The NFL doesn't take time off for injuries and neither can fantasy owners. So, while we all hope for the best after rookie quarterback EJ Manuel took a shot to the knee and had to leave Thursday's game against the Browns, shrewd fantasy owners have to figure out what kind of value there is in Bills backup Jeff Tuel.
When it comes to projecting Tuel's performance as a potential starter in the NFL, the water is a bit murky.
Tuel joined the Bills as an undrafted free agent this past offseason. While the fact that his talent didn't sparkle enough in college for him to be picked up by a team is a sign of concern for his chances, that is alleviated by the fact that he showed enough to the Bills to land as the backup.
After a solid performance in the preseason, it is easy to see how Tuel stuck. The rookie out of Washington State went 31-of-43 for 299 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Keep in mind, this was against the backups on other teams, but it is still a good sign that Tuel won't be completely overwhelmed.
Tuel didn't enjoy much success at Washington State, but he also never had the luxury of working with much talent.
With the Bills, he will enjoy an excellent running game. The opposition will likely stack the box. This will make running the ball more difficult for Buffalo, but it also opens up the possibility of big plays in the passing game.
If Tuel gets time as the starter, is he worth a fantasy roster spot?
Still, I don't see much of a reason to add Tuel to any fantasy roster. Manuel was performing well. However, he still was averaging just 198 passing yards per game entering Thursday's game while throwing five touchdowns.
Making the case against adding Tuel stronger is the Bills' upcoming schedule. Buffalo will host the Bengals next week, play at the Dolphins and Saints and then host the Chiefs.
Not only are all four of those teams playoff contenders, but that is also an opposing string of tough pass defenses.
The Saints and Chiefs are both in the top five in passing yards allowed and the Bengals are 13th.
I see no reason to lay a waiver claim on Tuel.