Since I was a kid, I have always been a member of the #Billsmafia. Through the four tough super bowl losses in the nineties and the numerous busted draft picks, free agents and crappy quarterbacks, I have always stayed the course as a true fan. Needless to say, I was extremely excited to see the new Bills regime this year.
A new coaching staff, some changes in the front office and most important, a new quarterback that was off to a great start this season. Things seemed fresh and optimistic, but in classic Buffalo Bills fashion the team suffered a setback. Rookie QB E.J. Manuel went down in week five with a knee injury. At 3-4, sitting at the bottom of the AFC East once again and with a “franchise” signal caller down for a few weeks, what can we expect the Bills to do?
Thaddeus Lewis was promoted from the Bills practice squad and has been the starter for the Bills in Manuel’s absence. He has filled the need for the time being, with a 1-1 record. Buffalo made something of an emergency move and signed quarterback Matt Flynn as a back-up. We know Flynn can’t win a starting job to save his life, so Buffalo is obviously not in the greatest of shape at quarterback, until Manuel returns.
They also are lacking true threats in the passing game. While rookie Robert Woods has looked good thus far, their number one receiver Stevie Johnson is always hurt (and has struggled with drops). Scott Chandler, T.J. Graham and speedster Marquise Goodwin have all made big plays this year, but none seem to be consistent enough. As a result, we are starting to see more of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller in the passing game. The Bills defense has been the major factor in wins and it’s time for the offense to step up. I think the way they do it will be to get both Jackson and Spiller as many touches as possible.
Jackson has yet again surprised the fantasy world. He was a late round pick in most drafts, yet he ranks 2nd on the team in receptions and leads the team in rushing yards. In fact, the rushing attempts and yardage is almost split evenly between he and Spiller.
Obviously, Jackson has been the hot hand so far this year, but I think C.J. Spiller is the top fantasy option for the Bills going forward. While he is off to a sluggish start so far, he has shown in the past that he starts heating up during the second half of the season. Not to mention he hasn’t been 100% health-wise since week 1. Spiller seems to limp off the field after each play. Its worth noting that usually at this time of year something always goes wrong with Fred Jackson. As we saw in week 7, Jackson had a bit of a knee injury scare. He later returned, but as I said this kind of stuff seems to always plague him come mid/late season.
I expect Spiller to see more time as a receiver. He will be a great safety valve for Thad Lewis. Also, the Bills really lack a big time play maker in the passing game. C.J. Spiller has proved he is a dynamic home run threat. The coaching staff just needs to get him more touches to help you win a fantasy championship.