The 2018 NFL regular season is in the books, and the Buffalo Bills could not make a second consecutive trip to the postseason. With the end of the regular season comes the end of the fantasy football season, as well. The Bills struggled at times this year, allowing quite a few big fantasy performances this season.
You’ll notice a trend with regard to the highest scoring outputs by Buffalo’s opponents in the 2018 fantasy football season—there were quite a few big games to be had by opposing defenses. In the middle of the season, with Buffalo’s offense run by a string of inept quarterbacks, the pickings were easy for opposing stop units, both literally and figuratively.
Here are the top-ten fantasy football performances against the Buffalo Bills this season. Relive them if you dare. Happy New Year to all!
10. (tie) New England Patriots D/ST
Three sacks, one fumble recovery, and one interception returned for a touchdown are all big fantasy football scoring plays. Not allowing a touchdown is also outstanding. When the team defense in your lineup does all of these things in one game, you usually have an angry opponent. New England’s defense and special teams racked up 20 points on Monday Night Football, which was the top score at the position for Week 8. To this point in the season, fantasy defenses were averaging 14.9 points per week against Buffalo. Yikes.
10. (tie) Houston Texans D/ST
The Texans’ defense had managed 10 points for the day with 90 seconds remaining in the game. They blocked a punt, they recovered a muffed punt, they had two sacks, and they had only allowed 13 points. Then, Nathan Peterman happened. Buffalo’s turnover-prone backup threw an out-pattern right into Johnathan Joseph’s midsection, and the veteran corner waltzed into the end zone for an 8-point fantasy play. Then, Peterman made a hideous attempt at impersonating Josh Allen, throwing the ball across his body and over the middle on a rollout. The pass wobbled directly to Kareem Jackson. So, Peterman was able to gift the Texans 10 points in about 45 seconds worth of game time. Houston’s 20-point day was good for second-best score out of a team defense in the league for Week 6, trailing only the Baltimore Ravens, who managed 21 points in a shutout victory over the Tennessee Titans.
9. RB James White
New England’s leader in targets and receptions on the year led the Patriots in both categories on Monday Night Football, as he saw 13 passes come his way on the evening. He managed to catch ten of them, gaining 79 yards. While he was not nearly as successful as a rusher, managing only 15 yards on eight carries, he did score on a one-yard touchdown plunge in the fourth quarter. White scored 20.4 fantasy points on the game.
8. QB Joe Flacco
The veteran quarterback certainly looked elite on the season’s opening weekend, picking apart an over-matched Buffalo secondary. In two-and-a-half quarters of play, Flacco completed 25-of-34 passes for 236 yards and three touchdowns. His 21.74 fantasy points were tops among Baltimore players, and his score placed Flacco tenth among all quarterbacks for the season’s opening weekend. It was also one of only two 20-point performances on the year for the veteran, who lost his starting job to Lamar Jackson after sustaining an injury mid-season.
6. (tie) QB Andrew Luck
Thanks to short fields and a ridiculously efficient running game, Luck was unable to tally many yards through the air, only passing for 156 yards on the afternoon. The blowout status of the game certainly didn’t help that total, either, as head coach Frank Reich appeared content to run clock for most of the second half against the franchise with which he spent the majority of his NFL career. Luck did throw four touchdown passes on the afternoon, however, which helped him to a 22.74-point fantasy scoring day. That total was good for fourth in the league for Week 7. Luck’s yardage total was lower than any of the other quarterbacks who were in the top-24 in fantasy scoring for that week. If your league awards six points for touchdown passes, then his afternoon was even better.
6. (tie) QB Philip Rivers
The Rodney Dangerfield of modern quarterbacks, Rivers just can’t get no respect, I tell ya. He completed 23-of-27 passes (85.2%) for 256 yards and three touchdowns. Rivers continues to perform at an elite level, and the vast number of weapons he has in Los Angeles’ offense perfectly complement his skill set. He scored 22.74 fantasy points on the day, good for eleventh among quarterbacks in Week 2. He ended the year fourteenth in average fantasy points per game among quarterbacks (18.56), and he was tenth in fantasy points overall at the position (297.02).
5. Green Bay D/ST
The highest-scoring team defense of Week 4 was the Green Bay Packers, as their shutout led to big bonuses in most leagues. Combine that with three forced turnovers, all of which were committed by rookie quarterback Josh Allen, and seven sacks, and the Packers turned in a dominant afternoon in real life and in the fantasy football realm, scoring 23 fantasy points on the day. This game took place one week after Allen was fantastic against the Minnesota Vikings, representing a low point in Allen’s season.
4. RB Leonard Fournette
The former LSU product had his best game of the 2018 season, totaling 95 yards and two touchdowns on 18 rushes in Week 12. He also added three receptions for 13 yards. All of that production came in the game’s first 42 minutes, as Fournette was ejected late in the third quarter. As some pushing and shoving broke out around the end zone after what appeared to be a Donte Moncrief touchdown catch, Fournette ran all the way across the field to join the fray. He squared up to Shaq Lawson and began punching the Bills’ defensive end in the helmet. Both players were tossed, the touchdown was overturned, and the Jacksonville Jaguars were left without their best player. His 24.3 fantasy points were good for fourth among all running backs that week. (With the Jags on the doorstep when he was ejected, it could have been more, too.)
3. RB Melvin Gordon
While Gordon’s yardage total wasn’t impressive (28 rushing yards, 38 receiving yards), it was the three trips into the end zone that cemented his day as a great one. Gordon ran for a touchdown and added two more as a receiver. The Bills had no answer for him coming out of the backfield, and he made any man who tried to cover him look foolish in space. Gordon scored 27.6 points on the day, good for second among all running backs in Week 2.
2. Chicago Bears D/ST
This Week 9 game saw the Bears score twice on defense, returning a Jason Croom fumble 65 yards for a touchdown and following that up by taking a deflected Nathan Peterman pass back 19 yards for another score. Add to those plays four sacks and another interception, and the Bears clearly had a strong day. They also held Buffalo to nine points, which helped boost their total to 28 fantasy points on the afternoon.
1. RB Marlon Mack
Although Mack returned the week prior, he really took off in Week 7, gaining a total of 159 yards from scrimmage. Against a Bills defense that had been stout for the four previous weeks, Mack carried the ball 19 times for 126 yards and a touchdown, caught two passes for 33 yards and a touchdown, and plunged into the end zone on a two-point conversion. Overall, Mack scored 30.9 fantasy points, which was the second-highest running back score of the week, and the top scoring effort against the Buffalo Bills in the 2018 fantasy football season.