2019 is a year of possibilities for the Buffalo Bills. Josh Allen impressed in his final six games for the Bills, and with this retooled offense and rebuilt offensive line, Allen could make huge strides in the coming season. With that, Allen’s quartet of Frisbee dogs and the deep running-back room may see a spike in their production in 2019. Still, the two-part question is: Who should be drafted early, and who is a sleeper pick for your fantasy team?
QB Josh Allen
Despite a meager statistical year, Allen ranked higher in fantasy value because of his ability to run and truck defensive ends on the way to the end zone. He accrued 208 fantasy points in 2018 despite only playing in 11 games. His 631 rushing yards impressed analysts, and he finished the year with two more rushing touchdowns (8) than Ezekiel Elliot (6). Improving in the latter half of last season and with a year under his belt in Daboll’s offense, Allen’s numbers look to improve. If he can continue his rushing ways and stay healthy this season, Josh Allen would not be a bad option for a QB1 in most fantasy leagues.
WR Robert Foster
Robert Foster showed extreme growth in the 2018 season. The rookie barely showed up in the box score early in the season, but in the last seven weeks, Foster had four games of 94 yards or more and caught three touchdowns in that span. If Foster and Allen continue to grow in chemistry, he has the size, speed, and potential to become a number-one receiver in this league. Watch for him as a sleeper this season.
WR Zay Jones
Jones made great strides in his sophomore season as compared to his rookie year, doubling his receiving yardage with 652 yards and more than tripling his touchdowns with seven. Look for Zay to continue to improve and grow with Allen as a trusted weapon, but with Buffalo’s deeper wide-receiver room, he may not get the targets in 2019 that he did last season. Jones could make a solid later-round selection as a WR3.
WR Cole Beasley
Beasley finished the 2018 season with the Dallas Cowboys with 65 receptions for 672 yards and three touchdowns. He seems primed to emulate the Wes Welker-type role in Daboll’s New England-style offense. If Allen can learn to go to the underneath man, Beasley may become Allen’s security blanket in 2019. He’s a risky pick in fantasy, and his real value will be in PPR leagues.
WR John Brown
John “Smokey” Brown is an intriguing pickup for the Bills. Though he has only reached 1,000 yards in one season during his career, he was having an impressive season with Joe Flacco until the Baltimore Ravens changed signal callers mid-season. Brown’s talents fit the strengths of Allen, but as the Bills open the season, he is likely to face the opposing team’s top cornerback. No Bills receiver is a sure thing for fantasy leagues, but Brown is the most proven as an outside receiver.
RB LeSean McCoy
McCoy’s numbers dropped precipitously in 2018. He finished the season with three total touchdowns, 514 rushing yards, and a paltry 3.2 yards per carry. With an improved offensive line, McCoy may bounce back in 2019, but it’s also possible he’s lost his fastball. With a deep RB room, McCoy’s fantasy outlook is not particularly good. Still, he may be worth the risk as an RB2 or a flex player.
RB Frank Gore
Gore is the measure of consistency, and unlike Shady, Gore had his best yards per carry last season with the Miami Dolphins since 2012. Despite playing alongside speedster Kenyon Drake, Gore racked up 722 rushing yards—but only had one total touchdown in 2018. At the age of 36, is this the year Gore loses his fountain of youth? Time will tell.
RB Devin Singletary
“Motor” Singletary produced for Florida Atlantic in his time there. The third-round pick amassed 1,348 yards and 22 touchdowns in his final season in college. Singletary could be an excellent pickup in fantasy with the potential for both Gore and McCoy to start showing their age. The biggest drawback with Singletary is that in his final season at FAU, he only caught six balls, and in his three-year collegiate career, he had only one receiving touchdown. Still, Singletary represents a lot of potential as a rookie rusher, and his greatest value will be in standard or dynasty leagues.
TE Tyler Kroft
With Kroft’s foot injury, his ability to play early in the 2019 season is up in the air, and without the ability to practice or develop chemistry, he is hardly a top-tier option at tight end in fantasy leagues. Kroft’s best season was in 2017 when he caught 42 balls for 404 yards and seven touchdowns. If Kroft can recover by the beginning of the season and come back to form, he could be a solid TE2, but his injury history will leave many fantasy team owners wary.
TE Dawson Knox
Knox, like Singletary, represents potential for the Bills in 2019. Rookie tight ends rarely burst onto the scene, but with injuries to Croom and Kroft, Knox has been playing TE1 in practice thus far this offseason and developing chemistry with Allen. Knox’s college stats do not jump off the page, but he is an athletic receiving tight end. If Kroft cannot play early this season, Knox could be an interesting pickup in the last rounds as a red-zone threat for the Buffalo Bills.
The Bills Defense
Often referred to as the second-ranked defensive squad in 2018, the Bills could be fool’s gold for many fantasy owners. The team finished the year with 36 sacks, 16 interceptions, ten fumble recoveries, and zero defensive touchdowns. The Bills were also ranked 18th last season in points against them, and while the team is bringing back most of their starters and have made key additions in DT Ed Oliver, CB Kevin Johnson, CB E.J. Gaines, and some other defensive rookies with potential, their current outlook is inflated because they allowed the second-fewest yards per game last season, which is not an important fantasy stat. It’s possible the Bills will make huge strides statistically on defense, but if last year is any measure, they’re not yet a top-tier fantasy defense.