The PYRO Fantasy Football Depth Chart is a rundown of where Team PYRO projects the fantasy production for each team at each position. It is NOT an attempt to inform you of the current starters for each team. For example, we are well aware that Brandon Manumaleuna is currently the starting TE for the Chicago Bears, but if you look at the Bears Team Page, we have Greg Olsen listed at TE. Why? We’re projecting that Greg Olsen will be the most Fantasy Football relevant TE for the Bears this season. Since Olsen will be the Bears leading FF point scorer at TE, it’s his name at the top of the TE column on our PYRO Fantasy Depth Chart.
One of the more unexpected surprises of 2013 came in the form of Buffalo Bills running back, Fred Jackson, who put up a combined 10 touchdowns (9 rush, 1 rec) despite carrying the ball just 206 times and starting only six games.
In doing so, Jackson became just the 11th RB in NFL history to amass double-digit TDs at the age of 32 or older.
Pyro's take: Do I expect this sort of output to happen again?
Would I be surprised if it did?
The Bills will likely head into 2014 looking to unleash C.J. Spiller once again, but after the disastrous attempt to do so in 2013, my confidence in it's fulfillment has waned more than a smidgen.
I'm not saying I would draft F-Jax as an RB2 next season, but I wouldn't let him fall to the 128th pick (last year's ADP) either, especially since he'll be in a contract year and still wants to play 3-4 more seasons.
Goodwin finished as the Bills’ leading receiver, with six catches for 81 yards. He once again showed off his Olympic speed on his touchdown catch, blowing by Jets Pro Bowl cornerback Antonio Cromartie.
The play was the same one called in Week Nine against Kansas City, when he scored on a 30-yard catch.
“That exhilarating feeling after scoring a touchdown ... I like it too much,” Goodwin said.
All three of Goodwin’s touchdowns this season have covered 40 or more yards. He’s the first Bills player with at least three touchdown receptions of that length in a single season since Terrell Owens had four in 2009.
“I knew what I had to do,” Goodwin said of the opportunity that came with making his first career start. “It feels good to help my team win and do whatever I can.”
Bills head coach Doug Marrone said after Goodwin’s touchdown catch against the Chiefs that the rookie “probably doesn’t even know how good he can be.”
Pyro's take: Goodwin was an afterthought in fantasy drafts, and it seems nobody has been paying attention to the fact that I have had him as a waiver wire pick up since week 9. The dude has amazing speed, and with E.J. Manuel back for the Bills there should be even more chances for Goodwin from Manuel's cannon arm.
If you are in a league that rewards for long touchdowns this kid is a potential difference maker, and a great dynasty stash. Marquise has as good if not better speed than Tavon Austin, and with touchdowns of over 40 yards this season he is blowing by defenders. Those three touchdowns have all come since week 6.
Wednesday was the first day that Bills head coach Doug Marrone watched his starting quarterback in the full practice setting since he sustained an LCL knee injury in Week 5. Though EJ Manuel was able to practice fully, Marrone wants to see more before cementing him as the starting quarterback Sunday.
Manuel maintained that he was not restricted in any way in practice coming off the injury.
“It felt pretty good,” he said. “I was able to get out there and get with the ones on a lot of reps. It felt good overall. I definitely feel like I can go. That’s still up to coach Marrone as far as what we do as a team, but I definitely feel confident going into Sunday.”
“He wasn’t limping or anything,” said Marrone. “From a standpoint of being healthy he’s fine, now it’s just a point of trying to get him back. Last week we did a good job of getting him out there and working, same with Thad.”
Pyro's take: It is my belief that Manuel will be the starter for the Bills on Sunday. Manuel was showing nice development, in this his rookie season, before getting injured in week 5. E.J. is the future for the Bills, so they will want to make sure he is 100% before throwing him out there. Although, they would not have cut Matt Flynn if they did not expect him to play.
Robert Woods may not be able to go this week, but Manuel will get his first chance to throw some deep passes to fellow rookie, and speedster, Marquise Goodwin. It will be nice to see the rookie back out there.
For the second year in a row, C.J. Spiller disagrees with
his coach regarding the running back's body.
Last season, Spiller took exception with Chan Gailey's
opinion that Spiller got "winded" and needed to be removed from
Now Spiller disagrees with Bills coach Doug Marrone.
Marrone said this afternoon Spiller's sprained ankle "probably is not as well" than at this time last week and indicated Spiller might be well-served
to rest Sunday rather than play against the New Orleans Saints in the Superdome.
Pyro's take: This is never a good sign when a star player is not on the same page as his head coach. It will be interesting to see how this progresses throughout the week, but it is a cause for concern. If Spiller does play, Marrone could still limit his touches on Sunday. Stay tuned.
Rookie quarterback EJ Manuel will be out four to six more weeks, Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone said Wednesday.
“The earliest will be four and the latest will be six weeks, without any setbacks,” Marrone said. “That’s how we feel, and he’s doing well and he’s in rehab working hard.”
Manuel suffered a sprained knee in the game at Cleveland two weeks ago.
Marrone said he’s not about to dwell on Manuel’s absence and he’s glad the rookie will be back at some point.
“Am I disappointed? No,” Marrone said. “I want to make sure he’s healthy when he comes back. … Where he is in the rehabilitation process, I’m happy that we’re going to get him back out there.”
Just how much practice time Manuel will need before he goes back to game action is uncertain.
“I think when he returns to practice I’ll be able to tell you exactly where he’s at,” Marrone said.
Pyro's take: This news keeps the original timetable for Manuel’s return intact. It also means that Thad Lewis is going to get a few more chances. Even though the Bills signed Matt Flynn, are you kidding me, Lewis was leading the Bills first team at practice on Wednesday, even with his sprained foot.
The Bills offense will continue to be a run focused offense, which does not bode well for Stevie Johnson or Robert Woods. The only bright spot for an uptick in fantasy production in the passing game would come from Scott Chandler. Lewis is not worth adding to your roster, and that will be proven, as he will be on the run from the Dolphins defense this weekend.
C.J. Spiller (ankle) is listed as questionable for Week 6 versus Cincinnati.
Spiller was spotted with a bit of a limp Wednesday, but he's been practicing. Coach Doug Marrone said Spiller has been "progressing much better."
Pyro's take: This is a tough matchup for Spiller and it may not be a good fantasy week for him. The Bills are going to have to lean on the running game with Thaddius Lewis starting at quarterback, but Cincinnati is going stack the box and force the Lewis to beat them.
Bills quarterback EJ Manuel suffered an LCL sprain in his right knee that won't need surgery, coach Doug Marrone said on Friday. The LCL sprain is expected to keep Manuel sidelined for a few weeks.
Pyro's take: Manuel is going to most likely miss at least the next 4 weeks (maybe up to 8), as the Bills don't want to risk bringing him back early and risking further injury. It was a stupid play that he got injured on, as he was running down the sideline and did not need to stay in bounds to take the hit he did. When are these running quarterbacks going to learn that getting down or out of bounds and staying healthy is worth so much more than taking brutal hits.
Running back Fred Jackson was injured against Baltimore. He said he sprained his MCL, the same injury he suffered last season, but that this injury is "less significant" and he expects to play Thursday.
Pyro's take: Jackson should be able to go on Thursday, but this is tough news for the Bills as both of their running backs are dealing with injuries on the short week. C.J. Spiller says he is going to play, but that will be a game time decision. Jackson has been a pleasant surprise this season and if Spiller is unable to go Jackson is a good option, as long as he is able to play.
C.J. Spiller has a sprained ankle, but expects to play Thursday
Despite a sprained ankle, Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller will play Thursday night against the Cleveland Browns, a league source said.
Spiller, who was injured during Sunday's win over the Baltimore Ravens, said his ankle was less swollen than expected Monday and that his availability would be a game-time decision.
"I can't walk normally," he said. "It's a little sore. [But] it wasn't as swollen as we thought it was going to be. That's a good thing."
Pyro's take: Spiller has had a real tough season so far, and the news that he has a sprained ankle means the good times keep rolling. Not only is this another concern, but the fact that the Bills have a Thursday game this week means that Spiller will most likely be limited and not have his full explosion factor for Thursday night against the Browns. If you have no better option you will be starting him, just keep your fingers crossed he does not re-aggravate the injury.
A forgettable week that began with a terrible performance, quad injury and departure from the Week 3 game against the New York Jets has brightened for Bills featured back C.J. Spiller. He has practiced in full since Wednesday and is listed as probable for Sunday against Baltimore.
Pyro's take: C.J. Spiller has been practicing all week and is looking forward to having a good game after mustering only 10 yards on 9 carries. All it takes is one play for this guy to be the Thriller and make an impact on your fantasy week. Don't jump ship, cause this could be the week.
Running back C.J. Spiller expects to be back in action when the Buffalo Bills host the Ravens in Week 4. Spiller was limited to nine carries for just nine yards in Sunday's loss to the Jets, a game in which he suffered what was first described as a knee injury. ESPN reported Monday that it's Spiller's thigh that's ailing, but regardless, the team also expects him to suit up against Baltimore.
"I'm a little sore, but it shouldn’t be nothing that'll keep me out this week," Spiller said Monday, per the Bills' official website. "I should be feeling better, day by day, but just taking it slow. Just a little sore right now."
Pyro's take: Wow this is great news and a tragedy averted with all the initial speculation that it was a knee injury for Spiller. Spiller has been anything but a Thriller this year as he has dissappointed through the first 3 weeks of the season. That being said, he joins a long list of underperforming running backs this season. C.J. still has that amazing game breaking potential and if he is going to play next week you need to start him. He will be the Thriller at some point and you don't want him to be on your bench when that happens.
Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller said he displayed some impatience in his running style in Sunday’s loss to New England.
“I kind of went back to some of my old stuff,” Spiller said, referring to his rookie season. “That was really the biggest thing when I said I was disappointed. I went back to some of my old habits. I wasn’t letting the offensive line do their job. I was rushing stuff."
Spiller rushed 17 times for 41 yards, a 2.4-yard average. Eleven of his runs were for 2 or fewer yards.
“Just wanting to go out there and – I don’t want to say prove anything – but try to make too many plays,” Spiller said. “I was forcing it instead of just letting that big play come. I was looking for that big play each time, and it hurt us, and it hurt me. … I have to start taking what they give me.”
Pyro's take: This is a good news for Spiller owners who spent an early pick to get him. Spiller must have know where he was being selected in drafts and put a bit too much pressure on himself in week 1. Now let me dispel 2 myths.
Fred Jackson is not going to take the starting job away from Spiller and Spiller is not going to have 300 carries. Spiller is one of the most dynamic running backs in the game, and the Bills coaching staff knows this. Spiller only had 207 carries last season and finished with 1,244 yards. He is going to see around 25 carries this year and he is going to be a top fantasy producing running back.
The signs were certainly encouraging when EJ Manuel stepped onto the practice field for the first time this past Sunday. Now just over two weeks after undergoing minor knee surgery Manuel has been named the starting quarterback for Buffalo's season opener against New England Sunday.
Head coach Doug Marrone made the announcement to the team at a 7:45 am meeting Wednesday. The athletic training staff and coaches put Manuel through a battery of tests over the past few days with the primary focus on his mobility. All parties wanted to be sure that Manuel was physically capable of escaping trouble in the pocket if and when it presented itself.
The Bills top draft choice obviously passed with flying colors. All along Manuel has put in extra work in an effort to accelerate his recovery from a knee injury in the team's second preseason game and subsequent surgery. Those efforts have apparently paid off.
"Each day my injury has gotten better, and I’ve been doing two or three treatments a day," said Manuel. "That’s helped me a lot."
Pyro's take: E.J. Manuel has made a speedy recovery from his minor knee operation and will be ready to lead the Bills in week 1 against the Patriots.
Manuel is not a recommended starter this week, but the rookie was the best quarterback in the Bills camp this preseason and definitely has earned the starting job. Manuel has great arm strength and is a mobile quarterback, which will come in handy with the offensive line that still needs some work.
The fact that Manuel is playing is also good news for C.J. Spiller, as Manuel will help to keep pressure off of his running back by stretching the Patriots defense. Manuel is a player to keep an eye on as he progresses in his rookie season.
The Bills announced the news Saturday afternoon and said that an MRI showed the "need to have a minor knee procedure."
"EJ Manuel had some swelling in his left knee this morning and was examined by our medical staff," the Bills said in a team statement. "An MRI revealed that he will need to have a minor knee procedure and that has been scheduled. He will miss the remainder of the preseason and then be re-evaluated at that time. Kevin Kolb will be our starting quarterback for this weekend's game at Washington."
Pyro's take: This is real tough news for Manuel, who had all but won the starting job for the Bills. Manuel looked great against the Vikings completing 10 of 12 passes for 92 yards with a touchdown.
Manuel has been the much more impressive quarterback throughout training camp and the preseason, and this is an unfortunate setback. The good news is that this is a minor procedure and Manuel might have a chance to make it back for the season opener, as the recovery time is 2-4 weeks. Once Manuel is healthy he will retake the starter job from Kevin Kolb.
Kevin Kolb freakishly injures knee...EJ Manuel in prime position
Kevin Kolb was joining the quarterbacks and receivers in making their way through a tunnel to work out on an adjoining field. He slipped on a mat laid down over the concrete, and immediately began hobbling in pain. Kolb then put his arm around head trainer Bud Carpenter's shoulder for support.
It was a freak accident that happened about 50 minutes into practice at Bills training camp in suburban Rochester.
When wet, the mats provide very little traction, especially for players wearing cleats. Shortly after Kolb slipped, several camp volunteers arrived with brooms to sweep away any remaining water from the mats.
EJ Manuel took the extra precaution the next time he went through the tunnel by walking mostly on the concrete.
Pyro's take: Is this any surprise that Kevin Kolb has been freakishly injured? Not to me, it seems like Kevin Kolb is the NFL's version of Charlie Brown. Instead of Lucy pulling the football out from under him...he slips on a mat and tweaks his knee...AAUGH!!!
This is the opening that EJ Manuel was looking for, and he will will now get all the reps in practice and might have the potential to get extra playing time with the starters in the first preseason game if Kolb's injury lingers and they hold him out for precautionary measures.
This only helps to solidify the fact that Manuel is the best option for the Bills to go with, as they are a young team with low expectations and Manuel is their future. Manuel has a better skill set than Kolb and the extra reps with the starters will give him the edge to be the Bills starter by week 1, in my opinion.
Late in Friday morning's practice, Johnson pulled up lame while running a crossing route and immediately went to the ground holding his left hamstring. He had to be helped off the field by the trainers and then was escorted into the locker room.
The severity of the injury is unknown, and coach Doug Marrone said he hopes to know more after tests are performed.
Pyro's take: This is bad news for Johnson and EJ Manuel who looks like he is in line to be the starter for the Bills. This does open the door for rookies Robert Woods, DaRick Rodgers and Marquis Goodwin to make an impression on the coaching staff. Johnson is in no danger of losing his starting wide receiver role, but it is never a good sign when a player is dealing with hamstring issues the first week of training camp.
New Bills offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett ran almost 80 plays a game at Syracuse last season, and now that uptempo offense will be the way of the Bills offense.
Considering the fact that the Buffalo Bills were 28th in the league in offensive plays per game, this will only benefit their best offensive player in C.J Spiller in fantasy this season.
Pyro's take: With more offensive plays and a quick hit offense in place, Spiller's touches will skyrocket with more offensive opportunities. There is talk of 2,000 yards for C.J., and his skillset is the type that could pull of the feat if everything aligns.
Spiller had 207 carries last season, yet had 1,244 yards - that's 6 yards a carry. Give him 350 plus carries and he keeps it anywhere near that average and he's over the 2K mark.
Spiller is the 3rd ranked RB in the v04 of my TIERS, and his new staff, his explosion factor, the increase in touches and his yards per carry capability is the reason why.
New Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone spoke about the quarterback battle between Manuel and Kolb and said,
“We’re going to split the reps and get looks at both Kevin and EJ with both groups to see how they perform with that...Our goal as coaches is to make it fair for both players, not just at the quarterback position, but other positions of competition...It really relies on the players to separate themselves...I can’t think of an instance where I was a coach or with a group of coaches or scouts or GMs where we said, ‘Okay we have these two players.’ And we were divided on that. The repetitions will be split and it will be done fairly. I can promise you that."
Pyro's take: Neither one of these quarterback is potential fantasy starter this season, but those in dynasty leagues have to like the early opportunity that Manuel is going to get. Regardless, Manuel should be the starter by the end of the season, but whoever is the starter is going to have an up and down season with more downs than ups.
The Buffalo Bills signed Manuel to a five-year contract today for right around $9 million, which is on par with where the No. 16 pick in the draft stands along the rookie salary scale.
Pyro's take: Manuel, though unrefined for a first-round draft pick, has the skills to become the Bills quarterback of the future and will almost assuredly see at least a few starts this season, if not ALL of them.
After six years in the NFL, Kevin Kolb has yet to play in more than nine games in any one season.
06/14/13, 01:15 PM CDT by Dawgmaticå