2017 Fantasy Football Draft Prep: Updating Bills Fantasy expectations with Jordan Matthews replacing Sammy Watkins

This was supposed to be the year. 

Sammy Watkins was fully healthy, the team added Anquan Boldin, and Tyrod Taylor was ready to break out. Then the Bills dealt Watkins to the Los Angeles Rams and dealt for Jordan Matthews

Needless to say, this is a downgrade for Taylor. 

The Bills will essentially roll out three slot receivers in Matthews, Boldin and Zay Jones. Matthews is likely the only winner here as he was going to get overshadowed in Philadelphia, but he's still just a No. 4 receiver. Jones and LeSean McCoy could both see a small boost in targets, but not enough to drastically change their value.

Taylor had snuck into my top 12 quarterbacks before this trade, but I've dropped him back into the mid-range No. 2 QB conversation. Watkins wasn't often healthy, but the upside he presented for a quarterback just doesn't exist on this roster any longer.

Here are my updated expectations for the Buffalo Bills:

*Rankings expressed below are in terms of expected Fantasy points. This is a part of our actual Fantasy Football rankings but not a direct correlation to my rankings. Things like injury risk, upside, etc. factor into rankings, but they're not being talked about here. This is simply an expectation as the team is currently constructed.

Buffalo Bills
Player NameExpected FPPosition RankExpected PPR FPPosition Rank
213.7#4266.7#4
116.4#45183.4#44
328.9#14328.9#14
87.2#15149.2#14
94.8#63150.8#65
87.8#70145.8#66

Breaking down the touches

The Bills would surely like to be a run-first team, but it's seems highly unlikely that game script is going to allow them that luxury. Then again, they went 7-9 last year and ran the ball more often than they threw it. I'm expecting pretty close to a 50/50 run/pass split, with a career high in pass attempts for Taylor if he's able to play 16 games. 

Last season the Bills threw more than 45 percent of their passes to running backs and tight ends, and their receiving corps may have actually gotten less talented. This should be a good thing for both Clay and McCoy, providing both with a solid floor as long as they stay healthy. It also plays well into what Anquan Boldin does, because he performed more like a tight end than a receiver in 2016.

 Let's take a look at the rest of the expectations:

Bills touches
Player RuSHARE RuATT ReSHARE TGT REC TD
LeSean McCoy 52% 250 13% 6653 11
Jonathan Williams 27% 120 2% 10 6 3
Jordan Matthews 0% 0 20% 100 676
Anquan Boldin 0% 0 17% 85 566
Zay Jones 0% 0 17% 89583
Charles Clay 0% 0 19% 9262 4

Of note:

  • Jonathan Williams is one of my favorite handcuffs, if you're into that type of thing. There's no one in Buffalo who should challenge him should McCoy go down.

The Leftovers

Before the Bills acquired Boldin and Matthews, they apparently attempted to reconstruct the 2014 Raiders receiving corps, bringing in both Andre Holmes and Rod Streater. They just need to bring back Denarius Moore to complete it. 

In all seriousness, either of these guys could have had upside before the Boldin signing. Now with Jones' emergence and the addition of Boldin, they're waiver wire fodder in even the deepest of leagues.

Senior Fantasy Writer

Heath Cummings is a Senior Fantasy Writer that covers Daily Fantasy Sports of all types. Before coming to CBS Sports he was a staff writer for Footballguys and the host of The Fantasy Football Show on... Full Bio

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