It’s said that nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills. It seems their offensive wagon currently has no wheels or horse to pull it, so that may be an impressive feat to pull off any time soon. To say the Bills struggled last season would be an understatement. Inconsistent quarterback play and an awful offensive line led the team to average just over 16 points per game as the fantasy value of their players suffered greatly.
Many dynasty owners expected the Bills to address the offensive line and quarterback needs in the draft, thus helping the value of their offensive skill position players. After they surprisingly passed on those positions, the long and short-term dynasty values of many players became much less clear. Let’s take a look at the current state of the Buffalo Bills in our latest fantasy football dynasty capsule.
Player in their Prime
Lee Evans WR
He enters his seventh season the same way he has the past six as a fast, talented player with nobody to throw him the ball. Owning Evans in a dynasty league is maddening. He’s given us two 1,000 yard seasons, but has only averaged 57 receptions per year. With no foreseeable help at quarterback, expect another season with around 60 catches, 800 yards and five or six scores. It’s a shame his production may never match his talent, especially in his prime years.
CJ Spiller RB
This Clemson product is absolutely electric with the ball in his hands. He’ll be used in a variety of ways as a swiss army knife of sorts for the Bills. While he could have gone to a better situation, he’s still going to get an opportunity to shine early and often. He’ll likely never be a full-time running back, but he should get enough touches to be an effective dynasty league commodity worthy of a top-4 pick in rookie drafts this year.
Steve Johnson WR
Johnson enters his pivotal third year with a realistic chance to start. While the quarterbacking will limit his potential, he’s been shining so far in the offseason. He’ll be challenged by James Hardy and Marcus Easley for a starting job, but this is a battle we expect him to win.
Shawn Nelson TE
He was held to just 18 catches in his rookie year, but is still expected to be the starting tight end in Buffalo this season. While he projects as a long-term investment in dynasty leagues, he could start producing as early as this season.
Players with Falling Values
Trent Edwards QB
There was a time when this former Stanford alum was considered the future for the Bills. Right now, he’s in the middle of a battle just to start again. Edwards is simply too conservative with his decision making to ever be an effective NFL quarterback. Expect to see a lot of check downs to CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson next year. He’s tough to keep on a dynasty roster right now, even if he does win the starting job, as expected.
Fred Jackson RB
It’s really unfortunate that Jackson got such a late start in his career. He showed enough talent to keep Marshawn Lynch benched for most of last season. Keep in mind that he’s 29 years old at this point, though. While he’ll likely start next season, he’s simply not a long-term solution for a dynasty league team. Jackson is a good player to hold on to only if you’re competing to win your dynasty league this season or next.
Marshawn Lynch RB
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Lynch had a pair of 1,000 yard seasons and 15 touchdowns his first two seasons, leading many dynasty league pundits to view him as a top-10 keeper. The past two seasons have seen a string of bad behavior and poor play derail his once promising career. Bear in mind he’s only 24 at this point, though. If he can pull himself together personally and produce on the practice field, he’ll get another chance to play in Buffalo or elsewhere. If you have an owner willing to give Lynch away for pennies on the dollar, he’s worth a roster spot for certain. His value has really never been lower.
James Hardy WR
Hardy was a physical freak as a second round pick coming out of Indiana. Injuries and poor work habits have likely sealed his fate as bust, though. He’s still in the running for the No. 2 wide receiver spot, but showing up for the latest minicamp out of shape did him no favors with the new coaching staff.
Brian Brohm QB
Confidence, not ability, is the question for Brohm. Let’s not forget he was once considered a top-10 NFL Draft prospect. After struggling mightily in Green Bay and being beaten out by a less talented Matt Flynn, Brohm found himself signed by Buffalo last season. He wasn’t impressive in game action with just 146 yards and two interceptions, but he has shown improvement in practices recently. Combine his talent with the paper thin depth chart and you figure he should eventually get one more chance.
Marcus Easley WR
Easley probably won’t make much of an impact as a rookie, but he has talent nonetheless. The Bills need explosive players and Easley averaged 18.6 yards per catch last season at UConn. He’s worth a late fourth round pick in rookie drafts.
Levi Brown QB
You have to figure the Bills look to the draft next year for their quarterback of the future, but this former Troy star could make some noise if the other quarterbacks struggle. If history has shown us anything, that seems inevitable.
These are simply not the same Bills who were perennial Super Bowl contenders years ago. The dynasty value of their players will likely not be known until next season when their quarterback issues are taken care of. In the meantime, there are a few players to keep your eyes on. The wagons may eventually be circled, but they need a few more pioneers to get that done any time soon.
For parlor use, the vague generality is a life saver.