Is Isaiah Spiller Worth The Gamble In Dynasty Fantasy Leagues?
Let me just share some of my own personal frustration before we get to the meat and potatoes of this post. I picked Isaiah Spiller in the second round of our rookie draft two years ago. I watched this guy become arguably the best running back in college football only to see him plummet on draft and end up as the back up to Austin Ekeler. Frustrating!
Of course, none of that stuff matters now. This is the reality of the situation. Spiller could very well be the best running back in the 2022 NFL Draft when it’s all said and done. Having said that, it now feels very possible that Spiller turns into a fine player but nothing more than a rotational back that never becomes the guy. Long term fantasy owners will have to ask themselves if Spiller is worth the risk?
The Spiller conundrum is truly a tricky one for fantasy owners to figure out. Is Spiller’s talent enough to emerge from this crowded running back room? That’s the real question! Can Spiller be a true compliment to Ekeler in the way Melvin Gordon was or are we looking at another Joshua Kelley situation? Hell or Larry Rountree. Whoever you want to use.
Let’s not forget, the Chargers have actually invested a lot of draft capital in back up running backs. Maybe they’re acknowledging they have missed on Kelley and Rountree. There is always a chance Justin Jackson returns too who was more than serviceable. The point is, there is no guarantee Spiller earns a role on the team even as a rookie.
If things go well, we could really be looking at a gold mine. It’s not exactly a secret that running backs seem to age faster than any other position in the NFL. Ekeler isn’t exactly a spring chicken and the Chargers would probably prefer that his touches are managed anyway given what he does in the passing game. Last year was the first year Ekeler was given over 200 carries in a season. LA probably doesn’t want him crossing that threshold anymore in a perfect world.
Keep in mind, this is probably a great landing spot down the road. The Chargers are really building something. I think we’re past the point of calling Justin Herbert the real deal. Herbert has more than arrived. They have a dude leading this offense.
Additionally, the Chargers invested a lot into the offensive line. Back to back years, LA has picked an offensive linemen in the first round (Rashawn Slater & Zion Johnson). Matt Feiler and Corey Linsley were both added in free agency a year ago. Hey, I even have faith Jamaree Salyer can turn into something. The Chargers have made a concerted effort to improve this unit and it can’t go unnoticed.
I’m in on Spiller the talent. I think the guy can more than play. At minimum, I can’t see how Spiller isn’t viewed as a top five running back from the 2022 NFL Draft when we look back on it years later. His vision and productivity in the SEC are really good signs projecting his NFL future.
The Isaiah Spiller situation is a tricky one to figure out. However, he feels like a much better gamble than someone like Dameon Pierce who may have a better current day opportunity but doesn’t have nearly the talent to back it up. I don’t blame any dynasty owner for passing on Spiller but he’s certainly worth the gamble down the road.