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32 Teams in 32 Days: Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills enter their 3rd season under head coach Sean McDermott. The McDermott era will forever be remembered for breaking the 17-year playoff drought as the Bills made the playoffs for the first time since 1999 in the first year under McDermott in 2017. Unfortunately for Sean McDermott and Bills fans the NFL is a very “what have you done for me lately” league. Although McDermott was able to get in the playoffs in 2017 his 15-17 record as a head coach leaves a lot to be desired. Since the arrival of both Sean McDermott and GM Brandon Beane from Carolina, it appears they have tried to copy the blueprint that has made the Panthers successful enough to have a Super Bowl run a few years back. Rebuilding takes time and most knowledgeable football fans understand that but entering year three it’s now time to start seeing the actual results. The Carolina Panthers have been wildly successful since they drafted both Luke Kuechly and Cam Newton, Buffalo has attempted to do the same after acquiring both Tremaine Edmunds and Josh Allen in last year’s NFL draft. The Buffalo offense has been the equivalent of a graveyard for dynasty fantasy football production for years now and that hasn’t changed much despite the coaching changes over the past few seasons. The Bills finished 30th or worse in every major offensive category last year besides rushing yards where they finished 9th in 2018. The Bills finished dead last in the NFL in receptions and receiving touchdowns in 2018 although they are one of the most run-heavy offenses in the NFL their 15 rushing touchdowns in 2018 was only good for 11th in the NFL. There are plenty of reasons to be down on the Buffalo offense given the lack of production in recent years but regardless there is something to be excited about going into 2019.

  • Studs

Josh Allen – This felt like a bit of a reach to put Allen here as he still has so much to prove as a passer, but he is the most trustable Bills offensive player in terms of fantasy points. Josh Allen is currently going as the QB16 in the most recent ADP available for super flex leagues. So, let’s not kid ourselves here Josh Allen was shockingly bad as a passer in his rookie season finishing 30th or worse in five different completion percentage stat categories. The upside with Allen is his ability as a runner as we saw to close out the 2018 season. When Allen returned from his elbow injury, he really turned it on in weeks 12 through week 17 he averaged over 25+ fantasy points per game mainly doing this with his legs. Allen even broke the NFL record set by Michael Vick for most rushing yards by a QB in their first seven starts. It’s extremely unlikely Allen can continue to just run all over the field to punish defenses so he will absolutely have to become a better passer this off-season. The Bills made it their mission to improve the WR core for Allen bringing in free agents John Brown and Cole Beasley who can bring veteran presence and consistency to the passing game. The majority of Allen’s misses on easy throws are directly related to his footwork something I’ve been critical of Cam Newton for since he came into the league. There have been comparisons drawn of the two quarterbacks and their similar styles and while I think Cam is the much better passer at this point in his game there’s no reason that Allen can’t get there. The upside alone is the reason many are sold on Josh Allen as their dynasty QB he certainly can put up numbers in this offense. The addition of pass catchers both out wide and in the backfield should give Allen a great chance to set his feet and deliver those medium throws to get easy first downs and keep drives going in 2019. We all know the rocket arm Josh Allen has but until he can make a tight window throw on 3rd and 7 he won’t truly become a dual threat QB. If there’s any stud on the Bills offense it would have to be Josh Allen and I look forward to seeing him potentially growing as a passer as well as continue to threaten defenses with his rushing ability.

Jordan Poyer – There’s no secret the Bills have hung their hat on the defensive side of the ball for years so it makes sense that two of the three studs would be on the defensive side of the football. There is almost nothing bad to say about Jordan Poyer as an IDP star for the Bills. Since joining the Bills in 2017, Poyer has had 195 tackles, 4 sacks, 9 interceptions, and a defensive touchdown. The production from Poyer in the secondary has been good enough for him to finish as DB3 in 2017 and DB4 in 2018. Unfortunately, DBs don’t get the attention in IDP leagues that LBs or DEs receive but they are just as valuable. Consistency has and always will be a key factor when searching for IDP producers in drafts and you have to look no further than Poyer he still isn’t being drafted in the top 12 DBs but has finished inside the top five in back to back seasons.

Tremaine Edmunds – Easily my favorite player on the Bills roster currently the 21-year-old LB entering his second season in the NFL. Edmunds played his rookie season as a 20-year-old combining for 121 tackles, 2 sacks, and 2 interceptions. The standout rookie LB finished as LB11 last season and as a Bills fan, the sky is the limit for him. When you’re looking for LBs in IDP leagues the desire is to have a three-down backer and Edmunds gives you that in spades. Edmunds coverage skills keep him on the field on third downs and his play making ability make him a future IDP stud in the middle of the Bills defense. The Bills added Ed Oliver in the draft this can only help Edmunds rack up more tackles and prove him to be a stud at only 21 years old he can join a long line of producers at LB for Buffalo.

  • Duds

John Brown – It’s truly difficult to call anyone a “Dud” in this Bills offense especially given the ADP of their skill position players. John Brown joins the Bills on a short-term deal after spending one season in Baltimore. Brown’s current ADP is WR70 which is effectively a lottery ticket for your dynasty team so it’s hard to call him an underperformer. From the stance of someone being left out in the passing offense, I think Brown could have the potential to be that guy. As much as I like John Brown’s game the numbers have just never been there, he has only caught 65 passes once in a season and has yet to finish a season with more than 5 touchdowns. Combine the average production with his injury history it’s very likely Brown could be a free agent miss for the Bills. The biggest threat Brown offers is his deep ball ability a role that Robert Foster played last year and did quite well with during the big weeks Allen had at the end of the season. The price it costs to acquire John Brown is fully worth the gamble but the fact that the Bills offense is one of the worst passing attacks in the league it really kills any excitement for fantasy production going forward.

Shady McCoy – One of the most exciting players in dynasty fantasy football over his career, LeSean McCoy enters his age 30 season. McCoy is simply not worth the risk on many levels in 2019, he finished his 2018 campaign surprisingly playing 14 of 16 games and still having an awful season. Shady finished as the PPR RB39 in 2018 averaging a mediocre 9.1 fantasy points per game. The 2018 numbers are a huge sign to the end of a career for one of the game’s most consistent RBs in fantasy football, Shady hit career lows in yards and YPC while also having only three runs of 20+ yards the lowest number since his rookie season. The contract situation as well as the Bills adding free agent Frank Gore, T.J Yeldon and drafting rookie Devin Singeltary all but seals McCoy’s fate of not being a Buffalo Bill beyond the 2019 season. The injuries, as well as the monster dip in production, has Shady as an avoid player for me while the cost is relatively cheap (RB54) the risk is simply not worth whatever the reward could be.

  • Breakouts

Robert Foster – One of the hardest things to figure out for dynasty players has been the Bills WR core and who will be the breakout guys. As I mentioned before Foster was a huge reason Josh Allen saw value as a passer from weeks 12-17 finishing as the WR19 during that span averaging 16.2 fantasy points per game in PPR leagues. Robert Foster posted a 61.4% catch rate in his rookie season catching 27 of 44 targets he saw. It appeared that Foster saw the majority of his targets down the field as you can see by his 20 yards per reception, entering his second season it’s likely given a full off-season with Allen in camp he has a chance to develop into a more complete WR. If you’re a believer in the Bills offense improving in the passing game, there is no better case for a breakout than Robert Foster. The current ADP of WR66 is basically stealing for Foster I believe he has a great chance to gain serious value throughout the 2019 season.

Zay Jones – I’ve been a self-proclaimed Zay Jones truther before he was even drafted. Zay Jones is the all-time receptions leader in Division I with 399 receptions at ECU. Zay Jones enters his third season with the Bills his mini-breakout of 56/652/7 in 2018 gives me hope he can still be a producer for my dynasty teams. Zay Jones is the WR on the Bills depth chart that I feel has the chance to be the most complete going forward and he is still only 24. In that same span that Robert foster finished as Wr19 during weeks, 12-17 jones finished as the WR24. It’s fairly accurate to say that the Bills haven’t had two WRs finish that high for any stretch of a season in the past five years. Zay Jones current ADP is WR77 he is entering the make or break point of his career but at his cost and his recent boost in production he’s fully worth taking a chance on in dynasty leagues hoping he can boost his value over the next year or two.

Devin Singeltary – This felt uncomfortable for me because I was very against this pick in the draft. Singeltary had an extremely productive college career at Florida Atlantic with over 4,000 rushing yards and 67 touchdowns. The Devin Singeltary pick confused me because of the depth at RB added in free agency with Frank Gore and T.J. Yeldon as well as the refusal to trade Shady McCoy in any of the last two seasons despite getting good offers for him. Singeltary has the highest ADP of any RB on the Bills at RB40 as much as I don’t agree the Bills did finish in the top third of the league in rushing attempts if they stay true to their offensive philosophy there should be opportunities for Singeltary in 2019. I wouldn’t pay the current price for Singletary because I feel it’s extremely likely the Bills are picking early again in the 2020 draft and with the difference makers at RB in that draft, they can easily upgrade the position. If you do own a share of Singeltary in 2019 I would be looking to sell if he starts to have a few big games in hopes you can improve your team for the future.

  • Stashes

David Sills – I don’t quite believe in the West Virginia WRs as much as most of my colleagues around the dynasty community but it’ hard to argue a stash player who had the college production that David Sills had. Sills switched from QB to WR in college and in his last two seasons had 125 receptions, over 1900 yards, and 33 touchdowns. The Bills WR core has a lot of names but Sills can be a waiver wire add you can possibly stash on your taxi squad who may have a chance to see some playing time in year two or three.

Tyree Jackson – I didn’t expect Tyree Jackson to go undrafted but him landing with the Bills is a great opportunity for him. Tyree Jackson playing at the University of Buffalo last year tossed 28 touchdowns and 12 interceptions last year. Jackson is very raw in his mechanics and footwork but being the backup to Josh Allen is a good thing for him and the Bills. It’s fair to say that Jackson and Allen aren’t vastly different as players coming from college and they both struggle with NFL throws and could really push each other in practice if Jackson makes the active roster. If you own Allen in a super flex league, I would gamble on Tyree Jackson in the very late rounds over veteran QB Matt Barkley.

  • Bonus Coverage

Dawson Knox – Dawson Knox comes into a depleted TE depth chart in Buffalo after a lackluster career at Ole Miss. Knox had 39 receptions, 605 yards and zero touchdowns in his career. The Ole Miss offense was so loaded at WR last year it makes sense that Knox didn’t see the opportunities in the passing game. An early injury to Tyler Kroft already has Knox seeing first-team reps in training camp if he ends up developing chemistry with Josh Allen it’s possible, he can breakout quicker than most expect him too.

Matt Milano – Milano is the Robin to Tremaine Edmunds Batman. Milano fractured and dislocated his ankle at the end of the 2018 season but according to all reports he has already been seen running and cutting at minicamp. Milano has 127 tackles and 4 interceptions in his first two years. He’s an IDP value LB who constantly produces alongside Edmunds. Milano should see a value drop after his injury last season but can surely help any team that needs LB depth the goal of the Bills much like the Panthers is to have two solid every down LBs like Kuechly and Thomas Davis for years. It’s likely the Bills feel very confident they have that in the Milano and Edmunds combo.

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