Note: this is a continuation of the "Fantasy Bills" series here at Buffalo Rumblings. This series focuses on fantasy football-worthy Bills players and how they should be utilized this coming season. Previous Fantasy Bills: Losman, Price, Evans
Name one rookie who has a better chance at making a big-time statistical impact as a rookie than Bills running back Marshawn Lynch.
OK, Lions wideout Calvin Johnson doesn't count.
So name one rookie who has a better chance at making a big-time statistical impact as a rookie than Bills running back Marshawn Lynch other than Calvin Johnson. Not too many names come up, do they? The fact of the matter is this: when fantasy drafts start going down, Lynch will always be one of (if not the) first rookie drafted. Here's why.
What Has Changed?
A lot has obviously changed for Lynch, who goes from being a dominant talent in the Pac-10 to an unproven talent against NFL defenses. So there is obviously going to be a transition period.
But everything else looks promising. Lynch will be used in Buffalo much like he was used at Cal under Jeff Tedford - he'll get 15 carries or so a game and be used a lot as a receiver. With a two-back system in place in Buffalo, Lynch won't face a lot of pressure to "carry the load". He already has the look of this offense's best playmaker (outside of Lee Evans), so his rookie season could be special.
What's the Same
Essentially nothing - and that's a very good thing. Gone are the days of a run-between-the-tackles, one-horse system that Travis Henry and Willis McGahee used. The way the position is utilized will be different; the offensive line is much better; the offensive system as a whole is better; the players are better and more versatile. Nothing is the same with this unit, which will help Lynch succeed.
It is important to remember that Lynch is not going to see the entirety of the running back work this season, so he likely won't come very close to putting up numbers worthy of being a top-two back on your team. But his playmaking potential will make him a top flex option - especially if your backs get points for receptions.
224 carries, 940 yards, 7 TD; 50 catches, 410 yards, 2 TD
If you can get your fantasy paws on Lynch before the 6th round (especially as your #3 back), you are on your way to a deep playoff run. Lynch will provide you solid statistics, an excellent receiving back for flex leagues and plenty of appearances in highlight packages. Just don't expect much more than that his rookie season.