Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Is C.J. Spiller Too Big Of A Draft Day Risk?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

According to Adam Levitan (via Twitter) after the team’s third preseason game (viewed as the regular season dress rehearsal):

Bills’ first-team O played 47 snaps vs PIT. I had Fred Jackson with 26 snaps, Spiller 12, Dixon 9. Zero 3rd-down or RZ touches for Spiller.

Spiller is one of those players with tremendous upside, yet his opportunities and a shared backfield continue to hamstring him. While we try not to read too much into preseason splits, the breakdown of touches in the Bills’ backfield is a bit concerning.

Last season Spiller, who was playing injured, still totaled over 1,000 yards with 933 yards on the ground and 185 yards through the air. Jackson had nearly the same number of carries, with 206, and also was a factor in the passing game (47 receptions for 387 yards).

It’s easy to imagine the team having a nearly even split once again, with Bryce Brown also factoring into the mix. That alone is going to limit Spiller’s upside potential.

You also have to wonder if they are going to throw the football more than they did in 2013, thanks to the addition of Mike Williams and Sammy Watkins. You don’t bring in talent like that, to go along with Robert Woods, to simply use them as decoys. Yes, the quarterback play with E.J. Manuel is hardly a given but you have to anticipate more coming in the passing game.

So we have more passing (and likely more to WR) + shared carries + the potential loss of TD (Jackson is the bigger back, and likely to be used in short yardage situations). That’s not a good recipe, especially for a running back with an ADP of 41.6.

While Spiller has the talent of a first round back, he doesn’t appear primed to have the opportunity. That makes him a tough investment.

Sources – ESPN, Fantasy Pros

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Make sure to check out all of our 2014 rankings:

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