2015 Fantasy Football: Should You Own Mark Ingram and C.J. Spiller?

Remember when we all heard C.J. Spiller would be handed the ball until he threw up? Would you believe me if I told you Spiller would handle the ball more than Mark Ingram in 2015?

While the New Orleans Saints have obviously prepared the team for a more run-based approach, I still have a hard time accepting Ingram’s ADP value. According to FantasyFootballCalculator.com, Ingram is going off the boards in the middle of Round 3.

I’ve been involved in a few mock drafts with heavy runs on the running back position, and I’ve seen him selected at the end of Round 2. I’ve also witnessed him being selected in Round 2 just because the owner believes he is worth that price tag. With the Saints’ weapons in the passing attack greatly depleted, I do think Spiller is an important component of the new offense as a pass-catching back. Before 2014, Ingram only averaged eight receptions per season. If Drew Brees gets in trouble and doesn’t have Jimmy Graham to muscle his way through opposing defeneses, the veteran quarterback will need someone to dump the ball off to.

The Problem With Owning Mark Ingram

Even with missing a few games because of injuries, we finally saw what Ingram could do with 200+ carries. Despite only playing in 13 games, Ingram had four games in which he rushed for 100 yards or more. That means in 30% of the games he played, he ran for 100 yards or more.

While that is an impressive figure, I don’t want Fantasy players to forget about the frustrating Saints’ backfield of the past. I certainly have not forgotten about the commitee of Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles and Ingram. While not a pure replacement of Sproles because of his lack of pass catching, Khiry Robinson has quietly averaged 293 rushing yards in the past two seasons. That’s a big chunk of yards to miss out on, especially for a player like Ingram who gains most of his production from rushing the ball.

Even with a bigger focus on the rushing attack, I think it would be difficult for Ingram to finish with more than 200 carries.

The Problem With Owning C.J. Spiller

I think it makes sense that Spiller may conclude the 2015 season with more Fantasy points than Ingram because of his abilities as a dual-threat back. Having said that, this isn’t the first time Spiller has a bunch of hype behind him.

I alluded to the fact earlier that the former offensive coordinator for Buffalo once stated that he wanted to hand Spiller the ball until he threw up. What happened in that fateful 2013 season? Fantasy owners threw up over Spiller’s decreased fantasy production.

If you do look at his 2013 season, however, he still produced solid numbers. He finished with 1,112 total yards, and if he had totaled more than two touchdowns he would have been much more relevant. I think the key to owning Spiller is to tamper your expectations. Don’t expect a top-10 performance from the guy, but realize you have a back who can put up solid RB2 numbers.

The main problem with owning Spiller is that people will expect too much from him, and become disappointed when he doesn’t provide the type of results most people are expecting. He’s currently going off the boards in Round 5, and I don’t think that’s a bad spot. With the hype train, however, Spiller could easily climb into Round 4 of 2015 Fantasy Football drafts.

What to do with Ingram and Spiller

Unlike drafting Carlos Hyde in Round 3 and backing him up with Reggie Bush in Round 9, you really hurt yourself if you have to spend back-to-back picks on running backs from the same team. With a change in philosophy, I think this is definitely an offense where you would need to own Ingram and Spiller, but the price tag for each player is way too high.

I’m completley scared away from Ingram at this point. I would select Spiller in Round 5 with tampered expectations, but I wouldn’t touch him in Round 4.

Jack Delaney is the owner of Your Fantasy Football Coach. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook, and make sure to check out his new ebook The Zero RB Theory to start preparing for your 2015 Fantasy Football draft.

Categories: 2015 Fantasy Football Running Backs

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