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RB C.J. Spiller - New Orleans Saints

5-11, 196Born: 8-15-1987College: ClemsonDrafted: Round 1, pick 9

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Photo: Derick E. Hingle, US Presswire

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Week 12: at Houston Texans

All RB vs HOU

Mark and Joe say: Tough matchup. The Saints often chase teams from behind (given their awful defense), so it is impressive that Mark Ingram has stayed productive this season despite unfavorable game situations (he's the fifth-best fantasy back in the land with 145/661/5 rushing and 40/337/0 receiving to his credit). He was two yards from 100+ against the Washington D before New Orlean's bye week despite having just eight touches on the football (5/77/0 rushing with 3/21/0 receiving). That's some impressive running, friends! The Houston rush D is ranked 20th in the NFL averaging 113.2 yards allowed per game, with eight rushing scores handed out - last week, the Jets had 21/70/1 rushing at Houston, while two games ago the Texans' rush D allowed just 21/73/0 to the Bengals on Monday Night Football. This unit has tightened up considerably of late - over the past four weeks, Houston has allowed the third-least fantasy points to opposing running backs (11.6 per game on average). This looks like a tougher-than-usual matchup for Ingram, but he's also strong enough that he's probably your starter unless you are loaded for bear at running back.

Recent Stats and Projections

8 vs NYG 20 4 21 0 4 2 15 1 0 9.6
9 vs TEN 6 2 8 0 2 1 2 0 0 1
10 at WAS 18 8 24 0 2 2 10 0 0 2.4
12 at HOU PROJ-Dodds * 4 * * 2 * * * *
12 at HOU PROJ-Tremblay * 5 * * 2 * * * *
12 at HOU PROJ-Bloom * 3 * * 2 * * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2015 Week 10 vs WAS (8 / 24 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 10 / 0 rec)

Spiller took an inside handoff on New Orleans' third play from scrimmage, notching only a yard through the middle. On the following drive, Spiller ran an out-route from the right slot for three yards to end the first period. Midway through the second period, Spiller took an inside draw through the middle for seven yards. To begin the second half, Spiller took another inside handoff off right tackle for six. He caught a short checkdown over the middle on the following down for seven yards to move the chains. Spiller failed to gain a yard off tackle on a critical fourth down later in the drive, a questionable use of the RB to say the least. His next touch came midway through the fourth quarter, netting a single yard up the middle. Spiller ran a few more times up the middle with Ingram's day seemingly done, picking up one and six yards, respectively. His role is hardly worth rehashing every week, as the inflated carry totals are simply a product of Ingram being rested for the final few minutes of the game. Spiller could very well benefit from a new coach in the offseason, but that's what many said about this year.

2015 Week 9 vs TEN (2 / 8 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 2 / 0 rec)

Spiller's uneventful day began midway through the second quarter, a run off right tackle for three. A swing pass much later in the period added Spiller's two-yard reception, but failed to move the chains on third-and-six. His third and final touch of the day was a pitch to the left sideline that netted five. Redraft owners are safe to let go of this significant disappointment.

2015 Week 8 vs NYG (4 / 21 / 0 rush, 4 / 2 / 15 / 1 rec)

Spiller's first carry came early in New Orleans' second drive, a carry off left guard for three. His next touch didn't come until there were three minutes left in the opening half, an inside draw against a defense expecting pass that gained nine. Midway through the third period, Spiller ran directly into the arms of a penetrating Kerry Wynn for a loss of two. Spiller spelled Ingram on the following series, utilizing his speed in taking a pitch off right tackle for 11 yards. Early in the final quarter, Spiller caught a swing pass in the right flat for six yards, which was essentially a long handoff. On the field with under a minute left in crunch time, Ingram ran an angle route, splitting two linebackers and hauling in New Orleans' tying touchdown pass. Spiller showed up when his team needed him most, but remained an afterthought with only six touches on the day. Khiry Robinson's season-ending injury may force New Orleans to give some of those touches to Spiller, but is probably safer remaining on fantasy benches.

2015 Week 7 vs IND (4 / 16 / 0 rush, 6 / 6 / 32 / 0 rec)

Spiller's first touch came on New Orleans' third play from scrimmage, a screen to the right flat for 11 yards that fell well short of the marker on third-and-long. He moved the chains on the following series with a seven-yard out route from a bunch formation. The ball went back in his hands the next play, a pitch off left tackle for one yard. Spiller caught a swing pass in the left flat just two plays later, finding enough space for a four yard pickup. Another swing pass to the right flat found him on the third offensive series, with enough green grass in front of him for a 17-yard gain. Spiller took an elaborate reverse to the left sideline for five yards late in the first quarter. Early in the second quarter, he found space on a stretch play off left tackle for nine yards. Spiller's next touch came midway through the third period, a pitch off left tackle that netted just one yard. Late in the third quarter, Spiller received his third swing pass of the day to the left flat, but D'Qwell Jackson was ready for it, making a nice tackle to force a loss of three yards. He lost four more yards on a poorly-blocked screen midway through the third quarter, forcing his team into a punting situation. New Orleans made somewhat of a concerted effort to get Spiller more involved, but forcing the ball his way for short swing passes wasn't what fantasy owners had in mind when drafting him this summer. More touches don't necessarily mean more production in this equal opportunity offense, and it's hard to see Spiller developing into more than a desperation Flex play.

2015 Week 6 vs ATL (3 / 10 / 0 rush, 5 / 4 / 17 / 0 rec)

Spiller's first touch was an inside handoff through the middle of the line for seven quick yards. He followed it up on the second series with another inside handoff, gaining a yard. Spiller's first reception occurred on the third series of the game, a screen to the left flat for one yard on a third-and-long. He caught a pass on New Orleans' third play from scrimmage in the second half, a short pass to the left flat that picked up three yards. An identical pass went back in his direction a few plays later for five more. He followed it up with an underneath dumpoff route when the Saints cleared out a zone for eight yards. Spiller's final carry was a third inside handoff deep in Atlanta territory, netting just two yards. It would have been crazy to say that seven touches would be Spiller's biggest involvement of the season when he was given $9M guaranteed this offseason, but that's exactly what transpired on Thursday night. Keep him glued to benches as a complementary option in an unimpressive stable of RBs.

2015 Week 5 vs PHI (3 / 10 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / -8 / 0 rec)

New Orleans attempted to get Spiller in the game early, as opened their day with a swing pass behind the line of scrimmage for a loss of two. Spiller was abandoned quickly after that, however, as his second touch didn't come until late in the second quarter, another swing pass for a loss of five. His first carry of the day came early in the second half, a pitch off right tackle that lost a yard. Spiller was targeted on a wheel route from the backfield that didn't come close to a third-down completion. He took a draw play up the middle for eight yards late in the fourth quarter once the loss was firmly in hand. Spiller's string of negative swing passes continued later in the drive, failing to get past the line of scrimmage on all three of his catches. The explosive back simply hasn't been fed the ball in space like many expected coming into the season. A bigger role doesn't seem especially likely anytime soon given the overall dysfunction of New Orleans' attack.

2015 Week 4 vs DAL (2 / 10 / 0 rush, 5 / 5 / 99 / 1 rec)

Spiller saw a season-high seven touches, including the game-winning long-range overtime score against Dallas. Spiller's usage emphasized his acceleration and speed, schemed to get him to the edge when possible. Spiller gets up to top speed in a few steps, no match for linebackers or safeties in one-on-one situations. On the game-winning reception, Spiller gained separation on an overmatched linebacker with a wheel route from the slot easily, shed a tackle attempt by the safety, before bursting to the end zone from 80 yards out. Spiller's infusion of dynamic speed is a welcome addition to an offense struggling to produce big plays in the opening three games of the season.

2015 Week 3 vs CAR (1 / 4 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 22 / 0 rec)

Spiller's first of three offensive touches came on the opening play of the game, a three yard hitch from the right boundary. His next touch, and only rush, didn't come until the beginning of the fourth quarter with an inside handoff for four yards. His third and final touch of the day was a well-designed wheel route out of the backfield against Thomas Davis for 19 yards down to the Carolina two. Coach Sean Payton said Monday that he needs to find more ways to get Spiller involved, but until that happens, it's hard to trust the multi-purpose weapon for fantasy purposes.

2015 Week 2 vs TB (3 / 7 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 19 / 0 rec)

Spiller's inaugural touch of the season occurred on a wheel route up the left sideline in which the free-agent acquisition caught the ball five yards past the line of scrimmage and ran after the catch for a gain of 19. Spiller received an inside handoff two plays later that ended with him bouncing into the line for no gain. On the next drive, Spiller again ran directly into his offensive line and failed to break through the line of scrimmage. Spiller's final touch of his spot duty came early in the fourth quarter on a pitch off right tackle that picked up seven yards en route to a first-and-goal. He is sure to be more involved as the season goes on, as the Saints need as many playmakers as possible.


New Orleans Saints Team Links

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Articles from around the web

2015 NFL Coaching Turnover and Fantasy Football Implications
  John Paulsen - March 26
The Case for C.J. Spiller in New Orleans
  John Paulsen - April 30
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  Evan Silva - May 11
The 2015 Rankings Breakdown
  John Paulsen - May 19
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  Pat Thorman - May 21
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12@ Houston Texans
13vs Carolina Panthers
14@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
15vs Detroit Lions
16vs Jacksonville Jaguars
17@ Atlanta Falcons