In their first season under outspoken head coach Rex Ryan, the Buffalo Bills missed the playoffs with an 8-8 record despite boasting what on paper appeared to be a top defense in the league. With Tyrod Taylor maturing as an NFL quarterback and some solid rookie pickups on the defensive end, the Bills are looking to compete in the AFC East.
The Bills defense looking to rebound from last year’s 19th overall finish in the NFL with the addition of three key rookies: first-round outside linebacker Shaq Lawson, second-round linebacker Reggie Ragland, and third-round defensive tackle Adolphus Washington. Lawson is recovering from shoulder surgery, but Ragland and Washington are working as starters.
“The first day we had pads on, I think (Ragland) would have had like three or four sacks,” Rex said. “So you kind of envision him in that Bart Scott role, that type of mentality. He’s a legitimate hitter, he’s a legitimate linebacker. Some of these guys come in this league, they can run, they can do those guys. Well, this guy’s legit. He’s a size/speed guy and he’s a thumper. He’s smart. He’s just taken right into it.
“Washington is running with the first team, also, and he’s had his moments. A little more athletic, I think, than the 40 times would tell you he is. He’s a good football player. Remember, when you’re talking about athletic ability, it’s not always just the 40-yard dash. This guy was the player of the year in basketball in Ohio.”
The experts at SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio give us their fantasy studs and sleepers for the Buffalo Bills.
Stud: LeSean McCoy had a down season in 2015, only playing 12 games and rushing for under 1,000 yards. Expect him to want to make a statement this season and avoid injury. If he succeeds, you can count on somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 all purpose yards.
Sleeper: Mike Gillislee has some of that same explosiveness out of the backfield that McCoy has, and when he finds a hole, big yardage usually ensues. Last season Gillislee had three touchdowns on 47 rushing attempts, and that included 50- and 60-yard runs.
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