You came to Breaking Football for fantasy football insight, advice or regurgitated information. One way or another, you’ll get your wish. From rankings to sleepers, to busts to mock drafts, we’ve got you covered. Heck, we’re even breaking down each team as we prepare to dominate the opposition’s soul in 2015.
So, naturally, that means we have to spend some time talking about Rex Ryan’s Buffalo Bills. If you’re from Buffalo and are into buying Bills tickets on the regular, then I apologize both for my sarcasm and for your team’s offense. It just doesn’t look great, is all. Let’s take it position by position and lay the logic down gently:
The Bills traded for Matt Cassel. I repeat: the Bills traded for Matt Cassel. That’s not a joke, but in a sense, it really, really is. Cassel was supposed to be that awesome veteran leader under center. The kind that destroys the playbook via his brain and moves the chains and manages the game and all that jazz. Kind of like Michael Vick or Mark Sanchez? Oh, Rex Ryan, you and your quarterback games, you silly goose.
But really, we’re talking about Matt Cassel here. And then there were whispers he might not even make the roster, and this was back during OTAs. Since then, E.J. Manuel managed to dip below both Cassel and some retread named Tyrod Taylor. Granted, Taylor may have learned a thing or three sitting behind Joe Flacco in Baltimore and he’s even a really mobile passer, but he’s still Tyrod Taylor and he’s not to create excitement. But he’s starting Buffalo’s second preseason game and, boy, you gotta feel these nipples.
Buffalo’s passing game wasn’t amazing a year ago and now we’re looking back at Kyle Orton like he’s a God. Oh, neckbeard, where have you gone?
The quarterback position isn’t good in Buffalo. It just isn’t. If Cassel is under center, we can expect about what he did in Minnesota or something horrifyingly worse, if that’s at all possible. If Taylor starts and is competent, it might be the poorest version of Michael Vick this side of Johnny Manziel. I absolutely note the potential to be had if he works out, but we all can agree it’s unlikely. And E.J. Manuel, well, that guy is just done.
Stay away from the Bills quarterback situation. Watch it from afar. Through binoculars. In a helicopter. With music drowning out any possible screams from fans watching the horror. But do keep tabs on Taylor if he wins the job, because he MIGHT be worth considering as a waiver wire pickup. MIGHT.
I understand why you’d be giddy about LeSean McCoy. Rex Ryan traded for him so he can mash his corpse into the earth via his amazing and never at all unsuccessful GROUND N’ POUND offense. That’s not an offense, folks. That’s code for “holy shit, we can’t throw the ball”. Ryan rarely made it translate into fantasy gold with the Jets and it’s definitely not a lock to work now. It doesn’t help that the Buffalo offensive line isn’t that great. Not great as in the Bills were 25th in the league in rushing a year ago. Blame the dancing and always injured C.J. Spiller. Blame Doug Marrone. Blame the 91-year old Fred Jackson. Blame whoever, but it didn’t work.
McCoy also wasn’t himself in 2014, and now he suddenly has a hammy issue after looking WEAK in his lone preseason game. Awesome. So Shady is going to host creepy parties, barely play in August, run behind a trash o-line, not have a passing game to help him and we’re going to trust him blindly? Sweet. I’m in.
Obviously McCoy has insane upside due to his talent and role, but we should listen to Walter White and tread lightly here. McCoy taught me last year that pretty much regardless of his circumstance, he’s a top-15 running back as long as he’s on the field. He’ll have his dog shit outings if his o-line is decimated and the matchup is brutal, but he’s still freaking LeSean McCoy. And as weak as Buffalo’s o-line was a year ago, it’s supposed to be better. That all still makes me want him in round two, though, and if I can’t get him where I want I’ll probably pass.
Bryce Brown is an outside-run-bouncing fiend that should probably just be given up already, Fred Jackson is an ageless gem that probably won’t last the season, Karlos Williams looked good in preseason but is already hurt and Anthony Dixon’s nickname is Boobie. Move along.
Mother of all things that are holy, can someone give Sammy Watkins a hug? This guy is clearly talented as balls, yet he’s sucked into the black hole that is any offense Rex Ryan has watch over. Watkins was in a run-based offense last year and was a rookie, yet he still posted a fine line of 65-982-6. If he can do that again, I’m all about getting him as my WR3. He absolutely is a stable WR2 in the right environment and if he had a quarterback I might even have him in my top-15. But he’s not and he doesn’t, so we need to refrain from getting overly excited.
If Watkins isn’t a lock to be a stud, you can be sure Robert Woods and Percy Harvin aren’t, either. Harvin naturally holds more fantasy value due to being a truly versatile weapon, but he’s become a total gimmick and never stays healthy, so he’s nothing more than a flier in drafts now. That’s fine, though, because you’re spending a late-round pick on an insanely explosive receiver who has been insanely productive in the past, has a chip on his shoulder and should be active as a receiver, rusher and return man. He’s not a bad shot in the dark to end your draft.
It’s just Charles Clay here, and he probably should have stayed in Miami. Clay has the potential to get targeted a good amount as a safety net, but he’s not an amazing talent and he wasn’t even a top-15 fantasy option last year – on a team that actually threw the ball. He was a top-10 guy in 2013, but again, he’s in an offense that isn’t going to try on purpose to maximize his ability. In fact, there was reportedly at one time a long stretch in camp where he went without getting a single target. Clay just isn’t a guy to buy into in fantasy football drafts, is the harsh reality. That being said, devaluing him as a mid-round pick makes him a passable flier pick or a great streaming play. For the most part, if you don’t get Rob Gronkowski this year, you should pass on TE and just stream, anyways.
I don’t value kickers. Stephen Gostkowski is seriously the only one that is routinely at the top or the top kicker, so if you MUST draft a kicker before the final round, it’s him. But even he isn’t worth it. Dan Carpenter is pretty good (6th last year) and Rex Ryan’s kicker in NYC (Nick Folk) cracked the top-15 in each of the last two years. Again, he’s a damn kicker, but he’s got a big leg and should have to swing it toward those big yellow things a good amount. You can probably get him with your last pick without even actually “targeting” him. Just close your eyes and click the mouse. Or if you’re in a live draft yell out “Dan Carpenter!” in a crazy Will Ferrell voice. Even if he’s drafted, literally no one will have any of the cares.
We’ve learned so far that LeSean McCoy is worth drafting at the right price, Sammy Watkins is a solid get if you keep your expectations low and Percy Harvin and Charles Clay aren’t the worst late-round picks in the world. Fantastic, we’re almost done and you almost forgot that I left out the kicker position in my brief summary. Damnit.
But this is the sweet spot for the Bills. Rex Ryan is a brash bastard, indeed, but he knows defense. His defenses pretty much fell apart once Darrelle Revis got hurt, but whatever. They were still pretty good and the one he’s inheriting in Buffalo has loads of talent. The Bills are especially nasty up front, as they dominate the run game and can also get after the quarterback. They certainly have talent in the secondary, too, so there’s a decent chance the Bills end up pushing out the most balanced defense in the league (suck it, Seattle). Buffalo was the #3 fantasy defense in 2014 and now Ryan is at the controls. Another top-five finish can probably be expected. While that’s tempting to chase, don’t reach for them any earlier than your second to last pick. Defenses fluctuate much like kickers and there are 32 of them that you can use in any given week.