Archive for CJ Spiller

NEWS: CJ Spiller (collarbone) done for season; Fred Jackson (groin) already out for Week 8; Reggie Bush still hurt…

smitty staff

Hey Starters Nation:

We had a few big injuries in Week 7, along with some other injuries worth monitoring. Here we go:

Injuries Heading Into Week 8:

C.J. Spiller broke his collarbone on a 53-yard run and is done for the season. Fred Jackson was injured early in this game as well — Both were carted to the locker room. The Bills have a bye in Week 9, but early word is that Jackson is already looking “out” for Week 8. Get ready for the Bryce Brown show, a player we said to go get prior to kickoff on Sunday (especially in dynasty). Now he gets to show his stuff. Make sure he isn’t on waivers in your league, especially if you lost either/both of these backs.

Reggie Bush (groin) received just nine touches in Week 7, as he was clearly still bothered by his ankle. Joique Bell is a dark horse RB2 of ours moving forward, but of course he can be had lower and should be valued lower (but with upside for that kind of production). If Bush stays moderately banged up for a bit, Bell will surely see some serious action. If Bush returns quickly, we still like Bell as a sneaky flex. Bell is extremely gifted, but he is the kind of back that gets better with carries and lots of work — We hope he gets a big dose of carries moving forward, but we aren’t in charge of his workload (unfortunately).

Other Injuries:

Pierre Thomas left Week 7 with a shoulder injury, Trent Richardson pulled a hamstring, James Starks injured his ankle, and Corey “Philly” Brown suffered a concussion. T-Rich being out only increases Ahmad Bradshaw’s value well past his RB2-type status, and an injured PT gives bumps to both Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson, but all these injuries just described above could be less serious, or more serious, than initially thought, so stay all over this news wires and our Smart Alerts for updates.

NEWS: CJ Spiller will continue to be fed carries? Bryce Brown will not see action?

SMITTY: This is a strange situation… There was some speculation earlier this week that the team could mix things up a bit more at running back, which would make a logical person think “Bryce Brown“. However, Bills offensive coordinator Nate Hackett said on Friday that he wants to continue “feeding” Spiller the football, and this coming off a season-low 12 snaps for Spiller this past Sunday. Spiller should be in line-ups this week given this info, but selling high is advised if he has some production, as Spiller no longer feels capable of consistency in Buffalo. Fred Jackson seems set for around 10-12 carries per-week right now, but dynasty owners should start trying to buy-low on Bryce Brown, who could be inactive again this week. Be certain to ‘buy-low’ only, though, as he is no lock to be the team’s future rusher, but at extremely-low prices, he is worth a grab/stash. Looking for Week 7 Power Rankings?

NEWS: CJ Spiller not likely to be traded – for now?

According Rotoworld, ESPN’s Adam Schefter has reported that the Bills “have no immediate plans right now” to trade C.J. Spiller.

SMITTY: Schefter has reportedly said that teams have approached the Bills about CJ Spiller, but the Bills are set, for the moment, on keeping the big-play rusher. It sounds at least possible that the Bills could consider moving him prior to October, and continued solid play from Bryce Brown will only push Buffalo closer to considering a trade. Keep in mind that most all of this is speculation at this point. Need 2014 Fantasy Football Rankings?

NEWS: Bryce Brown a future starter in the NFL?

According to buffalobills.com, Bills coach Doug Marrone sees RB Bryce Brown as a potential starter. “I think, in my mind Bryce Brown is a very talented running back that has the potential to start in the NFL,” said head coach Doug Marrone. “So I think what happens a lot, when he is in the game I think he is one of the better players on the field. So, his production is not surprising for any one of us.”

SMITTY: Bryce Brown has a ton of talent. He has a known fumbling problem, which he appears to have worked on a bit, but his talent is unquestioned. I like CJ Spiller a lot, but Brown is a must-handcuff for all Spiller owners in 2014. Spiller has to deliver this season or his dynasty value will tank heading into next August. As for Brown in redraft, he has secret flex-type value all by himself, and in dynasty, he is looking like a nice gem-like stash. Looking for Week 1 Power Rankings?

NEWS: CJ Spiller ready to prove doubters wrong!

According to buffalobills.com, Bills RB C.J. Spiller recalls being called a “one-year wonder,” and claims that he is “ready to produce the stats in a bid to prove his doubters wrong, once and for all.”

SMITTY: CJ Spiller has an ADP near the 3.10-4.02 range, which is awesome value given he still has top 5-10RB upside. He isn’t a lock for that kind of production in 2014, but that’s why youre buying him as roughly your 4th-drafted player. Bryce Brown is a must-own for all Spiller owners this upcoming season — He helps eliminate a lot of the risk if you can handcuff him to the elusive Spiller. Looking for Week 1 Power Rankings?

NEWS: Sammy Watkins owners should be concerned about EJ Manuel?

Bills WR Sammy Watkins pulled in zero of his three targets during Sunday night’s preseason opener against the Giants; EJ Manuel completed just 2-of-7 passes for 19 yards, Robert Woods pulled in four passes for 49 yards and 1TD, Mike Williams pulled in 1 pass for 11 yards, CJ Spiller ran the ball one time for two yards, and Bryce Brown ran the ball seven times for 40 yards. On the Giants side of the football, Eli Manning completed 6-of-7 passes for 43 yards, Andre Williams ran the ball seven times for 48 yards and 1TD, and Rashad Jennings ran the ball seven times for 23 yards.

SMITTY: Sammy Watkins owners could be in some trouble early on in 2014 if EJ Manuel can’t find a way to deliver him the football. Manuel haters need to give it more than seven passes before they completely write him off as a legitimate NFL passer, but I can’t say he looked good on Sunday night, that’s for sure. He telegraphed everything, something he will need to remedy moving forward he he wants to get his rookie the football. Despite some early EJ Manuel concerns, we still have Sammy Watkins set for some pretty good full-season projections.

NEWS: CJ Spiller looks more explosive than last year?

According to @buffalobills on Twitter, Bills RB CJ Spiller “looks more explosive than he did during the season last year.”

SMITTY: The tweet even has a “#lightning” hashtag, which I’m sure creates ear-to-ear grins on the faces of CJ Spiller fans everywhere. The greatest part about investing in Spiller in upcoming yearly-league August drafts is that his ADP is leveling out around 3.08, which is a steal. Is he risky if you are counting on top 5RB numbers (like last year)? Sure, but he can disappoint in a major way and still earn 3.08-type value, so Spiller is looking like high-reward/low-risk at this point. The Bryce Brown fan club is growing quite large on our STARTERS Forum, and he is almost a must-own if you plan to invest in Spiller this year, but Fred Jackson, who just signed a one-year extension/raise, might still complicate the handcuff situation heading into Week 1. The preseason should tell us a lot regarding this handcuff battle. Looking for Week 1 Power Rankings?

Analyzing the July ADP: 2014 Value Grabs

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Ok, so it’s the middle of July, which means that 2014 fantasy football drafts are around the corner. Are you ready? Do you know know where players are falling on average in recent fantasy football mock drafts? Knowing a player’s ADP (average draft position) is a critical aspect of fantasy football drafting, as you always want to maximize draft value with every pick that you make. Now, what does that mean? Here are two examples:

Not Maximizing Draft Value

An example of this would be drafting Marshawn Lynch in the 1.08-1.09 range. Keep in mind, I am not calling the selecting of Lynch at 1.08-1.09 a bad pick, it’s just not a pick that is going to give you tons of unexpected value. In fact, Lynch has to have a top 5ish fantasy running back season for him to earn you back your investment. While you won’t be able to draft underrated players at every selection, especially in the first round, this is an example of picking a player where he deserves to be selected. There is both nothing wrong with this pick, nor is there anything spectacular about it. It’s just a good predictable pick.

Maximizing Draft Value

An example of this would be to draft Aaron Rodgers at 3.01. Given that Rodgers could arguably lead all fantasy football players in scoring in 2014, there is a ton of room for over-performing with a 3.01 selection. Again, you can’t find value above and beyond at every turn, but in rounds 2-5 (not so much in round 1), there are handfuls of players that fit the bill.

Ok, so now that I’ve explained “Maximizing Draft Value”, it’s time to call out some “value grabs” heading into early 2014 fantasy football drafts. The ADP data below was provided by our friends over at fantasy football calculator:

2014 Fantasy Football ADP (as of 7/16/14)

[table id=2 /]

Value Grabs

Round One

There never are a lot of over-performing players in the first-round, as you can only over-perform so much from a first-round draft slot. However, if trying to pin down a couple names, I’d say that both Montee Ball and Peyton Manning have the ability to lead their position in scoring, so given they both have ADPs near the tail-end of the first-round, there is some value if we have to muster some up in this first-round.

Rounds 2-3

2.01 – Arian Foster: Honestly, Foster falls a lot further than this in all the drafts I’ve participated in, but because he has top 5RB appeal, even a 2.01 slotting has some value written all over it. So, expect Foster to fall more in the 2.05-2.12 range in your upcoming draft, and that’s fantastic value. Yes, there are some injury concerns, but Foster only has 1,320 regular-season touches to his name, which is 635 less than Marshawn Lynch (1,955) has to his name, and 572 less than Matt Forte (1,892) has to his name.

2.02 – AJ Green: I’m not sure why a receiver that could potentially finish as the No. 1 overall receiver in 2014 sits at 2.02 — That’s quite a bargain, and this data has over 800 drafts averaged.

2.04 – Julio Jones: Everything just said about AJG above can be said here. Are there injury concerns? Sure, but Julio has as much upside and physical ability than any receiver in the league (if not more).

2.07 – Giovani Bernard: While it’s entirely possible the little guy finishes around this range overall come season’s end, he has a ceiling in the top 5-10RB range, so this is a screaming deal, especially in PPR.

2.08 – Aaron Rodgers: I think I already covered how awesome this value is (in paragraph one of this article); the dude can be the No. 1 overall scorer. I don’t care if QBs fall late, or if there is always good QB value later, anytime you can land a player at 2.08 that can lead all fantasy players in scoring, you’re looking at a monster-type steal.

3.06 – Andre Ellington: Some might even think that this ADP is too high for an unproven Arizona rusher, but the soon-to-be sophomore rusher pulled in 39 passes as a rookie! He is easily considered the starter in AZ heading into 2014, and it wouldn’t shock me at all if he drops top 5-10RB numbers. This is a home run pick right here, and if he remains healthy, it’s a pick that won’t likely leave you burned, as he can earn 3.06-type value even if he doesn’t meet my lofty expectations.

3.07 – CJ Spiller: He still has top 10RB appeal, so the risk is low in the middle-to-late third!

Round 4-5

4.07 – Cordarrelle Patterson: There is very little risk right here, as CP can drop low-end WR2-type numbers on a disappointing season. His ceiling is easily top 6-12 for WRs in 2014 and beyond.

5.08 – Michael Floyd: The stud receiver could very well takeover as Arizona’s top option by late this year, or at least early next year. On his journey to that talent level, he should drop super-high fantasy WR2-type numbers.

5.11 – Joique Bell: The runner turns 28 before Week 1, so he is no spring chicken…. just keep that in mind in dynasty, although he has low mileage. For all you yearly-league players out there, this runner could very well crank out high-end fantasy RB2-type stats this upcoming season, which would make him a steal in hindsight when talking about 5.11-type ADP. If healthy, he feels like a lock for 50-60 receptions… I envision him running for 1,000 yards and 6TDs this year, as well… even if he doesn’t, he still earns 5.11-type value in PPR. If he meets my expectations, well, then he crushes 5.11 value!

We could go on and on, as there are handfuls of later-round grabs that could explode from their current ADPs (like Nick Foles in the 6th-round), but this should have you covered through round 5. For more on this topic, or any other, get on the forums!

NEWS: CJ Spiller to see 20 touches per game?

According to buffalobills.com, Bills RB CJ Spiller is likely to see 20 touches per game in 2014.

SMITTY: Twenty touches per game would be perfect for CJ Spiller owners — any more and he’d have a tough time staying healthy. Last season, Spiller averaged just 15.6 touches per-game, which only produced 927 rushing yards, 33 receptions for 185 yards and 2 total scores. The truth is, though, 15.6 touches per-game wasn’t the problem, it was the fact that he played hurt for part of last season, and his yards-per-carry and yards-per-catch were way down. Spiller’s YPC dropped from 6.0 in 2012 to 4.6 in 2013. And, his YPC went from 10.7 to 5.6; he also scored six less touchdowns. What matters is ‘quality’ touches (and health). With an ADP in the 3.05-3.08 range, there is more upside than risk when it comes to drafting Spiller in 2014, as he can earn 3.05-3.08 type value just by staying healthy. He is a strong bounce-back candidate heading into all drafts, just be sure to handcuff him to whomever wins the backup job between Bryce Brown or Fred Jackson. For full-season projections on Spiller, based on your exact league scoring, run our Draft Analyzer!

NEWS: Bryce Brown being groomed to be BUF’s RB1?

According to ESPN’s Mike Rodak, the Bills “would like [Bryce] Brown to develop into one of their lead backs.”

SMITTY: The thinking here by this writer is that CJ Spiller is going to be a free agent next season, and given that he has some injury concerns, and given the fact that there are questions about him being an every-down back, Buffalo may turn to Bryce Brown as their future RB1. Fred Jackson will be 34 this time next year, so he has almost no chance of being much of anything 1-2 years from now, if his decline doesn’t occur this very season. The future for that Bills rushing attack is either: A) Spiller, should he prove to be a RB1 in 2014, B) Brown, who the team acquired with a 4th-round pick, which could turn into a 3rd-round pick, or C) a future rookie yet to be selected. While I wouldn’t be so quick to anoint Brown the future BUF starting rusher, it’s important to keep it in mind a year early, as the dude has tremendous skill. He has a big-time fumbling problem, which he will have to overcome to ever hold onto a starting job, but if given the right opportunity, and fundamental training, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him leading that Buffalo backfield in 2015. Dynasty leaguers may want to see how easily he can be had via trade, but absolutely don’t overpay, this is one of those buy cheaply and stash, or don’t buy at all type situations. He feels like a must-own for all Spiller dynasty owners, though. Looking for 2014 fantasy football projections for CJ Spiller? Run this tool:
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