The time to sell low on C.J. Spiller is officially over. After being effectively shut down by the New England Patriots‘ defense in Week 1, Spiller bounced back in a big way against the Carolina Panthers in Sunday’s 24-23 victory.
Spiller rushed for 103 yards on 16 attempts for an impressive 6.4 yards-per-carry average. This included a clutch 46-yard streak up the right sideline in the fourth quarter to set up a Buffalo Bills field goal which brought the game to within three. That play could have easily gone for a touchdown were it not for a great tackle on the second level by one of Carolina’s linebackers.
The one concern for Spiller, at least from a fantasy perspective, was on display in Sunday’s game. Fred Jackson, the Bills’ other dynamic running back, was the recipient of the team’s only rushing touchdown on the day. With Jackson’s size and strength, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Bills use him as more of a goal line back. That was Jackson’s primary goal under head coach Chan Gailey last season, until he got injured.
Still, with Spiller’s game-breaking speed, explosiveness and big-play potential, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be a guaranteed fantasy starter in every conceivable format moving forward. The touchdowns will come likely sooner rather than later. Even without a TD in Week 2, Spiller was a difference-maker, scoring 12 fantasy points in standard leagues.
There’s no reason to think he won’t continue to make plays moving forward and emerge into the top-5 back many anticipated he would be this season.