2013 Fantasy Football: Be Careful Drafting RB C.J. Spiller

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I will preface this post by saying that I do in fact love Buffalo Bills RB C.J. Spiller and think that he has limitless fantasy football potential.

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.

Related Links

C.J. Spiller is a Top 5 Fantasy Football RB

C.J. Spiller to Get Carries “Until he Throws Up”

Adam McGill is the Senior Fantasy Sports Writer at Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @adammcgill83, like him on Facebook, or add him to you networks on Google here or here.


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  • Andrew Norlander

    Except you forgot one thing… he finished as the number 7 fantasy running back last year with only 250 total touches. Bills coach Doug Marrone recently said of Spiller, “We’re going to give him the ball until he throws up.” Barring injured, Spiller is a virtual lock for 1,500 total yards, and it will likely be 2,000+. Even if he only scores 6-7 td’s, he’s a solid #1 rb, with upside to be the top running back in all of fantasy.

    • AdamMcGill

      I think 2,000 yards is a bit generous.

  • colin

    What a dumb article . You would take trent richardson over CJ . All those other RBS had over 300 carries . CJ didnt even have 225 . Your an idiot lol

    • AdamMcGill

      Buffalo still has Fred Jackson and Tashard Choice on the roster, so no way Spiller gets 300 carries this season! His body can’t handle it. Not to mention Buffalo will likely be throwing the ball much more in the second half to play catch up.

      Richardson is the only RB in his backfield, is a goal-line back, and is a third down back. Can you say that about Spiller?

      I didn’t think so…

  • Adam Pfeifer

    We all know where I stand on Spiller… haha

  • Richard Smith

    Lol, legitimate stud like Trent Richardson? Stopped taking you seriously right there.

  • Lex Steele

    hahaha please dont ever post fantasy information ever again. F’in tard, wish you were in my league and drafted Morris ahead of Spiller HAHAHA dork