I will be starting a new series today called 32 Teams in 32 Days.
In this series, I will be providing fantasy fans with insight on each team’s fantasy football implications for the 2009 season.
Each starting fantasy position will be examined. Hopefully you enjoy the comments and can provide some counter-comments along the way.
The first team on the agenda is the Buffalo Bills.
QB - Trent Edwards is being considered a sleeper QB by many and should see some improved numbers for three reasons this season.
One of the biggest reasons is the arrival of the man known as T.O. Owens has been an asset for every team and QB he has played with. He can stretch the field and take safety help away from other receivers on the team.
The second reason is the arrival of Shawn Nelson to be the receiving TE for this team. Robert Royal was adequate as a blocker, but did not contribute much in the passing game.
Nelson has the tools to become a threat in the receiving game from the TE position.
The third reason Edwards improves this season is health. Last year he played extremely well until he had a concussion and missed some games because of it. He really never seemed to be the same QB after the injury last year.
I see Edwards being a solid backup and spot starter in typical 10 to 12 team leagues.
RB - Marshawn Lynch at this point will be serving a three-game suspension to start the season.
Lynch has been a solid player since coming into the league, especially in PPR format leagues last year.
The suspension has caused Lynch’s draft status to drop dramatically. Once a late first- early second round pick, Lynch is being drafted in the fourth and fifth round this year. He has extreme value there, especially if he is the RB3 on your team.
Fred Jackson and Dominic Rhodes will play a role on the team, especially in the first three games, but look for Lynch to have a better season rushing with more running lanes developing due to the fact that defenses must now defend both Owens and Evans.
WR – Terrell Owens and Lee Evans will lineup as the starting wideouts for 2009.
Owens, as was previously said, will free up space for other receivers in the passing game and Marshawn Lynch in the running game.
With Evans being singled covered, he can use his quickness to get open more often against the No. 2 cornerback and probably have the best season of his career.
There just has to be enough balls to go around to everyone to keep everything flowing well. I foresee both Owens and Evans being solid WR2 on most teams.
TE- Shawn Nelson is another of those freakishly athletic rookie TEs.
Derek Fine will probably serve as the blocking TE, but look for Nelson to be in the game on passing downs using his long wiry frame to pull catches out of the air for first downs in the red zone.
He may be the surprise player in Buffalo that no one seems to be talking about. He probably has the potential to reach the six through 12 rankings for TEs and thus is a good gamble as a backup TE on your roster this season.
K - Rian Lindell is a fairly average kicker and can get the job done when called upon, but he is not worth spending anything more than a last round selection during your draft.
DEF/ST – The Buffalo defense and special teams unit finished 24 in fantasy points in the basic Yahoo scoring setup for 2008. However, I expect some better play out of this unit in 2009.
Aaron Schobel should be back healthy and provide a solid pass rush like he has in the past.
Also, the addition of Aaron Maybin as a pass-rushing specialist gives the team two legitimate threats to attack the QB.
This improvement in pass rush will obviously not only increase the sack points value for the team, but make the pass defense stronger as a whole. The QB will have to make faster decisions possibly leading to more turnovers as well.
I think this team’s defense could easily finish in the top 10 to 15 defenses in football for 2009.
Additional fantasy insight can be found at chinstrapninjas.