Buffalo Bills: WRs Will Provide Little Fantasy Production

By Sean Cordy
Stevie Johnson
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

When the Buffalo Bills traded up for the fourth pick last night, it caught everyone off guard. Who did they need to secure? Eyes were pointing towards Buffalo product Khalil Mack, but it ended up being Clemson WR Sammy Watkins. At first, that’s a head-scratcher. They could have bolstered their defense, but they realize that this is an offensive league now, and to win, you need to have offensive output above anything else.

In most cases, more offense equals more fantasy production, but the Bills will now need to spread the wealth among Watkins, Stevie JohnsonMike WilliamsScott Chandler, Marquise GoodwinFred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. That’s an awful number of mouths to feed. Given the current situation, the RB duo of Jackson and Spiller will continue to see carries thrown at them by offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, as they ranked first in the league in rushing attempts last season.

There are now seven main targets for Manuel to look down field for. Last season, the Bills completed 299 of 522 passes among 14 players, averaging 21 receptions a piece. Taking a look at the top 20 WRs from last season, it’s clear that no WR on this team will be able to be in that range. The lowest receptions for a top-20 WR was Torrey Smith‘s 65.  However, most of the wide receivers in that list had at least 80 receptions.

The highest reception total from a Bills player last season was 53 from Chandler, their TE (Johnson had 52). Now, assuming that the Bills throw the ball as much as they did last season and using the normal distribution formula, there’s roughly a five percent chance that a Bills player can take in 65 receptions and a one percent chance to reel in 80 catches.

Those are not very good numbers, and even if you subtract Johnson from the mix as there’s trade talks abuzz … you’re still adding in Watkins and Williams. And assuming one of their players does beat the odds and takes in 65 receptions, they would need to average 17 yards per catch and tack on at least four touchdowns.

In all likelihood, that’s not going to happen unless the Bills decide to change up their scheme from last season, and that does not appear to be the case. However, I’m certain their offense will be good on the whole with their addition. Still, in this case, it’s a decision that’s good for the gander and not just a single goose.

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