The Buffalo Bills have made several big splashes this off-season, especially on the defensive side of the ball. As a result, the defense will be much better in 2014 and should develop into a decent fantasy football Whole DEF/ST option throughout the year.
Let’s look at some of the team’s additions and departures this off-season:
Major Defensive Additions: LB Brandon Spikes, LB Keith Rivers, CB Corey Graham
The defensive line is still stacked with big bodies. They have over 1,000 pounds of muscle on the line, including monsters like Mario Williams, Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus, and Alan Branch. The team is very thick up front and will be much better against the run with another year of experience.
Perhaps the team’s strong point is their linebacking core. The emergence of Kiko Alonso quickly stirred up fantasy IDP owners, as he finished third in the league with 159 hits in his rookie year. Buffalo added sure-tackling linebacker, Brandon Spikes, to the middle of the unit and decided to move Kiko to the outside to best utilize his speed. Now mix in a Keith Rivers on the outside, to go along with pass rushing specialist, Manny Lawson, and Buffalo’s second level will be even better next season.
The team does have a rather inexperienced secondary, but they still ranked fourth in the NFL against the pass (204.4 yards/game) last season. They will be asked to do much more without Byrd roaming the secondary, but it also will give Aaron Williams, Da’Norris Searcy, Leodis MeKelvin, and the newly acquired Corey Graham more chances to make plays. The secondary still has some special ball-hawks roaming the field and they will once again be ranked within the top-10 in interceptions in 2014.
Buffalo will be one of the best sleeper defenses to look for this summer. The unit won’t be ranked within the top-10 on many cheat sheets, but they will be drastically better in 2014, so don’t be afraid to take a chance on them as a late round flyer.