Fundamentally this offense is built for the ground game. The Bills want to establish the ground game before attacking downfield. The drafting of Zack Moss solidifies this notion as he will join second year runner Devin Singletary in the backfield to create a potent one two punch, or a little thunder and lightning. The Bills will use this approach to set up Allen and the passing game which they added to this offseason with the acquisition of Stefon Diggs. From looking at last year’s film you can see they run a lot of play action with a lot of deep route concepts. What this tells us is they are trying to push the ball down the field by design.
Josh Allen (QB) - last season struggled with his ability to hit the deep ball. This has been well documented by PFF as Allen has ranked towards the bottom in accuracy over the last few years. Many times throughout last season Allen consistently missed on throws of 30+ yards deep to his receivers who were running wide open. There is no question that Allen possesses one of the strongest arms in the league, but it will be his ability to accurately connect on these deep throws to really take the next step forward in his progression. The good news for Allen is he has a solid offensive line in front of him. By no means is this o line a great line, but they won’t be the reason this offense sputters in 2020. The Bills could also look to run more empty back sets this season to take advantage of Allen’s athleticism and ability as a runner, essentially mimicking a Ravens style attack in a sense.
*Fantasy Spin: Allen’s ADP has sky rocketed in recent months due to a few factors. The addition of Stefon Diggs being one factor in Allen’s ADP rise, while his running ability being the other factor. Allen no doubt will continue to run which will help offset his passing deficiencies, but with the addition of Moss who figures to be the goal line back the rushing touchdowns we became accustomed to him having last season likely will take a hit. So we suggest passing on Allen in redraft leagues as he is just too costly at his current ADP, unless he falls. Allen will be a QB1 this season, just a backend end QB1 who fails to meet his ADP of QB8.
Devin Singletary / Zack Moss(RB)- Last season we saw Buffalo switch from a twelve personnel, 2 TE sets, to more 11 personnel , 3 wide receiver sets. In fact, the Bills led the league in percentage of plays ran in this personnel towards the end of the season. With making this switch the Bills essentially manufactured lanes for Gore and, eventually, Singletary to run through as they saw fewer stacked boxes. We can be assured to see much of the same attack in 2020. The question we have is who will see the majority of the work? Prior to the draft many including us at theelitefantasy.com were very high on Singletary, as he showed in their playoff loss to Houston last year, he can be very dangerous. Singletary likely will see the role he saw last season with Moss taking on more of the Frank Gore role. Moss is an old school cold weather banger who just screams goal line and early down back, while Singletary more fits the change of pace, finesse, third down back.
*Fantasy Spin: We are scared of this backfield in the sense we don’t know how the team truly plans on splitting carries. Singletary may never see another touchdown scored from inside the ten yard line. In terms of ADP we have seen Singletary’s fall and it’s just. For us we view Singletary as a front end RB3 in PPR formats with RB2 upside. Moss can be viewed as a backend RB3 with some upside, especially if he sees a lot of red zone carries.
Stefon Diggs (WR) - was brought in mainly to help Allen on his deep ball game. In 2019 Diggs led all receivers in the league in receiving yards on balls 20+ yards through the air, or deep balls as they are referred. In addition Diggs was second in yards per route run in 2019. Diggs will play on the outside opposite John Brown giving Allen yet another fast target on the perimeter. Diggs will also be used at times inside the numbers as well as used on jet sweeps. The thing with Diggs that will be interesting and a bit concerning is attitude. There is no question that Diggs is one of the most talented in the league, but what we saw last year in Minnesota could rear its ugly head in Buffalo. It is not farfetched to imagine that Diggs could grow frustrated with Allen’s poor accuracy and begin to meltdown, especially if the passing game struggles and the team begins to really rely on the run game and solid defense.
*Fantasy Spin: As mentioned below with Dawson Knox there is some concern with target share in Buffalo, as there are several quality receiving option in the offense. Since being traded to Buffalo we have seen the ADP of Diggs rise considerably, and quite frankly it shouldn’t have. If anything we should be expecting a slide in ADP. Again the talent of Diggs is through the roof, it’s the situation that leaves a lot to be desired. We view Diggs as a backend WR2 to front end WR3 this season in redraft leagues, with a few WR1 weeks mixed in throughout offering us some upside.
Dawson Knox (TE) - the team has stated on a number of occasions this offseason that they love the young tight end. There is also a plan in place to expand his role for 2020. This is evident in the fact that Tyler Kroft, who was ahead of Knox on the depth chart, took a pay cut this offseason signaling he’s got one foot out the door as Knox is being positioned as the future at the position. Knox is a big bodied player who transitioned to tight end after playing at wide receiver for much of his career. Knox understands routes and can offer big play ability for this Bills team. Immediate success may have to wait, as highlighted above; Josh Allen’s struggle with accuracy could hinder his production. Look to the Patriots game last year when Allen missed a wide open Knox for what would have been a long touchdown. In addition to the quarterback concerns, Knox will have to share the ball with two good speedy receivers in Diggs and Brown on the outside; as well as Cole Beasley who will man the slot. Oh and let’s not forget that Devin Singletary is a great pass catching back. Regardless, Knox can be a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses with his route running ability, speed, and size.
*Fantasy Spin: Dawson Knox is a better target in dynasty leagues then in redraft leagues for 2020. Knox to us figures to be, at best, a backend TE2. There should be a few weeks this season where Knox comes close to TE1 numbers, but he can’t be relied upon as a weekly starter at the position.
*Fantasy Spin: Beasley makes for nice bench depth that will have some productive games in 2020. The rookies do not have to be drafted in redraft leagues this season as both will not see a lot of playing time. The exception being Davis if Brown ends up injured this season. Davis will be looked at as the eventual replacement of Brown and makes for a good dynasty pick up. John Brown is the most intriguing to us. We see he and Diggs having a similar role so should put up a similar stat line. So with this in mind what would a savvy fantasy owner do? You guessed it, pass on Diggs and his high ADP and scoop up Brown later in drafts and soak up all that value.
Defense- Head coach Sean McDermott has carried his disciplined philosophy from his time as the Panthers defensive coordinator over to the Bills. His selection of Leslie Frazier has also paid dividends for this unit. The Bills run a 4-3 scheme and rely on their secondary to drive the offense. The safeties in the unit are severely underrated as they are some of the most talented in the league. Both can play up in the box attacking or back in coverage. Tre’Davious White was great last season and the Bills bring in Josh Norman to compete to play opposite him in 2020. McDermott likely is hoping a return to Norman’s old self, which should be aided with his return to a zone scheme defense. The biggest area of concern for the defense in 2019 was their lack of a pass rush. Ed Oliver proved to be ineffective after he had so much hype coming into last year’s draft. The team went back to the well and drafted Iowa’s AJ Epenesa in this year’s draft.
*Fantasy Spin: This defense allowed the second fewest points last season. This makes them a top tier defense in fantasy leagues in 2020. If they can start to generate a pass rush this could push them closer to the elite status.
Strength of Schedule:
The Bills wide receiver corps will face the toughest fantasy weeks 1-13 schedule this season. Their playoff schedule doesn’t get any better as they are projected with the 5th toughest during weeks 14-16. Devin Singletary and Zach Moss will be looking at the worst schedule during the fantasy regular season and playoffs. So with the above looking grim there should be no surprise with Josh Allen having the second toughest schedule for the position.