Team Preview Buffalo Bills

Free agency and the NFL Draft have come and gone: It’s time to fully embrace the 2023 offseason by breaking down the fantasy football aspirations of each and every team before draft season truly gets underway.

What follows is a fantasy-focused breakdown of the Buffalo Bills, looking at key questions like:

  1. Does Josh Allen deserve to be THE QB1 in fantasy land?
  2. Are Damien Harris and/or James Cook worthwhile zero-RB targets?
  3. Will this offense produce a high-end pass-game option beyond Stefon Diggs?

Every fantasy-relevant player from the Bills will be covered in the following paragraphs. Make sure to check out the Fantasy Life Team Preview Landing Page through the end of June for more all-encompassing fantasy football coverage.

Notable Offseason Moves

From the front office, to the coaching staff, to the roster: Every 2023 NFL team will be different than its 2022 version.

Head coach Sean McDermott is back for his seventh season with the Bills. He’ll once again be flanked by offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey, but longtime defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier is taking a year off from coaching, so McDermott himself will assume defensive play-calling duties.

The offense transitioned from Brian Daboll to Dorsey last season, although it remained abundantly clear that the Bills want to pass the ball at a high rate and move quickly while doing so:

Additionally, the Bills have made plenty of changes to their roster. The following QBs, RBs, WRs, and TEs have either joined or left Buffalo in some way, shape or form this offseason:

  • QB: Backup Case Keenum joined the Texans, leading the Bills to sign ex-Panthers/Washington/Texans QB Kyle Allen (one-year, $1.23 million) as the new No. 2 QB.
  • RB: Incumbent starting RB Devin Singletary took his talents to the Texans, leading to the front office adding early-down replacements Damien Harris (one-year, $1.77 million) and Latavius Murray (one-year, $1.317 million).
  • WR: Late-season addition/old friend Cole Beasley remains a free agent, as does Aaron Rodgers' BFF Jake Kumerow. Slot WRs Jamison Crowder and Isaiah McKenzie took their talents to the Giants and Colts, respectively. The Bills signed ex-Saints talent Deonte Harty (two-year, $9.5 million) and speedy ex-Dolphins WR Trent Sherfield (one-year, $1.77 million) as replacements.
  • TE: Backup TE Tommy Sweeney now plays for the Giants.
Bills Player Moves

The Bills added Utah TE Dalton Kincaid (1.25) and Florida WR Justin Shorter (5.150) to their skill-position rooms. The former is obviously expected to produce quite a bit more in 2023 and beyond, considering the history of draft capital in fantasy football. General manager Brandon Beane has already speculated that Kincaid could be used as more of a receiver than a blocker as a rookie.


  • Josh Allen (Ian’s QB2) 
  • Kyle Allen (QB57)

Allen showed flashes of being a pretty great fantasy QB even before he emerged as a real-life superstar.

  • 2018: 17.3 fantasy points per game (QB19)
  • 2019: 18 (QB10)
  • 2020: 24.7 (QB2)
  • 2021: 23.7 (QB1)
  • 2022: 24.7 (QB2)

Once infamous for never having completed even 60% of his passes at any level of football, Allen ranks fourth in completion percentage over expected (+6.5%) over the past three seasons. 

The Bills’ franchise QB also ranks fourth in terms of EPA per dropback (+0.29) during this span. Allen’s combination of limitless arm strength and elite mobility has burdened defenses of all shapes and sizes for the better part of the last half-decade.

Of course, it’s the latter variable that makes Allen such a stud in fantasy football land. Already third in career rushing TDs at the position during the Super Bowl era (!), Allen continues to put up rushing numbers on par with the league’s very best dual-threat talents:

  1. Justin Fields - 10.8 fantasy points per game from purely rushing production in 2022
  2. Jalen Hurts - 10.3
  3. Lamar Jackson - 7.9
  4. Allen - 7.4

The soon-to-be 27-year-old signal-caller is capable of running past, through, or over defenders in the open field.

Allen’s rushing mixtape is NSFW.

Throw in the fact that Allen is one of just seven QBs in NFL history with at least three seasons with 35-plus passing TDs, and his lone negative (too many turnovers) is easily made up for by weekly alien-level scoring upside.

Fire up Allen as fantasy’s overall QB2 behind only Hurts, who gets the top-spot nod thanks to a better offensive environment and cheat-code-level goal-line usage – an area of the field which the Bills could refrain from using Allen as often in 2023.


  • James Cook (Ian’s RB34) 
  • Damien Harris (RB39)
  • Nyheim Hines (RB87)
  • Latavius Murray (RB94)

On the one hand, Cook was pretty, pretty, pretty good as a rookie, averaging more yards per carry (5.7) than any RB not named Breece Hall (5.8) while posting the position’s eighth-best PFF receiving grade (71.8) among 55 qualified RBs.

The rookie might have fumbled away his first career carry (oops), but give the 23-year-old talent credit for not letting the football hit the ground on his next 126 touches.

On the other hand, the Bills never quite trusted Cook as an early-down answer. Virtually all of his games with double-digit rush attempts came during a Bills blowout. 

This is always a possibility with sub-200-pound backs, and the team’s decision to sign ex-Patriots RB Damien Harris and long-time early-down bruiser Latavius Murray in the offseason isn’t a great sign.

The lack of a workhorse role makes it tough to trust Cook – or any other Bills RB – as a true high-end fantasy asset. The Bills join the Ravens, Seahawks and Eagles as legit awesome, real-life offenses … who haven’t managed to enable fantasy-friendly RBs over the years.

And yet, the rising second-year back profiles as the sort of explosive pass-catching RB who should be a rather awesome target in full-PPR scoring.

The presence of Harris and Murray has caused many to assume that Cook will be an afterthought on the ground this season, but that could be a bit overblown, considering just how cheap both deals are

There’s also the reality that Harris has played in just 38 of a possible 66 regular season games since entering the league in 2019, and Murray turned 65 33 in January.

While the aforementioned chart reveals the lack of overall opportunity inside the Bills' backfield, the offense has been willing to leave a single RB out on the field longer than most.

Cook’s ADP isn’t exactly dirt cheap at the moment, but there’s potential here for him to provide: 

  1. Spot starts boomed by an explosive pass-catching ability 
  2. League-winning upside should Harris (again) struggle to stay healthy, resulting in the Georgia talent being the next man up to receive a featured role

There are several intriguing backs priced in the RB3 range at the moment; don’t be afraid to throw some darts at the one (likely) in the best offense with the most demonstrated pass-down chops.

James Cook

Jan 15, 2023; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills running back James Cook (28) runs the ball against the Miami Dolphins during the first half in a NFL wild card game at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

I’m far less willing to chase either Harris or Murray, who could eat into each other’s role while boasting minimum usage in the passing game or red zone. Especially since Allen has a tendency to scramble instead of checking the ball down and call his own number near the goal line.


  • Stefon Diggs (Ian’s WR4)
  • Gabriel Davis (WR39)
  • Khalil Shakir (WR86)
  • Deonte Harty (WR87)

Diggs has peeled off 127-1535-8, 103-1225-10, and 108-1429-11 receiving lines since teaming up with Josh Allen in 2020. Only Davante AdamsCooper KuppTyreek Hill, and Justin Jefferson have averaged more PPR points per game during this span.

Of course, Father Time is undefeated, and Diggs turns 30 in November. This is historically when WRs go from great to good in fantasy land

Only 14 WRs have posted top-12 seasons in PPR points per game after turning 30 over the past 10 years.

And yet, nothing about Diggs’ 2022 performance indicated a major drop-off in performance was imminent, and the Bills didn’t really add any target competition to worry about. 

Age alone isn’t enough reason to completely fade somebody; just realize it’s enough to serve as a tie-breaker when compared against similarly elite talents with absurdly fantasy-friendly volume.

The longtime stud remains plenty capable of twisting up cornerbacks of all shapes and sizes; you don’t need more than one hand to count the number of WRs you should pick ahead of him in fantasy land.

And then there’s Davis, whose season-long 48-836-7 receiving line wasn’t exactly what truthers had in mind considering the man ended his 2021 campaign with an incredible 8-201-4 performance in the Bills’ batshit crazy AFC Divisional Round loss to the Chiefs. His status as the WR38 in PPR points per game didn’t exactly pay off his pricey WR24 preseason ADP.

One important note: Davis suffered a high-ankle sprain in a Week 2 practice that he ultimately played through during the rest of the season. 

He still managed to post the occasional boom, but the injury helps explain why the team felt the need to re-sign Smokey and Beasley later in the season. Bills GM Brandon Beane certainly seems to be giving Davis the benefit of the doubt.

Somehow still only 24 years of age, Davis (again) profiles as Allen’s rather undisputed No. 2 WR. The Bills’ pass-happy offense has produced the single-most expected WR PPR points per game over the past three seasons; improved health in 2023 *should* yield returns closer to what drafters were hoping for last season.

Or maybe it won’t. 

Either way, Davis is currently being priced below where he finished last season. The definition of buying a fantasy asset closer to their floor than ceiling, Davis is a prime post-hype candidate who has proven capable of booming in a major way when everything is right.

You can start drafting Davis TODAY on Underdog Fantasy, where you can also double your first deposit of up to $100. Sign up below and start drafting today!

I’m largely out on the rest of the Bills receivers as anything other than LATE round darts. This is mostly due to the insertion of the team’s first-round TE Dalton Kincaid. More on him … right now.


  • Dalton Kincaid (Ian’s TE13)
  • Dawson Knox (TE25)

Bills general manager Brandon Beane had the following to say on the Bills’ first-round TE:

“We think he'll pair well with Dawson and give us another target in the middle of the field. So, yeah, when him and Dawson are in the game, you're in '12' [personnel], but it's quasi like '11' anyway.”

Basically, Beane is saying that the team’s two-TE formations will be more akin to three-WR sets due to Kincaid’s receiving prowess.

The Fantasy Life crew noted the following strengths and weaknesses on Kincaid in his pre-draft dynasty rookie profile:

Strength: Smooth athlete. Knox is quite literally the most TD-dependent TE in the NFL. Like many of the great TEs, basketball was originally Kincaid’s primary sport – and it shows. He has excellent footwork, hands, and body control, which allows him to regularly make acrobatic, highlight-reel catches.

Dalton Kincaid

28. Cincinnati Bengals -- TE Dalton Kincaid, Utah Syndication The Register Guard

Strength: Room to develop. Kincaid only played one year of high school football before playing five collegiate seasons at a combination of the University of San Diego and Utah. This relative lack of experience and non-traditional path suggests he may still have room to develop.

Weakness: Blocking is meh. Kincaid leaves a lot to be desired as a blocker. He graded out with the 112th-best run-blocking grade from PFF among TEs with at least 100 blocking snaps in 2022.

Weakness: Lack of strength/physicality. Overall, his contested catch success rate dropped from 78% to 50% from his junior to senior seasons, which is a worrying trend and something NFL defenses will use to their advantage if it is truly a weakness in his game.

And then there’s Knox, who is quite literally the most-TD-dependent TE in fantasy football.

The good news is that he’s made a habit of scoring a lot of TDs over the past two years. Overall, only Travis Kelce (21) and George Kittle (17) have caught more scores than Knox (15) since 2021.

The bad news is that Knox has been in an awesome offense pretty much devoid of a proven No. 2 pass-game option, and he hasn’t managed to demand targets at a high level. Perhaps things could change in his fifth season, but that seems like wishful thinking after the Kincaid pick.

Ultimately, I’m drinking a good bit of Kool-Aid on Kincaid busting through as a rare fantasy-friendly rookie TE. His potential to essentially work as the offense’s big slot receiver fits the profile of guys like Jordan ReedEvan Engram, and Kyle Pitts, who are the only three top-12 PPR per game performers at the position over the past 10 years.

Knox should still flirt with his fair share of fantasy-friendly red-zone opportunities. A true nose dive in ADP could make him – or anyone else for that matter – a value, but expecting a leap forward after so much competition was added to his position room seems like wishful thinking. The 26-year-old veteran isn’t someone to go out of your way to draft at his current TE18 ADP.

2023 Win Total: 10.5 (-130 juice on the over)

Winning the division means playing a tough schedule in the future.

The Bills have a ways to go to match Tom Brady’s longtime reign over the division, but they are certainly moving in the right direction.

Buffalo boasts the league’s fifth-most expensive defense entering 2023. It’s tough to assume Von Miller will be fully back to his prime self following last season’s ACL injury; just realize the defense allowed more than 21 points in just three of 11 games with Miller compared to four of seven games without.