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Can Bills TE Nelson Be Considered A Fantasy Sleeper?

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Not much is known about what Buffalo Bills head coach Chan Gailey's offense will look like in 2009, but we do know that personnel should dictate that the Bills become a run-first (and second, and third, and fourth) team. With three quality running backs and an offensive line that is much more adept at run blocking than pass protection, running the ball well is clearly the Bills' best chance at winning games early in the season.

Buffalo is currently searching for a second receiving threat to complement veteran receiver Lee Evans. With unproven talent at receiver, most expect one of the team's backs (Fred Jackson or C.J. Spiller the obvious front-runners) to emerge as a dependable receiving threat, but second-year tight end Shawn Nelson should be in the conversation, as well.

A high-value fourth-round pick just a year ago out of Southern Mississippi, Nelson struggled with migraines in catching just 18 passes (for 157 yards and one touchdown) in his rookie season. Still, Nelson is one of just four returning Bills players - Evans and two running backs being the others - that caught more than 10 passes last year. Presumably healthy, Nelson is expected to nail down Buffalo's starting tight end job during training camp - and while Gailey has historically made little use of tight ends, Nelson doesn't exactly have stiff competition to get a significant amount of targets in this offense.

The question was posed in the headline, folks: can Shawn Nelson be a fantasy-worthy player in this offense, or are there too many circumstances that will ultimately prevent him from emerging? The comments section is all yours.

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