For the greater part of the past decade, the fantasy landscape in Buffalo has been a fairly bleak and baron one. Of course that is easily understood when you consider that the Bills own a 65-95 record over that time frame. Buffalo has also been outscored 3089-3519 and rank 26th in the NFL with just 338 total touchdowns – an average of 33.8 per season. As a means of comparison, their AFC East Divisional brethren, the New England Patriots, have scored 517 touchdowns or 51.7 per season over the past decade.
That said, Buffalo did enjoy a slight TD scoring revival last season as they tallied 43 total touchdowns – up from 34 in 2010. The Bills' 372 total points last season was good for 14th in the league and up from the 283 they scored during the 2010 campaign. Will the upswing continue or will the Bills revert back to the loveable losers they've been since the K-Gun was confiscated back in 1996? Let's shuffle off to Buffalo and take a peak at the Bills 2012 fantasy prospects on offense.
Buffalo Bills Quarterback Fantasy Options
After unsuccessful auditions by quarterbacks J.P. Losman and Trent Edwards (2005-2008), Ryan Fitzpatrick took the helm in Buffalo and has owned the starter's role for the past three seasons now. After 13 starts produced 23 TD (223.7 FP) in 2010, not much was expected out of Fitzpatrick in 2011. For that reason, fantasy owners were jamming up the waiver wires after Fitz got frisky with nine TD passes (and just 3 INT) in his first three starts last season. The bloom came off the rose in Week 4 and Fitzpatrick had a 15-20 TD to INT ratio the rest of the way.
Bills QB Analysis: Bye Week replacement QB at best is my NFL 2012 fantasy forecast for Fitzpatrick.
Buffalo Bills Running Back Fantasy Options
RB Fred Jackson busted out of the gates like a raging bull in 2011 for the Bills. F-Jax racked up 1309 total yards, along with six touchdowns, in his first nine games. That made fantasy owners who took a chance on Jackson, probably around RD 6 or 7 of their draft, look like geniuses. The party ended in Week 11 however as Jackson snapped his fibula on the road in Miami and was done for the season. Jackson has been cleared to resume all football activities and he's in the final year of his contract. The Bills have said they want to extend Jackson's contract prior to the start of the 2012 season.
When Jackson went down, 2010 first round (9th OA) draft day bust C.J. Spiller stepped up. In six weeks (from Week 12 through to the end of the season), Spiller posted 633 and hit pay dirt five times. That included two big efforts during the Fantasy Playoffs as C.J. piled up 28.7 FP in Week 15 and 19.8 FP in Week 16. RB Tashard Choice is a free agent and probably won't be back with the Bills, while sophomore RB Johnny White is waiting in the wings.
Bills RB Analysis: If Spiller has in fact turned the corner and F-Jax comes back 100% healed, this situation has running back by committee plastered all over it.
Buffalo Bills Wide Receiver Fantasy Options
Mostly mediocre at best, the Bills' top two wide receivers -- Steve Johnson (142.4 FP) and David Nelson (95.8 FP) -- posted a combined 238.3 fantasy points during the 2011 campaign. To put that into perspective, Calvin Johnson from the Detroit Lions scored 265.2 fantasy points on his own last season. Steve is a bit of a wild thing, and doesn't always make the brightest decisions, plus he's in a bitter contract fight with Bills GM Charles "Buddy" Nix.
At last report, the two sides are still miles apart on a new deal – Johnson could become a free agent on March 13, 2012. David Nelson, who will never be mistaken for Jordy Nelson, is a serviceable bye week replacement WR if the match-up is right. Buffalo continues to hope that WR Donald Jones will blossom, but the former Penguin hasn't shown much in his first two seasons. Brad Smith is also on the Bills receiver list and the six-year NFL veteran had 23 receptions, for 240 yards and one TD last season.
Bills WR Analysis: There isn't an every game starting WR1 or WR2 in this bunch.
Buffalo Bills Tight End Fantasy Options
As has been the case since TE Pete Metzelars retired in 1997, the tight end pond in Buffalo has been a dry hole. Speaking of Metzelar, the former bruiser just signed on with Bills head coach Chan Gailey & Co. as the new TE coach in Buffalo. Metz will attempt to help TE Scott Chandler improve on the career high 74.9 FP he posted in 2011. After racking up 18.3 fantasy points in Week 1 against the Chiefs, Chandler went on to reach double digits just once (15.5 in Week 8) the rest of the way.
Bills TE Analysis: With the top tier TE pool being so deep, you can leave Chandler to hang out with his friends on the waiver wire.