Bills don't currently view Brown as the "starter," and that Dixon is likely to get first crack at the carries in the Buffalo backfield. The team has split carries between Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller, and is likely to do so again with Dixon and Brown. We're expecting Brown to be more active than Dixon in the passing game, but Dixon may see more carries and get the goal line work. In short, it's unclear which back has more fantasy value, and it may depend on your league format (i.e. Dixon in standard, Brown in PPR).
Buscaglia added the Bills love Dixon. And it makes a lot of sense given C.J. Spiller's recent struggles and the team still not playing Brown. As we stated before, Brown may be the more talented back but is still a bit raw. On top of all of that, it's not a great matchup against the Jets.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014, 1:39pm
The Bills needed help at running back with injuries to C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson. Tanner has visited the San Francisco 49ers this year and previously worked out for the Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts.
Tanner spent the last three seasons with the Cowboys and rushed for 149 yards and two touchdowns, as well as nine receptions for 93 yards. He recorded 21 special teams tackles.
He doesn't need surgery but it looks like he could be out about a month. With C.J. Spiller perhaps out for the year, the Bills are suddenly shorthanded at RB and it looks like it's going to be up to Bryce Brown and Anthony Dixson to carry the load. Brown has a chance to get carries the rest of the season if Spiller is indeed out for the year, so he appears to be a worthy pickup for owners who need the help or just want to get deeper.
RB Fred Jackson will have an MRI Monday on his groin injury. It appears serious but he’ll know more Monday.
C.J. Spiller broke his collarbone in the game and reports have him out for the season. That left Anthony Dixon to take over as the team's main back. Bryce Brown, who came over from the Eagles in a trade, was inactive but could see a lot of work going forward. Brown is an interesting back. He was drafted by the Birds in the seventh round and is considered a bit raw. He showed flashes at times with the Eagles but did have some issues with ball security. Brown is a guy who could see a big workload in this offense and is worth a grab off your wire if you're struggling at the position.
Unfortunately, Spiller was ruled out for the remainder of the game with a broken collarbone, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, and will miss the rest of the season after Monday surgery, per a source who has spoken to Spiller.
With Jackson also hurt with a potentially serious groin injury (expected to miss four games), Bryce Brown could get called upon for a big workload going forward, along with Anthony Dixon who took over for Spiller and Jackson in Week 7. Brown is an interesting back. He showed flashes of greatness with the Eagles but ball security has always been an issue. He's considered a bit raw with not a lot of football experience through college which is how the Eagles got him in the seventh round, but the potential is certainly there and he's worth picking up off your wire.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014, 10:06am
Bills RB C.J. Spiller carried nine times for 7 yards in Detroit. His longest run was 2. He has carried 61 times this season — 34 for 2 yards or less. Spiller is averaging 3.5 yards a rush, the lowest of his career. Take away a 47-yard run against Miami and it’s 2.8 yards a carry.
In his fifth NFL season, Spiller still has a tendency to break runs outside, rather than pound them inside for small, respectable gains. He has nine negative runs this year.
To an extent, coaches will tolerate negligible rushes, knowing a speedy back can break a long one at any time. But Spiller hasn’t been producing many big runs. He hasn’t run for a touchdown since the Atlanta game last season and has one TD run in his last 15 games.
So how long do they keep pounding their head against a wall? Jackson is a better inside runner, a more reliable receiver and far better pass protector than Spiller. He’s the oldest runner in the NFL, and they don’t want to wear him out, but Jackson deserves to be the primary ball carrier.
Jackson has been the more productive back this season and has also been more successful in the passing game, something we kind of assume is Spiller's forte. The author added that he's not sure how long Spiller will be with the Bills. It’s the final year of his contract. If the Bills intended to sign him to a lucrative extension, they would have done it by now, the story went on to say, and that they won’t break the bank for a guy who gains 2 yards or less on more than half his runs. He also pointed out that running backs seem easy to come by in the NFL these days. The Bills also have Bryce Brown as their third back. It seems like Spiller is becoming a more risky fantasy option by the week.
Saturday, August 9, 2014, 11:50am
He’s not going to be a starting running back in Buffalo, but Bryce Brown’s performance against Carolina Friday night was anything but a surprise to head coach Doug Marrone. As he sees it, he’s got the luxury of having a starting caliber back in Brown, who at best sits third on the depth chart.
Brown led the team in rushing Friday night and averaged almost six yards a carry against Carolina’s second teamers. That’s why Marrone wasn’t shocked to see Brown do so well.
“In my mind Bryce Brown is a very talented running back that has the potential to start in the NFL,” said Marrone. “So I think what happens a lot, when he is in the game I think he is one of the better players on the field. So, his production is not surprising for any one of us.”
"I don’t know if I want to get it down to three. I’ve never been a guy that has three backs playing in the game," Marrone said. "I’ve always believed, and you guys know, in the two backs. It’ll come down to two backs; the two backs going in there."
Perhaps it's time to pump the brakes on talk of Bryce Brown and Anthony Dixon being significant contributors. If Marrone wants his game plan to include only two running backs then Spiller and Fred Jackson are the overwhelming favorites to land those roles.
If true, this good news for both Spiller and Jackson, who figure to combine to see the vast majority of touches in the Buffalo backfield. Last year, Jackson saw 253 touches, or 46% of the team's RB touches. Spiller saw 235 (43%), but was dinged up for most of the season. We currently have Spiller projected for 283 touches and Jackson for 194. Jackson may have some upside from there, making him an ideal RB4 still available in the 8th or 9th round.
Sunday, August 3, 2014, 6:59pm
The Bills made a bold statement during the draft – dealing away next year's first-round pick – to move up and select the best receiver in the crop, Clemson's Sammy Watkins with the fourth pick overall. Watkins is a dynamic playmaker who has had an impressive rookie camp. They also swung a deal with the Buccaneers to obtain Mike Williams, looking to rebound from a torn hamstring.
"He is the essential cog," Jackson, the eighth-year vet, told USA TODAY Sports. "We know that. He knows that. We can only go as far as he takes us."
Manuel sounds like he could face some pressure to make the playoffs this season, but after missing much of last year he's really still just a rookie in terms of games played. He does have some nice weapons to work with in the passing game but the Bills could end up being a run-first team with C.J. Spiller, Fred Jackson and newly acquired Bryce Brown in the backfield.
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