One thing’s for sure, the hype train has always been strong with this one. And deservedly so. A perpetual description of “incredible athlete on the brink of breaking out” was a yearly norm for C.J. Spiller. So much so, he’s been heralded as such for the past 581 years. Alright, so maybe it’s just four years, but still, in the NFL, that’s an average career span right there. And after dealing with another season in which ineffectiveness and injury took precedent, well, finding himself on the Saints and in Sean Payton’s offense is sure to give people some selective amnesia. In fact, it’s already happening in New Orleans as we speak. Not that I don’t like Spiller as a buy-low, but I doubt we ever see that price tag. This offseason hype train is sure to choo-choo once again, and because of that, he’ll wind up being overrated and probably overdrafted for the 2015 fantasy football season.
2012 was, by far, Spiller’s most productive season, and even though he broke the thousand yard rushing mark (the only time in his career), he only had 8 total touchdowns. Good, but certainly not what Buffalo nor the population of the world (the world, I tell ya!) was expecting. But, to be fair, some of this can be blamed on injuries. Sure, some may label him as “injury-prone”, but I disagree to a certain extent. He’s not made out of glass, as he’s started 70-out-of-80 games possible as a starting running back, a strenuous endeavor to be sure, but on the flip-side, how many of those games was he 100% healthy? I doubt going to the Saints will change this dynamic. I suppose a team’s conditioning and medical staff play a part, but there are so many intangibles there, it’s hard to determine what, if any effect there will be. This is the NFL, all teams pay extraordinary amounts of money to keep their assets on the field and producing.
On top of that, yes, as mentioned in the lede, Spiller will be going to a team that has an actual quarterback in Drew Brees. He’s certainly a positive (especially since I just mentioned that he’ll be big part of why Josh Hill is a sleeper), and I can’t tell you how many times Buffalo’s offense would see eight in the box. But injury issues aside, I’ve just never believed in Spiller’s vision. He’s also never had the patience to wait for blocks to develop, to pick up the seams in the defense, and doing his best impersonation of Chris Johnson whenever he panics behind the line has led to very little success. Can this be coached out of him? Does the system matter? Sure, I guess. Under Chan Gailey, Spiller certainly responded well. And there are very few offensive minds in the NFL that match-up with Sean Peyton (depending on the Vicodin usage), so it’s easy to build up an argument of why Spiller can be hyped once again. But fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again. Something like that.
“…assuming health, Spiller has a chance to be the best satellite back to come through New Orleans. Better than Reggie Bush. Maybe even Darren Sproles. He’ll need the touches to rival what Sproles did in 2011, when the former Saints running back accumulated 1,313 yards from scrimmage, but Spiller’s 2012 film is as impressive as anything Sproles ever did.”
And that’s the thing. Spiller has always had this potential. He could be one of the best weapons New Orleans has seen. He could be one of the best weapons in the league right now. Seriously, he can be. All I’m saying is, I think at this point, I’d rather see it actually happen first before buying into it. Ya know?