Hopes are actually high for the Buffalo Bills this year. Reasons for optimism popped up throughout 2015, and after a strong offseason, there is the thought that the team—which hasn't made the playoffs or won double-digit games in a season since 1999, the only team that can say either thing—can break through in 2016. A big part of that is the promise showed by quarterback Tyrod Taylor in 2015.
Taylor is entering his sixth season, but only his second as a starter. He passed for 3,035 yards and 20 touchdowns against six interceptions in 14 games last year, adding 566 yards and four scores on the ground. It's that latter number that really interests fantasy owners, as Taylor provided some ground value.
In fact, that's today's Fantasy Stat of the Day: He may have finished third among quarterbacks in rushing yards on the season, but from Week 9 and on in 2015, Taylor was the No. 1 quarterback in rushing yards, beating Cam Newton 381 to 350. Probably not coincidentally, Taylor's uptick in rushing yards coincided with the return to health of No. 1 running back LeSean McCoy. Newton finished the season with 636 rushing yards, but the lion's share of those yards came in the season's first half. Meanwhile, Taylor only got more productive on the ground as the season went on. Newton and Taylor, respectively, earned the top two rushing grades among quarterbacks.
Headed up by McCoy and Karlos Williams, the Bills have a strong running game, but with not a lot of depth in the receiving corps behind Sammy Watkins (and with Watkins often banged up), the ground game is going to be important for the Bills in 2016. A running quarterback comes in with an inherent head start in fantasy, which helps to explain why our rankers have Taylor 12th among quarterbacks, well above his current ADP, where he's going 18th at the position.
For the Bills to have the success they're hoping for this year, Taylor will need to build on his strong 2015 campaign. And if he does that, he'll surely provide fantasy owners with a big return on their investment.