| Running Back, New Orleans Saints
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|Draft: 2010 Round 1 (9)
Ht: 5’11” Wt: 200 DOB: 1987-08-15 Age: 28
|Spiller spent the first year and a half of his career making Bills management look like fools for using the 9th pick in the 2010 rookie draft to acquire him. However, Fred Jackson’s season-ending leg injury thrust Spiller into the starting lineup and he played far better than anyone could have anticipated over the balance of the season. After a poor performance in his first game as a starter, Spiller accumulated 446 yards rushing, 187 receiving yards and scored five touchdowns over his last six games, hitting double-digit fantasy points four times. That means Spiller has solidified his standing as the Bills running back of the future. What it doesn’t mean is that he has earned a huge role in 2012. Jackson was a beast when healthy in 2011 and signed a two-year contract extension in the offseason. The expectation is that he will get the majority of the touches in the Bills backfield but that Spiller’s use won’t be as minimal as it was when Jackson was healthy. Consider Spiller a high-end RB4 with upside.
|Mark Ingram wants to be "three-down" back -- Tue Aug 25 10:40 am --|
Saints RB talking up role as receiver and pass protector
|Mark Ingram has been angling to be used more as a receiver and every-down back since he arrived as a first-round draft pick and Heisman Trophy winner out of Alabama in 2011.
"I know I'm a three-down back," said Ingram. "I could do first down, second down, third down, run the ball, catch the ball, pass protect. (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: Coach Sean Payton said he thinks both Ingram and Khiry Robinson have become "a little more accomplished" in the passing game, which gives the offense more flexibility when they're on the field.
It's great to hear Ingram embracing what should be an expanded role this season for the Saints, and since C.J. Spiller has been far from reliable in his career thus far, it makes sense to bump Ingram up a bit on your cheatsheets.
| Spiller had arthroscopic knee surgery Friday -- Sat Aug 15 3:09 pm --|
Expected back for Week 1
|Saints' C.J. Spiller underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Friday in Pensacola, Fla, but is expected back for regular-season opener, per source. (Adam Schefter on Twitter)|
FF Today's Take: It's never a good thing to hear the word "surgery" but it sounds like this was a clean up procedure on the knee which shouldn't keep the Saints running back out for long. Spiller however has a significant injury history and as a result his early 4th-round ADP in PPR leagues is likely to slip in the coming days which could represent a nice buying opportunity in re-draft leagues next weekend.
|Cooks, Spiller should be Saints' top targets -- Thu Jul 23 6:45 pm --|
Ex-Bill RB "should catch 60-plus passes"
|Even though the Saints traded away their top two pass-catchers from last season (Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills), the cupboard is far from bare. Brandin Cooks and C.J. Spiller are the two players who will likely generate the most buzz this summer. Both have dynamic speed, which allows them to bust big plays in the open field. Cooks should emerge as New Orleans’ No. 1 receiver on deep throws and short stuff like screens and end-arounds, while Spiller should catch 60-plus passes out of the backfield in the mold of Darren Sproles and Reggie Bush. (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: Cooks could challenge the 100-catch mark in his second year; he was on an 85-catch pace through 10 games as a rookie last season before a thumb injury derailed his season. It'd be a shocker if Spiller finishes with only 60 receptions, however, since Drew Brees has peppered his running backs with targets for years. Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson are not high-volume pass-catchers and Graham is gone, so Spiller could easily push 80 catches if he can stay on the field.
|Brandin Cooks shines at Saints minicamp -- Wed Jun 17 8:00 am --|
"Cooks is the best player on offense"
|The roster is brimming with talented young receivers. Brandin Cooks is the best player on offense - hands down. He has another gear. The third receiver job is Nick Toon's to lose. Word of advice: Draft C.J. Spiller on your fantasy football team. The Saints are going to get him the ball in a number of ways this season. If he can stay healthy, he could have a breakout year. It certainly won't be for lack of opportunity. (NOLA.com)|
FF Today's Take: Note, these are beat writer Jeff Duncan's comments after the Saints first minicamp practice on Tuesday. The Saints will run the ball plenty with Mark Ingram but Cooks and Spiller could be heavily involved in the passing game. Spiller is going to be a player to target in PPR leagues.
|Payton: Saints will be creative with Spiller -- Thu Jun 4 5:00 pm --|
Signed to four-year, $16 M contract in March
|Following Thursday's OTA practice, coach Sean Payton reemphasized that the Saints will attempt to devise ways to get C.J. Spiller the ball "in space":
"He's got a unique skill set. He has good speed, he understands what to do in the passing game (and) he'll provide versatility. He can do a handful of things pretty well. It's up to us to find ways to get him the ball in space." (neworleanssaints.com)|
FF Today's Take: With Payton's creativity and Mark Ingram's injury history, Spiller represents a huge upside pick after disappointing fantasy owners for most of his five years in Buffalo. Spiller is essentially a bigger version of Darren Sproles and should thrive in that role - even if New Orleans is more run-heavy than usual this year - making him a good bet to outperform his current ADP of 4.11 in PPR formats. Ingram should lead the team in carries, but it should come as no surprise if Spiller paces the team in touches.
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