We currently have C.J. Spiller ranked no. 37 in our 2012 running back rankings. Click here to view our top 65 rushers.
When C.J. Spiller came out of Clemson University, he was hoped to be the savior of the Buffalo Bills football team. The dynamic Spiller was the only player in the FBS to score a touchdown in every game of the 2009 season. His jersey # 28 was retired in recognition of his incredible career at Clemson.
The Bills made C.J. Spiller their first round pick in the 2010 draft, 9th overall. He inked a 5-year $25 million contract with Buffalo. He finished his rookie season with 26 carries for 122 yards, not the kind of head turning stats that the Bills had hoped for.
Last season, the Bills announced that Spiller would wear jersey #28 that was so effective for him while at Clemson. Once again, however, Spiller did not see the action most were anticipating as Fred Jackson was having a stellar season and got most of the touches.
It wasn’t until week 12 that Spiller got his chance and he only got it then after Jackson went down with an injury. In week 16, Spiller showed some of the talent that he showed for the Tigers as he notched his first 100 yard game against the Broncos. He ended last year’s campaign with 561 yards rushing, 4 TD’s, and an impressive 5.2 yards per carry average. He also got an average of 18.3 touches per game after Jackson’s injury.
So, it’s easy to see why so many football fans, in addition to looking at the latest football odds, are also considering Spiller as a prime sleeper for their 2012 fantasy football draft. Spiller is a high-upside player with breakaway speed that could have an impact in the 2012 season despite playing behind Jackson again this year.
Of course, if you are monitoring preseason games, Spiller has not enamored himself to fantasy football coaches thus far. In the Bills second preseason game against the Vikings, he got only 2 carries for a net -3 yards. He had one reception for -5 yards. Not exactly the kind of night that is going to turn heads.
Few teams had a better off-season than the Bills did. By signing Jackson, they kept their explosive offensive power intact and added some key defensive players as well. While I wouldn’t be rushing out to Paddy Power Bookmakers to lock in Buffalo as my Super Bowl pick, there is no doubt that they are much improved. (Note — Due to draconian US laws, PaddyPower is available to non-US residents only.)
Fantasy Football Projection: C.J. Spiller
C.J. Spiller was a non-factor in 2011 until Fred Jackson went down with injury. Jackson re-signed with Buffalo in the off-season so he’s still going to be the workhorse of the Bills’ backfield. Expect Spiller to get more chances than he did last year, but his breakout season is probably not going to be 2012, unless the 31-year-old Jackson is injured again. C.J. Spiller is a high-upside pick that could be handcuffed with Jackson, but I wouldn’t pick him in the draft until its time to pick up your third running back.