Buffalo Bills Depth Chart and Fantasy Preview: Is Josh Allen Still the QB1 Overall in Fantasy Football?

What can fantasy football managers expect from the Buffalo Bills' offense in 2024 as they enter the season with a much changed depth chart?

After the departure of both Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis this offseason, the Buffalo Bills passing offense is going to have a completely new look for the upcoming 2024 NFL season. The run game will have a similar feel, but can James Cook take another step for fantasy managers?

Who are some of the biggest fantasy beneficiaries from the Bills’ overhaul to watch during your fantasy football draft?

Buffalo Bills Fantasy Depth Chart

Josh Allen, Shane Buechele

James Cook, Ray Davis, Ty Johnson

Keon Coleman, Justin Shorter

Khalil Shakir, Mack Hollins

Curtis Samuel, Andy Isabella

Dalton Kincaid, Dawson Knox

Josh Allen’s Fantasy Outlook

Josh Allen has been nothing short of fantasy football royalty over the last four seasons. Need proof? Just take a look at his recent fantasy finishes at the QB position.

Fantasy Finishes Since 2020

2023: QB1 (4,830 total yards & 44 total TDs)
2022: QB2 (5,092 total yards & 42 total TDs)
2021: QB1 (5,170 total yards & 42 total TDs)
2020: QB1 (4,965 total yards & 45 total TDs)

That is what fantasy excellence looks like, folks. Yet, one common denominator that was present for all of those exceptional seasons was the presence of Diggs, who is now a member of the Houston Texans.

To be fair, Allen did have fantasy success in 2019 with a QB8 overall finish without Diggs, but his passing stats were significantly reduced. He barely cracked 3,000 yards passing and only produced 20 TD passes.

The question is, was the breakout partly thanks to the arrival of Diggs, or is it simply a coincidence? Chances are it is a little bit of A and a little bit of B.

Allen’s passing numbers last season did include a career-high 18 INTs as well as 29 passing TDs — which was his lowest mark since 2019. But his rushing TD production was elite, with 15 rushing scores to help inflate those fantasy numbers.

The loss of Diggs could certainly have some negative impact on Allen’s passing production, but as we saw with Patrick Mahomes two seasons ago after losing Tyreek Hill, great players tend to figure it out.

Despite carrying the ball over 100 times in five straight seasons, Allen has remained remarkably durable in direct comparison to other elite dual-threat quarterbacks. He has played all 17 games for three straight years, which suggests he is a complete unicorn when it comes to his ability to stay healthy while taking an abnormal amount of hits for a quarterback.

It may be popular to fade Allen a bit down the fantasy QB rankings board heading into 2024, but until I see something other than a QB1 or QB2 overall finish, I’m keeping him atop my rankings at the position.

James Cook’s Fantasy Outlook

If there were any questions about whether or not James Cook could handle a bellcow-type workload as a feature back in this offense, then fantasy managers certainly got their answer in 2023.

Cook’s RB12 in PPR formats came from a combination of efficiency on the ground — 1,122 rushing yards on 237 carries (4.73 YPC) — while adding an additional 445 yards on 44 receptions out of the backfield. His 281 total touches were 53 more than Devin Singletary’s highest touch count back in 2021, which is a highly encouraging sign about Cook’s fantasy reliability heading into his third year in Buffalo.

His advanced metric numbers look solid, with an average of 2.7 yards before contact per attempt, but he consistently churned out extra yards after contact with an average of 2.0 yards after contact per attempt, which is one-tenth of a yard behind San Francisco 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey.

Cook’s finish as the RB12 is a great season in relation to his middle-round fantasy ADP last year, but his per-game fantasy production wasn’t as impressive, with 13.7 fantasy points per game (PPG) in 2023, which ranked 19th at the position.

The Bills did invest draft capital in the running back position in the 2024 NFL Draft, but it was a Day 3 selection, which likely doesn’t threaten Cook’s volume significantly this upcoming season. He should be valued as a rock-solid RB2 in PPR formats.

Keon Coleman’s Fantasy Outlook

This is where things can get very interesting for fantasy managers when trying to project exactly what to expect from the WR group in Buffalo this year.

The Bills spent the No. 33 overall pick on FSU WR Keon Coleman, which is a direct result of attempting to address the position after the departure of both Diggs and Davis this offseason. The reason this needs to be addressed so badly is because 241 of Allen’s pass attempts, 1,929 of his passing yards, and 15 of his passing touchdowns went to those two.

None of the other WRs on the roster possess the type of exceptional physical profile Coleman has. He is an imposing 6’3”, 213-pound rocked-up WR who is an absolute bully at the catch point and is a problem to get to the ground as a run-after-catch (RAC) threat with far better twitch than you would expect for a player his size.

There are certainly physical traits of a dominant outside X-receiver in Coleman’s profile. Yet, that type of role is unfortunately paired with some of the red flags in his game.

Coleman doesn’t have the top speed to threaten DBs on the vertical plane consistently (4.61-second 40-time at the NFL Combine), which is compounded by his lack of burst at the breakpoint of his route and consistently beating press coverage. I have real concerns about Coleman being able to consistently create separation as a predominantly outside receiver in the NFL.

To be fair, it wasn’t all that long ago that Coleman was moonlighting as a D-1 basketball player at Michigan State playing for Tom Izzo. Perhaps being a full-time football player now could help him quickly improve the other detail-oriented aspects of his game, which could help him reach his sky-high fantasy ceiling.

Coleman comes with plenty of risk, but he is definitely worth a middle-round pick when fantasy drafts roll around.

Dalton Kincaid’s Fantasy Outlook

Sam LaPorta’s TE1 overall finish in 2023 overshadowed Dalton Kincaid’s excellent rookie campaign last season.

Kincaid’s production in his first NFL season was 73 receptions for 673 yards and two scores, which helped him finish the year as the TE11 in PPR formats.

The frustrating component of these numbers is the story of Kincaid’s painfully slow start with Knox on the field, but his subsequent excellence once Knox was inactive for a handful of weeks in the middle of the season.

Weeks 1-7 With Knox

TE20 Overall: 25 receptions, 193 yards, 0 TDs

Weeks 8-12 Without Knox

TE4 Overall: 31 receptions, 281, and 2 TDs

These splits suggest Knox was having some semblance of an impact on Kincaid’s production because the evidence is also apparent in the snap count, where Kincaid never saw fewer than 60% of the offensive snaps when Knox was inactive, but failed to hit that threshold on seven occasions when Knox was active.

Yet, with both Diggs and Davis no longer on the roster, a leading target earner has to emerge in this Buffalo offense. Kincaid certainly has a strong case to be that player potentially.

One logical reason to plausibly put this in the range of outcomes is that Kincaid finished last season second on the team in targets (91). Projecting an increase in the targets department in his second year with both leading receivers now off the roster seems very possible.

Not to mention, the Bills specifically use him as a dynamic move TE, which is evident by the fact he finished with the third most slot snaps of any TE in the league last season, which is incredibly impressive considering how much Knox kept him off the field during his rookie year.

For more context, only Travis Kelce (TE3 overall) and Evan Engram (TE2 overall) finished with more snaps in the slot than Kincaid in 2023.

Kincaid is easily a top-five fantasy TE for me in 2024 and could feasibly finish as the TE1 overall if he emerges as Allen’s favorite target this upcoming season.

Bills Fantasy Sleepers

The departure of Diggs and Davis opens up enough targets in the Bills’ passing game for a sleeper candidate to emerge as a fantasy-relevant pass catcher.

The first name that comes to mind is Khalil Shakir, who is a twitchy slot option who flashed some RAC ability last year. He had three games with at least 15 fantasy points last season and could see an expanded role after a strong finish to his 2023 campaign.

Another candidate to potentially produce a top-35 season at the WR position is Curtis Samuel, who was signed as a free agent after playing his previous three seasons with the Washington Commanders. He has caught a minimum of 62 passes for 600+ yards and four TDs in his last two seasons. He should be a reliable veteran option for Allen in 11 personnel sets.

One final sleeper to keep an eye on is rookie RB Ray Davis, who the team invested fourth-round draft capital on at the 2024 NFL Draft. Davis is a physical runner who wakes up in the morning and chooses violence, which is an excellent compliment to Cook’s slashing style.

Remember when everyone was excited about Damien Harris being fantasy relevant in this backfield last year? This kid has a better chance to deliver on that sleeper role. For more context, Latavius Murray had 79 carries in this offense in 2023. Expect that to be Davis’ opportunity floor in his rookie year, but should manage to produce more than 3.8 YPC on his limited opportunities.

Davis won’t possess much stand-alone value in redraft leagues unless an injury happens to Cook, but he is still worth keeping an eye on late in drafts as a high-upside handcuff.

As we look ahead to the 2024 fantasy football season, why not start preparing for your rookie drafts with our dynasty rookie rankings? Additionally, as you look to improve your team heading into 2024, our dynasty trade calculator can help you find the perfect deal to boost your championship chances.

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