Coming into the Buffalo Bills’ Week 7 game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Buffalo’s highest-scoring wide receiver in fantasy football was Jordan Matthews. He had scored 27.2 points. No Buffalo receiver had scored more than 9.5 points, the total that Brandon Tate put up against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Enter Deonte Thompson.
If that line doesn’t sound a little funny to you, then maybe you expected Thompson to instantly contribute with his new team. Maybe you expected Thompson to catch 4 passes on 4 targets and total 107 yards in his Buffalo Bills debut. Maybe you expected Thompson to tally the second 100-yard receiving game of his NFL career.
In an unrelated scenario, you may also be a relative of Thompson’s if you thought any of those things would happen on Sunday. But here we are, and happen those things did. Thompson put up one of the best outings of his career in his first game with his new team, and in doing so, he made a case for himself to start opposite Jordan Matthews at receiver for the time being. He also should be firmly on your fantasy football radar with regard to the waiver wire.
Aside from Thompson, there are a few other Bills who should be added in most fantasy formats.
TE Nick O’Leary
Here’s a fun fact about Charles Clay’s replacement: he doesn’t wear gloves while he plays. If you already knew that, maybe you haven’t heard that his grandfather is golf legend Jack Nicklaus?
Okay, now that the obligatory O’Leary nuggets have been shared, let’s think about the real reasons why he’s worth a shot on your fantasy team. The Bills and Rick Dennison use the tight end spot often in the passing game. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor has also been remarkably efficient when throwing to his tight ends this season, a huge change from previous years. Charles Clay was targeted 28 times prior to injuring his knee against the Bengals, catching 20 of them for a 71% catch rate on the year. O’Leary has been even more efficient, hauling in 9 of his 11 targets (82% catch rate) for 165 yards. With the tight end position being a true boom-or-bust spot save for a few of the elite, top-end options, taking a flyer on someone like O’Leary may be worth it. He scored 6.8 points last week and 7.9 against the Bengals in his two games taking most of the “starter” snaps. An average of 7.35 points per game would put him between Delanie Walker (owned in 96% of leagues) and O.J. Howard (owned in 13%); O’Leary is only owned in 3% of fantasy leagues. If you’re looking for a shot in the arm at the position, O’Leary may be a sound addition.
K Stephen Hauschka
He’s still unowned in 66% of Yahoo! leagues. I have no idea how this is possible, considering the fact that Hauschka is number 8 in scoring among kickers. He leads the league in 50-yard field goals and is 12-for-14 overall on the season. Chances are good that someone in your league has a kicker who’s worse than him; it may even be you. What are you waiting for? Add him.
Again, how is this happening? The Bills are tied for tenth in scoring from their fantasy stop unit with 56 points in 6 games. Sign me up for a 9.33-point average out of my fantasy defense any day. While their points allowed number has crept upward in each game starting in week 2 (going from 9 against the Carolina Panthers to a season-high 27 against the Buccaneers), they have maintained a steady scoring pace. Available in 50% of Yahoo! leagues, the Bills’ defense is a solid post-bye week add for your squad.