By Matt Muller, Saints Correspondent, Fri, Mar 13th 5:18pm EDT
Former Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller has joined the Saints, signing a 4 year / $18 million contract, including $9 million guaranteed and a $5 million signing bonus. (Source: ESPN
Fantasy Impact: Spiller is talented, but joins a committee that currently includes newly re-signed Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson. Rumors of the Saints "hosting a firesale" continue to swirl as they ship off Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills. Long story short, this offense is in a turbulent state and Spiller's usage for next year remains unclear. A Darren Sproles-esque role apppears to be most likely for Spiller, which would likely push Spiller to the mid-late rounds on draft day in most leagues.
By Keith Kraska, Saints Correspondent, Tue, Feb 24th 2:51pm EST
Impending free agent C.J. Spiller was quoted on SiriusXM NFL Radio that he "wants to stay in Buffalo." “There’s a possibility that I could be in a Bills uniform,” Spiller said. “We never know how this situation is going to play out. The organization knows that I want to be there, so pretty much the ball is in their court." (Source: Buffalobills.com
Fantasy Impact: Much depends on whether the Bills feel Spiller will do better under new offensive coordinator Greg Roman, a power-running guru, than he did under the Doug Marrone/Nathaniel Hackett scheme, and what kind of contract Spiller wants. Spiller's comments don't really move the needle away from a likely departure.
By Keith Kraska, Saints Correspondent, Thu, Feb 19th 6:07pm EST
Bills GM Doug Whaley said two things Thursday at the NFL Combine that indicated a low likelihood of impending free agent C.J. Spiller remaining in Buffalo. Whaley said there's “work to be done” to "close the gap" in negotiations, and he also discouraged the idea of waiting on a running back in the draft. "If you're committed to that guy, and you take him in the second, he may not get to you in the third," he said hypothetically. The Bills' first selection is No. 50, in the second round. (Source: Joe Buscaglia
Fantasy Impact: Spiller's chances of staying a Bill weren't high to begin with, but Whaley's comments fuel speculation that the speedy runner is as good as gone. The buzz around Spiller links him to new Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, under whom Spiller had his most productive years. A reunion would make Spiller a major fantasy sleeper.
By Keith Kraska, Saints Correspondent, Fri, Jan 16th 10:05am EST
Soon-to-be free agent C.J. Spiller said this about a potential reunion with Chan Gailey, the Jets' new offensive coordinator and former Bills head coach: “There is that familiarity between me and him in that offense. So that would be a perfect match. Who knows what can happen, but I’d be foolish not to have those guys on my list. I had my best years in the league with Chan. So it’d be dumb not to give it serious thought.” (Source: New York Daily News
Fantasy Impact: Spiller is right. He had by far his best season in 2012 in Gailey's offense, running for 1,244 yards with a 6.0 YPC and six touchdowns, along with 43 catches for 459 yards and two more scores. Gailey's return to the NFL seriously dampens the chances of Spiller re-signing with Buffalo, and going to the Jets would make him a major 2015 sleeper.
By Keith Kraska, Saints Correspondent, Mon, Jan 12th 12:13pm EST
As reported since Sunday, Greg Roman will be the Bills' offensive coordinator under new coach Rex Ryan. The deal was finalized Monday. (Source: Alex Marvez on Twitter
Fantasy Impact: This is good news for the Bills' running game. In four years with Roman as their coordinator, the San Francisco 49ers' offense ranked in the top-10 each year in total carries, placing third in 2013 and 2011. That's just right for a Buffalo offense that will have either E.J. Manuel or a player currently not on their roster as the QB. The question is, will free agent C.J. Spiller return? If he does, it will be an intriguing new beginning for him after languishing in Doug Marrone's ill-fitting scheme. If not, Bryce Brown, Fred Jackson or another acquisition may get a significant bump, depending on how the backfield shakes out.
By Mike Wright, Saints Correspondent, Mon, Jan 5th 3:13pm EST
Mike Jurecki reported on Twitter that the Cardinals had interest in making a trade for CJ Spiller before the deadline, but he got injured. (Source: Mike Jurecki on Twitter
Fantasy Impact: Spiller in Arizona, paired with Ellington, is a little peculiar. Neither is an up-the-gut type of bruiser that Arizona needs. However, Coach Arians has shown his RBs produce fantasy points. Ellington was, predictably, unable to finish the season, showing the need for someone to help carry the load. Spiller would likely excel in the Arizona system.
By Keith Kraska, Saints Correspondent, Wed, Dec 31st 7:09pm EST
Head coach Doug Marrone opted out of his contract and left the Buffalo Bills on Wednesday. The offensive-minded coach, along with offensive coordinator Nate Hackett, who came with him from Syracuse, designed a running scheme that didn't fit the skills of C.J. Spiller, essentially rendering him a backup.
Fantasy Impact: Hold the phone on assuming Spiller will leave Buffalo, too. If the Bills' next coaching staff can design a scheme around Spiller's elite but limited talent, he could be more likely to return and potentially regain his form from 2012, when he starred under coach Chan Gailey. Spiller averaged 4.4 YPC in two years under Marrone, after a three-year average of 5.3 under Gailey.
By Keith Kraska, Saints Correspondent, Mon, Dec 29th 9:40am EST
C.J. Spiller ran five times for 17 yards and caught one pass for two yards in the season finale at New England.
Fantasy Impact: This was probably Spiller’s last game for Buffalo, as he is due to become a free agent. A new start somewhere else would be the best thing for him if the Bills’ coaching staff returns, because he simply does not fit their inside-heavy running scheme. He does have elite speed and elusiveness, so if he hooks on with a team that knows how to use him (like the Bills’ previous coach Chan Gailey did), he could be a sleeper in 2015.
By Keith Kraska, Saints Correspondent, Mon, Dec 22nd 7:27am EST
C.J. Spiller had a forgettable return to action after missing seven games with a broken collarbone. He ran four times for minus-4 yards, and caught four passes for 14 yards in Week 16 at Oakland.
Fantasy Impact: With an ineffective run-blocking line and a clear second-fiddle role behind Fred Jackson, Spiller is useless. Dynasty owners need to hope next week’s finale at New England will be his last game with Buffalo.
By Keith Kraska, Saints Correspondent, Fri, Dec 19th 2:11pm EST
The Bills activated C.J. Spiller from injured reserve/designated to return, and he is probable for Sunday's game at Oakland. Spiller broke his collarbone in Week 7. (Source: WGR550.com
Fantasy Impact: His usage is impossible to predict, given his game shape and Buffalo's crowded backfield, in which Fred Jackson has been getting feature-back touches. There's no use rostering him for championship week in annual leagues, and one would have to be really daring to consider him in DFS, no matter how cheap he is. You'd basically be counting on a long TD run (which isn't out of the question). His only fantasy value now is in dynasty; he has a two-game final audition for a new contract, whether in Buffalo or elsewhere.
By Keith Kraska, Saints Correspondent, Wed, Dec 3rd 1:05pm EST
C.J. Spiller suited up for practice Wednesday for the first time since being placed on injured reserve/designated to return with a broken collarbone. (Source: ESPN.com
Fantasy Impact: C.J. Spiller suited up for practice Wednesday for the first time since being placed on injured reserve/designated to return with a broken collarbone.
Fantasy Impact: Spiller isn't eligible to play until Week 16, which is when leagues generally play their championship games. So the only way he'll be remotely useful is if your team makes it to a championship game and he becomes the full time starter which is highly doubtful. The Bills do get to face Oakland that week, so if he plays, he's a caution-to-the-wind dart throw. If you have nothing to lose by adding him, why not?
By Keith Kraska, Saints Correspondent, Tue, Oct 21st 2:09pm EDT
A day after surgery on his broken collarbone, C.J. Spiller was placed on the injured reserve/designated to return list, so technically his season is not over. He is eligible to return for Week 16.
(Source: Mike Rodak on Twitter
Fantasy Impact: That does, however, end his fantasy season, because who would start Spiller in a league championship game? Bryce Brown is locked and loaded in Spiller's role; let's see if he can do better in it than Spiller did. The Bills also signed Philip Tanner, but that's just depth replenishment, not a threat to Brown or Anthony Dixon.
By Clinton, Saints Correspondent, Sun, Oct 19th 3:03pm EDT
Initial diagnosis is a broken collarbone for C.J. Spiller who was carted off the field in visible pain during Sunday's game against the Vikings. (Source: Jason La Canfora on Twitter
Fantasy Impact: If tests confirm Spiller has a broken collarbone, that will likely mean the end of the season for the running back. Spiller is heading into free agency at the end of the season and has never quite made a huge fantasy splash except for 2012. His value at this point is completely a speculative play heading into next season and would not be worth much unless he lands on a team without a starter.
By Clinton, Saints Correspondent, Sun, Oct 19th 2:41pm EDT
After Fred Jackson left the game on a cart with a groin injury, C.J. Spiller was carted off with a left shoulder injury. He was in visible pain and had tears.
Update: C.J. Spiller has a broken collarbone and will likely miss the remainder of the season (Source: Bruce Arthur on Twitter
Fantasy Impact: The Buffalo Bills lost both their starting running backs in what appear to be relatively significant injuries (both carted off the field). This has pushed Anthony (Boobie) Dixon into the lead back role and Bryce Brown may see playing time for the first time this year following today's injuries.
By Keith Kraska, Saints Correspondent, Mon, Oct 13th 9:25am EDT
You know your season as a running back is pretty close to rock bottom when you get fewer carries than Anthony "Boobie" Dixon. That was the case for C.J. Spiller in Week 6. He ran just six times for 19 yards, and fantasywise, even that was negated by a lost fumble. He was targeted with just one pass and did not catch it.
Fantasy Impact: If you own Spiller, you need to pray that he's traded out of Buffalo. The Bills have apparently lost faith in him as he fell to third in the backfield behind Dixon and a hobbled Fred Jackson. There is probably no bigger mismatch between talent and scheme, so if he's still a Bill after the NFL trading deadline, his owners wouldn't be blamed for outright cutting him.
By Keith Kraska, Saints Correspondent, Mon, Oct 6th 9:08am EDT
C.J. Spiller had one of his worst games as a pro in Week 5, rushing for just seven yards on nine carries and catching three passes for 25 yards.
Fantasy Impact: He actually had two similar games last year. The Bills' offensive coaches just have not altered their running philosophy at all to accommodate Spiller's limited skill set. He needs excellent blocking when he runs inside, and the Bills' awful guards certainly don't provide that. Fred Jackson got more carries for the first time this year, so Spiller's fantasy startability is evaporating. Keep him benched until he shows something in this offense besides the rare long run.
By Keith Kraska, Saints Correspondent, Mon, Sep 29th 10:19am EDT
C.J. Spiller ran for 60 yards and caught three passes for 24 yards in Buffalo's loss at Houston. His 15 carries were more than twice as much as Fred Jackson.
Fantasy Impact: Spiller is clearly the Bills' lead runner, but that doesn't mean much when his workload is capped in a crowded backfield, the Bills continue to pound him behind below-average guards, and on Sunday made the mistake of leaning on the passing game. Next week Buffalo gets a much tougher opponent against the run in Detroit, so Spiller is a weak flex option.
By Keith Kraska, Saints Correspondent, Thu, Sep 25th 12:49pm EDT
Bills left guard Chris Williams was injured in Week 3 and has not practiced this week. Fifth-round draft pick Cyril Richardson would start if Williams can't go. (Source: Jay Skurski
Fantasy Impact: Williams has been a liability for the Bills. Last year for the Rams, he was graded by Pro Football Focus as 74th out of 81 guards in the league. So the 343-pound Richardson may be an upgrade, especially for a blocking-dependent back like C.J. Spiller. According to Pro Football Reference box scores, Spiller is averaging 3.5 yards per carry behind the left guard, and 4.1 on all other runs. Houston is allowing 5.2 yards per carry to running backs, so Spiller is a viable RB2 in Week 4.
By Keith Kraska, Saints Correspondent, Mon, Sep 22nd 9:35am EDT
C.J. Spiller took a back seat to Fred Jackson in the Bills' Week 3 loss. Spiller ran 10 times for 25 yards and caught three passes for 37 yards. He also had a 29-yard run wiped out by a holding penalty.
Fantasy Impact: This is the risk when you start Spiller; if he doesn't break a long one, he has a bad fantasy day. He's not suited for the Bills' inside running game like Jackson, who can get yards despite poor interior line blocking. Spiller might be able to get something going against Houston, which just got run over by Rashad Jennings, so he's a high-risk, high-reward flex in Week 4.
By Keith Kraska, Saints Correspondent, Sun, Sep 14th 11:46pm EDT
Whether C.J. Spiller helped your team in Week 2 depends on whether your league counts individual special-teams touchdowns: He took a kickoff 102 yards to the house. Other than that, he ran for 69 yards on 12 carries -- with 47 of those coming on one play -- and tacked on a catch for 9 yards against Miami.
Fantasy Impact: This was the quintessential C.J. Spiller game: two big plays with a whole lot of stuffing. When you start him, you're basically betting that he'll hit a home run. But it's so tempting because he has such world-class speed and elusiveness. The Bills next get San Diego, which allowed a 51-yard TD run by Percy Harvin, so flex Spiller if you're in a gambling mood.
By Keith Kraska, Saints Correspondent, Tue, Sep 9th 8:06pm EDT
Bills general manager Doug Whaley said Tuesday he had a sit-down meeting with C.J. Spiller's representatives about a long-term contract extension for the running back. Spiller is in the final year of his contract. (Source: NFL.com
Fantasy Impact: This, and the fact that Spiller carried the ball 15 times in Week 1, more than double any other Bills running back, shows the team does value Spiller's elite but limited talent. But that talent is often misused; that and a crowded backfield make Spiller a hit-or-miss play most weeks. Next, he gets a Miami defense that will be without all three of its starting linebackers, so this looks like a good week for an RB2 start.
By Keith Kraska, Saints Correspondent, Sun, Sep 7th 5:05pm EDT
C.J. Spiller had a team-high 15 carries, more than twice as much as Fred Jackson ... but was third on the team with just 53 yards rushing, a 3.5 average in Buffalo's victory over Chicago. He salvaged his fantasy day with a seven-yard receiving touchdown.
Fantasy Impact: Spiller is supposed to be the Bills' home run threat, but it was Fred Jackson and Anthony Dixon who broke long ones. He's a major risk week-to-week because you never know when he'll break one. But as he showed today, he also can score at any time. He paid off in Week 1, but start him at your own peril.
By Keith Kraska, Saints Correspondent, Thu, Sep 4th 9:09am EDT
C.J. Spiller is listed on the Bills' depth chart as their No. 1 kickoff returner, ahead of Marquise Goodwin. Coach Doug Marrone says he sees Spiller getting 20 touches a game, including returns. "It certainly isn’t out of the realm of possibility to think there will be a game here or there this season where Spiller’s workload on offense will likely keep him from pulling double duty on special teams, but going into the season he’s the first option," Marrone said. (Source: Buffalobills.com
Fantasy Impact: This is not good news for fantasy owners because returns are wasted touches with the same risk of injury, and it limits his opportunities on offense. Spiller is best left on benches until we see how the Bills use him.
By Keith Kraska, Saints Correspondent, Sat, Aug 30th 5:55pm EDT
C.J. Spiller announced Saturday on Twitter that he has signed with Chad Speck of Allegiant Athletic Agency to represent him in the final year of his contract. (Source: C.J. Spiller on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Speculation on Spiller has ranged from the Bills trading him to re-signing him. In any case, hopefully his contract year will translate into some big games. What's holding him back in Buffalo is a crowded backfield (the Bills kept four RBs on their 53-man roster) and the coaches' stubbornness in pounding him between the tackles, which is not his forte. If you haven't drafted yet, he's worth the risk in the fourth round.
By Keith Kraska, Saints Correspondent, Sat, Aug 23rd 9:40pm EDT
C.J. Spiller ran nine times for 36 yards and caught three passes for 23 yards in Saturday's game against Tampa Bay. He also lost a fumble. Half of Spiller's rushing yards came on one run.
Fantasy Impact: That's a microcosm of the risk he carries. Most of the time, he'll get mashed as the coaches stubbornly keep pounding him between the tackles. But if he breaks free, he could go the distance. His ADP has fallen to the end of the third round, and he just might be worth the gamble at the 3-4 turn.
By Keith Kraska, Saints Correspondent, Wed, Aug 13th 5:46pm EDT
Seeking to squelch trade speculation, Bills GM Doug Whaley said Wednesday there has been no contact with other teams about C.J. Spiller. (Source: BuffaloBills.com
Fantasy Impact: And that's all it's been: speculation. The trade for Bryce Brown and the fact that it's the last year of Spiller's contract have produced the smoke, but right now there's no fire to report. His fate could depend on how the Bills do before the trade deadline, but for now, he's healthy and the clear leader of the backfield.
By Keith Kraska, Saints Correspondent, Fri, Aug 8th 8:56pm EDT
After a nondescript preseason opener last week, C.J. Spiller rushed for 22 yards on three carries Friday night. He had a 14-yard run and also caught one pass for three yards.
Fantasy Impact: Give Spiller some room, and he'll break a few. He got taken out near the goal line, so that limits his upside a bit, but he's a worthy RB2 on par with Gio Bernard. His skill set is limited, but his talent in that skill set is elite. The coaches just need to set him free from between the tackles.
By Shane Fitzgerald, Saints Correspondent, Wed, Aug 6th 10:00pm EDT
As expected, Doug Marrone has confirmed the Bills will be a RB1 and RB1A team with C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson sharing time. Marrone sees an expanded role for Spiller through his ability to catch the ball. (Source: Syracuse.com
Fantasy Impact: This is good news for Spiller who will certainly be very motivated entering a contract year. If E.J. Manuel struggles, we could see him checking down to the RB more often than not. Spiller's value and upside looks stronger in PPR formats and his current projection for around 37 receptions could be much higher as the season goes on.
By Keith Kraska, Saints Correspondent, Wed, Jul 30th 4:53pm EDT
With Fred Jackson signing a one-year extension, C.J. Spiller is now the only Bills RB not under contract for 2015.
Fantasy Impact: Several questions linger for Spiller: Will the Bills trade him this year? Does he fit the inside running game they want to execute? What's known is that he's healthy after playing most of last year on one wheel, and if the coaches get more creative with him, he could have an explosive season playing for a new contract, in Buffalo or elsewhere.
Razzball | Apr 15th
One thing's for sure, the hype train has always been strong with this one. And deservedly so. A perpetual description of "incredible athlete on the brink of breaking out" was a yearly norm for C.J. Spiller. So much so, he's been heralded as such for the past 581 years. Alright, so maybe it's just four years, but still, in the NFL, that's an average career span right there. And after dealing with...