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  • Robert ‘the Raider’ Spillane will CRUSH his ADP

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    Nobody wants Robert Spillane for fantasy, but maybe you should after he signed on for a big opportunity in Las Vegas.


    Nobody wants Robert Spillane for fantasy, but maybe you should. He joined the Raiders on a two-year contract worth up to $9 million, juiced with incentives as the former Steeler finds his way to Las Vegas.

    Spillane enjoyed a strong end to 2022, called upon to start over Devin Bush for the last four weeks of the season. With 34 tackles and 2TFLs across his final four 100% snap starts, it's clear that Spillane has fantasy value.

    For anyone wondering, that’s a 17-game pace of 145 tackles and 9 TFLs. That’s a similar stat line to Cody Barton and Eric Kendricks last year. Spillane is currently going off the board well outside the top 60 linebackers in dynasty startups.

    Those snaps, however, are imperative. Spillane's value will be limited if he is restricted to 50-70% of snaps. But Spillane's own words bear noting when it comes to his potential workload. In his introductory press conference, he responded to a question about his fit in the scheme and what appealed to him when he decided to sign with the Raiders.

    "They told me I was going to come in and be given the opportunity to be a green dot and to play and to really be a leader of this team," Spillane said. "And I hope to come in and earn respect from not only my coaches but from my teammates as well.

    That's what's really important to me, come in here and earn respect. I don't expect anything to be given to me. I've earned my way in this league, and I continue to hope to do so."

    That's the undrafted spirit in Spillane, a hard-working player who worked his way from special teams to the starting unit. Coming out and saying he will get a chance to wear the green dot is a huge indicator of their expectations. The incentive-heavy contract he dons is equally indicative of the hopes Vegas has for him.

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    Who is competing with Spillane?

    If Spillane receives the green dot, he will not leave the field. Yet IDP fantasy drafters are leaving him for dead in drafts.

    There are reasons why this won't happen. Spillane was woeful in coverage in 2022, allowing almost 84% of his targets to be completed, in addition to a 109.2 passer rating when targeted. Putting that player who lacks elite range in coverage into an every-down role is a tough ask.

    But it's a weak linebacker room. Denzel Perryman is in Houston, Luke Masterson isn't special and injuries limited Divine Deablo to just eight games. On top of that, Deablo was arguably worse in coverage than Spillane.

    Deablo allowed the same completion percentage as Spillane but posted a horrific 123.6 passer rating when targeted. His fantasy production was welcome, but his value to the Raiders was not. The team would be wise to add a rookie, but it's unlikely to thrust one into an every-down green-dot role so early on.

    If Spillane retains the green dot for just half of the season, he still offers a tremendous return on investment. Perryman was similarly productive yet unreliable but provided fantasy production in this role.

    Spillane could have a highly productive start to the year at the minimum. And hell, he may be on your waiver wire.


    A shortened version of this article first came out in The IDPGuys Newsletter. It comes out every Wednesday morning straight to your inbox. Click here to sign up!

    Thank you for checking out this article! You can read Michael Sicoli’s content on their IDP Guys’ author pages. Be sure to follow him on Twitter at @Michael__Sicoli, and @IDPGuys (we have offense too). Please check out our website at idpguys.org!

    Michael Sicoli

    A dynasty enthusiast and fantasy football addict, there's not much more I'd prefer to write about. I'm a New Yorker at a Connecticut university -- Quinnipiac -- who's a firm believer that the NFL doesn't have an offseason.

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