Thursday, June 5, 2014

2014 Fantasy Football Team Outlook: Buffalo Bills


Studs: None

Solid Starters: C.J. Spiller, Sammy Watkins

C.J. Spiller spent 2013 hobbling around like a pirate with a pegleg. While he only missed one game, he spent the season being taken out of many games and being subbed out constantly. He was clearly injured and just couldn't make the same plays he did a year ago, in addition to being forced to run behind a struggling offensive line. While Spiller is supposedly 100%, he now has to contend for carries with Fred Jackson and new addition Bryce Brown. Spiller will still be the 'number one' running back but may never be the 300 touch back that many hoped. Spiller's 2013 game log was mess, filled with seven games under four yards per carry and eight games under 15 carries. If healthy Spiller should be able to put up about 1400 yards with 8-10 touchdowns and a more well-rounded performance overall.

Rushing Receiving
G# Tm Opp Result Att Yds Y/A TD Rec Yds TD
1 BUF NWE L 21-23 17 41 2.41 0 5 14 0
2 BUF CAR W 24-23 16 103 6.44 0 3 14 0
3 BUF NYJ L 20-27 10 9 0.90 0 1 1 0
4 BUF BAL W 23-20 23 77 3.35 0 0 0 0
5 BUF CLE L 24-37 8 66 8.25 1 0 0 1
6 BUF CIN L 24-27 10 55 5.50 0 2 11 0
7 BUF MIA W 23-21 6 11 1.83 0 3 -4 0
9 BUF KAN L 13-23 12 116 9.67 0 2 39 0
10 BUF PIT L 10-23 8 23 2.88 0 3 11 0
11 BUF NYJ W 37-14 13 6 0.46 0 2 10 0
12 BUF ATL L 31-34 15 149 9.93 1 2 8 1
13 BUF TAM L 6-27 11 22 2.00 0 1 26 0
14 BUF JAX W 27-20 13 67 5.15 0 1 1 0
15 BUF MIA W 19-0 21 83 3.95 0 3 26 0
16 BUF NWE L 20-34 19 105 5.53 0 5 28 0
6-9-0 202 933 4.62 2 33 185 2
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/5/2014.

It may be tough to consider Sammy Watkins a 'solid starter.' Maybe first I should define what I mean by solid starter. A player considered a solid starter is one that can fill any starting spot on a fantasy team, so it could either a WR1 or even a WR3. Sammy Watkins can definitely be a reliable WR3 at least. The Bills traded up in the 2013 NFL Draft for Sammy Watkins, they gave up a lot to get him, and they will most definitely be using him a lot in 2014. The Bills also traded Stevie Johnson freeing up the starting spot for Sammy Watkins. Whether or not Watkins has a great season is completely dependent upon EJ Manuel, if he can get the ball in Watkins' hands then Watkins will be a fantasy steal. All things considered the range of predictions for Watkins is anything from 60-80 catches with 1000-1300 yards and 4-8 touchdowns.

Backups: Fred Jackson, EJ Manuel
While C.J. Spiller gave owners migraines in 2013, Fred Jackson provided owners with some levity. Jackson touched the ball 253 times to go along with over 1200 yards and 10 touchdowns. Now 33, Jackson isn't getting any younger and with a healthy Spiller ready go he could be in line for less caries. Another thing to consider is the Bills traded for Bryce Brown during the draft and he could be viewed as the heir apparent to Jackson. Jackson is a free agent in 2015 and in 2014 the Bills may want to give Brown a bit of an extended look at times to see what they have. Overall though, Jackson has been an underrated back his entire career and while the odds are beginning to stack up against him, he could end 2014 with 150-200 touches and 800-1000 total yards.


Matthew D. Britt via Flickr
Sleepers: Robert Woods, Bryce Brown
Second year receiver Robert Woods could prove to be EJ Manuel's safety blanket in 2014 considering the two seemed to build quite a bit of chemistry in 2013 that could carry into this season. At the moment it is expected that Woods is going to take over duties in the slot providing Manuel with a reliable outlet. While Sammy Watkins gets all the buzz, Robert Woods is as steady as they come and if Manuel progresses in 2014 then the Bills offense could be good enough to sustain multiple receivers worth owning.

As stated before, Bryce Brown is going to be tailored to take over the roles of either Jackson or Spiller if they leave in free agency in 2015. Brown, who suffers from fumble-itis, has all the physical tools to be a lead back and could be an interesting sleeper should Spiller or Jackson get hurt. Brown likely won't do much as the third running back but if any injury news strikes owners should immediately head to the waiver wide to add him

Super Sleeper: Chris Hogan
This might be a stretch but the reason to avoid Mike Williams could turn Chris Hogan into a potential sleeper. The Bills coaching staff coined Hogan as '7-11' because he is somehow always open in practice.....Hogan has turned in a noteworthy offseason so far and could potentially push for playing time. Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods are basically guaranteed to start but the same can't be said for Williams even though they traded for him this offseason. The key in this situation is that if Hogan is a starting receiver then he will most certainly play in the slot creating the opportunity for quite a bit of catches. Yes, I said Robert Woods would play in the slot earlier but if when the offseason ends and Chris Hogan is deemed the third best receiver then he will be playing in the slot with Watkins and Woods outside.

Ignore: Mike Williams
Despite getting stabbed in the leg this offseason, the Bills decided to trade for Mike Williams in an attempt to get a 'big' receiver. Sure, Williams is 6'2 but he plays bigger. Over the course of his career Williams seems to have a knack for catching touchdowns with seasons of nine and 11 touchdowns. However, owners should avoid Williams simply because this offense cannot sustain three receivers in fantasy football. Only teams quarterbacked by Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees can do that. If Williams doesn't start then either Woods or extreme sleeper Chris Hogan are good bets for production.

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