Bills 2018 buffalo bills Fantasy Preview

Bills players offered minimal fantasy value last season outside of running back LeSean McCoy. Tyrod Taylor held it down at quarterback, minus the Nathan Peterman experiment in Week 11, which resulted in five interceptions before halftime. Taylor was a decent fantasy backup option, scoring the 16th-most points among quarterbacks. Over his three years in Buffalo, 2017 was Taylor's worst in terms of passing yards, passing touchdowns, rushing yards and rushing attempts. With Taylor's numbers down across the board, McCoy played the role of old reliable. He continued to be a solid, top 10 back despite a touchdown decrease. He finished with 1,138 rushing yards and six touchdowns, ranking him seventh in total fantasy points among backs. His 287 rushing attempts were second in the league behind Le’Veon Bell (321) and the highest in his three-year Buffalo stint. McCoy’s workload was due to a disastrous receiving situation. Sammy Watkins was shipped to the Los Angeles Rams right before the season and Jordan Matthews was acquired from Philadelphia on the same day. Matthews only caught 25 passes and the team later traded for another receiver, Kelvin Benjamin, at the trade deadline. Benjamin was the Bills’ best fantasy wideout at 46th overall in wide receiver points, which is, well, not great.



WR - Bills

FACT: Jones had the most targets (74) of any Bills wideout last season, but had just 27 receptions for 316 yards. His 36.5 catch percentage was the worst on the team and 210th of 212 qualified NFL players.
Offseason Moves

Outside of the running back spot, Buffalo turned over the roster in the offseason. The Bills drafted quarterback Josh Allen with the seventh pick and signed former Cincy backup A.J. McCarron to a two-year deal. The quarterback battle will be the story of the summer in Buffalo, as Allen, McCarron and Peterman all have a shot to earn the starting job. Three of the Bills' top eight fantasy scorers have departed, as Taylor (second) is in Cleveland and receivers Deonte Thompson (fifth) and Jordan Matthews (eighth) are in Dallas and New England, respectively. Significant changes to the offensive line, including starters Richie Incognito and Eric Wood being replaced by John Miller and Russell Bodine, could affect McCoy’s value. A shaky offensive line and receiving corps to go along with uncertainty at QB leaves the Bills in limbo. It’s tough to trust anyone on this roster, including McCoy.

Sleepers & Busts

Zay Jones’ rookie year was largely a disappointment. But with a weak receiving group around him, Jones could emerge as a threat. Between Weeks 9 through 12 last season, Jones had 13 catches for 154 yards and two touchdowns in three games. Solid numbers, but a small sample size. Most importantly, his catch percentage over that span was 54.2, a huge increase from his season average (36.5 percent). In those three games, the Bills went 1-2 and were outscored by a combined 37 points. The Bills will likely be behind in a lot of games this season, and that will force them to throw the ball more frequently, as they did in the games where Jones had his best performances. Jones could be a sleeper candidate if the Bills find some consistency at quarterback, but that might be too much to ask.

LeSean McCoy has been a top fantasy running back since his days in Philadelphia, but he just celebrated his 30th birthday, which should make fantasy owners wary of his reliability. According to Pro Football Reference, running backs going into their age-30 season improve their fantasy points the following year just 39 percent of the time. Regression is expected at this stage of a running back’s career. In his age 29 season, McCoy averaged just 4.0 yards per carry, the lowest of his nine-year career. McCoy has bust potential with a weakened O-line, inexperienced quarterbacks and the age factor. Be cautious when considering him, especially early in drafts.

Fantasy Depth Chart
QB A.J. McCarron Josh Allen Nathan Peterman
RB LeSean McCoy Chris Ivory Travaris Cadet
WR Kelvin Benjamin Zay Jones Andre Holmes Jeremy Kerley
TE Charles Clay Nick O’Leary
K Steven Hauschka