The NFL football season begins anew on Thursday night, and the Buffalo Bills kick off their slate of games on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens. For many of us, that means that we will spend the next seventeen weeks rooting for two teams: the Bills, and the group of real humans that we compiled onto our own fake team in our fantasy football league.
If you’re a homer like me, you have at least one Bills player on your team. If you’re smart (unlike me), that player wasn’t Corey Coleman. Oops.
Each week, we’ll take a look at the players we feel could have a solid fantasy matchup for the Bills and their opponents. Here, we preview the Bills who should be considered playable this week in Baltimore.
RB LeSean McCoy
The Ravens pose a tough matchup for the Bills at all positions, truthfully, but chances are good that if McCoy is on your roster, you drafted him to be your RB1 or RB2. You aren’t going to sit him in your first game, nor should you, even with a tough defense like Baltimore’s. Yahoo! projects McCoy to score 12.8 points in a half-PPR setup, which is 22nd among running backs this week. They have him rushing for 69 yards and making 3 catches for 22 yards. I think that the rushing total might be accurate, but the receiving total could be much higher, as the Bills will look to keep quarterback Nathan Peterman upright in a quick, timing-based offense. McCoy is a solid, if unspectacular play this week.
WR Kelvin Benjamin
Somebody has to catch the ball, right? If one thing is clear about Buffalo’s passing game, it’s that there is an obvious trust between Peterman and Benjamin. Last year, Benjamin only caught 17 passes with the Bills, counting the playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, for a total of 226 yards and 1 touchdown. With Peterman throwing to him, Benjamin caught 6 passes for 91 yards and a touchdown. Baltimore will be without top corner Jimmy Smith in the game, meaning that either second-year man Marlon Humphrey (6’, 203 pounds) or veteran Brandon Carr (6’, 210 pounds) will have to cover the 6’5,” 245 pound behemoth. Yahoo! has Benjamin at 4 catches for 44 yards on the day, but all he needs is a touchdown for that to be a flex-worthy line. I think he’ll surpass both their projected catch total and yardage total this week.
K Stephen Hauschka
If you’re in the group that doesn’t think that Buffalo will do much offensively, Hausch-money is a good player to roster. Baltimore’s stout defense could keep Buffalo out of the end zone, and if they do, Hauschka could be the Bills’ best chance at scoring. If you’re in a league that rewards kickers for making longer field goals, Hauschka is definitely a good player to have. He was 7-for-9 on kicks of 50 yards or more in 2017, and he has made 23-of-33 kicks from that distance over his NFL career. The extra points for extra distance could give you a nice boost this weekend.