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Curtis Samuel

Receiver has delivered when targeted

In all the discussion last week of Stefon Diggs' departure from Buffalo and the breakout potential of Khalil Shakir, it's possible not enough attention was given to the idea of a big Curtis Samuel season. Let me rectify that.

Samuel seems like he's been around forever (he was drafted in 2017), but he's just 27 years old (he was 21 as a rookie in Carolina). He's had a couple of injury-marred seasons and played in some lesser offenses, with the result being he's never had a top-20 season in PPR leagues.

But imagine if Buffalo actually uses him. He's been very productive with the opportunities he's gotten.

In each of his five healthy seasons, he's finished between 24th and 47th at his position in PPR leagues. Either a solid starter in 12-team, 3-WR leagues, or at least an occasional one. When they use him, he's worked out nicely.

Samuel has seen at least 5 targets 50 times in his career. (That's not counting his usage as a runner; he's carried the ball at least 3 times in a quarter of those games.) He's finished with double-digit points in tw0-thirds of those contests (33); 15-plus in 40 percent of them (21). In the table below, Samuel's 2023 games, which include four of his best ones, are in bold.

Have I mentioned that Samuel's best season, finishing 24th in PPR leagues with Carolina in 2020, was when Buffalo offensive coordinator Joe Brady was running the Panthers offense?

CURTIS SAMUEL WITH 5-PLUS TARGETS
YearOppTgtNoRecAttRunTDPPR
2020at K.C.99105313126.8
2019at T.B.647018223.8
2022at Det.9778121122.9
2020Det.1087014121.4
2020Atl.5431323221.4
2022Jac.11855417121.2
2023at LAR954100221.1
2020at Was.55106752020.8
2020N.O.11711833019.1
2023at Dal.12910000019.0
2023Chi.766500118.5
2023at Phi.875111118.2
2020at N.O.664815117.3
2018at Det.755500116.5
2019Was.746500116.5
2019Sea.7531423116.4
2019Ten.6364110116.4
2022at S.F.555212116.4
2019at Ari.755300116.3
2020Den.9768222016.0
2018at T.B.1168818015.6
2022at NYG7663323014.6
2019T.B.1359112014.3
2019at G.B.843500113.5
2022Phi.10748313013.1
2022G.B.8553526012.9
2020at Min.557215012.7
2022Ten.866200012.2
2018at Cle.848000012.0
2020at Atl.5536428011.4
2018Atl.1374100011.1
2023Ari.555416011.0
2023Mia.546500010.5
2017Mia.75450009.5
2020L.V.85381509.3
2020at G.B.94422608.8
2019at S.F.114460008.6
2022at Dal.74380007.8
2022NYG53445107.5
2019Jac.631922507.4
2017Atl.532311406.7
2023at NYG84250006.5
2019Atl.64250006.5
2019at Hou.73321106.3
2017N.O.52513105.6
2020T.B.5383404.2
2019at Ind.52172404.1
2023at NYJ61162403.0
2023at Sea.6260002.6
2022at Chi.5260002.6

There's a lot of time left in the offseason, the Bills will probably draft a wide receiver early, and they could still sign someone. But don't forget about Samuel. Could easily be their No. 1 this season.

--Andy Richardson

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