Well folks it’s that wonderful time of year again, the NFL season is right around the corner so hug your children and kiss your wife goodbye, it’s football time baby!
With the impending football season comes the fickle mistress that is fantasy football. With the ability to turn friends against each other, spark 30 minute debates at the drop of a hat, and cause grown men to begrudgingly cheer for their most hated rivals (I’m looking at you Tom Brady) fantasy football has become as big a part of the NFL as the preseason or the cheerleaders.
That being said, it is imperative that you are ready on draft day, in order to heckle and embarrass your coworkers and closest friends with your far superior team. Of course, you’ll need to draft a team worthy of this praise, and if you’re like me it’s always nice to have a little bit of hometown talent on the squad.
However, as a Bills fan it’s not always easy to fill your roster with players from your favourite team without sacrificing your integrity or hemorrhaging lost opportunity points. So let’s take a look at which Bills players will make an impact in Fantasy leagues this year, and try to establish when to take a shot at them during the draft.
First off, let’s set some ground rules. Our draft rankings and recommendations will be based on a standard 12 team league with rosters consisting of 1 QB, 3 WR, 2 RB, 1 TE, and 1 DEF with 5 bench positions.
Group 1 – If you don’t draft him, you might not enjoy Sunday’s this year
For Bills fan it’s important to remember we have one stud fantasy player, and if your best friend scoops him up this year it might be bittersweet to see him tearing through opposing defences all season. That of course is running back C.J. Spiller, the 26-year-old will be the main feature in the Bills backfield this season and is coming off a breakout season last year with 1,244 rushing yards combined with 459 receiving yards to boot.
Maybe more impressive is that the 1,244 yards on the ground came on just 207 carries averaging 6.0 yards per, which was good enough to tie him for tops in the league with the one and only Adrian Peterson. Combine this with offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett’s plan to give Spiller the ball “until he throws up” as well as give him more looks through the air, this might be C.J.’s year fantasy wise.
Recommendation: Spiller is a bona-fide top 10 pick in all fantasy rankings this year, and if you believe that he can stay healthy with an increased workload, look to take him around the 7th overall pick in this running back heavy draft class.
Group 2 – Love this guy! But he’s killing me slowly
Every year it seems like your fantasy team picks up that one player that has all the skills in the world, but the surrounding support staff just refuses to allow him to reach him fantasy potential. Watching these players every week will slowly eat away at you, as you see mediocre to sub par fantasy numbers each game, yet you just can’t seem to put him on the bench because he’s has so much skill and “I love this guy!.”
Case in point, last year I struggled through Larry Fitzgerald (in my opinion the second most skilled receiver in the league) taking passes from Kevin Kolb (foreshadowing), John “Helter” Skelter, and Ryan Lindley (yikes).
With the combo of Kevin Kolb and the inexperienced E.J. Manuel, Bills receiver Stevie Johnson might fall into this category this season as he may struggle to get balls even remotely close to his vicinity.
Recommendation: Despite the question marks around the QB position the bottom line is that even under Ryan Fitzpatrick, Stevie Johnson put up over 1,000 receiving yards and over 6 touchdowns in each of his past three seasons. Definitely worth a late 9th to 10th round pick.