Aug. 9, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills defensive back Jairus Byrd (31) makes a tackle on Washington Redskins wide receiver Niles Paul (84) during the first half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-US PRESSWIRE
When we discussed viable fantasy football options for the Buffalo Bills earlier this week, the team's defense and special teams unit was conspicuously absent from the rundown. That's because we wanted to discuss it with you in a separate post: how comfortable would you be drafting Buffalo's defense, fantasy footballers?
The Bills undoubtedly had a terrible defense in 2011, but they also had stretches where they were utterly dominant as a fantasy unit. Buffalo forced 16 turnovers and scored three defensive touchdowns (Drayton Florence, Bryan Scott and Nick Barnett pick-sixes) in their first five games a year ago. Clearly, they gave up too many points and yards to be consistently used by fantasy owners, but big-game, big play potential definitely existed.
Now, the Bills enter 2012 with a 4-3 scheme that fits their existing personnel much better, they've signed two shiny (and expensive) pass rushers, boast one of the best defensive lines in football (on paper!), and suddenly look much more viable as a fantasy defense option.
That doesn't account for the idea, of course, that the team's perceived schematic and pass rushing gains could be offset by a youth movement at cornerback and questionable talent at linebacker. Many of the same playmakers remain in place - and if things go well with the pass rush, they could be even better - but questions remain about the unit as a whole.
We'll leave it to you, then: would you own the Bills' defense in fantasy football?