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Don’t Sleep on CJ Spiller

CJ Spiller has been a consistent feature in my fantasy lineups, both PPR and standard, for the last few years. He’s not the first name that comes to mind when people consider all-star running backs, but star power isn’t the only thing you need to succeed. During his time in Buffalo, Spiller suffered many an injury, slowing down his production significantly, but he still made an impact and proved himself to be a useful addition to any lineup by scoring an average of over thirteen points per game (PPR) before last year’s season-ending collarbone injury.

Much of his begrudged success is a result of strength in his passing game. Spiller can catch the ball, and he can certainly run with it, taking off over forty times for over twenty yard gains during his career. If he stays healthy like he did in 2012, Spiller will fall into the role of Sean Payton‘s dream back, one who can receive and explode with the ball. A healthy Spiller can easily replace a fast back like Reggie Bush and rack up over 1,200 yards like he did three years ago.

I like Spiller’s odds for success in any lineup in 2015. I’m waiting for him to have a breakout year, and this is it. If he generates yardage and makes between ten and twenty red zone runs when he’s not being used to his full potential, I can only imagine the damage he will do when he is healthy and acts as the primary back, in a system that will look to find a way to push him into open space. Saints’ current star running backĀ Mark Ingram is injury-prone and rarely a threat on third downs, and RB Pierre Thomas did not resign with the team, leaving Spiller wide open to take the reigns and dominant the backfield under Payton’s encouragement. Also important: he no longer will have to share the workload with a strong workhorse like Fred Jackson.

Bold prediction: Spiller’s career average five yards per carry will rise to an awesome six.

In the Saints’ system, Spiller has nothing but time to shine.

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