One of the most underrated fantasy football quarterbacks since
taking the starting job in Buffalo back in 2015, Tyrod Taylor
has quietly posted two consecutive seasons with at least 3000
passing and 500 rushing yards.
His 20.9 points per game average last year was better than Russell
Wilson and just .10 of a point less than Derek Carr, two quarterbacks
who have typically been drafted well ahead of Taylor in fantasy
drafts this year.
Although Taylor managed to throw only 17 touchdowns last season,
his 508 rushing yards and career-high six rushing touchdowns more
than made up for his deficiency throwing TDs. With a healthy Sammy
Watkins and the addition of second round rookie Zay Jones, Taylor
has arguably his best-receiving duo since joining the team in
With a QB rank outside the top 12, Taylor will likely be used
initially as a streaming quarterback in most 12 and ten team leagues,
with Week 4 at the Falcons and home games against the Jets, Saints,
Raiders, and Colts as possible lucrative matchups to exploit.
But don’t count out Taylor as a possible full time starting option,
especially if he and Sammy Watkins can recreate the chemistry
that made them a force in 2015. Taylor is an ideal target for
those fantasy owners employing a late-round QB approach to their
After posting the second-most rushing touchdowns (13) in his
eight-year NFL career, Shady McCoy vaulted himself back into a
consensus first round draft pick in all formats. Despite losing
8 rushing touchdowns to former Bill Mike Gillislee, McCoy was
still able to score 14 total touchdowns in 15 games last season.
McCoy is set to surpass the 2000-carry plateau this season to
go along with over 400 career receptions, begging the question
when the oft-injured 29-year-old running back will finally break
down for good.
When healthy, McCoy is still one of the most dynamic players
in the game, as evident to his impressive 4.7 career yard per
carry average. As the lead back for a Buffalo team that led the
NFL in rushing yards over the past two seasons, McCoy has a chance
to finish the season as a top 3 running back in both standard
and PPR formats. But owners who draft McCoy may want to consider
investing in a viable replacement option or handcuff Jonathan
Williams, as McCoy has managed to play a full 16-game schedule
in only two of his eight seasons, and has yet to do so with the
The departure of Mike Gillislee to rival New England opened the
door for second-year running back Jonathan Williams to assume
the No.2 and short yardage role for the Bills, a team that ranked
first in team rushing yards in each of the past two seasons.
Williams, a powerful 5’11”, 220 former fifth-round
selection in the 2016 NFL draft from the University of Arkansas,
had a lackluster rookie season in spot work with 94 yards on 27
carries and a rushing touchdown. But his role is certainly going
to expand in 2017, as the Bills will likely look to limit LeSean
McCoy’s carries to keep him fresh, and Shady is not a very
effective short yardage ball carrier.
Also, Williams’ value would shoot through the roof if McCoy
were to get injured, which is not out of the question considering
Shady has yet to play a full 16-game season in his two years with
One of the premiere deep threats in the league, Sammy Watkins
enters the 2017 season reportedly healthy after missing most of
2016 with a foot in injury. The Jones fracture Watkins sustained
limited his lateral and vertical route running last season, as
the former first round selection from Clemson likely came back
too early in the recovery process.
When healthy, Watkins has the talent and opportunity to finish
the season as a top-12 WR receiver, making him an interesting
selection at his current third round ADP. The threat of Watkins
re-injuring his foot will keep his ADP likely outside of the second
The fact that the Bills have led the league in rushing over the
past two seasons and the team’s propensity to run the ball in
the red zone should not shy owners away from drafting Watkins,
as 70% of his 17 career touchdowns have come from outside the
red zone. He is a big play player that may be a league-winning
selection for owners comfortable with the risk he carries.
UPDATE 8/15/17: Watkins was traded to the
As the forgotten man in the Eagles passing offense heading into
the 2017 season, Jordan Matthews’ fantasy outlook looked
fairly glum with so many receiving threats in Philadelphia. With
a shocking trade to Buffalo for cornerback Ronald Darby, the outlook
for Matthews changed dramatically as the former second round pick
from Vanderbilt will likely slide into the No.1 receiving slot
for the Bills in 2017.
Expectations should still be tempered, as the Bills are a run-first
team and Matthews does not have the game-breaking speed nor the
downfield receiving skills of Sammy Watkins, the player whom he
is replacing in the offense. But, Matthews owners should view
this as an upgrade due to the fact that he will see an increase
Boldin enters his 15th NFL season as a member of the Bills after
signing a late summer free agent deal with Buffalo. After posting
eight touchdowns last season as the primary red zone threat for
Matthew Stafford and the Lions, Boldin will likely resume that
same role for the Bills with the departure of Sammy Watkins, Marquise
Goodwin, and Robert Woods via trade and free agency.
The Bills will likely continue to be a run-first offense and
the addition of Jordan Matthews via trade from Philadelphia will
limit the number of targets for Boldin. In PPR formats, the former
second round pick from Florida State will be somewhat limited
as he will likely not see more than 70 catches in the Buffalo
passing game. But his TD upside will give him value as a flex
play in standard leagues, as he is an accomplished red zone threat,
and another eight touchdown season is not out of the question.
Second-round pick Zay Jones will likely jump into the starting
lineup opposite of Sammy Watkins, as former starters Robert Woods
(LAR) and Marquise Goodwin (SF) moved out to the west coast via
At 6’2, 200 lbs, Jones worked primarily as a big slot receiver
in college at Eastern Carolina but is slated to work both in the
slot and outside as a member of the Bills. Jones’ value
in redraft will be somewhat limited this year because he will
likely be the second or third option in a passing game that ranked
third to last in passing yards in 2016, behind only the lowly
LA Rams and San Francisco 49ers. As a result, Jones can be had
in the late rounds of standard 12-team leagues.
In dynasty and keeper formats, Jones is a desirable player based
on the fact that Watkins is a free agent in 2018 and it is not
clear if the Bills will extend a lucrative long term offer based
on Watkins’ inability to stay on the field.
UPDATE 8/15/17: The path for fantasy relevance
for second-round pick Zay Jones changed dramatically with the
additions of Anquan Boldin via agency and the trade acquisition
of Jordan Matthews from Philadelphia. Prior to the additions of
Matthews and Boldin, Jones looked primed to start opposite of
Sammy Watkins. On a positive note, both Boldin and Matthews are
more effective as slot receivers, opening the door for Jones to
take over an outside starting role if he is able to learn the
As the No, 25th ranked tight end in 2016 with 5.3 points per
game, Charles Clay was merely a streaming tight end play in most
leagues last season. Although Clay was active in the passing game
to start the year with seven targets is two of Buffalo’s
first four games, he did not record his first receiving touchdown
until Week 14 against Pittsburgh.
With a new coaching staff and new offensive coordinator, is too
difficult to predict how much Clay with be used in 2017. The team
is still concerned with Clay’s on-going knee issues and
will likely limit his practice time in-season. On a positive note,
he did finish last season strong, with touchdowns in three of
the final four games, including an eight-catch, 85-yard, two touchdown
game in the fantasy Super Bowl Week 16.