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Fantasy Forecast: 2021 Buffalo Bills

The Bills offense is one of the highest scoring in the league – who are the players to own for fantasy football?

When thinking about the Buffalo Bills, having one of the top-scoring offenses in the league is something that usually doesn’t come to mind. Having a stifling defense, a hearty offense predicated on pounding the rock on a field covered with snow, these are things that come to mind. 

The Bills offense scored 31.3 points a game last season, good for second-most in the league. And it was behind the passing offense and their breakout quarterback, Josh Allen. The passing offense was third in most yardage and third in TDs, and Allen vaulted himself into the top three QBs in the league stratosphere.

And there is no reason to expect any less in 2021. Allen is back, Stefon Diggs is back, and a supporting cast which is vastly better for the NFL than for fantasy – although there are a few guys who could add solid depth to your fantasy teams. 

QUARTERBACKS

JOSH ALLEN 

Courtesy of KOL Paper

I was many of the detractors of Allen when he left Wyoming to test the greener stadium grass in the NFL. I thought the big arm was reckless and he took too many chances. When he took off and ran, I thought, “That ain’t gonna fly in the N-F-L!” And man, I was wrong and I love it. 

Passing Table
Year Age G GS QBrec Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD TD% Int Int% 1D Lng Y/A AY/A Y/C Y/G Rate QBR Sk Yds NY/A ANY/A Sk% 4QC GWD AV
20182212115-6-016932052.82074103.1123.889756.55.412.3172.867.949.8282135.354.378.0236
201923161610-6-027146158.83089204.392.0146536.76.711.4193.185.349.4382375.725.717.64511
2020*24161613-3-039657269.24544376.5101.7228557.98.511.5284.0107.281.7261597.337.824.32320
CareCare444328-15-0836135361.89707675.0312.3463757.27.111.6220.690.4926096.306.266.481137

Oh yeah, all that above and I forgot, he rushed a bunch too!

Advanced Rushing & Receiving Table
GameGame RushRushRushRushRushRushRushRushRush
Year Age Tm G GS Rush Yds 1D YBC YBC/Att YAC YAC/Att BrkTkl Att/Br
201822BUF121189631413513.92803.1244.5
201923BUF1616109510422672.42432.2521.8
2020*24BUF1616102421382872.81341.3425.5

Allen is one of the best QBs in the league and he is the franchise QB the Bills have searched for since Jim Kelly hung it up. He wins games for the team with a solid supporting cast, imagine if the run game became more consistent. Allen is getting better as a passer and takes far fewer risks, but he still has the gunslinger in him. 

As the saying goes, you live by the gun, you die by the gun. And this Bills team has the potential to win it all with Allen at the helm. The end of their playoff road for the 2020 season wasn’t a pretty game and showed that the young QB still has room to grow. Not a bad game by any means though. 

Allen is a huge buy for me if anyone is doubting his ability to reproduce what he has done. He is being ranked as the QB3, overall number four in Superflex rankings. So you probably won’t be able to get much of a discount. 

Projection: 4,310 yards, 35 TDs, 8 INTs, 415 yards, 7 rushing TDs

THE REST OF THE QUARTERBACKS

Mitchell Trubisky was signed this offseason to back up Allen and is one of the better backups in the league. Trubisky is a good QB to stash, due to his experience and Allen’s propensity to run makes him slightly more susceptible to injury. Jake Fromm is third on the depth chart and a project QB – only rosterable in deep leagues. 

RUNNING BACKS

DEVIN SINGLETARY

Singletary started all 16 games for the Bills and is the projected starter again in 2021. He’s a solid back but has not quite lived up to what he was drafted to be. The Bills took him in the third round in 2019 and the backfield situation cleared, Singletary had the chance to be “The Man.”

Rushing & Receiving Table
GameGame RushRushRushRushRushRushRushRush ReceReceReceReceReceReceReceReceReceReceRece TotaTotaTota
Year G GS Rush Yds TD 1D Lng Y/A Y/G A/G Tgt Rec Yds Y/R TD 1D Lng R/G Y/G Ctch% Y/Tgt Touch Y/Tch YScm RRTD Fmb AV
2019128151775237385.164.612.641291946.725492.416.270.7%4.71805.4969446
20201616156687240514.442.99.850382697.108342.416.876.0%5.41944.9956218
Care28243071462477514.852.211.091674636.9213492.416.573.6%3745.119256514

He has good vision and quick feet but lacks burst and breakaway speed. Singletary only had two rushing scores each of his first two seasons, with 150 carries. The next man on the list is the hammer and short-yardage back. 

The work in the pass-catching role makes Singletary a startable running back in fantasy, although you would not want him as your RB1. If he is your RB2 or even better RB3, you are in good shape. Singletary is a good depth piece and has a secure role in a proficient offense. 

Projection: 815 yards, 4 TDs rushing, 44 catches for 295 yards, and 3 TDs receiving

ZACK MOSS

Courtesy of AP Photo/Adrian Kraus

Taken in the third round of the 2020 draft, Moss is more of a straight-line runner, a guy who makes one cut and then goes. He has good vision and is a finisher, loves to level a defender at the end of his runs. 

Rushing & Receiving Table
GameGame RushRushRushRushRushRushRushRush ReceReceReceReceReceReceReceReceReceReceRece TotaTotaTota
Year Age G GS Rush Yds TD 1D Lng Y/A Y/G A/G Tgt Rec Yds Y/R TD 1D Lng R/G Y/G Ctch% Y/Tgt Touch Y/Tch YScm RRTD Fmb AV
202023130112481430314.337.08.61814956.815201.17.377.8%5.31264.6576505
CareCare13112481430314.337.08.61814956.815201.17.377.8%1264.6576505

Moss is a perfect compliment to Singletary, not quite a thunder and lightning situation but similar. Moss can get tough yards and is also an adept pass-catcher. He’s a player who can be relied on if Singletary were to be injured, and the Bills offense wouldn’t miss a beat. 

For fantasy purposes, Moss is a spot start and bye week fill-in. He is capable of having a 10-15 point week every week and won’t throw up a total zero. But not reliable enough to start, at least not yet. 

Projection: 505 yards, 6 TDs rushing, 22 catches for 125 yards, and 2 TDs receiving

THE REST OF THE RUNNING BACKS

Matt Breida was signed in the offseason and will be one of the best depth backs in the league if he can stay healthy. Breida fits the Bills scheme and has a good all-around skill set to fill in if needed. And definitely worth a stash in deeper leagues. 

WIDE RECEIVERS

STEFON DIGGS

Courtesy of AP/ Photo Jeffrey T. Barnes

Diggs was traded from Minnesota to Buffalo before the 2020 season, and I was one of many skeptical about his landing spot. But he landed on a team in dire need of a number one receiver and Diggs bonded perfectly with Allen. 

Receiving & Rushing Table
GameGame ReceReceReceReceReceReceReceReceReceReceRece RushRushRushRushRushRushRush TotaTotaTota
Year Age Tm G GS Tgt Rec Yds Y/R TD 1D Lng R/G Y/G Ctch% Y/Tgt Rush Yds 1D Lng Y/A Y/G A/G Touch Y/Tch YScm RRTD Fmb AV
201522MIN139845272013.8430404.055.461.9%8.63131104.31.00.25513.3733428
201623MIN13111128490310.8348466.569.575.0%8.13101123.30.80.28710.5913307
201724MIN1414956484913.3842594.660.667.4%8.9813191.60.90.67212.0862809
201825MIN1514149102102110.0949756.868.168.5%6.910623206.24.10.71129.71083908
201926MIN15159463113017.9641664.275.367.0%12.056132712.24.10.36817.511916413
2020*+27BUF1615166127153512.1873557.995.976.5%9.211011.00.10.112812.015368016
CareCare8678700492615812.538283755.771.670.3%8.8301609275.31.90.352212.1631838661
5 yr5 yrMIN7063534365462312.730210755.266.068.4%8.7291599275.52.30.439412.1478230645
1 yr1 yrBUF1615166127153512.1873557.995.976.5%9.211011.00.10.112812.015368016

All Diggs did in 2020 was lead the NFL in receptions and receiving yardage. He played in all 16 games for the first time in his career and had over 90 receiving yards in 10 games. He was a must-start and rewarded fantasy owners huge down the stretch. If you started him in your Week 16 title games, he rewarded you with 145 yards and three TDs. And you most likely won a shiny belt or trophy. 

I expect a little bit of a regression in 2021 but Diggs will still be a WR1. He turns 28 in November and there is no reason to think he will slow down at all for at least a few more seasons. The Nerds team has him ranked as the WR6 and he is a player I want on all my fantasy teams. 

Projection: 113 receptions for 1,339 yards and 7 touchdowns 

GABRIEL DAVIS

Our own Noah Ulferts wrote this article recently regarding Davis emerging as the WR2 in Buffalo and I couldn’t agree with him more. Seven touchdowns as a rookie is incredibly impressive. 

I loved watching Davis in college, he was very smooth and strong in contested catch situations. He excelled using his body to box out defenders and ran good, clean routes. Davis wasn’t overwhelming but looked like he could be a good complementary receiver to a WR1, like Diggs.

Davis’ game logs show inconsistency, one good game followed by several in which he did absolutely nothing. He was a rookie and learning the NFL after playing in a UCF offense much different than an NFL one. I will chalk it up to growing pains and I am excited for 2021 and more consistency. Davis is a strong buy for me and he is on track for a second-year breakout. 

Projection: 55 catches for 725 yards and 9 TDs

THE REST OF THE WIDE RECEIVERS

Cole Beasley enters his 23rd season in the NFL, it feels like at least, and is one of the most reliable slot targets in the league. He is 32 years old but someone I love having as a WR4 on my teams. Another season like 2020, when he had 82 grabs for 967 yards and four TDs, is not out of question. Beasley is as reliable as they come and a great bye week/injury fill-in.

Emmanuel Sanders was added in the offseason and will fill in outside and in the slot when needed. He’s now 34 years old and still has a little in the tank but no more than a desperation start if needed. Sanders gives the team much-needed depth.   

TIGHT ENDS

DAWSON KNOX

Courtesy of Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Is this the year Knox breaks out or will he continue to be a TE2 and unstartable? I loved Knox coming out of Ole Miss but knew he was going to be a project. The athleticism was evident and he was taken in the third round, the Bills needed a TE as well. 

Receiving & Rushing Table
GameGame ReceReceReceReceReceReceReceReceReceReceRece RushRushRushRushRushRushRush TotaTotaTota
Year Age G GS Tgt Rec Yds Y/R TD 1D Lng R/G Y/G Ctch% Y/Tgt Rush Yds 1D Lng Y/A Y/G A/G Touch Y/Tch YScm RRTD Fmb AV
2019231511502838813.9215491.925.956.0%7.819199.00.60.12913.7397203
202024127442428812.0314362.024.054.5%6.52412.0288323
CareCare2718945267613.0529491.925.055.3%7.219199.00.30.05312.9685526

It’s tough to remember how raw he still is, Knox only played 17 games in college as a TE and is going into his third season in the NFL. He missed chunks of last season to injury and Covid, and still nearly matched his rookie production. Add in the emergence of Diggs and Davis, it’s easy to be encouraged about what Knox could do in 2021.

Knox is still a buy for me and I am grabbing him on as many teams as I can. He’s in a perfect situation to make the third-year leap and steal targets from Beasley and Sanders. Knox is a sneaky player to jump into the TE1 realm of production. 

Projection: 52 catches for 627 yards and 7 TDs

THE REST OF THE TIGHT ENDS

Tommy Sweeney and Jacob Hollister are next up on the depth chart and only rosterable in deep leagues. Both could fill in for Knox but are not going to be able to rely on if they do. 

CONCLUSION

The Bills offense is fun and can score with any team in the league but elite fantasy options are not abundant. Allen will challenge Mahomes for overall QB1 production and Diggs will be right there vying for overall WR1 as well.

Beyond that, I like Singletary and then Moss as RB3/4 type of players, and Davis is a player I would be happy with as my WR4/5 – with potential for more. Knox will take a step forward in 2021 and could become a low-end TE1. 


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