By Josh Frey
Tyrod Taylor was a solid fantasy football QB as recently as 2017. He averaged more than 17 points a game during his 3 years with Buffalo, even though he never had much for weapons. Sammy Watkins was the only guy who scared defenses on the outside, and while he posted a 1,000-yard season, he’s never came close to his potential as 2014’s #4 overall pick.
When Watkins left in 2017, Taylor was left with a combination of Deonte Thompson, Charles Clay, Zay Jones, Andre Holmes, Jordan Matthews, and Kelvin Benjamin throughout various points of the year. Matthews and Benjamin were considered promising young wideouts who could still come back at the time, though now it’s clear they were washed at this point in their respective careers.
- Matthews went back to Philadelphia (who drafted him in the second round 4 years prior) but caught only 20 balls for 300 yards and 2 touchdowns. He saw time with the Eagles and the 49ers last season but only caught 4 passes and will likely be on the outside looking in this year when the ‘9ers make their cuts.
- Benjamin remained with Buffalo for the first 12 games of the 2018 season where he managed just 23 receptions for 354 yards and 1 touchdown before being shipped to KC and being out of the league since.
Even with the lack of weapons, Tyrod Taylor was able to put up respectable fantasy games due to his legs. During his time with the Bills, he averaged over 35 rushing yards a game and would run into the endzone 4+ a season. It may not seem like much, but over the course of a 16-game season it equates to eighty points, or five points a week.
Combine his rushing floor of 5 points per week with the fact that he will be throwing to the likes of Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Hunter Henry, and Austin Ekeler, you get a high potential QB. KJ Hill and Joe Reed are a couple of rookies who should produce as depth WRs, and while they don’t have a great offensive line, they did add Bryan Bulaga who is still a top-notch pass blocking tackle.
One of Taylor’s biggest knocks is that Buffalo drafted Justin Herbert with the 6th overall pick this year. However, many consider him a raw prospect that will need time to sit. Given the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, teams will be forced to manage their practice reps, something that hurts Herbert’s chances of picking up the offense quickly.
Tyrod, on the other hand, has had a full year to learn the offense and is familiar with head coach Anthony Lynn from their time together in Buffalo (2015-2016). Tyrod should be able to win this QB battle with ease and if the team is playing well, something they are more than capable of doing, he should remain the starter.
Tyrod was already an undervalued fantasy QB before the draft, and since then he has become a no-brainer QB2 who could end up putting up top 10 numbers.
- Buffalo had Robert Woods during Tyrod’s time with the team, though he by all means was a late bloomer and was not used in the same manner as he is with the Rams.
- Tyrod busted as a Cleveland Brown because of an injury early in the year, the fact that Cleveland had just used the top overall pick on Baker Mayfield, and since seemingly every QB the Browns have had, ever, has busted.