On Sunday, Chiefs head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder said Ware sustained a torn posterior cruciate ligament and damaged the posterior lateral corner of his right knee, which likely will require surgery.
“He damaged those and at this point in time, our medical staff believes that he needs season-ending surgery to correct that problem,” Burkholder said. “But like with all these significant injuries, we’ll exhaust all of our options and look at second opinions and then do what’s best for Spencer’s knee and his career.”
Despite the sliver of optimism Burkholder left regarding Ware’s chances of returning — he will have second opinions — Ware will miss several games. That means the starter for now is third-round rookie Kareem Hunt, coach Andy Reid said.
“I think we’re going to be OK there,” Reid said. “Now, are we going to replace Spence? No. I mean, he’s a good football player. But the young kid (Kareem Hunt), he’ll step in and he’ll do a nice job for us.”
As the story mentions, there's a "sliver of optimism" but owners can confidently draft Kareem Hunt as the Chiefs' starter. The team gave Hunt an extended look with the starters against the Bengals, and he looked the part. Charcandrick West and C.J. Spiller will get some snaps, but all indications are that it's Hunt's job to lose. He can be drafted comfortably in the 4th round of 12-team drafts and more aggressive owners can target him in the 3rd round, where there's a swoon in reliable talent at running back and receiver. Remember, in 17 games where Ware saw at least 10 carries – 13 of those games occurred in 2016 – he averaged 17.9 touches for 99 yards and 0.59 touchdowns, or 15.5 fantasy points per game in PPR formats. Those numbers would have extrapolated to No. 8 running back numbers in 2016. This is the sort of upside that Hunt has as the lead back.
NO RB C.J. Spiller - 2016 Fantasy Football Outlook
The Saints signed C.J. Spiller to a four-year, $16 million contract before the 2015 season. He disappointed in his first year with the team, rushing just 36 times for 112 yards and no touchdowns. He did catch 34 passes for 239 yards and two touchdowns, but that wasn't anywhere close to the production that owners in PPR leagues were expecting. The Saints gave him $9 million in guaranteed money a year ago so perhaps they won't be quick to release him this preseason. If he can work his way back up the team's depth chart, there's still time for him to carve out a role in the Saints' passing game.
Spiller was listed with the fourth-team offense on the Saints' unofficial depth chart in mid-August. He's not even guaranteed a roster spot with Mark Ingram, Tim Hightower and Marcus Murphy listed ahead of him on the team's depth chart. After proving to be a fantasy and free-agent bust last season, Spiller doesn't appear any closer to a revival in New Orleans.
2016 Bottom Line
The back to own as a handcuff to Ingram is Hightower, not Spiller. Stuck behind three other backs on the Saints' depth chart, Spiller isn't a lock to make the 53-man roster in New Orleans this pre-season. He ranks as our RB51 in PPR formats and holds an ADP of 22.10 in 12-team leagues. It's best to avoid him on draft night.