Well, that was a fun one to watch.
In a game that most people felt would be a snoozer, the Buffalo Bills absolutely dismantled the New York Jets, winning 41-10 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Bills started their fourth quarterback of the season and were in the midst of a stretch where they had only managed to score 46 points over their previous 6 games. Buffalo nearly matched that in 60 minutes of dominant football against a listless Jets squad.
For once, there were more than a few Bills who were fantasy football-relevant this week, with six of their players registering a double-digit score. Here are the leaders for the week.
RB LeSean McCoy
That’s more like it. Buffalo’s number one rusher had looked a bit lost throughout the season’s first nine games, compiling career-lows in nearly every rushing category. Coming into Sunday’s game, he had 85 carries for 267 yards, a 3.14-yards per carry average. On Sunday, McCoy rushed 26 times for 113 yards and 2 touchdowns, good for a 24.3-point fantasy day. The put McCoy ninth among all running backs this week. The offensive line opened multiple holes for him, and he hit them hard. It also appeared that offensive coordinator Brian Daboll took advantage of the Jets over-pursuing the initial run read, as he built in multiple rushes with cut-back options for the still-nimble McCoy to read. Overall, it was a great effort from McCoy that hopefully is less of an anomaly and more of the norm for the remainder of the 2018 season (and 2019, as well).
WR Zay Jones
All aboard the Zay Train! Buffalo’s second-round draft choice from a year ago seems to have turned a corner in his development, as he looks much better in year two than he did in year one. On Sunday, Jones had his best game as a pro, catching 8 of 11 targets for 93 yards and 1 touchdown. It could have been two touchdowns on the day for Jones, but he fumbled at the one-yard line while stretching for a touchdown in the first quarter. Luckily, the fumble was recovered by Jason Croom in the end zone. Jones scored 19.3 fantasy points on the afternoon, and while he is available in 99% of Yahoo! leagues, I don’t know that I would rush to add him quite yet. Of his career numbers (64 receptions, 708 yards, 4 touchdowns), his best games have come against the Jets. He has 15 catches for 167 yards and 2 touchdowns against Gang Green in 3 games, totals that amount to between 25% and 50% of his career numbers in each of those three categories. If you have an extra roster spot and can stash him, he might be worth an exploratory add for the rest of the year, but I would wait to see if he can do it against another opponent before jumping all-in on Zay.
QB Matt Barkley
Yeah, we all totally called this one, right? Barkley became the second quarterback to complete the “Couch to Bills Starting QB” program this year, except his results were far better than Derek Anderson’s. In his first regular-season action since 2016, Barkley completed 60% of his throws (15-for-25) for 232 yards and 2 touchdowns, one of which went to left tackle Dion Dawkins. Barkley probably won’t have the chance to build on his 17.08-point fantasy effort, as Josh Allen is expected to be healthy enough to start when the Bills play the Jacksonville Jaguars after their bye week, but he showed enough to earn a look as the potential long-term backup for Allen in the future.