Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods' Updated 2013 Fantasy Outlook with Thad Lewis

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistOctober 7, 2013

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 29: Robert Woods #10 of the Buffalo Bills celebrates his touchdown with Stevie Johnson #13 during NFL game action against the Baltimore Orioles at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 29, 2013 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Apparently, Thad Lewis played his college ball at Duke University before signing with the St. Louis Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2010. He spent time on the practice squad with the Rams and Cleveland Browns before making the Buffalo Bills' practice squad this season. 

I know all of this because I had to look it up this morning after it was announced that he was the new starting quarterback of the Bills. 

Seriously. From the team's official Twitter account:

Okay, okay, so I'm familiar with Lewis—he even started a game for the Browns last season, finishing 22-for-32 with 204 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception in a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 30:  Thad Lewis #9 of the Cleveland Browns drops back to pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game on December 30, 2012 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

But with extremely limited experience, the elephant in the room for fantasy owners remains—how will his insertion into the starting lineup affect Buffalo's skill position players, namely Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods?

To be honest, it shouldn't have a major effect this week, since you probably should have been benching both players against the Cincinnati Bengals anyway. The Bengals are 12th in the NFL in pass defense (221.1 yards per game) and have given up just six passing scores after five games, with just three of those coming against wide receivers.

And neither receiver is much more than a flex option in the first place. Johnson is a low-end WR2 when he's healthy, but he's battled hamstring and back issues the past two weeks and his production has suffered. 

Meanwhile, Woods has been steady if unspectacular (four weeks with six or more fantasy points), but he was simply a flex with a healthy EJ Manuel. Now, he's still worth rostering but certainly not worth starting. 

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 29:   Robert Woods #10 of the Buffalo Bills catches Buffalo's first touchdown pass against the Baltimore Ravens at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 29, 2013 in Orchard Park, New York.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Unless Lewis emerges from the depths of obscurity and takes over the NFL Willie Beamon-style, it's safe to assume Johnson is nothing more than a low-end flex in deeper leagues and Woods isn't worth starting until Manuel returns to action, presumably in a few weeks

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to continue familiarizing myself with Lewis' resume. I'm guessing Johnson and Woods are doing the same thing. 


Hit me up on Twitter—I'll answer your fantasy lineup questions and make ill-fated predictions. Nobody circles the wagons like my tweets. Or something like that.

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