2014 Team Outlook: Buffalo Bills
WR Sammy Watkins, LAR - Quality Backup
Can Watkins be an immediate difference-maker for this offense? If he lives up to some early comparisons, yes. Prior to the draft, NFL Films' Greg Cosell said he considered Watkins the best wide receiver prospect to enter the league since A.J. Green and Julio Jones in 2011. Both of those players gained more than 1,000 total yards and put up WR2-worthy fantasy totals as rookies. Buffalo didn't trade up to draft Watkins and then trade Stevie Johnson just to let Watkins sit and learn. He will be thrown into the fire and looked at as the team's No. 1 wideout from the get-go. His level of first-year success is largely tied to Manuel's own improvement, but he should see enough targets to make 1,000 yards a distinct possibility. It should also go without saying that he is one of the top picks in dynasty drafts.
Editor's note: If there was one thing Manuel could do in college, it was throw screen passes. This limitation might actually work in his favor with Watkins due to the receiver's uncanny skills after the catch. Lots of potential here; it just may take a season to full ripen.
WR Robert Woods, LAR - Deep-league Only
While the sky's the limit for Watkins, Woods represents a steady presence for this receiving corps. A fundamentally sound player at just 22 years old, Woods posted a relative nondescript stat line as a rookie last season -- 40 catches for 587 yards and three touchdowns in 14 games -- and didn't catch more than five passes in any week. He may never record impressive season totals, but Woods will see plenty of playing time as he can line up out wide and in the slot. He is worth a stash late in point-per-reception drafts. He is a critical cog in Manuel's progression as they enter their second year together.
WR T.J. Graham, --- - Not Draft Worthy
Graham wrapped up last season with three catches for 62 yards and a touchdown in Week 17. Unfortunately for him, that may be the last contribution he makes to this team. He is competing against Marcus Easley, Kevin Elliott and Chris Hogan for the No. 5 WR gig, and his future with the Bills has basically been in doubt since the clock hit all zeroes in that final game. He hasn't topped 400 yards in either of his first two seasons.
WR Mike Williams, --- - Bust (overvalued)
Like Bryce Brown, the Bills acquired Williams knowing that he is a player with some red flags, but also a player who could pay considerable dividends if they can get him to play up to his potential. Williams has had a peaks-and-valleys career since catching 11 touchdowns as a rookie in 2010 with the Buccaneers. Last season was his rockiest yet as he was put on injured reserve in October because of a torn hamstring. Then it was learned that he accumulated more than $200,000 in fines for missing or being late to mandatory meetings and rehab sessions. He landed in Buffalo via trade in April. Williams may turn into the Bills' second-best wideout or he may be cut before the season begins. Peaks and valleys, indeed. Williams has been largely forgotten in re-draft leagues. The 27-year-old has a lot to prove.
TE Scott Chandler, --- - Low Potential
Although Watkins definitely fills a need at wide receiver, the Bills have another glaring one at tight end. Yet they did nothing to address it in the draft or free agency, and it looks like Chandler will be their lead option once again. To his credit, Chandler came back from a 2012 ACL tear to set career-highs in receptions (53) and yards (655). However, he is slower than government decision-making and underwent another knee surgery this offseason from which he has not fully healed. Even if he keeps his starting job, he is a low-end TE2.
TE Chris Gragg, NYJ - Dynasty Only
Gragg caught five passes in nine games last season, but he is mentioned here because is 6-foot-3, about 250 pounds and possesses 4.50 wheels. Considering the lackluster options ahead of him, Gragg might move up just due to his physical attributes. He is worth a thought in the deepest dynasty leagues.Injury Status: Injured Reserve