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2023 Fantasy Football Preview: Buffalo Bills

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Player Outlooks (2023)


QB Josh Allen: With fantasy finishes of QB2, QB1, and QB2 over the past three years, Allen is locked in as an elite, high-end QB1 option in a tier with Jalen Hurts, Lamar Jackson, and Patrick Mahomes. The two negatives that could hurt Allen in 2023 is talk of him running less and the six matchups versus the stingy AFC East, but the offseason was excellent for Buffalo with rookies Dalton Kincaid and O’Cyrus Torrence added to the offense—and Allen was as good as ever to begin last season before the elbow injury impacted him in the second half of the year.


RB James Cook: Although the Bills signed Damien Harris in the offseason, they seem prepared to give Cook the first shot at the lead role in one of the NFL’s best offenses coming off a rookie campaign in which he averaged 5.7 yards per carry. There’s even been rumors of Dalvin Cook not wanting to go to the Bills so his brother can lead an NFL backfield, and the offensive line should open plenty of holes for the slashing runner to run through. Depending on the number of targets he gets, Cook can be a low-end RB2 option.


RB Damien Harris: Harris often shredded the Bills with 100+ rushing yards and at least one touchdown in three of his four matchups against them in the regular season, and he’s still right in his prime at 26. Again, Cook is expected to be the starter, but Harris—who scored 15 touchdowns in 2021—having a Jamaal Williams-type explosion in the scoring department is very possible on a high-powered offense. Consider him a strong FLEX.


RB Nyheim Hines: Limited to 11 offensive touches in nine games with the Bills last season, Hines was re-signed to stay in Buffalo, but his role might not be big enough to have standalone value—especially with Cook being a standout pass-catcher himself. Perhaps the team will have a better idea of how to use the dynamic back, but return value will likely be where he makes the biggest impact.


RB Latavius Murray: One way or another, Murray always seems to have late-season fantasy relevance, and it’s interesting that Buffalo called him during the 2023 NFL Draft to ask about signing; when the veteran gave his word, the team decided against taking a running back. Last season, the 33-year-old very quietly rushed 160 times for 703 yards (4.4 YPC) and five touchdowns across 12 appearances in a major role with Denver.


WR Stefon Diggs: A slow finish and the Bills’ disappointing postseason make it seem as if Diggs had a disappointing 2022 campaign, but he was again among the NFL leaders in all major receiving categories—and was absolutely scorching for the first three or so months of the year. He has a definite case to be the No. 4 wideout off the board in fantasy drafts, and Josh Allen being healthy should prevent another slow end-of-year finish with a bunch of potential shootouts between Thanksgiving and Christmas (@ PHI, @ KC, v DAL, @ LAC).


WR Gabe Davis: It sounds like DeAndre Hopkins won’t be an option for Buffalo after they signed edge defender Leonard Floyd, so Davis is safe as the team’s No. 2 wide receiver and a key downfield threat. Despite dealing with a high-ankle sprain last year, Davis still averaged 17.4 yards per reception, and he’s the classic post-hype breakout candidate that should at least begin 2023 as a high-upside FLEX option.


WR Khalil Shakir: Shakir is the favorite for the Bills’ No. 3 receiver job, but the selection of Dalton Kincaid in Round 1 was a ding on his stock because the rookie tight end should spend most of his time in the slot. Last year’s fifth-rounder did show well in the playoffs, and he’ll need to take advantage of his early opportunities to carve out a significant role.


WR Deonte Harty: The word when Harty signed in Buffalo was that the team believes he has untapped potential as a route runner, and playing with Josh Allen can help him become a productive offensive weapon (look at Robert Foster going off at the end of 2018). Two years ago, Harty had 36/570/3 line with the Saints and might be used as in the Isaiah McKenzie role with increased downfield upside.


WR Trent Sherfield: Sherfield has flashed in all three career stops (Arizona, San Francisco, and Miami), so the Bills saw enough in him to take a shot on behind Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis. As stated, the way Allen has elevated pass-catchers throughout his career can allow Sherfield to make an impact if he earns a role.


WR Justin Shorter: A former top recruit that begin his career at Penn State and then transferred to Florida for three seasons, Shorter is a big and athletic target at six-foot-four, but he’s expected to primarily be a special teams contributor in 2023. Shorter can develop into a quality deep threat for those looking at a long-term investment in dynasty leagues.


TE Dalton Kincaid: Our scouting report for Kincaid shows how highly we think of him, and he landed in the perfect spot catching passes for Josh Allen in a pass-heavy Buffalo offense. It sounds like the rookie will essentially be the team’s slot receiver to begin his career, which could mean a much quicker transition than is typical for a young tight end—Kincaid can be viewed as a top-12 option in redraft leagues and should be drafted very highly in both dynasty and rookie drafts.


TE Dawson Knox: The calling card of touchdown production (15 scores over the past two seasons) is at least something that can continue with a decrease in targets following the selection of Kincaid, so Knox getting plays dialed up in scoring territory and having the trust of his quarterback are still positives for him in 2023. The numbers might be a bit more volatile, but Knox can remain a startable option at a frustrating position.


Other Notes


Best IDP value: CB Tre’Davious White

Tre’Davious White—who didn’t make his 2022 debut until Thanksgiving as he returned from a torn ACL—reportedly looked phenomenal in the spring, and he’s been a top playmaking cornerback in addition to the shutdown ability. Leonard Floyd and others could be considered, but White might be the best overall IDP value of the year if he reaches All-Pro heights again.


Stat to know (via draft guide)

Before suffering an elbow injury in Week 9 of last season, Josh Allen was on pace for 6,081 total yards and 51 total touchdowns through seven games.