Apr 22, 2010
I was disappointed to see C.J. Spiller go to the Bills, but thrilled the Chargers gave up a lot to move up and grab RB Ryan Mathews. As we said in our pre-draft report, we feel Mathews is only complete feature back type in the draft, and while I’m sure a few other guys will likely surprise us and prove to be lead backs, it’s still great to see Mathews land in such a great situation in SD.
Granted, the OL here isn’t great, but it’s certainly good enough for Mathews to get a lot of work done. We also broke down their schedule for 2010, and it looks really good. It remains to be seen how much they’ll use him on 3rd down, but my sense is he’ll get some chances if he proves to be an effective blocking and understands how to protect at the NFL level.
Given the proliferation of timeshares and dual backfields in the NFL, I’m already slotting Mathews in the 15-20 range at the RB position. We may go as high as 15 because, given his ability (he’s not truly special, but think better than Matt Forte) and opportunity, I see very little downside with Mathews on the Chargers this year.
As for Spiller to the Bills, it’s hard to get too excited because of the horrendous OL and overall offense. At least he’s very elusive and capable of creating a lot on his own. He should be in a dual backfield, and he will be with Fred Jackson. Jackson’s more of a methodical runner, so the fit makes some sense in some ways. But Jackson’s value does take a hit, especially if Spiller excels in pass pro because Spiller is extremely dangerous in the passing game. Marshawn Lynch should be gone. Spiller’s going to play a lot, as they attempt to inject some juice into a pretty lifeless offense, but he’s going to be a tricky fantasy pick given the circumstances on this bad team and with the solid Jackson a good bet to continue to get consistent touches.