2013 Fantasy Football: Be Careful Drafting RB C.J. Spiller
Spiller has home run ability and is an amazing receiver out of the backfield (43 receptions, 459 yards last year). Spiller also rushed for 1,244 yards on just 207 carries (6.0 AVG) in 2012. He added six rushing touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns. It was an all-around breakout campaign for the young back.
With that being said, one thing that I do not love about the former Clemson standout is his current Average Draft Position (ADP) in ESPN leagues. Spiller is currently ranked as the eighth overall player, but more importantly, he is the seventh ranked running back.
Everyone is expecting him to rack up 1,800 all-purpose yards and score 15 touchdowns. However, what if he only amasses 1,200 yards and nine touchdowns? Would he still have been worth drafting that early in the first round?
Simply put, I just think Spiller is ranked a little too high. I mean I would jump on drafting LeSean McCoy, Trent Richardson, or Alfred Morris ahead of the popular speedster, but they have all gone after Spiller in certain formats. I don’t think Spiller has proven that he is a full-time fantasy back to warrant such a high draft pick, especially over such legitimate studs like the three backs listed above.
Even more concerning to Spiller’s fantasy value is that the team still has several other backs on the roster, including Fred Jackson. Jackson has been the team’s starter since Marshawn Lynch left, and even though he has ended the last two seasons on IR, FredEX will still have a role in the offense this season. If anything Jackson will be moved into more of a goal-line role, since he is close to 20 pounds heavier than Spiller and is a much tougher inside rusher. The healthier Jackson is, the more touchdowns Spiller tends to lose out on inside of the 20-yard-line.
Now to address the elephant in the room for Spiller. Buffalo ranked 21st in the NFL last season with a meager 21.5 points per game. The team even scored 14 points or less in eight games, which doesn’t exactly leave a lot on the table for fantasy fans. Now factor in that the team’s quarterback will be Kevin Kolb or rookie E.J. Maunel, and Buffalo’s offense doesn’t look to be much better in 2013. I just don’t see Spiller scoring 10 total touchdowns this season, and nowadays a number one running back has to at least score double-digit touchdowns.
Spiller is a top-10 back in my opinion, but I don’t think he is a top-7 back just yet. There are several veteran backs that I would rather pencil in as my RB1 on a weekly basis, so just be careful reaching for Spiller this season.
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