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Buffalo Bills Week 15 fantasy football preview: LeSean McCoy is the man

Buffalo’s stud running back is heating up just in time for the fantasy playoffs

After a wild football game against the Indianapolis Colts prevented most Buffalo Bills players from putting up big fantasy numbers in Week 14, some better weather should lead to an improvement in the Bills’ Week 15 matchup against the Miami Dolphins. While we had some big hits in last week’s game (LeSean McCoy, Frank Gore, and Jack Doyle were among the high scorers in terms of fantasy scoring output last week), we also had some big misses (Zay Jones’s goose egg and Adam Vinatieri’s 2 misses chief among them). This week should be an interesting one for the Bills.

RB LeSean McCoy

Just in time for the playoffs, Shady is heating it up in the frigid Western New York weather. After putting up a season-high 156 yards on 32 carries, another season-high, he looks to continue his recent success against a Miami team allowing the 7th-most fantasy points to running backs this season. The Dolphins struggle with quick, agile backs who are adept pass-catchers, as Rex Burkhead’s line from last week would indicate (18.3 fantasy points), but they also allowed over 100 yards rushing to Dion Lewis. Miami has allowed at least one running back to go for double-digit fantasy points in all but two games this season. McCoy should have another big day.

TE Charles Clay

Buffalo’s athletic tight end is a former Dolphin, and he would want nothing more than the end his former team’s playoff hopes on Sunday. In the last meeting between these teams, Clay had 8 catches for 85 yards and 2 touchdowns in Buffalo’s soul-crushing (and playoff-chase ending) 34-31 overtime loss in Week 16 of the 2016 season. Especially if Tyrod Taylor is the starter on Sunday, I expect that Clay will have a big day, as Miami’s corners do a nice job taking receivers away and Taylor struggles throwing into tight windows. Clay should be able to find space against Miami’s linebackers and safeties.

QB Tyrod Taylor

Speaking of Taylor, I think the Bills’ quarterback is a sneaky-good play this week if healthy. Especially for players dealing with losses at the quarterback position, Taylor could be a surprisingly good add. I know, the Dolphins’ defense just made Tom Brady look awful on Monday night, but that game was at home, and the Dolphins have dominated the Patriots in South Beach as of late (1-4 in Brady’s last 5 trips). Taylor’s quarterback rating against Miami (121.2) is his highest mark against a team that he’s faced more than once. In those 4 games against the Dolphins, he averages 252 yards passing and 2 touchdowns per game. Add in his average of 38 rushing yards per contest against the Dolphins, and Taylor averages 22 fantasy points per game against Miami. That’s a pretty strong average for a quarterback who can be had via late waiver addition.

Bills D/ST

Buffalo’s defense nearly managed the shutout last weekend, and while I don’t expect that they’ll have that level of success against Miami, I do expect that they’ll have a good afternoon. The Dolphins were clearly amped for New England last week, and asking for the team to carry that same energy level over on a short week where they travel to a completely different climate is asking a lot. The Dolphins had turned the ball over in every game this season prior to Monday night, so asking for a clean sheet two weeks in a row is asking a lot. Expect the Bills’ stop unit to produce when it matters most.

Miscellaneous

I would hesitate to start a Buffalo wide receiver after watching what the Dolphins did last week to New England’s talented corps, but if I were picking between them, I’d start Kelvin Benjamin or Deonte Thompson, with Zay Jones as a darkhorse third option... Stephen Hauschka’s fantasy football star is fading, but if you’re looking to stream a kicker, you could do worse... After Nathan Peterman’s encouraging performance last weekend, some may want to add him if the team decides to start him on Sunday. I wouldn’t, especially if Kelvin Benjamin is unavailable.