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Life without Tom Brady in the AFC East was a boon to the Buffalo Bills. After being a close contender for the division title in 2019, the Bills seized the day and rolled off a 13-3 season, winning the AFC East and advancing all the way to the AFC Championship Game. The Bills rode the hot hand of third-year quarterback Josh Allen and looked like contenders before falling short against the Chiefs. But with a strong core of returning players, the team appears poised to make a run again in 2021.
The big thing for the Bills in 2021 was stability. The team saw some players leave but plugged holes with veterans and draft picks to keep the core intact. Veteran receiver John Brown was released and signed with the Las Vegas Raiders, but veteran Emmanuel Sanders came over from the New Orleans Saints to fill the void. The Bills also added veteran Mitch Trubisky as a backup, providing a bit of injury insurance for Allen.
The Bills filled out the offense adding veteran Matt Breida to their running back room, veteran Jacob Hollister to compete at tight end and guard Forrest Lamp to bolster the offensive line. In the draft, the team pass rushers Gregory Rousseau out of Miami and Carolos Basham out of Wake Forrest in the first two rounds to bolster the pass rush.
Allen took a huge leap in year three, completing 69.2 percent of his passes for 4,544 yards and 37 TDs. He also rushed for 421 yards and 8 TDs. He finished as the top fantasy quarterback in 2020 and doesn’t figure to take much of a step down in 2021. He’s an easy Top 5 pick for me at the position, and a Top 3 option in Dynasty.
In the backfield, it’s a committee led by Devin Singletary, a Third-Round pick in the 2019 draft, and Zack Moss, a Third-Round pick in the 2020 draft. Neither was incredible last year, but I give the edge to Moss. He had five TDs in 2020 despite being limited to just 13 games. I think he’s an RB3, while Singletary finishes in RB4 range.
Among receivers, the clear bell cow is Stephon Diggs. Coming over from Minnesota, he was dominant in 2020, finishing as WR3 for the season. I think he finishes Top 5 again and is a Top 12 dynasty option. The Bills also return veteran Cole Beasley, second-year receiver Gabe Davis and Sanders. All three figure to contribute, but I don’t think any of them is a particularly reliable week-to-week starter. Beasley is the best bet for flex value on a weekly basis. I’m also not buying Dawson Knox or Hollister as a reliable starter at tight end. Knox is the one I think finishes the highest, but likely a low-end TE3.
The Bills were the best team in the AFC East and one of the best in the league in 2020 and I think that continues. Allen has developed into a great weapon on the field and the addition of Diggs pushed the Bills’ passing game to a new level. I expect Buffalo to be a high seed in the AFC and push for a Super Bowl berth again in 2021.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.