Surprise cut: Bills are releasing LeSean McCoy, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 31, 2019
It's not a major surprise, and has been discussed throughout the offseason as a possibility, primarily because the Bills brought in both T.J. Yeldon and Frank Gore via free agency and of course drafted Devin Singletary this offseason.
Fueling further speculation, per Over the Cap, the move saves the Bills $6.425 million against the salary cap, and leaves behind only $2.625 million in dead money. McCoy's cap number for 2019 would have been the third highest among all NFL running backs.
And yet, the team had stayed firm that it intended to keep McCoy as a bridge for Singletary, so the word surprise can certainly still be applied. But there are major ramifications, both for the Bills and around the league.
Bills running back outlook
The move leaves Singletary in line for a much larger role in his rookie season, but it doesn't quite vault him into an elite projection. Yeldon is a veteran pass-catching specialist who has caught at least 30 balls in each of his four NFL seasons, and caught a career-high 55 last year for Jacksonville. He seems likely to spell Singletary on passing downs.
Meanwhile, we all know what Frank Gore can do to a running back's workload. We seem destined for another season where Gore accounts for 100 or so rushes, capping the rushing upside for Singletary. Gore will likely start Week 1 as deference to his veteran status, but Singletary is an intriguing pick because much like other rookies — think Miles Sanders — he will likely have the opportunity to carve out a larger role as the season moves along.
As I update my projections, Singletary moved to my projected RB34 in PPR and RB30 in non-PPR.
That doesn't mean I would draft him that high, because there are still concerns with the offense and at this moment he still looks likely to lose touches on the ground to Gore and through the air to Yeldon. There are other backs in that range that carry more upside.
Of Yeldon and Gore, Yeldon is the preferred Fantasy play, particularly in PPR leagues. It's quite a bit closer in non-PPR, but Yeldon's likely role as the passing back means.
Yeldon checks in at RB48 in my PPR projections, but RB55 in non-PPR.
So which breakouts should you target in your draft? And which rookie running back is a must-have RB2? Visit SportsLine now to get 2019 Fantasy Football cheat sheets from the model that called Tevin Coleman's breakout season, and find out.