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Buffalo Bills 2021 Fantasy Football Preview

Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs were stars last year, but you'll have to pay up to draft them this year. Here's a breakdown of the roster for fantasy this season.

It has been a long time since the Super Bowl, and remembering exactly how things left off last year can be a challenge. So, I’ll be writing up a fantasy preview for each NFL team to give us a quick refresher on what happened last year, and what changes took place in the offseason. All fantasy stats will be in ESPN scoring format unless otherwise noted.

If I missed any change or left out any big notes, throw them down in the comments for me!

What Did They Do Last Year

The AFC East now belongs to Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills, but can they put it all together again in a division with three viable contenders?

For the most part, the Bills are getting the band back together for another run in 2021. Surprisingly, offensive coordinator Brian Daboll did not end up getting a head coaching gig after guiding the offense to the second-most points scored for the season. A big contributing factor to the Bills success, of course, was Josh Allen’s new-found ability to pass.

Leslie Frazier will be back as defensive coordinator under defensive-minded head coach Sean McDermott. The Bills gave up the 16th most points on defense (11th last year in DNEFF), and they focused on that side of the ball in the draft, spending their first and second-round picks on defensive ends, Greg Rousseau and Boogie Basham respectively. 

Quarterback
OVR
Rank
PlayerGCOMPATTYDSTDINTATTYDSTDFFPFFP/G
1Josh Allen163965724,54437101024218387.924.2
61Matt Barkley41121197116-609.32.3

Last year was a breakout season for Allen, finishing as the QB1 in most formats, and with all the key players on offense coming back, we don’t have any reason to believe 2021 will be any different. 

Despite Allen throwing 111 more passes—for 1,455 more yards and 17 more touchdowns than 2019—and he only threw 1 more interception, further displaying his growth as a passer. Amidst Allen’s breakout, his rushing game did take a slight hit, rushing for fewer yards and touchdowns than in seasons past.

Fantasy Football Calculator is showing Allen as the QB2 with ADP of 4.01 (first pick in the fourth round). While his rank as the QB2 is imminently reasonable—it’s where we have him ranked in our staff rankings—there are too many stud running backs and receivers still available at that point in the draft to spend the pick on a quarterback. 

If Allen were to fall more toward the end of the fourth, with Justin Jefferson, Ceedee Lamb, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire all off the board, I’d be tempted to lock in the week-to-week advantage Allen gives you even in a 1-QB league.

Wide Receivers
PPR
Rank
STD RankPlayerGTGTRECYDSTDSTD PTSSTD PTS/GPPR PTSPPR PTS/G
33Stefon Diggs161681271,5358201.612.6328.620.54
2733Cole Beasley15107829674120.78202.713.51
5547Gabriel Davis1662355997101.96.4136.98.56
8375John Brown95233458363.87.196.810.76
8785Isaiah McKenzie153430282559.13.989.15.94
181171Jake Kumerow1112218.28.29.29.2
195211Andre Roberts4543401.10.35.11.28

Stefon Diggs led the NFL in targets, receptions, and yards in 2020. Diggs, Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis are all set to return in 2021. John Brown has moved on to the Las Vegas Raiders, but the Bills upgraded that roster spot by signing Emmanuel Sanders. 

For fantasy it is tough to get too excited about the Buffalo receiver corps. Beasley, Davis, and Sanders will all have the occasional big weeks, but may be tough to rely on as week-in and week-out starters. 

Diggs’ current ADP of 2.01 in .5PPR is just too rich for me.

Related: Wide Receivers to Buy Now and By-Pass in 2021 Fantasy Football

Devante Adams and Tyreek Hill were real difference makers at the wide receiver position last year, setting a 17.4 and 16.1 points per game mark in standard scoring. Diggs’s 12.6 points is impressive, but the points per game difference from Hill (WR2 in standard) to Diggs (WR4), 3.5 points, is the same drop from Diggs (WR4) to WR24 Terry McLaurin. 

The drop off is not quite as dramatic as you move to .5PPR and PPR leagues, but the point remains we need our receivers to catch touchdowns, and that is a dicey proposition for Diggs.

Running Backs
PPR RankSTD RankPlayerGATTYDSTDTGTRECYDSTDSTD PTSSTD PTS/GPPR PTSPPR PTS/G
3137Devin Singletary16156687252382690105.66.6143.68.98
4643Zack Moss131124814181495187.66.7101.67.82
10394Antonio Williams1126321120020.320.321.321.3
118106T.J. Yeldon3107004122115.25.116.25.4
163163Taiwan Jones200020000000

Neither Devin Singletary nor Zack Moss did much to distinguish themselves during the Bills’ breakout season. Both backs looked pretty good, and in the end, they ended up divvying up the work pretty evenly. While this is great for the Bills, it leaves us fantasy nerds in a bind. 

Singletary is going in the middle of the eighth and Moss in the ninth in .5PPR. I’d rather take shots on other backs going in that same bit of the draft like Phillip Lindsay, Gus Edwards, or even Giovani Bernard a whole lot later. 

Tight End
PPR
Rank
STD RankPlayerGTGTRECYDSTDSTD PTSSTD PTS/GPPR PTSPPR PTS/G
3733Dawson Knox114324288342.83.966.86.07
5349Tyler Kroft61612119329.9541.96.98
7567Lee Smith56435215.53.119.53.9
8882Reggie Gilliam2221617.63.89.64.8

Nothing to see here outside of a maybe, maybe a hope and a prayer weekly streaming option. 

The Schedule

Warren Sharp’s schedule work over at sharpfootballanalysis.com is just amazing. For the Bills, based on projected wins totals, they have the eighth easiest schedule, but a middle of the road (18th) rank against projected defensive efficiency. In general with these strength of schedule projections, I don’t get too excited about the 8th versus the 10th or 17th, but this is at least a pretty good sign that they don’t have a killer schedule. 

What Does It All Mean?!?! (AKA – Bold predictions)

You’ll have to spend big bills for Allen and Diggs, something I will not talk anyone out of. I’ll be taking shots on some of their less-proven (read: cheaper) guys like Moss and Sanders. 

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Thanks to FFToday.com for hosting such great stats info!

Thanks to TheHuddle.com for their great Coaching Change Tracker