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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Team Talk: Buffalo Bills

We're just getting warmed up with the 'Team Talk' series, folks.  Adam Filadelfo is back again to bring you up to speed on the Buffalo Bills.  You can follow Adam on Twitter: @Frostt24

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The Buffalo Bills may be have the longest playoff drought in the NFL, but that doesn't mean they aren't capable of producing fantasy studs. Perhaps one of the best fantasy players could be sporting a Bills jersey in 2013, and there may be some sleepers to be found as well...

C.J. Spiller - The most obvious choice for fantasy relevance when it comes to the Buffalo Bills: C.J. Spiller is one of the most dynamic playmakers in the NFL. He was drafted in 2010 by the Bills and up until last season, Spiller was of no real value to fantasy owners. Since Fred Jackson broke his leg in week 1 last year, Spiller has set the NFL and fantasy world on fire. He's being drafted in the top 5 overall in many leagues and as such should pay huge dividends to fantasy owners right out of the gate. He will catch a lot of passes and he is explosive. While there is no doubt any fantasy owner would love to have him on their team, there are a few questions that come to mind. Can Spiller carry the full workload over the course of a 16 game season? Will he achieve a greater level of consistency in 2013? And, will Fred Jackson or another RB vulture TD's at the goal line? These are valid concerns but with the superior playmaking ability that Spiller exhibited last season, draft him with confidence.

EJ Manuel - All indications are EJ Manuel will be the starting QB come week 1 if his minor knee procedure is just that. He only has to beat out Kevin Kolb at the QB position so there's a good chance Manuel is the Bills starter for all of 2013. He has some help around him to be successful this season. For starters, a QB's best friend is a good run game and the game doesn't get better than C.J. Spiller. Another plus is EJ can make plays with both his legs and his arm. He might be worth a look as your QB2 if all other options are off the board late in your draft. 

Stevie Johnson - This year with the addition of WR Robert Woods and further growth from T.J. Graham, Stevie looks to be moved to the slot position which should allow him far more receptions than he's seen the past couple of years. (PPR league owners take notice here.) Draft Stevie knowing that but also keep in mind that he is a bit injury prone. Hamstring injuries have plagued him but when he's on the field he will make plays. 

T.J. Graham - Graham is a second year WR taken in the third round of last year's draft. More times than not, first and second year WR's do not make big impact in the NFL but Graham has a chance to grow with his rookie QB. He lacks much fantasy relevance going into your drafts, but he is a player to put on the watch list. 

Robert Woods - Indication out of Bills camp is Woods looks very polished for a rookie. As with T.J. Graham, Woods may be worth watching as the season progresses but will more than likely go undrafted in any shallow leagues. In deeper leagues, Woods may be the WR to own between him and Graham. He is the deep threat Buffalo has been lacking and EJ Manuel can launch the ball downfield. Again, Woods is a WR to watch but probably shouldn't be drafted just yet.

Kevin Kolb - Let's be honest. There is no fantasy value here. If EJ Manuel should need more time recovering from his knee injury, Kolb would step in as QB. If you are desperate at the QB position when bye weeks come around, that may be the only way Kevin Kolb cracks a fantasy lineup. Not only is Kolb a below average NFL QB, he also tends to be hurt often. The Bills better hope EJ Manuel is ready for week 1.

Fred Jackson - It looks like Jackson will serve as the backup to Spiller. With the offensive coordinator saying the Bills will feed Spiller the ball until he throws up, Jackson can only be valued as a backup at this time. There may be times Jackson sees action as a goal line back or if Spiller needs a breather, but that doesn't make him draft worthy. Maybe as a Spiller owner you want to grab Jackson as a handcuff in case Spiller gets hurt, but other than that, I don't see Jackson as that valuable for fantasy purposes. 

D/ST - When Mario Williams signed as a free agent 2 years ago, the Bills defense was thought to be stout and would pressure opposing QBs thus becoming a fantasy worthy defense. So far, they have been the opposite. Although they did start to play a little better towards the end of last season, there is no reason the Bills defense should be taken in any fantasy drafts. Maybe new head coach Doug Marrone changes all that, but until the Bills defense proves they can stop opposing offenses, they shouldn't be considered. And, it doesn't help to be playing Tom Brady and the Patriots twice a year.