Not many people will be keen on drafting C.J. Spiller after he disappointed last season. Save for one nice deep catch in overtime against the Cowboys last season, Spiller was a total dud, delivering under 400 total yards and battling injuries all season long. Spiller might lose some touches to Travaris Cadet and rookie Daniel Lesco, plus Mark Ingram proved last year he could catch passes. Don't spend a meaningful pick on Spiller.
Spiller gained 20 yards on four carries and lost one yard on three receptions (three targets) in Friday's preseason game against the Steelers. Though his stat line was held back by a couple of busted plays, Spiller actually had an encouraging evening, getting the start and splitting first-team work pretty evenly with Mark Ingram. While there's no question Ingram will serve as the lead rusher, it was interesting to see the extent of Spiller's involvement, perhaps hinting at a much larger role in his second season with the Saints. He does look noticeably quicker to the naked eye, after dealing with a nagging knee injury through the entirety of last season.
Spiller gained two yards on three carries and 16 yards on three receptions in Saturday's preseason contest against the Texans. Through two preseason games, Spiller has looked faster than he did a year ago, which isn't surprising given the various injuries with which he dealt in 2015. Unfortunately, injuries are hardly something new with Spiller. The depth chart behind Mark Ingram remains in flux, so there's still a potential role for Spiller as the Saints' third down back, but he will have to continue to show that he's mastered the playbook and, importantly, stay healthy. With his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, Spiller continues to be worth a flier in deeper PPR leagues.
Spiller had two carries for two yards in Thursday's preseason opener against the Patriots. Despite being fourth on the Saints' initial preseason depth chart, Spiller worked ahead of Marcus Murphy, who is listed as the No. 3 back. Regardless of where he lands on the Week 1 depth chart, Spiller is merely competing for a role on passing downs. Tim Hightower will likely be the top backup for early downs.
Spiller (leg) has been limited to start the Saints' training camp, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. Spiller said he and the Saints' staff determined that limiting him to start camp would be the best course of action in preparation for this season. The veteran had arthroscopic knee surgery last August, and although he returned by Week 2 following that procedure, Spiller's ability to cut was clearly limited throughout the campaign. To ward off further lingering effects going into this season, Spiller will be eased into the action, as his early camp participation level reflects.
Spiller (leg) has looked much improved during OTAs, the Saints' official site reports. "I'd say C.J.'s health and his movement skills look noticeably different," head coach Sean Payton said. "He worked his butt off in the offseason to get the strength back in that knee where he had his injury. That has been really encouraging." Spiller was a disappointment, to say the least, after joining the Saints as a free agent, but arthroscopic knee surgery performed during the preseason served to put him behind the eight ball. He still managed to make his season debut in Week 2 and played in 13 straight games until he was shut down for good in the penultimate week of the regular season. However, he received no more than 26 snaps in any contest, while reaching a season-high 10 touches on two occasions, en route 36 carries for 112 yards (3.1 YPC), 34 receptions (on 44 targets) for 239 yards, and two receiving touchdowns. If his conditioning is indeed reminiscent of his tenure with the Bills, he could serve as a nice pass-catching complement to Mark Ingram in the upcoming campaign.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/18||@New York Giants||26||20.38|
|4||10/02||@San Diego Chargers||30||21.50|
|7||10/23||@Kansas City Chiefs||4||13.44|
|9||11/06||@San Francisco 49ers||32||22.88|
|12||11/27||Los Angeles Rams||23||18.50|
|14||12/11||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||15||16.88|
|16||12/24||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||15||16.88|
|3 Year Avg||105||446||1||29||183||1||74|