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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Team Talk: Buffalo Bills

By Adam Filadelfo (@FNTSYArchitect)

After another season of not making the playoffs in Buffalo, a few changes were made during the offseason. One being the hiring of former Jets head coach Rex Ryan. Most fantasy owners have to figure that Rex will make an already top defense that much better. Another major change in Buffalo is the addition of stud running back LeSean McCoy. Let's take a look at what the Buffalo Bills can give fantasy owners in the coming season.

E.J. Manuel- Quarterback- It should be safe to assume that nobody knows whether or not E.J. Manuel will be the starting quarterback for the Bills come September. There's a good chance he may not even make the team. If Manuel is under center for the Bills come week one, there isn't too much for fantasy owners to get excited about. In the four games Manuel played in 2014, he averaged under 20 fantasy points per game and the previous year averaged even less in the ten games he started. Fantasy owners would be safe in assuming Manuel will not be drafted in 2015.

Matt Cassel- Quarterback- There doesn't seem to be much fantasy relevance when it comes to Cassel but seeing how E.J. Manuel isn't the clear cut favorite to start the season as Bills signal caller, Matt Cassel needs to be mentioned. Last season in Minnesota, Cassel averaged a pedestrian 11.7 fantasy points per game in the three games he started. His fantasy points went down with each game he started and he quickly lost his job to rookie Teddy Bridgewater. Don't expect Matt Cassel to provide any fantasy value whatsoever in 2015 unless he's the last quarterback standing for the Bills.

Tyrod Taylor- Quarterback- Not too many fantasy owners gave Tyrod Taylor a second thought when he signed with the Bills but ever since Rex Ryan started talking him up, he's become a dark horse of sorts to be the Bills opening day signal caller. Of course, this could just be Rex Ryan talking again to make headlines but in any event, Taylor needs to be considered for fantasy circles for the time being. Taylor hasn't done much to make fantasy owners take note of him being in the league since 2011 and having done next to nothing with the exception of week 17 in 2012 where he posted 20 fantasy points. Fantasy owners need to consider Tyrod Taylor a long shot to be fantasy relevant this season.

LeSean McCoy- Running Back- Last year in Philadelphia, Shady had career lows in targets, receptions and receiving yards while scoring 0 touchdowns in the passing game as well. He posted nine games of double digit fantasy points with his biggest game coming in week 13 versus the Dallas Cowboys where he scored 21.9 fantasy points. Fantasy owners can expect McCoy to have a bounce back 2015 in his new home in Buffalo.

Bryce Brown- Running Back- Brown was a hot name on the waiver wire late in the season but never amounted to much when he got to play. He averaged just over four fantasy points per game in the seven games he played giving fantasy owners more in the passing game than he did in the running game. With Shady McCoy in town, don't expect too much production from Brown in 2015 barring an injury to McCoy.

Fred Jackson- Running Back- Defying age yet again, Jackson proved he still can start for the Bills and fantasy owners. He averaged almost nine fantasy points per game and played in all but two games last year. Jackson saw 90 targets and had almost as many passing yards as rushing yards with three total touchdowns. Fantasy owners will once again draft Jackson late in drafts as a running back that can provide depth to a fantasy roster seeing how running backs get hurt all the time.

Anthony Dixon- It will take a lot for Dixon to see playing time in 2015 seeing how he'll probably be buried on the depth chart. In 13 games last year, Dixon averaged under five fantasy points per game and provided fantasy owners with only two touchdowns while rushing for 432 yards. Fantasy owners shouldn't count on Dixon for much in 2015.

Percy Harvin- Wide Receiver- Last season, Harvin averaged 6.2 fantasy points per game and started the first two weeks of the season with double digit fantasy points games. He didn't post double digits again until week nine and drove fantasy owners crazy again with his inconsistency. He finished the season with four double digit fantasy points games and at this point, is what he is. An inconsistent fantasy receiver that can't be counted on every week.

Robert Woods- Wide Receiver- Third year receiver alert. Woods averaged over six fantasy points per game in 2014 and saw 104 targets and 65 receptions for almost 700 yards and five touchdowns. He posted four double digit fantasy points games and could be a sleeper pick heading into 2015 fantasy drafts. The only question is who will be throwing Woods the ball?

Sammy Watkins- Wide Receiver- Heading into his second season, Sammy Watkins will look to build on his inconsistent but promising rookie season. Watkins averaged over eight fantasy points per game and saw 128 targets tossed his way. He finished with 65 catches for just under 1,000 yards and six touchdowns. He scored double digit fantasy points in five games but was not consistent in doing so. Week two saw Watkins score double digit fantasy points then not again until weeks seven and eight then not again until week 14. Most fantasy owners expected an inconsistent rookie campaign from Watkins seeing how rookies take time to transition and the quarterback situation was murky at best. One thing is for sure heading into 2015, fantasy owners can expect Watkins to build on his rookie season this year.

Chris Hogan- Wide Receiver- Not many fantasy owners heard of Chris Hogan before he became an early season waiver wire pickup. In 12 games in 2014, Hogan averaged just under six fantasy points per game and saw 61 targets while hauling in 41 catches for 426 yards and four touchdowns. He also posted three games of double digit fantasy points and can expect to be drafted later on in 2015 fantasy football drafts.

Charles Clay- Tight End- Last season with division rivals Dolphins, Clay averaged 5.6 fantasy points per game and caught 58 balls on 84 targets for 605 yards and three touchdowns. He also scored double digit fantasy points four times in 2014 and could provide some value from the tight end position where there isn't much after Gronk and Graham.

D/ST- Being a top fantasy defense last year, fantasy owners should expect the Bills defense  to get a little boost with new head coach and defensive guru Rex Ryan in town. The Bills were a top five unit last year allowing 3,590 passing yards and only 235 yards rushing. The defense as a whole gave up just over 14 fantasy points per game on average and should be one of the first fantasy defenses taken off the board in drafts this season.