When you start talking fantasy, the Buffalo Bills aren’t necessarily the first team that comes to mind. Don’t let their meager 6-10 record fool you, they’re a team who can put some points on the scoreboard (23.3 per game in 2011 which ranked 14th) and in essence help your fantasy team.
Here are the guys in Buffalo that you should have on your list come time to do the fantasy draft.
*Credit to Cold Stone Creamery for inspiring the categories for this set of fantasy previews. However, I cannot guarantee the fantasy players will live up to high expectations like their delicious ice cream does.
GOTTA HAVE THEM (Elite Category – These guys are must have for any fantasy team)
No Current Bills Fit In This Class
LOVE THEM (These guys are game-changers who are a breakout season or two from becoming elite)
RB Fred Jackson (2011 Finish: 14th ranked RB, 10.1 points per game)
The 31-year old Jackson is the most important piece on the Bills offense and that is exactly why the team extended his contract through the 2015 season. If not for a fractured fibula suffered in week 11, Jackson was on his way to being one of fantasy’s best surprises last season. In the first ten weeks, he surpassed 100 yards rushing six times and eclipsed 20 fantasy points four times. Sure, C.J. Spiller appears to be part two in a platoon, but I wouldn’t worry too much if Jackson begins the year like he did last year.
WR Stevie Johnson (2011 Finish: 21st ranked WR, 8.4 points per game)
If only Johnson could mature and stop the shenanigans which have hampered him from pleasing fantasy owners (e.g. being benched in week 17 because of celebration), he could be one of the top receivers in fantasy. Besides that, he’s put together two solid years of production, including two straight 1,000 yard seasons. Stevie also claims he played most of 2011 with a bad groin, so I see no reason he can’t have a top-ten season if healthy. Considering Johnson’s spot on most fantasy rankings, he could bring a lot of value for where he’s drafted.
LIKE THEM (These guys are solid fantasy options who should help any fantasy team win)
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (2011 Finish: 12th ranked QB, 12.9 points per game)
The Harvard grad Fitzpatrick started the year on a hot-streak in 2011, posting double-digit fantasy totals in five of his first seven games. Then he proceeded to throw a ton of interceptions on his way to leading the league in that category. By putting him in this category, I’m by no means telling you to rely on him as a starter, but he’s a great option as a back-up to one of the elite signal-callers. With above-average pass-catchers Jackson and Johnson as teammates, Fitzpatrick should have no problem being a top-20 quarterback.
Bills D/ST (2011 Finish: 15th ranked D/ST, 6.5 points per game)
Nothing was very impressive about this defense in 2011, except for their 33 fantasy points against Tim Tebow and the Broncos is week 16. Other than that, they were absolutely terrible at rushing the passer. And that is why the front office went out and spent $100 million on Mario Williams and also signed Mark Anderson to anchor the other side. With those two manning the edges and an impressive Marcell Dareus inside, the sack numbers will surely rise. I wouldn’t draft them anywhere before the last couple of rounds, but they could be a sleeper at the D/ST position.
OUT OF STOCK (These guys can not yet be counted on to bring greatness to a fantasy team)
QB Vince Young
RB C.J. Spiller
K Ryan Lindell
WR David Nelson
TE Scott Chandler
QB/WR Brad Smith
WR Donald Jones
WR Derek Hagan
RB Tashard Choice
WR David Clowney
RB Johnny White
What do you think of the 2012 Buffalo Bills Fantasy Outlook? Did I miss anything or was it pretty spot on? Let me know by commenting below!
Nick Grays is a senior writer at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers, Green Bay Packers, and Milwaukee Brewers. He also enjoys to share Fantasy Advice and pretend to be a Golf expert from time-to-time. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best.
Fred Jackson (rosterwatch.com)
Stevie Johnson (nflpassers.com)
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