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by contributing author Bill Berthold
A Little Respect 

“I get no respect,” was the famous refrain of comedian Rodney Dangerfield. When it comes to the fantasy football world, there are some NFL players that can relate with Dangerfield. These are players whose draft day selection does not match their on-field production. After the first three weeks of the NFL season these five players may finally be getting the much needed respect they deserve.

Fred Jackson, RB Buffalo Bills

Jackson had a hard time cracking the second tier running backs in the preseason rankings of most fantasy publications. There were a few reasons for Jackson getting no love from the fantasy football pundits. First, before this season Jackson was on a squad with a suspect offense, one that played from behind in a lot of games. Second, Buffalo’s drafting of CJ Spiller in 2010 left a perception in the minds of fantasy owners that Jackson was not any good. Lets face it teams don’t draft a running back in the first round if they are happy with their production from the position. Thanks to Buffalo’s resurgence, Jackson is starting to get credit for the talented player he is. After three games he is tied for the lead among NFL starting running backs with 6.4 yards per carry. Now yards per carry doesn’t mean squat in fantasy football, but Jackson has over 100 yards rushing in the Bills first two wins and last week had 161 total yards in Buffalo’s thrilling 34-31 win against the New England Patriots. The fact that Jackson is an every down back doesn‘t hurt either. Jackson is giving owners number one production from a running back that many ranked as a number two running back at best.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB Buffalo Bills

We will stay in the same city for our next player in Ryan Fitzpatrick. Peter King, the long time NFL columnist for Sports Illustrated, was right on the money when he recommended fantasy owners take a late round flyer on the former Harvard University quarterback. Fitzpatrick has thrown an impressive nine touchdowns for the 3-0 Bills. He passed for 369 yards in Buffalo’s win against the Patriots in week 3. In fact, Fitzpatrick has been so good that his owners probably now face a dilemma. Odds are he was drafted to be a backup on the majority of fantasy teams, so a decision whether to start Fitzpatrick or say a Matt Schaub or a Michael Vick could pose a problem. It’s good problem to have though.