Updated 11/11/2012 at 12:15 p.m. ET
Three weeks ago, we advised sending out trade offers for Adrian Peterson because the tape showed an explosive back on the brink of a breakout. This week’s trade target is C.J. Spiller.
While I stand in awe of Peterson and his career-high 5.7 YPC average less than a year after shredding his knee, no back has jumped off the film to the extent that Spiller has this season. With freakish lateral agility and instant acceleration reminiscent of an early-career CJ2K, Spiller is threatening to break Pro Football Focus’ Elusiveness scale. He leads the NFL with an absurd 7.2 YPC average and 4.3 yards after contact per attempt, capable of taking every touch to the house. Since Week 13 of last season (a 13-game stretch), Spiller has 953 rushing yards at a league-leading 6.6 YPC to go with 408 receiving yards on 45 receptions.
Chan Gailey may have his faults, but he’s done a masterful job of drawing up a creative array of draws, reverses, fake reverses and Wildcat looks to get the ball in Spiller’s hands in space. He even caught a couple of passes after lining up out wide at Houston in Week 9.
Fred Jackson, on the other hand, ranks 33rd out of 54 eligible backs in yards after contact per attempt (2.2) and is essentially averaging half of Spiller’s yards per attempt. Not to be overlooked in Gailey’s spread offense, Spiller is also averaging roughly 10.0 yards per catch compared to Jackson’s 6.7 per.
Despite the timeshare with F-Jax and three games sabotaged by a painful shoulder injury, Spiller still ranks in the top-5 in fantasy points per game. Gailey and Jackson are only two men in the league capable of shutting him down. Is that about to change?
After Sunday’s loss, it was obvious even to Gailey that he needs to get the ball in a much-improved Spiller’s hands on a more consistent basis. Ryan Fitzpatrick went a step further, noting that the “story of the day” was the obvious need to get Spiller more touches going forward. “I think everybody knows that and we’ve got to find ways to do that,” added Fitzpatrick.
If the Bills do find a way to put the ball in Spiller’s hands more frequently, this could be the last week to pilfer a potential RB1 from an owner who doesn’t quite understand the keg of dynamite sitting on his roster.
Week 10 Quarterbacks
QB Notes: With Aaron Hernandez returning to practice, Tom Brady has all of his key weapons healthy and starting for the first time all season. … After Julio Jones and Roddy White each topped 100 yards in a game for the first time this season, Matt Ryan heads to the Big Easy to face a Saints defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.
More from the Peyton Manning for MVP file: His adjusted accuracy percentage of 81.8 and deep-ball accuracy (55.9 percent) are the highest figures in the league. Since ESPN began tracking Total QBR in 2008, every QBR leader has won the MVP. Manning leads in that category this season. He’s been sacked just twice in the past five games. In fact, only his brother Eli has been sacked at a lower rate this season. It must have been a challenge to wrest the TV remote from Archie’s hands in the Manning household.
Every once in awhile statistics mesh with conventional wisdom. For example, Ben Roethlisberger is completing a league leading 62.5% of passes under pressure this season. … Breakout alert: Matthew Stafford has ironed out his mechanical flaws in his best two-game stretch of the season. Although he’s averaged just one touchdown per game, the Lions still boast the league’s No. 2 offense.
Andrew Luck’s Week 9 performance against the NFL’s most dominant third-down defense was arguably the best we’ve seen from a quarterback this season. What’s the secret to his success? He’s essentially been a young Peyton Manning before the snap and a young Ben Roethlisberger after the snap. It’s not just the escapability that is reminiscent of Big Ben. No quarterback in the league is taking more shots downfield, as Luck trusts his arm in tight windows and on shot throws. From the whimsical stat department: Luck needs just 141 yards Thursday night to bypass his dad’s 2,544 in four seasons with the Houston Oilers.
Is Josh Freeman leading a fantasy football juggernaut in Tampa? For the first time in franchise history, the Bucs have scored more than 28 points in four consecutive games. Freeman leads all quarterbacks in fantasy points over the past three weeks, and only Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck, and Peyton Manning have more over the past five.
You think defensive guru John Fox will have his troops fired up in his return to Charlotte? I do too. Cam Newton is playing better than the public perception, but his mechanics are still off-kilter. … Romo should have plenty of time to throw against an Eagles defense that no longer rushes the passer. … Eli Manning hasn’t been throwing accurately or smartly in three of the past four games under 200 yards. Hakeem Nicks and Martellus Bennett have been ineffective while playing through injuries, allowing defenses to get extra physical with lone playmaker Victor Cruz.
Philip Rivers’ Week 10 opponent boasts the NFL’s best run defense but worst pass defense. … Vick can no longer be trusted. He’s shown no awareness at the line adjusting to blitzes, and the offensive line is down to one healthy starter. Vick was sacked a season-high seven times Monday night by a Saints defense that had just 13 sacks through the first seven games. Pro Football Focus ranks Dallas No. 4 in pass rushing this season. … Carson Palmer is on pace to join Drew Brees (2008) and Philip Rivers (2010) as the only quarterbacks with 4,500 passing yards and no 1,000-yard receiver.
To no one’s surprise, Jake Locker’s shoulder is fully healthy just days after Matt Hasselbeck’s offense imploded against the Bears. Barring a setback, Locker will get the nod at Miami. … Excluding the Thursday night bout in San Francisco, Russell Wilson is averaging 19-of-29 (65.5 percent) for 234 yards (8.1 YPA) and 2.7 touchdowns over the past three games. … Schaub can’t be trusted in Chicago against the Monsters of the Midway. … Cassel, the NFL’s turnover king, is facing a defense that has held Andy Dalton, Robert Griffin III, and Eli Manning to an average of 129 yards the past three weeks.