Behind the arm of Trent Edwards and the running of Marshawn Lynch, the Bills' offense was supposed to be inept this season. But with that pair gone and some new stars emerging, Buffalo's offensive attack is suddenly one that must be taken seriously — both in the real world and fantasy.
It all starts at quarterback, where Ryan Fitzpatrick has gone from being an unintimidating dink-and-dunker to a full-fledged gunslinger. After slowing down a bit in recent weeks, the veteran threw for 316 yards and four TDs in Sunday's come-from-behind win at Cincinnati. It was Fitzpatrick's second four-TD game of the season and his fifth multi-score effort in eight starts. After the Bills finished with the 30th-ranked passing offense in 2009, Fitz has restored respectability to the team's passing attack and has become a legitimate weekly fantasy option.
The QB wouldn't be in the position he is if not for the shocking play of one of fantasy's biggest surprises. Practically unknown before the season, WR Stevie Johnson has become a bona fide fantasy difference maker, having his best game yet last Sunday by torching the Bengals for eight catches, 137 yards and three TDs. That gives him a whopping nine scores on the year, not to mention three contests of 137-plus yards. He's the real deal, and owners who grabbed him off the waiver wire early should benefit greatly down the stretch.
The backfield isn't without a star, either, and contrary to popular preseason belief, it's not C.J. Spiller. While the first-round rookie has struggled and been hurt, Fred Jackson has re-established himself as a fantasy force, rushing for 116 yards and two TDs last week. That gives him 299 yards from scrimmage and four scores in his last two outings, startling production from any player, let alone a guy who isn't even owned in a number of leagues. Currently touching the ball as much as anybody in the league, he's a guy who could be a stats machine from here on out — something that didn't look possible after his lackluster start.
Not one person would have predicted the impact that this trio would have, and that's one of the things that makes fantasy football great. While a boatload of stars fail to provide owners with the stats they had hoped for, three Bills have developed into consistent fantasy players who could help carry managers to league titles.