Fantasy Football 2013: Chip Kelly Will Benefit Fantasy Running Backs
Following Thursday’s Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, the sweepstakes for Oregon head coach Chip Kelly will officially commence. I’m sure the 49-year old won’t even have a chance to celebrate (or sulk) before his cell phone begins ringing off the hook.
Pretty much every single team in need of a new head coach has displayed interest in Kelly. Some interesting possible destinations are the Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles and the Cleveland Browns. You know what we do here, let’s break down some potential fantasy implications.
Bills fans should be absolutely salivating over the possibility of acquiring Kelly. Why? Two words: C.J. Spiller. Well, okay. Two letters and one word, but you get the idea. Since Week 10 of 2011, Spiller has proven to the NFL universe that he is more than capable of being an every down back. This season, even while sharing some work with Fred Jackson, Spiller ran for over 1,200 yards and six touchdowns.
The more impressive stat line is that he averaged a ridiculous 6.0 yards per carry, tied for first with Adrian Peterson. If Kelly were to land in Buffalo, Spiller may be a top five fantasy runner heading into 2013. Kelly’s offense has ranked in the top six in the nation in rushing each of his first four seasons. Spiller wanted more carries in 2012. If Kelly coaches at the Ralph, he will get them.
Getting Trent Richardson the ball wasn’t a problem for the Browns this season, as he saw 267 carries, which ranked 11th in the league. T-Rich showcased his strong skill-set and served as an absolute workhorse for the Browns all year long. So, if Kelly were to coach in Cleveland, it will only raise the value of Richardson more. Kelly’s uptempo style of offense can even help Richardson become a more versatile runner. Kelly could very well be coaching the rookie sensation next year, as the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Browns are willing to make him an “offer he can’t refuse.”
Now this team has had issues giving their star running back the football. In 2012 when the Eagles gave LeSean McCoy the ball 20 or more times, they were 3-0. When they didn’t? Well, they lost every game. Coincidence? I think not. Kelly runs an offensive scheme where speedy backs are utilized quite a bit. McCoy, who had struggled to produce fantasy numbers this year, may have lost a tiny bit of value heading into 2013. If Kelly were to land in the City of Brotherly Love, I’d grab McCoy within the borderline top three picks.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy football columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.