2021 Franchise Focus: Buffalo Bills

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2021 Franchise Focus: Buffalo Bills

The Josh Allen Explosion of 2020 was not something anyone could have predicted from afar, though very clearly Buffalo knew what kind of player it had in the building as OC Brian Daboll constructed one of the league’s most vicious pass attacks. Erratic with flashes of brilliance and flashes of atrocious play for his first two seasons, Allen developed into one of the most consistent and best QBs in the NFL in his third season, finishing second to Aaron Rodgers in MVP voting and taking the Bills to the AFC Championship Game for the first time since the Marv Levy/Jim Kelly era. An off-season trade for WR Stefon Diggs certainly assisted, but Allen tapping into his outstanding natural ability was the key.

Still stacked with one of the best rosters in football, the Bills are looking to take the next step in 2021, into the Super Bowl. They also have a ton of players worth considering for fantasy, though we’re interested to see if the run game can improve a little from last year. If Allen and the passing game continue to perform close to the way they did in 2020, it won’t matter.

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The Basics

2021 Season Odds

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook

Team FuturesOdds
Season Win Total (O/U)11 (-110/-110)
AFC East-150
Playoffs (Y/N)-370/+285
AFC Championship+600
Super Bowl+1200
Season Prop Movement
  • Win Total: 10.5 (-110) in late March to 11 (-110)

  • Super Bowl: +1200 in early February to +1200

Premium 2021 Betting Preview from Tom Brolley found here.

Key Offseason Moves

AdditionsDraftDepartures
Emmanuel Sanders (WR)Gregory Rousseau (DE)John Brown (WR, LV)
Mitchell Trubisky (QB)Carlos Basham (DE)Andre Roberts (KR/PR, Hou)
Jacob Hollister (TE)Spencer Brown (OT)Brian Winters (OG, Ari)
Matt Breida (RB)Marquez Stevenson (WR)Quinton Jefferson (DL, LV)
Tyrell Adams (LB)Tommy Doyle (OT)Josh Norman (CB)
Forrest Lamp (OG)
Olaijah Griffin (CB)
Nick McCloud (CB)
Tariq Thompson (S)

Scott Barrett’s Fantasy Strength of Schedule

Quarterback: 10th-toughest (-0.29)

Running Back: 13th-toughest (-0.33)

Wide Receivers: 13th-easiest (+0.15)

Tight Ends: 9th-toughest (-0.18)

Pace and Tendencies

Pace (seconds in between plays): 26.9 (T-10th)

Plays per game: 65.0 (11th)

When the game is within a score — Pass: 63.8% (2nd) | Run: 36.2% (31st)

When the team is ahead — Pass: 58.2% (3rd) | Run: 41.8% (30th)

When the team is behind — Pass: 70.1% (5th) | Run: 29.9% (28th)

Josh Allen’s massive third-year leap and the addition of Stefon Diggs catapulted the Bills into Super Bowl contention last year, but OC Brian Daboll deserves a ton of praise (and a future HC job) for the work he’s done with this offense. Their attack starts and stops with the passing game. Not only were the Bills top-5 in pass rate in every game situation last year, they were a league-leading 62% pass-heavy on early downs (1st and 2nd) when the game was within a score. For reference, the Steelers (61%) and Chiefs (59%) were the second and third-most pass-heavy teams on early downs. And on those first and second down throws, Allen’s average depth of target downfield was 9.8 yards — which was third-highest in the league behind Tom Brady (10.4) and Deshaun Watson (9.9). The Bills have ultimate trust in Allen to attack defenses early and often and it’s a perfect recipe for another high volume and high scoring fantasy season.

Key Statistics

  • The Bills ranked second in the AFC in point differential (+126) behind the Ravens (+165).

  • They had nine games where they scored 30+ points in the regular season, which tied the Chiefs for third-most and was behind only the Packers (12) and the Titans (10).

  • Josh Allen’s 25.4 fantasy points per game is the sixth-best season ever by a quarterback.

  • In 41 career starts, Allen has now scored 15 or more fantasy points in 36 games. Three of his 5 games below 15 fantasy points have been against the Patriots.

  • Allen is averaging 40.1 rushing yards per start, which is seventh-most by a quarterback since the merger. For reference, Kyler Murray is sixth (42.6).

  • Allen and Stefon Diggs absolutely shredded man coverage and connected for league-highs in completions (51) and yards (730).

  • The duo connected for a 74% completion rate vs. man, which was third best behind only Rodgers-to-Adams (79%) and Wilson-to-Lockett (77%).

  • According to Matt Harmon’s Reception Perception study, Diggs led all WRs in success rate (getting open) against man coverage last season.

  • If you remove dropped passes, Allen led all QBs in completion rate when the pocket was kept clean (85.8%). Aaron Rodgers ranked second (84.6%).

  • Allen led the team in carries inside of the 10-yard line (red-zone) with 16, followed by Moss (15) and Singletary (9).

  • When both backs were healthy, Devin Singletary averaged 8.2 fantasy points per game while Zack Moss put up 7.8 FPG.

Huber’s Scheme Notes

Offensive

Things were not looking good for Brian Daboll in Year 1 after replacing Rick Dennison as the Bills’ OC. Despite making the playoffs, Dennison was fired after his lone 2017 season as OC after only scoring 18.9 PPG (22nd). The following season, Daboll’s offense finished third-to-last, scoring only 16.8 PPG. However, prior to 2018, GM Brandon Beane traded up six spots with Tampa Bay to select Wyoming QB Josh Allen. After trading Tyrod Taylor to the Browns and A.J. McCarron to the Raiders, Allen's ascension toward taking over the offense was only blocked by Nathan Peterman. The Peterman experiment didn’t even last a full game after tossing a pair of INTs compared to five completions (0.00 passer rating) in Week 1 at Baltimore. Then, over the raw Allen’s first nine games, Buffalo’s offense averaged 10.7 PPG en route to missing the 2018 playoffs.

Don’t confuse the fact that the Bills made the playoffs in 2019 as an indication that the offense had corrected all of their shortcomings. After a 9-3 start to the season, Buffalo lost three of their last four, and were bumped from the playoffs by the Texans in the Wild Card round. They managed to narrowly outscore Dennison’s ‘18 offense (19.6 vs. 18.9 PPG), but still finished 23rd in the category.

Everything changed during the 2020 season. The Bills finished 2nd in scoring at 31.3 PPG. What in the hell can explain this improvement? Before we dig into the details on Allen’s big season, do not discount the role played by the acquisition of Stefon Diggs from Minnesota, another of Beane’s masterful moves.

We can draw several indications of the offensive explosion from where Buffalo ranked in rushing YPG over Daboll’s first three seasons on the job: 9th in ‘18, 8th in ‘19, and 20th in ‘20. After fielding what can best be classified as a “pro style” approach, Daboll committed everything to an Air Raid attack — a growing trend in today’s NFL. Even with the numbers from his first two seasons with the Bills, Allen has clearly established himself as one of the top-five QBs vs. Cover 4. Here’s the thing: Allen actually gave us nothing to suggest that he made any improvements whatsoever when facing Cover 2, Cover 3, or Cover 6, which is quite the eye-opener. That only leaves us with his success vs. Cover 1 to explain his breakout season.

During the ‘19 season, Allen completed fewer than 50% of attempts, threw seven TDs to five INTs, and finished sixth-to-last in passer rating vs. Cover 1. A mere 365 days later, Allen completed 70% of attempts, connected on 12 TDs to only a single INT, and finished third in passer rating vs. Cover 1. What could possibly explain that night-and-day reversal of fortunes? As I’ve already alluded, the effect of infusing Diggs into the offense simply cannot be understated. It just so happens that Diggs has averaged 3.38 yards/route (5th-best) and 0.70 FPs/route (6th) when opposed by single coverage over the last three seasons.

Drafting Gabriel Davis in the third round provided Allen with another toy but, at this stage in Davis’ career, he proved to be another significant Cover 4 weapon. However, it was the addition of Davis that helps us to highlight a massive shift in Daboll’s equation into the forefront: the increased rate of four-wide sets. During the ‘19 season, Daboll used four detached receivers on a grand total of four passing snaps. Last season, that number increased by 2,925%! If it wasn’t immediately clear, three- and four-wide sets are at the heart of the Air Raid offense. Should Zack Moss make positive strides in their massively Gap-heavy run concept scheme, we could see the Bills’ offense become a true juggernaut — a truly scary thought, indeed.

Defensive

With nearly identical NFL ranks of the scheme rates employed by DC Leslie Frazier since taking the role in 2017, we are provided with a concrete idea on how his 2021 defense will proceed. We can expect to see Buffalo play man coverage on around a third of snaps, rank with a top-five rate of Cover 4, and finish off their formula with a top-15 rate of Cover 3. Viewing the defense from my personal lens, the Bills employ the 7th-highest rate of “vanilla” schemes in the league. And I was able to identify 98.7% of their coverage schemes from the 2020 season, the 3rd-highest such rate.

All of the above rates are of particular importance regarding Buffalo since the only “significant” subtraction from either the CB, safety, or LB units was an over-the-hill Josh Norman. And the only significant additions made on defense were to the D-line: Gregory Rousseau and Boogie Basham. When you are blessed with the talents of Tre'Davious White, Levi Wallace, Jordan Poyer, and Micah Hyde in your secondary, it’s quite easy to understand why they kept the defense intact. Each of those four defensive backs can be found ranked at the very top of their respective positions. With Matt Milano and A.J. Klein provides outstanding LB stability, the Bills only need Tremaine Edmunds to take a step forward, and, if he does, Buffalo will have assembled one of the most complete coverage defenses in all of the NFL.

The same could not be said of its run defense from the ‘20 season, particularly along the D-line. Not that their D-line is bereft of talent. But, based on last season, they simply didn’t offer a single defender who excelled both at rushing the passer and defending the run. The closest toward fulfilling that prototype were edge rushers Jerry Hughes and A.J. Epenesa. On the inside, Justin Zimmer emerged as their most consistent asset. Despite his innate athleticism, Ed Oliver proved to be a massive disappointment. So it goes without saying that the additions of Rousseau and Basham are clearly direct efforts to solve that problem. Unfortunately, Rousseau, on the surface, appears to be a pass-rushing specialist and Basham profiles as an interior run-stopping cog. However, if Basham can become an integral run defender, he could end up being the most important draft addition for Buffalo.

Projected Fantasy Contributors

Josh Allen (Proj: QB2 | ADP: 37 | Pos ADP: QB2)

Buffalo experienced a meteoric rise last season because of Allen’s emergence as one of the league’s top quarterbacks. Allen went from being an inconsistent, inaccurate passer to being one of the league’s best quarterbacks in the span of three short seasons. Allen is coming off a breakout season in which he finished second in the MVP race to Aaron Rodgers. He set single season franchise records for passing yards (4544), passing TDs (37), and completion percentage (69.2%) on his way to being the QB1 with 25.8 FPG. The Bills went from being a bottom-eight team in pass rate in Allen’s first two seasons to ranking 11th last season while attempting passes 61.7% of the time after they acquired Stefon Diggs in the off-season.

Allen still ran plenty even with a more pass-centric attack as he once again reached eight rushing TDs for the third straight year to start his career — he finished behind only Cam Newton in carries inside the five-yard line with 11. Brian Daboll has masterfully orchestrated Buffalo’s offense in each of Allen’s first three seasons, and the Bills will keep their offensive continuity this season after Daboll failed to land one of the seven head coaching vacancies this off-season. Allen will also have offensive continuity with the only major move involving swapping out John Brown for Emmanuel Sanders. Allen’s consistent rushing production gives him a high floor for the position and he should remain among the elite fantasy QBs this season even if his passing production comes back to earth a bit.

Mitchell Trubisky (Proj: QB43 | ADP: 387 | Pos ADP: QB55)

Trubisky will look to reshape his career as one of the league’s better backup quarterbacks. He flamed out in Chicago the last four years after the Bears traded up to select Trubisky at No. 2 over the likes of Patrick Mahomes (No. 10) and Deshaun Watson (No. 12). Trubisky proved to be a limited passer because of his accuracy issues and his lack of arm strength, but he’s at least an above-average athlete for the position. He played his best in Chicago when his former HC Matt Nagy got him on the move as Trubisky averaged 8.1 YPA on play action and 6.2 YPA on standard dropbacks. Per PFF, only Ryan Tannehill utilized play action (36.4%) on a higher percentage of dropbacks than Trubisky (36.0%) in 2020 — Josh Allen had the 4th-highest rate at 34.4%. Brian Daboll’s play-action heavy offense should be a great fit for Trubisky if he’s forced into the lineup at any point in 2021.

Zack Moss (Proj: RB32 | ADP: 98 | Pos ADP: RB36)

The Bills surprised many by drafting Moss in the third round in the 2020 Draft after they used a third-round selection on Devin Singletary in the 2019 Draft. He played the 1B role as a rookie, racking up 112/481/4 rushing (4.3 YPC) and 15/95/1 receiving (6.8 YPR) on 18 targets for 7.8 FPG in 13 games. Singletary held an advantage in snap share (57% to 37%) and in targets per game (3.1 to 1.4) last season with Moss struggling through a toe injury he picked up in September. He then needed ankle surgery in mid-January after getting carted off in their Wild Card Round victory over the Colts. He’s on track to be ready for the season and he could take a slight advantage in this backfield if he’s able to maintain his health since he has more traits to be a foundational back. The problem is this is never going to be a great offense for fantasy RBs since Josh Allen is the team’s primary goal-line back — he had 8+ rushing TDs in each of his first three seasons. Allen is also averaging 100 carries per season to open his career so check-down passes to his backs are never going to be a priority. The Bills also added Matt Breida this off-season who will likely take away just enough snaps and touches to make it hurt a bit for Moss and Singletary. Moss enters the season as an RB3 option, and he’s going to need OC Brian Daboll to scale back Allen’s running or he’s going to need an injury in this backfield to break through to RB2 status.

Devin Singletary (Proj: RB46 | ADP: 122 | Pos ADP: RB45)

The Bills killed any momentum Singletary had coming off a promising rookie campaign in 2019 when they used a third-round pick on Zack Moss the following off-season. Working in a committee with Moss, Singletary managed 156/687/2 rushing (4.4 YPC) and 38/269/0 receiving (7.1 YPR) for a measly 9.0 FPG in 16 games. He did see a higher snap share (57% to 37%) and more targets per game (3.1 to 1.4) than Moss in 2020, but Moss could be ready to take on a bigger role in his second season since he has more foundational RB traits. This is never going to be a great offense for fantasy RBs since Josh Allen is the team’s primary goal-line back with 8+ rushing TDs in each of his first three seasons. Allen is also averaging 100 carries per season to open his career, so check-down passes to his backs are also never going to be a priority. Singletary is an uninspiring pick at his current ADP with Moss potentially ready to take on a bigger role as the 1A in this backfield. Breida, who is more dynamic than Singletary in limited doses, could also carve into his playing time so there are better picks to be made around when Singletary is being drafted.

Matt Breida (Proj: RB72 | ADP: 476 | Pos ADP: RB126)

Breida failed to make any noise with the Dolphins last season despite their extremely thin depth chart heading into the 2020 season. He performed well on a per touch basis with 59/254 rushing (4.3 YPC) and 9/96 receiving (10.7 YPR) in 12 games, and he’s been effective on limited touches his entire career. He’s averaging 4.9 YPC on 440 carries and 8.6 YPC on 76 catches in four seasons between the 49ers (2017-19) and Dolphins (2020). Our Greg Cosell believes Breida could be the team’s primary back when they use 10 personnel because of his ability to get upfield in a hurry after finding creases against light boxes, and the Bills used the second-most plays (186) with 10-personnel on the field in 2020. Even if he does earn a role as the 10-personnel back, Breida will still be the #3 option behind Zack Moss and Devin Singletary on a team that ran the ball under 40% of the time in 2020.

Stefon Diggs (Proj: WR3 | ADP: 15 | Pos ADP: WR2)

Diggs played a massive role in Josh Allen’s development in his third season after the Bills and the Vikings pulled off a rare trade that worked out ideally for both organizations. Minnesota sent Diggs to the Bills in exchange for the 22nd overall pick and three other picks. Diggs instantly became the centerpiece for Buffalo’s passing attack while the Vikings drafted a new franchise WR in Justin Jefferson. Diggs finished his first season in Buffalo as the overall WR3 with 20.5 FPG by posting 127/1535/8 receiving on a league-leading 166 targets. Diggs’ 1535 receiving yards led the league, which cashed at a juicy +4000 odds. He won plenty of championships by averaging a sick 10.0/128.5/1.0 receiving per game during the fantasy playoffs in Weeks 13-16. Diggs was also the only wide receiver to reach double-digit FP in every game, and 2020 was the first time he’s played in all 16 games in six seasons. Diggs is locked in as a top-three option at the position and a running back/Diggs start is an excellent way to start if you’re picking at the back end of your drafts this year.

Cole Beasley (Proj: WR51 | ADP: 140 | Pos ADP: WR56)

Beasley has been the definition of a WR3 since he came to the Bills in 2019 after spending his first seven seasons with the Cowboys. He finished as the WR36 with 12.3 FPG in his first season with Josh Allen and he topped his initial performance with a WR31 performance last year with 13.8 FPG. He posted career-highs in catches (82), receiving yards (967), and targets (107) in just 15 games with Allen and the Bills’ passing attack breaking out in 2020. Beasley continued to do just about all of his damage out of the slot, pacing the league with 948 receiving yards when lined up in the slot, which was 114 more yards than the next closest receiver, CeeDee Lamb. He fell just short of his first 1000-yard receiving season when he suffered a fibula fracture in Week 16. He rested in Week 17 before playing through the injury in the postseason, and he’s fully expected to be at 100% for the start of the 2021 season. The bigger concern is that Beasley could sit out at some point this season as a protest against the unvaccinated player protocols. He’s been the most outspoken player about the protocols but he did participate in minicamp so it’s just a situation to monitor. Beasley is a safe bet to beat his ADP as a WR3/4 option, but he’s unlikely to be a league-winning asset as a low aDOT slot receiver.

Gabriel Davis (Proj: WR64 | ADP: 143 | Pos ADP: WR59)

Davis had a bigger than expected role as fourth-round pick in 2020, but the Bills weren’t quite ready to hand him the undisputed #2 perimeter role after John Brown departed for Las Vegas this off-season. The Bills handed 11-year veteran Emmanuel Sanders a one-year, $6 million contract to compete with Davis for playing time and targets across from Stefon Diggs in 11 personnel. Davis posted a solid 35/599/7 receiving (17.1 YPR) on 62 targets while playing 72.7% of the snaps as a rookie, but he did perform much better when Brown was out of the lineup. Davis averaged 2.9/40.9 receiving per game with three TDs on 5.4 targets per game in seven contests without Brown last season compared to just 1.7/34.8 receiving with four TDs on 2.7 targets in nine games with Brown. Davis’ arrow is pointing straight up in Dynasty formats since he’s an ascending player linked to Josh Allen, but he’s not guaranteed to make a huge impact in 2020. Still, Davis is a worthy upside pick around 150 picks into drafts just in case he takes a big step forward as a sophomore and/or if Sanders falls off a cliff at 34 years old.

Emmanuel Sanders (Proj: WR71 | ADP: 197 | Pos ADP: WR71)

Sanders is still playing at a relatively high level despite his advanced playing age (34) and despite tearing his Achilles tendon in 2018. Sanders posted 61/726/5 receiving on 82 targets last season to finish as the WR44 with 11.8 FPG while playing 60% of the snaps in 14 games with the Saints. Sanders stepped up and averaged 14.9 FPG in seven games without Michael Thomas compared to 8.2 FPG in nine games with Thomas. Sanders will be a great #3/4 WR option for the Bills because of his positional versatility. He ran about a third of his routes from the slot over the last two seasons after being Denver’s primary slot WR in 2018. Emmanuel also still has sneaky vertical speed to stretch defenses even though he didn’t get to show it much playing with Drew Brees last season. That shouldn’t be an issue in Buffalo this year with Josh Allen’s howitzer at quarterback. The Bills previously tried to trade for Sanders so he’s been on the team’s radar, which makes sense since the organization has prioritized route-running/speed from its receivers — e.g. Stefon Diggs, John Brown, and Cole Beasley. Sanders’ addition will allow the Bills to run a lot of four-WR sets once again this season after they ran the second-most plays (186) with 10-personnel on the field last season. Sanders will likely rotate on the perimeter with Gabriel Davis when the Bills use three-WR sets unless the second-year pro shows he’s ready to be a full-time player. Sanders is a WR6 in fantasy drafts because of his potentially limited role, but he could be a hot waiver wire pickup if Diggs or Beasley go down.

Dawson Knox (Proj: TE28 | ADP: 319 | Pos ADP: TE40)

Knox has been a slight disappointment for the Bills’ organization since they drafted him in the third round of the 2018 Draft, but they’re set to give him one more chance to prove himself this season. He was a big winner this off-season since they didn’t bring in any major competition for his job after they sniffed around Zach Ertz this spring. They could still potentially trade for the Eagles TE in the summer/fall, but they’re not going to overpay for him since they added a capable #2 TE in Jacob Hollister. Knox’s per game averages stayed stagnant in his second season (2.0/24.0 receiving on 3.7 targets), which was a major disappointment since Josh Allen and the Bills’ went to the moon from 2019 to 2020. Knox has the athleticism to be a vertical for this offense, but he’s been an inefficient player to start his career. Knox worked with a vision specialist this off-season to improve his hand-eye coordination. He’s caught just 55.3% of his targets through two seasons (52/94) and a whopping 14 of his misconnections have come via drops (15.2% drop rate). Knox seems unlikely to make a huge leap in his third season even if he turns some of his drops into catches, but he could develop into a streaming option with better efficiency.

Jacob Hollister (Proj: TE54 | ADP: 439 | Pos ADP: TE64)

Hollister signed with Buffalo to play with his old college teammate, Josh Allen, from whom he caught passes for two seasons at Wyoming in 2015-16. Hollister, like the rest of the Seahawks, ended 2020 with a dud performance in the Wild Card Round as he went 0-for-5 on his targets in a loss to the Rams. He worked as the #3 TE behind Greg Olsen and Will Dissly last season, but he finished with slightly more fantasy production with 62.7 FP compared to 53.9 for Olsen and 58.1 for Dissly. Hollister finished with 25/209/3 receiving on 40 targets in 16 games last season. It was a step down from 2019 when he posted 41/349/3 receiving as Seattle’s #1 TE with Dissly landing on the injured reserve. Hollister has averaged just 8.5 YPR over the last two seasons, which is less than ideal for a move tight end. Hollister will slot in as the team’s #2 TE behind Dawson Knox, who has frustrated the organization with too many drops in his first two seasons.

Hansen’s Final Points

Given everything that’s been outlined in this report, there’s no reason to expect Josh Allen will regress significantly in 2021. However, since he was so damn good and efficient, replicating his NFL and fantasy success this year will certainly be a challenge. The biggest negative with Allen, of course, is his increased cost. He was often available 90-100 picks into drafts last year, but this year he’s getting the love he deserves as the QB2 off the board in the 35-40 range. Our projections only have his total FP down 6% from massive 2020 output, in part because his consistent rushing production gives him a high floor, but I think I speak for the staff when I say he’s not someone we expect to roster this year on a majority of teams, due entirely to the cost.

From a fantasy perspective, Zack Moss is actually one of the more intriguing RB options for me this year. That is largely due to his relative cost compared to his potential if the planets align for him. The 2020 third-rounder underwhelmed as a rookie, but there were flashes, and he did have some injury issues. They will remain a pass-happy offense and Josh Allen will continue to vulture TDs, but if Moss can ascend to the primary early-down role, he should also get some opportunities in the passing game. The Bills clearly need more production from their running game, and it sure looks like Moss will get a real crack at 200+ touches. His upside may be capped with Devin Singletary still involved, but even if his July ADP of 100 increases 10-15 spots in August, Moss has a good chance to return a solid ROI and deliver strong RB3 production.

While Devin Singletary had a higher snap share and more targets per game than Moss in 2020, he didn’t do much with his opportunities, so we think a healthy Moss will take on a bigger role. Singletary is a better receiver than Matt Breida, but Breida could conceivably take snaps and touches away from Singletary, which would render him almost worthless for fantasy. As it stands, he’s still a “meh” pick even at his lowered ADP of around 125 overall.

Veteran Matt Breida has trouble staying healthy and isn’t a particularly good receiver, but he was decent on a per touch basis last year, and he should get some chances for snaps and touches. Breida, in theory, could be used more than expected when the team is seeing light boxes in 4-WR sets, which they run more than anyone, due to his speed. His role is a storyline to watch this summer.

There’s not much to get into with Stefon Diggs, coming off a dream season, other than to say he’s coming off a dream season and it will be tough to replicate it in 2021. Diggs finally played in all 16 games in a season and was promptly the only wide receiver to reach double-digit FP in every game in 2020. Diggs is locked in as a top-3 fantasy WR, so with him it’s a matter of do you want a WR in Round 2 or not? More often than not, I’ll value a top-15 RB over Diggs, but a top RB plus Diggs to open a draft is obviously more than fine.

The NFL’s COVID opt-out date has come and gone, so Cole Beasley’s fantasy value has been stabilized for now. He could certainly have some issues if he opts not to get vaccinated, which does increase his risk because a positive COVID test or a false positive is always possible. But otherwise, Beasley has been one of the best “boring” WR picks the last two seasons in PPR leagues. There’s also some age risk at 32 years old, but he’s also been in the WR 30-35 range the last two seasons. His positional ADP is only WR61, so if healthy he should have no problem beating the crap out of his high ADP.

It’s hard to expect a big breakout from Gabriel Davis in year two, since this WR room is still quite crowded, but he certainly did better and had a bigger than expected last year, and we even knew the team was very high on him. The team did give veteran Emmanuel Sanders a one-year, $6 million contract to compete with Davis for playing time and targets, so they probably don’t feel Davis is truly ready. But he is a rising player tied to stud Josh Allen, so with an affordable ADP of 150+, Davis isn’t a bad depth guy at all.

The Bills are already into Emmanuel Sanders, and they do have big plans for him in terms of lining up all over the place, due to his positional versatility. He’ll be in the slot at times, but he can also be used as a sneaky vertical threat, like John Brown before him. Sanders will likely rotate on the outside with Gabriel Davis, and similar to Davis, he’s worth a shot while playing with an elite QB. He’s actually a better value than Davis, who is going off the board 40 spots higher.

He’s been underwhelming, but Dawson Knox has a lot of talent, so he’s not someone to forget about on the low end unless the Bills do swing a deal for Zach Ertz. Knox’s hands have failed him in the NFL, which could always be a problem, but he’s worked with a vision specialist this off-season to help clean up his drops, and he does move very well with big-play potential. He did come on a little late in the season and in the playoffs, but we’ll keep an eye on the backups here, namely Jacob Hollister. To have any chance at fantasy relevancy, Knox needs to dominate their TE pass targets.

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