We’re previewing every NFL team to get you ready for the 2021 season. Our analysts will tackle pressing fantasy questions and team win totals, in order from the squad with the least amount of fantasy relevancy all the way to the most talented team. Next up, the 9th-ranked Buffalo Bills.
1. Josh Allen was fantasy's top overall player in 2020. While we might have just seen the best season he'll ever have, his floor also seems very safe because of his rushing ability. Is he a top-5 lock barring injury or are there still some slight concerns about his game?
Dalton: I was completely wrong last year about Allen, who’s locked in as a fantasy star for years to come. He improved dramatically as a passer, is dominant at the goal line, and also plays in an extremely pass-heavy system featuring a bunch of play action. Allen is one of the league’s toughest players to tackle, and he also happened to get 7.9 YPA and throw 37 touchdowns last season. With 25 career rushing TDs over 43 starts, the Firebaugh product is fantasy gold and could easily repeat as the QB1.
Andy: Allen has entered the innermost inner-circle at his position and it's difficult to imagine him not producing a top-5 finish. Assuming he remains healthy, the only thing that might derail his fantasy season is a multi-week injury to Stefon Diggs, the team's unrivaled No. 1 receiver. Diggs caught at least six balls in 15 of 16 games last year and he finished with either 75 receiving yards or a TD in 14 games. So yeah, he's pretty important. But even if he was sidelined for a protracted period of time, it's not like the rest of Buffalo's receiving corps is without talent. Also, Allen's status as his team's goal-line back is an almost unfair fantasy edge.
Matt: Variance is always real at the quarterback position. However, some of Allen's efficiency metrics — a 6.5 percent touchdown rate and a 7.9 yards per attempt mark — aren't exactly screaming for inbound regression like other fantasy legends of old. Given his place as the figurehead of a top-tier, pass-friendly offense, it's difficult to imagine him falling out of the top-five.
2. Stefon Diggs will be a late-first or early second-round pick in most leagues. Is there anyone else to target on this team among the pass-catchers, or if you don’t land Diggs, just move on?
Andy: Emmanuel Sanders won't cost you a thing in drafts, yet he could easily claim the 6-or-so targets per week that John Brown saw last season. In a high-yield offense like Buffalo's, that workload has plenty of value. Gabriel Davis has plenty of sleeper appeal as well, and tight end Dawson Knox is a decent bet to make a leap in his third season (if Zach Ertz can be kept off this team's roster).
Matt: Gabriel Davis stands out as the lone big receiver on this team. Given that the team's best speed receiver from 2020 (John Brown) was let go in the offseason, there's an opening for him. Also, with some of Beasley's personal thoughts about being willing to "take a stand" and be forced into retirement ... Davis might not be done climbing the depth chart. At the very worst, he's an ideal best-ball pick to stack with Allen and Diggs.
Dalton: Cole Beasley was the WR31 in PPR leagues last year and impressed while doing so, so he’s a solid WR3 option with a high floor. Gabriel Davis has been an early sleeper call, while newcomer Emmanuel Sanders has been an afterthought at draft tables despite being the favorite to act as the team’s new WR2 with John Brown gone. Give me Sanders at an extreme discount in a highly favorable passing environment. There’s also real upside should something happen to Diggs, who had never played 16 games during his career until last season.
3. Zack Moss had a forgettable rookie season, while Devin Singletary hasn’t distinguished himself in his two seasons. What do you do with this running game? Avoid it completely or take a chance on one of these two with the upside of this offense?
Matt: I won't be proactively targeting anyone from this backfield. That said, I'd bet on Moss over Singletary if one player was to emerge as a serious fantasy play. Moss has more of a bruising skillset. Buffalo has tipped their hand that they want to be a wide receiver-based offense given their additions in that space. Don't expect them to suddenly turn into a run-first team. Moss is fine if you've loaded up on other positions early and need someone with a path to a starting job late.
Dalton: I’m avoiding this backfield since it not only looks like a full-blown committee between the two, but Allen is also a major threat to steal goal-line touchdowns, which really limits the upside of both. Things could change quickly should an injury strike, as there’s obviously potential in an offense that figures to score a ton of points, but otherwise, this is clearly a situation to avoid.
Andy: From a fantasy perspective, the biggest problem facing both Moss and Singletary is that the most important carries in this team's offense go to the quarterback. We should also note that all Bills running backs combined to see just 74 total pass targets last season, so no one in this backfield deserves some huge PPR bump. If you're a ZeroRB drafter, then you probably still have to take an interest in this pair, because A) they're cheap in drafts and B) they're tied to an elite offense. If either misses significant time, the other guy gets interesting. Neither player should be aggressively targeted, however.
Buffalo Bills projected 2021 fantasy contributors
QB: Josh Allen
RB: Zack Moss / Devin Singletary
WR: Stefon Diggs / Emmanuel Sanders
TE: Dawson Knox
Buffalo Bills O/U on 10.5 team win total from BetMGM
Dalton: OVER. It’s easy to see why the over juice has been pushed to -160 with Buffalo coming off a 13-3 season that saw them post the best point differential in the AFC and race out to a lead in the Conference Championship game. With a young superstar at QB and an innovative coaching staff, the Bills look poised to make another Super Bowl run in 2021.
Follow Matt: @MattHarmon_BYB
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Follow Andy: @andybehrens