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.
Spiller hasn't been used efficiently by the coaching staff, either. He's nothing more than a RB3/flex type given his limited usage behind the more effective Fred Jackson. Spiller can become a free agent next season.
It's hard to blame the Bills from straying away from RB C.J. Spiller (12-of-69 snaps). Spiller was stopped for a 3-yard loss on the first play of the game, an avoidable play where Spiller ran away from the line of scrimmage at one point trying to elude a defender.
Spiller ran only twice after his late first-half fumble, although part of that was the scoreboard; the Bills were trailing more as the game progressed.
The team chose to put the ball in the hands of Fred Jackson who came in with an ankle injury. Jackson played on 52-of-69 snaps and recorded a TD. Spiller's workload continues to dwindle and he's becoming less and less of a usable fantasy option.
Friday, October 10, 2014, 6:13pm
Bills RB Fred Jackson (knee, questionable) missed practice Friday after taking limited reps Thursday and is questionable for Week 6. Jackson should be fine to face the Patriots. He has been a better start than C.J. Spiller thus far, and we expect that to continue as long as he’s reasonably healthy. The Bills play early on Sunday.
Thursday, October 9, 2014, 6:46pm
Bills RB Fred Jackson (knee) took limited practice reps again Thursday. Jackson should be fine to face the Patriots. He has been a better start than C.J. Spiller thus far, and we expect that to continue as long as he’s reasonably healthy.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014, 6:37pm
Bills RB Fred Jackson (knee) took limited practice reps Wednesday. Jackson should be fine to face the Patriots. He has been a better start than C.J. Spiller thus far, and we expect that to continue as long as he’s reasonably healthy.
Monday, October 6, 2014, 12:37pm
Jackson's production, however, has far exceeded that of Spiller. Is the offensive line partly to blame for that? Sure, but it's the same group of blockers for each back.
The true variables are Spiller's running style and the plays the Bills call for him. More often than not, it doesn't work out.
Jackson got 46 snaps to Spiller's 25 in Week 5. Spiller has 18 more carries to Jackson but only has 12 more yards to show for it (Jackson' 43-202 vs. Spiller's 61-214). Jackson has seen more work in the passing game with 26 catches for 228 yards on 33 targets while Spiller has 13 catches for 106 yards on 14 targets. Both backs have a receiving TD. Jackson suffered a bit of an ankle injury but said he was OK after Week 5's game, however it's something to keep an eye on.
Monday, September 8, 2014, 1:28pm
Bills WR Sammy Watkins didn’t have a major impact on the game Sunday, but did play a role with three receptions for 31 yards in the overtime win. The Bills top draft choice admitted he was a bit limited by his sore ribs.
“I felt like I shot off pretty well. Coach called a great game; they managed the game. I was kind of held back from the ribs injury, but still overcame and had two or three big catches that moved the drive and played well.”
Watkins actually played 54 snaps, which was 95 percent of the total on offense (57) in the game. No other receiver, tight end or running back logged more snaps than Watkins. Robert Woods came closest with 52 snaps for 92 percent of the offensive play total.
It's good news Watkins was able to play a majority of snaps but he's clearly not 100-percent. His performance was out-shined by rookies like Brandin Cooks and Kelvin Benjamin in terms of fantasy production.
As for the Buffalo RBs, C.J. Spiller played on 30 snaps while Fred Jackson saw 26 snaps. Spiller ended up with 15 carries to Jackson's seven. Both caught three passes but one of Spiller's went for a TD.
He hasn’t made a kick return for the Bills since 2011, but RB C.J. Spiller will be the lead man on kick returns this season. Buffalo’s depth chart has Spiller is listed as the starting kick returner ahead of last year’s starter Marquise Goodwin.
Head coach Doug Marrone confirmed Wednesday that Spiller will be used on kick returns. He also dismissed any notion that it’s a risk put one of his top backs out there as a return man.
“I look at it as how many guys have been injured returning the football compared to people injured with the ball being handed off to them,” said Marrone. “I don’t view it as much of a risk as some people would. I could understand why people could see that because of the distance and the way people are running down the field. But again I don’t look at it that way. As much as we can get our playmakers out there whether it be punt returns or kickoff returns we have to make sure we explore that.”
Most fantasy leagues don't award points for return yardage, so his owners should be worried about this development. Not only does this expose him to more risk of injury, but it may impact the workload he can handle in the team's offense. Does he stay on the field after his return or does Fred Jackson start the drive? We won't know for sure until the games are played.
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.