I have to lead off with an apology. If you followed my advice and started the Buffalo Bills defense/special teams like our Editor-in-Chief, Matt Warren, then you rolled the dice with a stop-unit that looked listless throughout the entire game between the Indianapolis Colts and a team masquerading as our Bills. I started them in one of my leagues too, and I wore those -2 fantasy points for the week like a scarlet letter “L” for loser.
While my squad was able to overcome Buffalo’s defensive deficiencies in pulling out the “W,” it was in no part due to any other Bills players. (Editor’s note: I still won, too, facing the team that scored the fewest points this week. - MRW) Somehow, there were a few Bills worthy of flex plays this week despite the pitiful offensive showing.
RB Chris Ivory
I thought that Buffalo’s thunder would have a big role in the game complementing LeSean McCoy’s lightning. I wasn’t expecting Shady to bow out of the game on only Buffalo’s second play from scrimmage, as his head bounced off the Lucas Oil Stadium turf, leaving him dazed and in concussion protocol. As a result, Ivory became the main man in the backfield, and he responded with a solid game. He carried 16 times for 81 yards, adding three receptions for 25 yards. Overall, Ivory scored 12.1 fantasy points for the week. Given the uncertainty of McCoy’s status for Monday Night Football against the New England Patriots this week, Ivory isn’t a bad player to stash on the bench. Even if the game is out of hand early, Ivory is an adept receiver who can pick up yards after the catch, and he will certainly have short-yardage touches that might even be around the goal line...if the Bills can make it that far.
RB Marcus Murphy
With quarterback Derek Anderson making the start just twelve days after signing, we knew that Buffalo would rely on the running game. With McCoy leaving early due to injury, it was Murphy who picked up the slack as a complement to Ivory. The nimble scat back ran only four times, but he managed 53 yards on the ground for the day. He also had five receptions for 17 yards, giving him a 9.5-point fantasy day. Given that Murphy is owned in 0% of fantasy leagues, the chances that you benefited from his performance are, well, nonexistent. If McCoy misses the game and you’re feeling frisky, he’s definitely available for add; however, I’d add Ivory first.
WR Kelvin Benjamin
The only receiver to have played a game with Derek Anderson prior to Sunday was targeted five times, and he had his best day of the 2018 season. Benjamin hauled in four passes for a total of 71 yards, good for a 9.1-point fantasy output. That total is Benjamin’s greatest of the year, surpassing a two-catch effort in Week Two where he totaled 19 yards and a touchdown.