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Fantasy Information: Bills Need Chemistry on the Offensive Line

Miami Dolphins v Buffalo Bills

In a recent article I posted on Andre Smith and the Bengals I discussed the importance of an offensive line working together. The main idea of the piece was that all success in an offense starts up front with the offensive line.

When an offensive line runs like a well oiled machine, an offense is always going to be setup to succeed on the football field. But when an o-line is not maintained, you leave open the possibility’s to have failure.

Failures up front can happen in different ways, for example a line suffer injurys (Rams o-line last couple of years) or they can have a quarterback that holds onto the ball to long and is immobile (Chiefs before Tyler Thigpen).

While an offensive line can always suffer unfortunate hardships they can build one common bond together over time. That bond is called “chemistry” and it only comes when you have played together over time.

Major Changes on the Offensive Line

Before I get into the Bills major over haul on the offensive line I would like to stack up what they had on the line last year and what they have this year.

Fantasy Info- The Buffalo Bills Offensive Line Change

From the information listed above it is easy to see that the Buffalo Bills offensive line has gone through a MAJOR overhaul this off-season. With so much change, a fantasy football owner can only have concern that the Bills star players may have problems this season.

It’s hard enough to have two rookies on the offensive line in one season, but to have two more in different positions is killer. Throw in a backup center from another team and you have your self a problem.

Buffalo Bills Minicamp

Can Buffalo Players Excel for your Fantasy Team?

Let me get this out of the way right now, Terrell Owens is the only player you should select in your first seven round or so of your fantasy draft.

This season Marshawn Lynch is going to start the year with a three game suspension and Fred Jackson will take his place. When the news came down that Lynch would miss time I thought it was a good opportunity to start Jackson on fantasy teams for the first month.

But with chemistry and timing issues on the line and the fact that they play the Patriots, Buccaneers, Saints and Dolphins, he is going to have a hard time. Maybe you can start Fred against the Saints, but I caution you that the Saints strength as a defense is against the run.

If the Bills are going to find success this year, the Buffalo offensive line had best be good at protecting Trent Edwards.

While I like Trent as a quarterback there was a reason he slipped into the third round of the NFL draft in 2007 and that was because of injuries. Last season Trent was sacked only 23 times in 14 games.

What that should tell fantasy owners is that in only 23 sacks, Trent had to miss two games due to injury. What will happen if he has to suffer lets say 35 or even 40 sacks this year?

If Trent goes down the Bills will now have to rely on Bengals reject (it’s hard for me to write this guys name without becoming physically ill) Ryan Fitzpatrick or Matt Baker (zero snaps in the NFL).

It is clear to see that the Bills can not lose Edwards for anytime if they hope to make a run at the playoffs. It is also very clear that if you draft any players on the Bills this year in fantasy, you better hope that Edwards stays healthy.

Just look at what Fitzpatrick did to Chad Ochocinco and TJ Houshmanzada after Carson Palmer went down. Both of those receivers went into fantasy obscurity and the Bengals had a horrible season.

A Closer Look at the Buffalo Bills Offense

Just a couple of days ago I wrote a piece on how I believed Terrell Owens would shine for the Bills this season. While I still believe that Owens does make those around him better, he can not block for the offensive line and can’t heal an injury for his quarterback.

If the line should struggle and Edwards is hurt then Owens will have his value fall maybe even low then when Tony Romo was out last year. For those scoring at home that would mean TO would not even be worth a starting role on your fantasy team.

In closing it blows my mind that the Bills could be this irresponsible in having so much turnover on the offensive line, in one season. Not only do you have a new player starting in each position but three of those five are playing a new position.

Reports out of Buffalo are that the line is ready to prove all their doubters wrong and they will be fine for the season. That is to be expected as I’ve never seen a team in sports that put their up coming season projections in a bad light.

Unfortunately the reality here is that even if the Bills linemen do turn things around this year and do well, it is still going to take time to “jell” as an offensive unit. In all that time it takes to find chemistry they will be playing six games against Bill Parcels (Dolphins), Brian Belichick (Patriots) and Rex Ryan (Jets). Not Good!!!

NFL: OCT 26 Bills at Dolphins

Sean E. Douglas:

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