2018 Buffalo Bills IDP Outlook: Change My Mind!
2017 saw a Buffalo team overhaul their defense, trading solid contributors like Marcell Dareus and Ronald Darby (mind you Darby has a Super Bowl ring, so I’m sure he’s ok with the deal). Statistically speaking, the only real IDP value in 2017 was in the secondary, with 3 players in the top 20 at their respective positions in Jordan Poyer, Tre’Davious White & Micah Hyde. Side Note: I would caution of going on the trade market for any of the three, in one of my leagues I overpaid shortly after the season and I’m sure that will be a bad move when I look back!
2018 brings some hope for Bills IDP fans, with all three of those players returning and putting some draft capital into that defense in the form of Tremaine Edmunds, Harrison Phillips, Taron Johnson and Siran Neal. To go with the draft picks they added Vontae Davis & Star Lotulelei in free agency, though neither has ever been truly fantasy relevant.
Of the incoming help, Edmunds will provide nearly immediate impact as they are trying to get back to being relevant. Edmunds, taken in the 1st round this year is a massive Mike Linebacker at 6’5″ 253 lbs. with blazing sideline to sideline speed and notching 94 and 108 tackles the last two years of college he can cover the entire field. Like any rookie, it will take time to adapt to the pro game but as it slows down for him you’ll see Edmunds really excel and return fantasy value. The line in front of him remains nearly the same, other than the addition of Lotulelei as Buffalo tries to fix a defense that allowed a league-leading 22 rushing touchdowns last season.
Other than Edmunds, Matt Milano looks to be a sleeper option as he came on late in 2017 notching an interception, defensive touchdown, and 29 tackles. In fantasy, the Mike and Weak side backers offer value, where the strong side not so much and in Buffalo that is definitely the case with Lorenzo Alexander so we will just move on. Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer are in line to be fantasy starters, depending on league size you may see White as a bye-week option in deeper leagues but otherwise, I’d look elsewhere for secondary help. If you’re doing a startup, Edmunds could be the highest drafted Bill, and for good reason but I’d expect to see Hyde not too far behind him and I’d rank them in the following order
- Jerry Hughes
And outside of those 6, Shaq Lawson could be a sneaky sleeper if he can get it together.
Good Luck building those defenses and comment if you want to change my mind!