Continuing his series of NFL Team Previews, Gabe stays in the AFC East. He takes a look at the Buffalo Bills and their forecast for the 2017 season. Bills run game talk at 5:30)
When LeSean McCoy is healthy, he is an elite half back. He’s the most elusive back in the league, and can rack up fantasy points in a hurry with his big play ability. Since he began starting in 2010, he’s been an RB1 every year when he plays 14+ games. In his first season in Buffalo, he finished as RB3 overall. He had 13 touchdowns, even with the TD-vulture Mike Gillislee there (he rushed for 8 touchdowns in 2016).
Buffalo was a rushing machine in 2016, rushing the 2nd most times, rushing for the most yards, the most touchdowns, and the most first downs. The vast majority of this was done by the duo of Shady McCoy and Gillislee. Now, Gillislee is gone, and McCoy will see many more goal line looks. As I said earlier, LeSean had 13 rushing touchdowns in 2016, so he could quite possibly have 15+ scores in 2017.
A back his size can typically not handle a huge workload, but that is not the case for McCoy. He’s finished in the top two of rushing attempts twice in his career. The Bills recently added Mike Tolbert, who will certainly steal the goal line looks, but not red zone looks like Gillislee used to. According to Fantasy Pros, the Bills have the 10th easiest RB schedule, which certainly works in McCoy’s favor. According to Pro Football Focus, the Bills also have the 10th best offensive line, which also works in McCoy’s favor. But, his ADP is 7th overall. I’m here to tell you why to draft him 5th IN STANDARD LEAGUES. You’ve seen the stats, but how is it justified to take him over a Jones/Beckham/Evans?
The obvious reason is that he scored more points than any WR, but if we went off that logic, QB’s would be the only position taken in round 1. The REAL reason is because of the depth of the WR position.
The 2016 RB1, David Johnson, scored 331.8 fantasy points. The 2016 WR1, Jordy Nelson, scored 209.7 fantasy points. RB15, Isaiah Crowell, scored 163.5 less points than Johnson. WR15, Tyreek Hill, only scored 69.7 less fantasy points than Nelson. If that’s not enough to persuade you, there’s more.
If you took LeSean McCoy 5th overall in a 10 team league, you can still get TY Hilton, Jordy Nelson, or Michael Thomas in round 2. However, if you took Jones/Beckham and you looked for a back, you’d be looking at Marshawn Lynch and Todd Gurley. While those two are solid running backs, they are not on the level of Hilton/Thomas/Nelson. If you grab two wide receivers in the first two rounds, your running backs are not solid.
I do not recommend taking McCoy 5th in a PPR league.
Source: NFL News