The Top 5 is an ongoing article breaking down every NFL team’s top 5 fantasy football options.
Today’s Team: BUFFALO BILLS
1- CJ Spiller- RB
6 yards per carry last season. Nearly 1700 total yards on a mediocre offense. He’s fast, he catches out of the backfield, he’s got a new coach that loves to run the football. I fail to see a downside by taking Spiller as a top 7 pick (I currently have him as the 5th best RB going into this season).
Is he injury prone?
Yeah, but we’re talking about the top tier RB group that contains 2 players that tore their ACL’s and came back with a vengeance last year, so the injury prone argument can be thrown out the window. Spiller’s entering the prime of his career, and is finally going to be the main offensive attraction in Buffalo.
2- Stevie Johnson- WR
There is nobody in the mid rounds you can find that’s more consistent than Stevie Johnson. Since 2010, Stevie has played all 48 games, averaged over 1000 yards rec, caught between 75-85 passes, and averaged 7-8 TD’s. Furthermore, this was all done with Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB, so being paired with Kevin Kolb or rookie EJ Manuel shouldn’t be much of a problem in terms of his productivity.
3- Fred Jackson- RB
Is he the backup now to CJ Spiller? Yes, but he’s still worth a later round look for three reasons. 1) It’s not like CJ Spiller hasn’t been hurt before. 2) Doug Marrone loves to run the ball, and for a way to keep both RB’s fresh throughout the season than by dividing up the carries. I’m not saying Jackson is going to get 10-15 carries a game if Spiller is healthy. I am saying Jackson could be a valuable back to stash away if Spiller goes down.
Even at age 32, we’re talking about a back who cracked over 1100 yards and averaged 6 td’s 2 out of his last 3 seasons. As a rb handcuff, Jackson remains valuable.
4- Scott Chandler- TE
Interesting stat about Scott Chandler, over the past 2 season’s he’s scored more TD’s than Jason Witten, Vernon Davis, Greg Olsen, Jermaine Gresham, Jermichael Finley, Martellus Bennett, Brandon Myers, Jared Cook, and Owen Daniels. And to say that’s only because he had an outrageous season in one of those two years, nope, wrong. Since 2011, Chandler has averaged 6 TD’s a season. His yards have also gone up from 389 in 2011 to 571 in 2012.
Granted, he is coming off of knee surgery, but with the uncertainty of Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin to the WR corps, it still leaves Kolb/Manuel without a security blanket/experienced TE to throw to. If you’re looking for depth at TE in the later rounds with a lot of upside, history points to Chandler.
5-EJ Manuel/Kevin Kolb- QB
Could EJ Manuel win the starting job at the start of the season?
Will either one of these two be nothing more than high end backup fantasy QB’s?
It’s possible (more so with Kolb just because Doug Marrone has a history of using his running game way more than passing, and I’d imagine this would be the case with easing in a rookie QB. Also having Spiller and Jackson in your backfield doesn’t hurt either). Kolb has always been an interesting “what if he’d stay healthy?” kind of QB, and there’s always the uncertainty factor of Manuel to waiver some interest in the later rounds of your draft.