FanTav 2017 Fantasy Rankings: #22 Bills

Although their passing game is shady, they do have “Shady”.

2016 Review: The Buffalo Bills didn’t have many fantasy relevant players in 2016, but they did have one of the best value picks and overall player in fantasy drafts. Coming off of an injury-riddled 2015, LeSean McCoy didn’t increase his draft stock in the offseason with a skirmish with Philly cops in a nightclub. On the field in 2016, McCoy was awesome though earning top three in fantasy points at RB and leading the team to the NFL best team average of 164.4 rushing yards per game. The passing game was another story though earning bottom tier results with an injured Sammy Watkins and hampered Tyrod Taylor.

2017 Changes: The Bills made significant changes in their front office by firing Mr. Foot Fetish, Rex Ryan, and GM Doug Whaley. They replaced them with former Carolina employees Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane. For the great majority of the offseason, the Bills didn’t make many changes on offense. Well at least for the better. The team couldn’t retain restricted free agent Mike Gillislee and elected not to exercise their rookie option on Watkins for next offseason. The team did keep Tyrod Taylor though despite lots of rumors suggesting they wouldn’t. (Editor’s Note: The team traded Sammy Watkins and acquired Jordan Matthews after this posting.)

2017 Outlook: With a new coaching staff, the outlook in Buffalo is a wait and see game. McCoy is rightfully back in the first round of fantasy drafts and with a defensive-minded first year head coach they will likely pound the rock more than just about any team in the league in 2017. The biggest X factor is can the passing game produce considering all three of their top WRs are new additions via trade, draft, and free agency? If Taylor can gel with these guys quickly then this could be a surprising team team to own in fantasy. History suggests it will take awhile for them to get on the same page though.

Fantasy Star You Can Trust: It’s getting to the point of being a lot of “tread on the tires”, but LeSean McCoy is one of only about four or five RBs I would be excited to own this season with a high draft pick. He’s perhaps the only RB in the league that has had 200 or more carries in his last 7 seasons and last season he took 230 plus carries for a rushing average of 5.4 per carry. McCoy is now 29 years of age so historically this could be his swan song fantasy season, but he’s worthy of top six overall consideration.

Biggest Potential Bust: I’d be a little questionable drafting Jordan Matthews this season. The trade to Buffalo was good for his overall value, but considering he’s reporting injured already I’m not sure if he’ll cement that primary WR role that he had a tough time establishing in Philly. It’s generally a wait and see game with the Bills’ passing attack as I said before and Matthews is the most valued WR on their team, but the last one to enter training camp too.

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Best Sleeper: Second round rookie Zay Jones should see a decent amount of targets right out of the gate. The team acknowledged they could be a bit better at WR when they courted recently released Jeremy Maclin, but he signed elsewhere. Jones will play both inside and outside this season and should be the second or third most targeted player on the Buffalo Bills. He’s a great pick late in deeper 14 leagues or dynasty formats.

Most Overrated Sleeper: Part of the problem with a team like the Buffalo Bills is that they don’t really have anyone else after the previously mentioned names. I’m not high on Charles Clay though for obvious reasons (being that he’s not very good). Although I’m a fan of Anquan Boldin I could see owners overreaching considering his excellent yet surprising output last year.

Most Intriguing Storyline: Can LeSean McCoy produce lottery pick worthy numbers besides approaching the doomed 30 year old RB club? Is he worth a top four pick?

One Interesting Fantasy Stat: Despite paying a king’s ransom to acquire him as a lottery pick, Sammy Watkins never achieved more than 65 catches in a single season or made a Pro Bowl as a Buffalo Bill.

One Thing I Was Right About (Last Season): I didn’t buy into all the hype that Tyrod Taylor was an established QB1 (like 8th overall). Although he wasn’t bad, Taylor didn’t prove his fantasy value last year.

One Thing I Was Wrong About: McCoy scared me a little bit, but I did like his value. However, I didn’t think he was an elite rusher anymore which he is.

Best Porn Name: Although starting center Eric Wood is a no brainer, we will go with Ritchie Incognito. A man of mystery, a man of racist tendencies…..a man of sexual prowess?

One Final Thing: Four consecutive Super Bowl losses is a bummer, but Erin Kelly was the greatest thing Jim Kelly ever produced.