Fantasy Football Preview: Buffalo Bills
The Bills may still be looking up from the bottom of the division, but they’re far from the doormat we’ve come to know in the past. Yes, they backed into the playoffs two years ago with Tyrod Taylor, but we all remember how ugly that playoff ousting was, and if you forgot then congratulations! Josh Allen may have been a better fantasy QB than an actual one toward the end of last year, but he’s a dynamic, raw talent whose ability to make big plays has brought some much-needed buzz to Buffalo. Not to mention, the defense keeps adding solid pieces.
Buffalo Bills Fantasy Preview
KEY LOSSES: Kelvin Benjamin WR, Charles Clay TE, Shaq Lawson DE (possible), Kyle Williams DT (retired)
Impact: Kelvin Benjamin and Charles Clay were non-factors, while Lawson has been a bust. The Bills did not pick up Lawson’s 5th year option, which could lead to a decision for the two to part ways before the season starts.
KEY ADDITIONS: Cole Beasley WR, John Brown, WR, Mitch Morse C, Ty Nsehke RT, T.J. Yeldon RB, Tyler Kroft TE, Frank Gore RB, Andre Roberts KR
Impact: The Bills remade their receiving corps this off-season. Cole Beasley will give young Josh Allen a nice safety blanket out of the slot and will be the favorite to lead the Bills in receptions in 2019. John Brown will serve as the deep threat compliment. There will likely be some quiet weeks from Brown, as Josh Allen continues to find his way. However, he could once again be in line for a few big days as well, making him an intriguing match-up play or DFS selection. Frank Gore and T.J. Yeldon join LeSean McCoy in this bulging backfield. Yeldon had some really strong moments as a PPR back last year filling in the first string role for the Jags. I’m not much for handcuffing backs, but Yeldon might be a cagey bench add late in drafts. Morse and Kroft had had some injury issues, but both will help in terms of pass protecting as long as they’re on the field as will Nsekhe.
DRAFTED PLAYERS OF FANTASY NOTE: Ed Oliver DT, Devin Singletary RB,
Impact: What Ed Oliver may lack in size, he makes up for with intensity. We’ll see how the switch to the 3-technique takes hold this preseason. The backfield is crowded at the moment, but Devin Singletary gives the Bills some leverage to either trade or release McCoy before the season if they choose to go look ahead faster. Ironically, Singletary drew McCoy comparisons out of college. He doesn’t have breakaway speed, but he breaks and shakes tackles well enough to have some upside. Whether or not he learns under McCoy, or just flat out takes over his role, is yet to be seen.
OFFENSIVE OUTLOOK: From Nov 25th on, Josh Allen averaged 23 fantasy points per game. Yes, he never threw for more than 231 yards in any one of those contests, but he did rush for 90-plus yards in four of them. Now clearly, a balance has to be found and the upgrades at WR and the added depth to the backfield should indeed help Allen feel less of a burden in 2019. However, he’s still going to run more than most QBs. That’s always been his style. The backfield situation may be fluid all summer and even into the season. Dynasty league owners should favor Devin Singletary, while redraft owners may want to fade McCoy and take a late flier on Yeldon on the cheap. Beasley and Yeldon may help Allen’s accuracy shortcomings with their skill set.
DEFENSIVE OUTLOOK: The defense will likely rank in the middle of the pack, making them a streaming option most weeks. Pass rush isn’t their forte, but the secondary unit starring Jordan Poyer, Tre’Davious White, and Micah Hyde are a formidable group. They’ll be IDP tackle monsters once again in ’19. Tremaine Edmunds will continue to be a force and Matt Milano is an excellent compliment to him in the linebacker corps. If the front line can get any pass rush going, they could make a run at the top 10.
2019 OUTLOOK: After spinning their wheels for a decade, the Bills finally seem to finally be headed in the right direction. They have the long term offensive talent to make a run in the next 3 years and a defense that’s physical and should have less pressure on them this season. The Bills aren’t ready for prime time, but they’re on the upswing.
Joe has just gotten started, but he’s making his way through all 32 NFL Team Previews.
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