Now that the Buffalo Bills are just about finished with training camp and nearing the half-way point of the pre-season, it's time to assess the team's fantasy football options as the 2012 regular season looms. In reviewing the roster, I see two fantasy starters, four legitimate reserves, and three players with sleeper potential.
The two starters, of course, are running back Fred Jackson and wide receiver Stevie Johnson. Jackson was one of the best fantasy backs in the league in 2011 prior to his season-ending injury, and there have been no strong indications that his workload will shrink this year. Johnson, meanwhile, has been one of the more consistent fantasy receivers in the league over the last two years (158 receptions, 2,077 yards and 17 touchdowns), and minor injuries haven't kept him off the field.
You can do a lot worse than Ryan Fitzpatrick as a backup quarterback; he's hit-or-miss and an inconsistent point producer, but as an occasional plug-in starter, he's got the potential to have really big days for you. C.J. Spiller is a worthy pick with high upside and an increasing role. David Nelson and Scott Chandler are two frequently-targeted safety valve options for Fitzpatrick, and both are threats in the red zone, as well.
As far as sleeper options, I've talked all summer about the fact that Chan Gailey's offense will give whichever third wide receiver option steps up and plays well plenty of opportunities to make big plays. Donald Jones and Derek Hagan look like the early front-runners for playing time there, but the two players are similar in many ways, and neither is particularly explosive. Keep an eye on both of them, but keep a keener eye on rookie T.J. Graham, who is performing better than expected and has a chance to earn a lot of playing time by the end of the year - and perhaps even lock down a starting job.
Are there any Bills that you're interested in drafting for your fantasy teams this year? Or are you the type of fan that avoids players from your favorite team like the plague?
While we're on the subject of fantasy football: billsoferie, matthew62 and bflo are members of the Buffalo Rumblings fantasy football league, and have been sent invites. None of you have yet created teams in the league. Please do so as soon as possible, so that we can make draft arrangements. Thanks!