29-Year-Old Running Back – New Orleans Saints
2016 Fantasy Football Outlook
Although Spiller was in uniform for 13 games in his New Orleans debut, the Saints showed little interest in using him. Spiller threw everyone off the scent with an electrifying 80-yard touchdown catch...
C.J. Spiller Contract Information:
Reached an agreement with the Saints in March of 2015.
Spiller gained two yards on three carries and 16 yards on three receptions in Saturday's preseason contest against the Texans.
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|Rushing||Rush Distance||Big Rush Games||Receiving||Kick Ret||Punt Ret||Fumbles|
|2016 Proj||28||NO||Subscribe now to see our 2013 projections for C.J. Spiller|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Fantasy Points Per Game||Rushing Stats||Red Zone Runs||Receiving Stats||Red Zone Targets|
|2016 Proj||28||NO||Subscribe now to see our 2016 projections for C.J. Spiller|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Snap Count||Rushing||Rush Distance||Receiving||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret||Red Zone Runs||Red Zone Targets|
A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
C.J. Spiller: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Spiller's tenure in Buffalo ended with a whimper as a broken collarbone cost him seven games and former head coach Doug Marrone's insistence on trying to run up the middle resulted in plenty of negative yardage behind a mediocre offensive line. Slightly undersized for a feature back at 5-11, 200, Spiller's burst and speed remain elite, and his agility and elusiveness make him a threat for a big gain any time he gets to the second level. While he's only adequate in pass protection, his receiving skills are excellent, and he represents an upgrade in that department for the Saints over Pierre Thomas. Spiller has battled injuries the last two seasons, but even after five seasons in the NFL his legs remain fairly fresh, thanks to sharing the load with Fred Jackson. That may not change much with his new team as Mark Ingram remains atop the depth chart, so Spiller's role in New Orleans could even be less than what he was used to in Buffalo. Ingram's no stranger to injury, though, and even if he stays healthy, expect Drew Brees and coach Sean Payton to find ways to take advantage of Spiller's ability in space.
Although Spiller suited up for 15 games last season, he was severely limited for much of the year by a nagging ankle injury, which sapped his explosiveness and limited his carries. Set to assume a bigger workload entering the year, he ended up ceding 206 rushing attempts and 66 pass targets to the 32-year-old Fred Jackson. However, Spiller seemed to get healthier over the season's last three games – averaging 4.8 yards per carry in that span – and appears strongly motivated by last season's failures to come back and have the big year that had been expected from him. Fantasy owners would be wise to remember that Spiller averaged a ridiculous 6.0 YPC on 207 carries just two years ago, and at 26 years old with relatively limited mileage, he's in a good place. The newly acquired Bryce Brown will surely figure into the mix, and Old Man Jackson's still around for his share, but a healthy Spiller could hit 250 carries in what's likely to be a run-reliant Buffalo offense and should return to being a major factor through the air when the Bills do pass the ball. The one big downer is that Spiller doesn't factor into much goal-line work – at 5-11 and 200, he's not very strong, and the Bills have shied away from using him in short-yardage situations. Of course, he does have breakaway speed, and when healthy, is good for quite a few long runs that end in paydirt. Even last year, he had eight runs of more than 20 yards, and the year before, he had a dozen.
That Spiller did not see more than 250 touches in 2012 is mindboggling, considering he averaged an eye-popping 6.0 YPC – a mark only five other running backs in NFL history (min. 200 carries) have reached – while adding 10.7 yards per reception (2nd last season). At 5-11, 200, Spiller is blazingly fast (he clocked a 4.37 40 at the Combine in 2010) and elusive in the open field. His 12 runs of 20-plus yards and five runs of 40-plus were both second only to Adrian Peterson, and his 12.1 average yards after the catch ranked first in the league among running backs. The uncertain quarterback situation this season might make Spiller's life more difficult as he'll be the focal point of defenses. But the only thing that slowed him last season was sharing carries with Fred Jackson. A new coaching staff in Buffalo likely won't suppress Spiller's workload this season, as Jackson is 32, coming off an MCL sprain and probably headed for a complementary role. Whether Spiller can hold up to a workload approaching 300 carries remains to be seen, but if he does, he has No. 1 overall upside.
Spiller didn’t receive double-digit carries in any of the first 24 games of his career, but when Fred Jackson went down with a season-ending injury in Week 11, Spiller responded surprisingly well. Over the final six games, he totaled 633 yards with five touchdowns. Spiller also improved greatly as a blocker, proved to be a major threat as a receiver and got 5.2 YPC while holding up just fine with a bigger workload. He’s capable of finishing as a top-10 fantasy back in 2012, were he given the opportunity. However, even while missing the final six games, Jackson was graded by Pro Football Focus as the league’s No. 1 running back last season. There’s going to be serious competition in Buffalo’s backfield, likely resulting in a committee that stifles both players' value to some degree when you compare it to their excellent skill sets.
It would be foolish to write off last year’s ninth overall pick completely, but Spiller fumbled five times on just 74 rushing attempts and struggled mightily in pass protection. Failing to gain any trust among Buffalo’s coaching staff, Spiller didn’t receive double-digit carries in a single game. After scoring 21 touchdowns from 50-plus yards during his collegiate career, Spiller produced just two plays that went for 20-plus yards as a rookie. At his season-ending press conference, coach Chan Gailey referred to Spiller as a “Reggie Bush type back,” which is not an endorsement of Spiller’s ability to log heavy carries. This is Fred Jackson’s backfield in Buffalo.
Spiller ran for 1,212 yards on a career-high 216 carries and added 503 receiving yards and four scores through the air during his final season at Clemson. There’s no doubting Spiller’s explosive ability – his 4.37 40 was the second fastest at the Combine and 21 of his 52 touchdowns at Clemson were from more than 50 yards out. However, he averaged just 151.5 rushing attempts during his four years at Clemson, and while it was impressive he was able to play through a painful toe injury that required frequent injections during his senior year, Spiller’s durability is in question. Marshawn Lynch is a candidate to be traded, but Fred Jackson is still the favorite to lead Buffalo in carries, and this is a team with a bad quarterback situation and an offensive line in even worse shape. The Bills envision Spiller getting about a dozen carries per game, and he’ll likely add 3-4 catches as well, but don’t expect much action at the goal line. Spiller is a special talent, so he could produce good yardage despite failing to total 250 touches, but he’s locked in a timeshare on a bad offense, limiting his upside for 2010. The long-term prognosis looks very good, however.