Buffalo Bills, Def, Bills
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2015 Outlook: Solid/Safe PickLast updated on Jul-09-2015 by Shawn Childs
DEFENSE / SPECIAL TEAMS
Based on last year's results, the Bills' defense will face the seventh-toughest schedule in terms of their opponents' collective rushing yards per game. But they also have the eighth-easiest schedule in terms of their opponents' passing yards per game, which should favor Buffalo's pass rush. This data will be updated after we research all 32 teams for 2015.
The Bills had the best pass rush in the league in 2014 as they recorded 54 saves. They gave up only 16 passing TDs while notching 19 interceptions and 11 fumble recoveries. Mario Williams led the way with 16 sacks, seven quarterback hits and 37 QB hurries. The other three starting defensive linemen combined for 30 sacks, 24 QB hits and 78 QB hurries. Buffalo finished 11th in the league in rushing yards allowed. They permitted just 4.1 yards per carry and 10 TDs on the ground. Tom Brady was the only quarterback who scored more than 20 fantasy points against the Bills. Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus was a top run defender and racked up 10 sacks as well.The Bills have weakness at the linebacker position with Brandon Spikes not on the roster and Kiko Alonso now in Philly in exchange for McCoy. Linebackers Nigel Bradham and Preston Brown will return to the starting lineup with slightly above league-average value. Buffalo needs cornerback Leodis McKelvin to bounce back from his fractured ankle. Cornerback Corey Graham is coming off the best season in his NFL career, which was assisted by the Bills' dynamic pass rush. Buffalo also needs former first-round pick Stephon Gilmore to rebound from a disappointing 2014. This defense is fantastic when comes to getting after the quarterback, and it has talent at the cornerback position. Harvin will add value in the return game, giving the Bills a chance to be one of fantasy's top D/ST units.
SCOUT Fantasy: 7. Lastly, Buffalo has a great defensive line, but their whole defense could make a big leap depending on the development of young guys like Preston Brown, Nigel Bradham, Stephon Gilmore, Corey Graham and Aaron Williams. This D limited opponents in yards but was average at best in points allowed. How does the defense take the next step to become a full-fledged top-10 unit?
Talbot: Last season, the Bills didn't rely on blitzing. They allowed their defensive line to create havoc on their own and at times, they were very successful in doing so. However, there were also games where quarterbacks were able to pick the Bills apart. This year, you'll see a wide variety of blitzes from the Bills defense. That pressure will force opposing quarterbacks into mistakes and Stephon Gilmore, Leodis McKelvin, Ronald Darby, Aaron Williams, Duke Williams and Corey Graham should really benefit from this in the secondary. Gilmore ended the 2014 season on a tear and McKelvin's best NFL season came in Mike Pettine's defense, a defense somewhat similar to what the Bills will run in 2015. If the Bills want to make the next step defensively, they'll need to create more turnovers in the secondary in 2015.
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