Fantasy owners of Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller should be taking a big sigh of relief today. After leaving his Week 3 contest early with what was feared to be a knee injury, Spiller is on track to play in Week 4.
This good news is due to the fact that it was an injury to his thigh and not his knee:
Bills RB CJ Spiller injured his thigh Sunday, not his knee; injury not considered serious and he is expected to play Sunday vs. Ravens.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 23, 2013
Mike Rodak of ESPN passed along this quote from Monday made by Bills coach Doug Marrone on Spiller: "We believe he'll be fine."
Rodak also offered up this quote from Spiller: "A little sore but shouldn't be anything that will keep me out this week. Should be feeling better day to day, but just taking it slow."
This new news only adds to the mystery of the injury. It wasn't clear when Spiller was hurt on Sunday, but he was ineffective all game.
Going against the Jets, Spiller had 10 carries for just nine yards. He had just one carry in the second half. That came with 14 minutes and 39 seconds remaining in the game, and he didn't touch the ball again.
So, while his status should be monitored, it seems safe to work under the assumption he will play this week when the Bills host the Baltimore Ravens.
That doesn't mean fantasy owners should blindly start Spiller.
Through the first two weeks, the Ravens were fourth in rushing yards allowed and seventh in yards allowed per rush. In Week 3, the Ravens held the Houston Texans to 94 rushing yards gained at 4.1 per carry.
The Bills have a strong enough running game that they still have the ability to run against the tough Ravens defense. However, I would be leery of Spiller getting fewer touches this week as he comes off his injury, and the Bills have the hot hand of Fred Jackson to turn to.
Last week, Jackson gained 72 yards on seven carries and added 37 yards on four catches.
So, given viable options in the backfield, I wouldn't start Spiller this week. However, don't hesitate to start Spiller without another solid option.