Dynasty Capsule: Buffalo Bills


As part of the premium content package, we’re again unveiling dynasty capsules for every team in the NFL leading up to free agency and the NFL Draft. This year, we’re again going to do a follow-up on all the teams after all the free agency and NFL Draft movement to assess the impact of any players teams have gained or lost. Since these capsules are always done as a simple snapshot in time, we figured that was the best way to tackle the off-season and provide ultimate value for our subscribers. All in all, we’ll have close to 500 player profiles found in these capsules over the off-season.

The Bills haven’t been relevant in many years and continue to rebuild.  But hope springs eternal that they may have found their franchise quarterback. Let’s head up north to take a look at the Buffalo Bills.


EJ Manuel

The first year rookie starter had his playing time cut short due to multiple knee injuries causing him to only appear in two five-game stretches.  When the young quarterback played, he barely registered, throwing for eleven touchdowns against nine interception while averaging less than 200 passing yards per game.  It never seemed like the signal caller could get into a rhythm.  Of course Manuel had pieces of the offense missing for almost every start, but the Bills front office and their fans were expecting a lot more from him.  This might already be a make or break season for him as the offense seemed to play better when he wasn’t leading the team. The quarterback needs to challenge defenses with his legs as much as his arm if he wants to be more effective.  I would not want Manuel higher than a QB3 on any dynasty team of mine.

Thad Lewis

This career backup quarterback had some success last season as he beat the Miami Dolphins twice. He is a scrappy player, but is not a player to be counted on. The scary thing is that Lewis threw the same amount of 200+ yard games, four, with half as many chances (five) as Manuel. Lewis is only worth owning in larger leagues as Manual’s backup.

Running backs

CJ Spiller

Despite the reports that he would be run until his legs fell off, Spiller got nicked up early in the season and never was the explosive play-maker Bills fans got to see the past few years. The Bills staff made a mistake trotting him out for fifteen  games (starting ten of them) as the back never got the chance to fully recover. It gets concerning as Spiller isn’t the young man most think he is; CJ turns 27 in August.

This season should prove that Spiller does his best work as part of a committee with right around 250 touches and needs someone like Fred Jackson to keep him fresh.  The back has never been a huge touchdown producer though as he only has one season of eight touchdowns out of four.  Hopefully the runner can find his second gear and swagger that was only seen in glimpses last season. I would not look to invest highly in Spiller is not already on your team.  It is difficult to decipher if he will ever truly be a RB1 or if he will always be a home run RB2.

Fred Jackson

It’s a young man’s game and this older back (turned 33 in February) still keeps on performing as he accounted for ten touchdowns this past season while no one else on the team could score more than three times.  Jackson is still a powerful, slippery runner, but for how much longer?  He took a lot of nasty hits last season that may have knocked other backs out.  Don’t be fooled by his extra attention in the passing game (a career high 47 receptions) as he substituted in a lot for the gimpy Spiller on passing downs.  Jackson is a solid RB3/flex option, but the tread on his tires is fading fast.

Wide receivers

Stevie Johnson

Much like Jackson, Johnson is getting tired as one of the Bills few offensive threats. The targets and touches weigh heavily on this spirited receiver.  The multiple sudden changes at quarterback, as well as injuries (missed four games) did not treat him kindly last season.  After three years of posting over a thousand yards and at least 76 receptions, Johnson slumped to 52 receptions for just under 600 yards.  With the offense changing into a run-first system for the most part, perhaps it’s time to unload Johnson as he is a WR2 at best, but most likely a WR3.

Robert Woods

The former second round USC receiver certainly had a forgetful 2013 season with only two games of 80+ yards and only three touchdowns.  It might have been the inconsistent quarterback play, but I saw enough from Woods to still think he is a buy low player to target. The second year wide out is not a speedster, but he runs crisp routes, has good hands, and is one of the league’s better run blockers.  He may never be more than a dynasty WR3, but when Buffalo parts with Johnson, Woods will be an effective WR2 at worst.

Marquise Goodwin

The rookie track star showed a few flashes (17 receptions for 283 yards with three touchdowns), but did not perform with any consistency for fantasy owners to exploit. He did not get used a lot as a receiver in college, so it may take time for him to develop into a good receiver.  The elite speed and wiggle are both there.  It’s the hands and ball tracking that cause me a bit of concern.  Buy him as an WR4-5, but do not overspend unless you are in a return yardage league.

TJ Graham

The dearth of offensive passing targets seemed to open the door for this former third round 2012 wide receiver.  Too bad Graham never went through the door with an abysmal under 40% catch rate. I see him as a middling possession receiver at best who is fighting for targets with much better athletes than himself. Graham should only be rostered in the deepest of leagues.

Tight ends

Scott Chandler

The tight end improved on his receptions (53) and yardage (655) last season, but his touchdowns took a turn for the worse going from two years of six scores to only two in 2013. Chandler is a decent blocker, but seems to be an odd fit for the offensive scheme.  I would expect him to move on this season. Count on him as a TE2.

Chris Gragg

Many dynasty owners thought they had found a diamond in the rough with the little known tight end.  Unfortunately, Gragg did next to nothing his rookie season with only five catches for 53 yards and a touchdown.  Of course the young tight end only played in two games.  Gragg is a converted wide receiver and certainly looks more like one with his 6′ 3″ 244 lbs. build.  He is an underdeveloped blocker, so he might be limited to passing downs this next season.  Depending on the draft and if they resign Chandler, Gragg might be the 2014 starter, so roster him as a TE3 if you can.