The Buffalo Bills trailed the New York Jets 34-7 with 6:42 remaining in the fourth quarter. If you’re like me, you hate turning the game off early, but this was too much to take. I missed the final 14 points scored by the Bills, which helped only the fantasy football prospects of some die-hards and riverboat gamblers among us. While the Bills were awful in every way in reality on Thursday night, there were a few fantasy football bright spots.
QB Tyrod Taylor
When he wasn’t running for his life behind an offensive line that could not figure out how to block New York’s five-man fronts, Taylor was making some pretty good plays. He scored two garbage-time touchdowns, one on a 26-yard pass to Deonte Thompson and another on a 1-yard rush, but his day was pretty solid all-around. On those two garbage-time drives, Taylor was 10-for-15 passing, totaling 89 yards and the aforementioned touchdown; he ran three times for 9 yards and a touchdown on the last drive of the game. Prior to those drives, he was 19-for-25 passing, throwing for 196 yards and a touchdown to Zay Jones that briefly tied the game at 7. Overall, Taylor was good for 26.9 fantasy points, the second-highest total of any quarterback during Week 9. If you started him, your homerism paid off.
WR Deonte Thompson
In two out of his three games wearing a Bills uniform, Thompson has been the highest-scoring fantasy receiver. While this may change with Kelvin Benjamin set to join the squad, it’s worth noting Thompson’s instant chemistry with Taylor combined with the speed he brings to the passing attack bodes well for his continued involvement in the offense. Thompson caught 7 passes on 10 targets, gaining 81 yards and scoring on that long touchdown to put up 17.6 fantasy points on the week, good for sixth among all wideouts last week. Available in 96% of Yahoo! leagues, Thompson is a risky play, but his speed and Taylor’s strong deep accuracy make the veteran receiver a high-ceiling flex play.
WR Zay Jones
Only 12 receivers scored more points than Buffalo’s rookie, and his night would have been even better had he not injured his knee. The injury occurred when he beat Buster Skrine so badly that all Skrine could do to stop Jones was stick a leg out and trip him. Zay set career-highs in catches (6) and yards (53) while scoring his first NFL touchdown, which led to a pretty awesome lightsaber duel in the end zone with Andre Holmes. If Jones can make it back in time to play this week against the New Orleans Saints, the addition of Benjamin should help to open things up for him, although it may lead to a slight decrease in snaps. However, he may also retain his starting gig as the outside receiver opposite Benjamin, with Jordan Matthews moving into the slot as the third receiver.
Well, they can’t all be hits, right? If you started Buffalo’s defense (I know I did), you were left with a big ol’ goose egg after Thursday’s debacle. They allowed 194 rushing yards, missed 21 tackles, and just looked bad overall. The Bills had no answers for what the Jets did on offense, which does not bode well going into a matchup against the high-octane Saints...or does it? Maybe this was the wake-up call the Bills needed before a big midseason push to the playoffs can begin!
RB LeSean McCoy
After a string of very strong outings, McCoy had his worst night of the season by far. Shady ran 12 times for 25 yards, and he did not record a reception for the first time all season. He was actually outscored by backup Mike Tolbert, who ran 4 times for 3 yards while catching 3 passes for 13 yards. McCoy logged 2.5 points on the night; Tolbert chugged ahead for 3.1 points. Overall, it was an ugly night for the Bills running game, as the offensive line had no answers for the energized Jets defensive front.