Fantasy Focus: Is Charles Clay ready for a breakout season?

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USATSI_8980418_164063748_lowres bills clay
Dec 6, 2015; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills tight end Charles Clay (85) jumps over Houston Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph (24) during the second half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Texans 30-21. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

What if I told you, you could get a serious candidate for a breakout season and you don’t even have to draft him?

That’s right. In 14-team leagues, you could pick him up off the waiver wire. After reading this you might want to pick him up in the last round. Charles Clay has a few factors favoring him this upcoming NFL season.

Recently, I have become enamored with him and will start looking to draft him. Clay will not be the only tight end I select, I plan on drafting a more proven one earlier. Typically, I wouldn’t select two guys at that position, but if I can get Clay in the final two rounds, I’ll be happy.


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Reason 1 – Lack of targets

A couple weeks ago the Buffalo Bills traded away their oft-injured best receiver Sammy Watkins to the Los Angeles Rams, and Robert Woods left for the Rams via free-agency this offseason as well. Clay led the team in targets with those guys on the team. The Bills did acquire the 6th most targeted red zone receiver, according to NFLsavant.com, in the league in 2016, Anquan Boldin. I am sure it will take a little time to build chemistry between Boldin and quarterback Tyrod Taylor, and he will surely rely on the more familiar Clay early on.

They also added little used Andre Holmes, formerly of Oakland, who probably won’t much of a threat for targets. Slot receiver Jordan Matthews was traded from the Philadelphia Eagles, and will be another target for Taylor, but Matthews is out with a cracked sternum and is missing time getting familiar with the new offense and teammates. Promising rookie wide receiver Zay Jones figures to play a role in the offense as well.

Reason 2 – Strength of Schedule for TE

The Buffalo Bills have the third easiest schedule for tight ends in the league, according to FantasyScout.com. Entering his seventh season, Clay will surely benefit from this.

Reason 3 – Clay is the quarterback’s favorite target

This might be the most important. Will Clay remain the top target with all the new players? I imagine he will be the first or second most targeted player on the team at the end of the season.

Closing arguments-

Tyrod Taylor is a solid NFL quarterback who relies on Clay more than any other receiver/TE on the team. Will he with these new additions? Time will tell, but I am leaning towards yes. Especially early in the season, while Taylor is still learning his new receivers and vice versa.

As the season progresses maybe Clay’s targets could start to diminish, but not if he is putting up the numbers I feel he can. Taylor has four legitimate targets at receiver/tight end, so the opportunity will be there. I do feel he will be a solid TE2 and could finish with 800 yards and 8 TDs. There are three teams (Dallas Cowboys, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Los Angeles Chargers) that have two tight ends drafted before Clay. There is no way the second tight end on either of these teams is going to have a better season than Clay.

– Chad Miller is a Staff Writer for cover32/Fantasy and covers Fantasy Football. Like and follow on

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  • Another Opinion

    Not a single mention of his knees, cant take this seriously