When the Buffalo Bills take on the Miami Dolphins this week at New Era Field, both teams will play merely for pride. The Bills (5-10) have been eliminated for weeks now, and the Dolphins (7-8) were officially eliminated last week. This is the second consecutive year that the teams have met in the final week of the season.
If your fantasy football league is one that plays a two-week championship round, or it’s one that plays a winner-take-all game in a wild Week 17, you may find yourself scrambling to replace players that have taken you to this point in your fantasy season. In that case, a game that would normally be ignored for fantasy purposes, like this one, could become the key to winning your league.
With that in mind, here are some Bills players who have a chance to help you capture fantasy football glory in the final week of the season.
QB Josh Allen
We’ve been saying this for weeks now, but Allen is a great quarterback to have in a Week 17 championship game. He’s not going to leave the game unless injured, he has torn up the league for the better part of the last month (from a fantasy football perspective, that is), and he’s the leader of your favorite NFL team. What negative is there? Last week’s ugly performance against the New England Patriots was fairly easy to predict, as no rookie quarterback has done well against Bill Belichick’s stop unit during his New England tenure. The last time Buffalo met Miami, Allen threw for 231 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions, and a two-point conversion; he added 135 rushing yards on nine carries. He scored a season-high 30.74 fantasy points. Against a Miami team that may be looking at huge changes this off-season, Allen should be able to have another strong outing.
RB LeSean McCoy
Speculation about the potential Hall of Fame running back’s future with the Bills has already begun, thanks to both a terrible season from the veteran and a clear shift towards younger players by Sean McDermott and company. Barring a record-setting day, McCoy will set career lows in rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, and rushing yards per attempt. Coming into the game, McCoy has rushed 151 times for 488 yards (3.2 yards per carry) and two touchdowns. So, why risk playing him in Week 17? McDermott noted his commitment to McCoy earlier this week, saying that he sees the veteran rusher as part of Buffalo’s future plans. If this is truly the case, then the Bills will almost certainly want McCoy to end the season on a high note, both for his own confidence and the team’s confidence moving forward. Another possibility is that the Bills will want to show the league that McCoy still has something left in the tank for potential suitors in the off-season. Either way, it’s in Buffalo’s best interest to give their veteran running back some opportunities to salvage a lost season this weekend.
Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill had one of the best performances of his career against the Bills the last time these two met, throwing for 137 yards and three touchdowns in the 21-17 Dolphins victory. If those numbers don’t seem too impressive, it’s because Tannehill has struggled for the better part of his career against Buffalo, completing 58.9% of his passes for 1,973 yards, 15 touchdowns, and nine interceptions in ten games against the Bills. He’s been sacked 31 times against Buffalo, and he’s also fumbled six times in those games. After Buffalo’s pathetic output against the Patriots’ rushing attack last week, the Bills will almost definitely be prepared to stop the run in this one. If Tannehill is forced to beat them, expect Pro Bowl snub Jordan Poyer to intercept at least one pass in the season finale.