Fantasy Future Rankings: Week 11

Will running back C.J. Spiller ever live up to his immense potential?

Updated: November 14, 2013, 8:11 AM ET
By Field Yates and numberFire | ESPN Insider

Spiller Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesC.J. Spiller has rushed for 501 yards and one touchdown on 110 carries this season for Buffalo.

Following a Week 9 outburst in which he totaled 155 yards on just 14 touches, it appeared as though Bills running back C.J. Spiller was ready to get back on track and become the running back many prognosticated him to be entering the 2013 season.

A near consensus as a first round pick in re-draft leagues, Spiller suffered through an early ankle injury that limited him to 24 carries during a three-game stretch.

But much of that earlier disappointment was forgotten as he weaved through and around the Chiefs defense with some of the vintage form that made him such an enticing prospect for fantasy owners over the summer.

For those who believe in momentum, Spiller was a trendy pick to continue his strong play in Week 10, especially against a porous Pittsburgh rushing attack that had been more than generous to opposing backs for much of this season.

Spiller's stat line (just 23 yards on eight carries) read much more like a player who was still dealing with an ankle injury rather than one who lacks the ability to average even three yards per carry in a game.

But head coach Doug Marrone insisted after the game that Spiller's ankle had nothing to do with his workload (11 touches in total), instead citing the game plan and how players were performing on the field.

It can be difficult to parse messages from coaching transcripts, but Marrone's words sent a message that is strong enough to examine in more depth. Essentially, Spiller was limited to just 33 offensive snaps in Week 10 because of his play, not his ankle.

What does that mean going forward? We don't know for sure, but when we once perceived that the only limitation on Spiller's production would be his ankle (his natural talent is still apparent), the consistency of his role independent of his health is now up for debate too.

Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.