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Buffalo Bills fantasy football preview, week 7: running backs at a premium

With a new quarterback who’s only been with the team for a week, a run-heavy game plan is likely

Buffalo Bills v Houston Texans Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

If ever there were a week where you really wanted to avoid playing the players from a historically bad offense in your fantasy football lineup, it would seem that week is upon us. Against the Indianapolis Colts, the Buffalo Bills will start a quarterback who wasn’t in the NFL before October 9th, and hasn’t started an NFL game since December 2016. However, with a quarterback who hasn’t been around for long, the game plan should dictate some heavy usage for Buffalo’s talented running backs, giving them some added value for the week.

Here are Buffalo’s best bets if you’re crazy enough to play them in fantasy football this week.

RB LeSean McCoy

Shady is going to touch the ball early and often. The best way to take pressure off of quarterback Derek Anderson is to put him in as many “third and manageable” situations as possible—and the key to doing that is McCoy. After only rushing 21 times for 85 yards over the course of the season’s first four games, McCoy has carried the ball 40 times for 158 yards over the last two contests. He has been targeted 21 times in the passing game, hauling in 13 passes on the season for an additional 85 yards. Expecting the Bills to feed McCoy is a good bet with one caveat: the Colts will be expecting this, as well. Can McCoy beat the stacked boxes he’s almost sure to face? That’s a gamble worth taking.

RB Chris Ivory

Wait...if McCoy is playing, why think about playing his backup? See the notes above regarding the probability of an extremely run-heavy game plan on the day. Ivory also has the potential to vulture touchdowns away from McCoy, as the latter has yet to rush for a touchdown on the season. With Josh Allen missing the game, any short-yardage situations will certainly fall to Ivory, as Anderson is no threat to take off and run. Ivory is also a solid receiver out of the backfield. I’d expect him to touch the ball between 10 and 15 times on the day.

Bills D/ST

Andrew Luck throws the ball a whole lot. The Bills force a whole lot of turnovers, and they also sack the quarterback a lot. While there aren’t many defenses I’d say are worth a waiver-wire add, the Bills’ stop unit is on the upswing right now, and they are worth a claim. If they’re sitting there for the taking as a free agent, then I’d recommend picking them up and playing them with confidence.