Tolbert rushed for 16 yards on three carries and added three catches for 18 yards in Sunday's 20-16 loss to Cincinnati. The veteran is continuing to mount touches in his fullback/halfback hybrid role, with at least six touches in four out of five games to start the season. During that span, a pattern has emerged with Tolbert averaging 10.7 touches per game in wins and five per game in losses. Tolbert's role is putting teams to bed while Buffalo nurses leads, a job that isn't consistent week to week. Tolbert might vulture a touchdown here and there, but certainly isn't starting material either.
Tolbert rushed eight times for 31 yards and wasn't targeted in the passing game during Sunday's 23-17 win over Atlanta. With LeSean McCoy topping 100 yards from scrimmage after struggling over the previous two weeks, Tolbert was relegated to a secondary role. Tolbert serves as both the fullback and backup running back but is a touchdown-dependent play given his lack of volume. The powerful runner has found pay dirt once on 36 touches through four games with the Bills.
Tolbert rushed for 41 yards on 11 carries in Sunday's 26-16 win over Denver. With star back LeSean McCoy frustrated by Denver's swarming defense, Buffalo's coaching staff decided to go heavy and ram Tolbert up the gut. The strategy was especially effective late in the game as Buffalo sought to eat the clock. That sort of "finisher" role seems to be Tolbert's job in Buffalo. In two wins, Tolbert has tallied 24 touches and a score. In the team's lone loss, playing from behind, Tolbert barely got into the action. It might thus be wise to consider the opposing offense, as well as opposing defense, when considering what to do with Tolbert on a given week.
Tolbert compiled five yards on three carries and reeled in his sole pass for two yards during Sunday's 9-3 loss at Carolina. Tolbert does most of his damage in the red zone as a goal-line vulture, but the Bills didn't pass midfield until the first minute of the third quarter and only incurred as deep as the Panthers' 27-yard line in Week 2. As a result, his bull-dozing style didn't come into play against the organization that employed him the past five seasons. With the similarly staunch Broncos coming to town next Sunday, Tolbert will likely find the going tough for the second game in a row.
Following news that Jonathan Williams was waived Sunday, Tolbert figures to see an expanded role in the Buffalo offense behind starting RB LeSean McCoy, ESPN's Mike Rodak reports. With Williams out of the mix, for now, it looks like Tolbert profiles as the team's top option behind McCoy. With Mike Gillislee no longer on the team, a slice of Buffalo's goal-line work could be on tap for Tolbert, thus making him a potential late-round dart in TD-heavy formats. The team's backfield also includes Joe Banyard and Taiwan Jones, though it's still possible that Buffalo has other moves in store to shore up the team's running back situation.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|7||10/22||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||17||17.40|
|9||11/03||@New York Jets||29||20.67|
|10||11/12||New Orleans Saints||14||16.40|
|11||11/19||@Los Angeles Chargers||22||18.67|
|12||11/26||@Kansas City Chiefs||13||16.00|
|13||12/03||New England Patriots||30||21.33|
|16||12/24||@New England Patriots||30||21.33|