In Rex Ryan's first year as head coach of the Bills, he settled on a quarterback that turned out to be good and sometimes great for Fantasy owners in Tyrod Taylor. Previously a backup in Baltimore, Taylor won the starting job in training camp and started 14 games, completing 63.7 percent of his passes for 3,035 yards, 20 touchdowns and six interceptions and rushing 104 times for 568 yards and four touchdowns. He had six games with at least 20 Fantasy points in a standard league and eight games with at least 18 points. Taylor was one of the better dual-threat quarterbacks since he was second at the position in rushing yards behind only Cam Newton (636 yards). But now Taylor has to prove himself all over again, and the health of star receiver Sammy Watkins (foot) could be the key to his success. If Watkins is ready for Week 1 then consider Taylor a potential breakout quarterback in all leagues worth drafting with a mid-round pick. But if Watkins is limited heading into Week 1 or expected to miss several weeks, then Taylor should only be drafted with a late-round pick. He'll still have plenty of good and sometimes great moments, but we'd like to see Watkins on the field with him for 16 games. His other top receivers of Robert Woods and Charles Clay don't inspire much confidence, and Taylor's rushing prowess will only carry him so far.
Bills general manager Doug Whaley said Taylor did enough in 2015 for the team to "continue down the road to see if he can be the franchise guy of the future", The Buffalo News reports. Whaley seemingly intended for his comment to be taken as praise, but it's still a bit perplexing how hesitant the Bills have been to commit to Taylor as their quarterback of the future, perhaps because acknowledging the extent of his success would illuminate just how disappointing the rest of the organization was this season. In addition to his obvious running prowess, Taylor overcame a mediocre receiving corps to complete 63.7 percent of his passes for 8.0 yards per attempt, with a 20:6 TD:INT ratio. Even with the Bills sporting a potent rushing attack, it was odd to see how conservative the team typically played on offense in the first half of games, seemingly unaware that it had an effective quarterback and a lousy defense. Buffalo still managed to go 8-6 in the games Taylor played, and with slightly better health and coaching, the team likely would've contended for a playoff spot. In any case, Taylor probably won't face any competition for the starting job next season, but it does seem the Bills are hesitant to extended his contract beyond 2016.
Taylor (shoulder) completed 18 of 28 passes for 182 yards and rushed 10 times for 51 yards and a touchdown during Sunday's 22-17 win over the Jets. Taylor connected with only four receivers, with wideout Sammy Watkins dominating the targets and catching 11 passes for 136 yards, while Greg Salas was the only other player to register more than four receiving yards. Taylor finishes the season with 3,035 passing yards and 20 touchdowns plus 568 rushing yards and four scores on the ground in 14 games, his first full season as a starter. Taylor will be a free agent after next season, and he could be in line for a new contract this offseason after his fine play this year, though the Bills have a little salary cap maneuvering before that can be completed.
Sunday's weather forecast for Taylor and the Bills calls for potential snow and winds around 20 mph. Taylor played in wintry Buffalo weather last week and only threw 18 times, so more of the same could be in store Sunday if the game is close or the Bills get a lead. If you're counting on Taylor for production in Week 17, he may have to help you with his feet again, which he's capable of doing. The first-year starter has rushed at least seven times in the last four games, and ran it 14 times for 67 yards in last week's win.
Taylor (right shoulder) is listed as probable for Sunday's game against the Jets. Taylor was listed as limited at practice this week, but there was never much doubt that he'd be a go Sunday in the 7-8 Bills' season finale against coach Rex Ryan's former team. They'll close out their season Sunday minus a pair of key offensive cogs, RB LeSean McCoy and TE Charles Clay.
Taylor was listed as a limited practice participant Wednesday with a right shoulder issue. That said, the QB insists that he has "no doubt at all" about starting Sunday's season finale against the Jets, while indicating that despite being listed as limited by the Bills, he took "every rep" during Wednesday's practice session.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/16||New York Jets||11||18.75|
|4||10/02||@New England Patriots||16||19.78|
|5||10/09||@Los Angeles Rams||10||18.56|
|6||10/16||San Francisco 49ers||7||18.06|
|8||10/30||New England Patriots||16||19.78|
|17||01/01||@New York Jets||11||18.75|
|3 Year Avg||63.3||1012||7||2||210||1||107|