It goes without saying that C.J. Spiller has been one of fantasy football’s biggest bust since his 2012 breakout.
During that season, under Chan Gailey, Spiller amassed 1703 total yards with eight touchdown. He also managed six yard per carry.
In the following two season, under head coach Doug Marrone, Spiller only totaled 1543 yards and three touchdowns. Injuries did play a big part, but he still just wasn’t right.
It’s also likely Doug Marrone’s vanilla game plan limited Spillers production. It seemed everything that Chan Gailey did right for Spiller, Doug Marrone did differently. Spiller wasn’t being used in space, and consistently ran head-on into a swarm of defenders.
However, now on the Saints and free of Doug Marrone, Spiller has a chance to reclaim his 2012 excellence. Although, Spiller won’t be the lead running back, it’s hard to not get excited about him in a Darren Sproles type role.
In three seasons on the Saints, Sproles had yearly totals of 87, 48, and 53 catches. Though his role seemed to deteriorate over time, the Saints still utilized the running back heavily in the passing game in 2014.
Last season, all Saints’ running backs totaled 120 catches, and that was with Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills.
Why would the Saints acquire Spiller if they planned to keep their new shiny toy in the garage. The Saints don’t have a dominant receiver on the roster, though Brandin Cooks is in line for a huge year, so the team needs to get creative.
Spiller has the potential to replicate Sproles’ 2012 season with 87 catches.
Similarly to Sproles, Spiller may not be a factor in the run game, but as long as Spiller touches the ball he’ll be a factor.
At this point Spiller is a name that most fantasy owners are sick and tired of. Most likely there are some people that won’t even touch Spiller because of how he’s burned them in the past, but 2015 could be the season he could make it all right. Don’t expect top 10 running back numbers, but he will be a more than useful flex play or even RB2 if his role expands.