Are you still playing fantasy football this weekend? If so, congratulations on making it to your league’s championship, or if you play in a league that goes to Week 17, your league’s semifinal. The Buffalo Bills have a matchup against the New England Patriots this weekend, and it was that same matchup in Week 13 that did not bode well for the majority of the Bills’ players. Only one man, LeSean McCoy, even broke into double-figures in fantasy scoring that Sunday. Will that change this weekend? Here are the guys I’m counting on to score big this Sunday.
RB LeSean McCoy
The Bills would be wise to continue using Shady to maintain possession of the ball while simultaneously preventing Tom Brady and company from having it. McCoy is in the midst of yet another Pro Bowl season, having been named to the team for the sixth time in his career, and he has shown no signs of slowing down in his age-29 season. The Patriots have struggled with running backs who are shifty and nimble, and have especially struggled against those who contribute in the passing game. McCoy checks both boxes, so hopefully he can put a dent in New England’s armor on Sunday. In his last trip to Gillette Stadium, he had 70 rushing yards on 19 attempts, and 38 passing yards on 6 catches, including a touchdown. He’ll need a performance at least that good if the Bills are to have any chance to compete on Sunday.
TE Charles Clay
Buffalo’s best receiver in 2017 has been the versatile Clay. A stellar blocker with soft hands and great athletic ability, he can be used to frustrate the middle defenders in the Patriots’ defense. The Pittsburgh Steelers attacked New England’s linebackers and safeties last week with crossing routes, mesh concepts, and angle routes with Le’Veon Bell. Clay is a better athlete than Pittsburgh’s tight end, Jesse James, so that athleticism can certainly be used to exploit a weakness in the defense.
K Stephen Hauschka
If Buffalo is going to march into Foxborough and win, they’re going to have to do more than kick field goals. However, when the Bills went there last, it was Dan Carpenter who booted three field goals to give the Bills the majority of their points. Granted, that was a against a Brady-less Pats’ team starting Jacoby Brissett at quarterback, but Hauschka is as solid a play as any member of the Bills at this point, especially given the team’s struggles against New England in that 23-3 loss at home in Week 13.
I want so badly to say that Tyrod Taylor would be a good play this week, as his numbers at the Patriots in two starts have actually been far better than his numbers against the Patriots in Orchard Park. However, if your team is in the championship of your fantasy league, Tyrod isn’t your best quarterback option, and if he is, I want to see the rest of your roster... Rolling the dice on a Bills’ wide receiver is a tricky proposition. Kelvin Benjamin is the biggest name, but as commenter ForeignArrow pointed out in his most recent All-22 review, Taylor has only targeted Benjamin on 11% of the big receiver’s total pass attempts as a Buffalo Bill. Zay Jones and Deonte Thompson carry similar risk levels due to inconsistent play... Buffalo’s offense was so bad in Week 13 that Travaris Cadet was the team’s second-highest scorer in terms of fantasy points. He may be in line for a decent day, but he won’t see enough work to warrant flex consideration.