Buffalo Bills Team Profile 2016 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles
Rex Ryan’s first year as head coach of Buffalo wasn’t a bad one. His last year with the Jets, Ryan led the team to only 4 wins, so ending 2015 with a record of 8-8 was respectable. For the 2015 Buffalo Bills Team Profile, Utter-Fantasy predicted two things would happen…….1) the players will love him 2) the team will have a losing season. Utter-Fantasy is happy to be wrong on one of them. Give the new head coach credit for getting 8 wins out of a team thrown together in the spring of 2015. QB Tyrod Taylor wasn’t the quarterback for Buffalo in 2014. RB LeSean McCoy wasn’t the running back for Buffalo in 2014. TE Charles Clay, you guessed it…….wasn’t the tight end for Buffalo in 2014. WR Sammy Watkins was a rookie in 2014 ( see Buffalo Draft) and forced to start over with a new QB in 2015. These players and others all had to come together as a team over the summer and in pre-season, and make it work during the regular season. Not an easy task.
2016 Team Outlook- Buffalo ( and the rest of the AFC East Division) get stampeded by the New England Patriots. The Pats are the thorn in Rexy’s side, it was while he coached the Jets and remains while he’s coaching Buffalo ( but that’s why he got the Buffalo gig, his familiarity with his opponents in that division.) On January 10th of this year, brother Rex hired brother Rob, former New Orleans defense coordinator, to run the Buffalo defense. ( On November 16, 2015, the day after a 47–14 loss to Washington, and with the New Orleans defense ranked last in the NFL, Ryan was fired.) Nepotism doesn’t get much more ridiculous than this. Rob stinks as a defense coordinator. Not my opinion, it’s a fact. Rex Ryan’s first NFL Draft as head coach was not considered to be a very good one. In 2015 , Mel Kiper handed out his NFL Draft grades and ranked the Buffalo Bills draft dead last.
2016 Fantasy Football Outlook–
QB- Tyrod Taylor was signed away from Baltimore on March 12, 2015, the young quarterback signed a 3-year, $3.35 million contract with Buffalo. On August 31, 2015, Taylor was named the starting quarterback for the 2015 season by head coach Rex Ryan, after beating out former Bills first round pick EJ Manuel and veteran Matt Cassel in their preseason quarterback competition among the three. Although Taylor’s season wasn’t disasterous ( He set the Buffalo Bills’ franchise record for consecutive passes without an interception in the third quarter of a week 13 ) Bills GM Doug Whaley gave a half-hearted endorsement of Tyrod Taylor as the long-term starting quarterback.
RBs- A decent part of this section should be devoted to newly acquired RB LeSean McCoy’s accomplishments during the 2015 and how he overcame his Week 3 injury to become the starting running back for Buffalo once again in Week 9, but that’s ancient history for LeSean. McCoy has recently found himself in a peck of trouble. Arrest warrants for McCoy and and three other alleged assailants are expected to be served in February. McCoy is being accused of assaulting two off-duty police officers at a Philadelphia nightclub last Saturday night/Sunday morning. This has a long way to go still, but it’s possible McCoy serves time on Exempt List. In 2015, Buffalo selected rookie running back Karlos Williams’ in the 5th round of the NFL Draft. Throughout 2015, he shared time with McCoy, racking up 517 rushing yards along with 7 TD runs. He ended 2015 as the 31st ranked RB for the season. In light of McCoy’s legal trouble, Williams fantasy stock is on the rise.
WRs- Who are the wide receivers on the Buffalo Bill’s roster? Sammy Watkins. Good, now who else? Woods somebody. OK….his name is actually Robert Woods……who else? ZZZZZZZ. Therein lies the problem. Buffalo has actually been focused on selecting wide receivers in past drafts, and most are still on their roster. WR Marcus Easley was drafted in 2010, Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin in 2013, Sammy Watkins in 2014 and Dezwin Lewis in 2015. Perhaps they are still in development and will be solid contributors in the future. One has to wonder however, why Buffalo keeps adding wide receiver journeyman on their roster, such as Greg Salas, Greg Little, Leonard Hankerson and Jarrett Boykin.
TEs- Scott Chandler is the only name worth mentioning one year ago, until Buffalo shuffled him off to New England and acquired former Miami free agent TE Charles Clay. He’s a big, tough guy and Buffalo signed a five-year, $38 million deal back in March, and Buffalo paid him like an elite tight end. It was an expensive 51 catches for only 528 yards with 3 measley touchdowns. TE Scott chandler could have done that. Wait…Scott Chandler DID do that, in 2014….almost….47 catches for only 497 yards with 3 measley touchdowns for Buffalo. After only one year with a new head coach and new teammates, Clay can’t be considered a bust yet. Clay has great size and talent so the Bills need to tap into more of it in 2016.
K- Buffalo’s Dan Carpenter had been in the top 10 rankings for kickers in 2014 ( #6) and 2013 (#10) . Due to a poor offense, Carpenter fell to #20 in 2015. Carpenter seemed to struggle the most with the extra yardage added to extra point in 2015. He went only 34 for in 40 attempts, the most missed extra points in the NFL.
DEF- The Buffalo defense took a nose dive in 2015, falling from #3 in 2014 to #26. So how did Rexy decide to fix it. He brought in his brother Rob, who was fired from New Orleans for engineering the worst defense in the NFL. ( that’s like hiring CLEV WR Josh Gordon as a guidance counselor for chemical dependency!)
2015 Buffalo Fantasy Surprises- My fantasy football surprise from Buffalo isn’t Sammy Watkins ( we all expect him to do great things), but QB Tyrod Taylor. While running back LeSean McCoy was the only Buffalo Bills player to officially make the 2015 Pro Bowl, first-year quarterback Tyrod Taylor also made a trip to Hawaii as an alternate for the game, replacing Panther’s quarterback Cam Newton. Tylor ended 2015 as the 18th ranked quarterback in the NFL. He threw for 3035 yards and ran for 568 more. Taylor also had the least amount of interceptions (6) for any QB playing in al least 14 games. Another fantasy football surprise for 2015 was RB Karlos Williams. Many people questioned HC Ryan’s selection Williams in the 2015 NFL Draft, but Williams was a contributor to the offense in 11 of Buffalo’s 16 games last season and as mentioned earlier, RB McCoy’s legal trouble could lead to Williams be the #1 running back in Buffalo for 2016.
2016 Free Agents that Buffalo need to address- OG Richie Incognito, DT Corbin Bryant (RFA), OLB Nigel Bradham, WR Percy Harvin, FS Bacarri Rambo (RFA), DT Alex Carrington, CB Ron Brooks, DT Stefan Charles (RFA), OTJordan Mills, WR Leonard Hankerson LT Cordy Glenn
2016 NFL Draft- Buffalo has half of their O-Line headed for free agency, so if they can’t find a way to keep them, they must replace them. HC Rex Ryan ( and now Rob) have to fix a defense that ranked #26…..they need help with new linebackers and in their secondary.
Did you know- January 2016 marked the first time the two twins, Rex Ryan and Rob Ryan, had coached together since 1995. Back then, they were coaching under their father, Buddy Ryan, with the Arizona Cardinals.