Fantasy Index

header banner img
CHEAT SHEET UPDATES: ON SALE NOW
Win here.

Around the NFL

Curtis Samuel

Veteran could be Bills' top wideout

In the next month or so, I'm going to be participating in a best-ball draft or two. I'll post results here; I think it will be interesting to see how various players are viewed by other participants. One guy I expect to have on at least one of my teams is Curtis Samuel.

He's not the most interesting Buffalo wideout. Khalil Shakir or rookie Keon Coleman are definitely getting the most attention in drafts. We even ran a Chase Claypool story last week. Marquez Valdes-Scantling's family members might be in a league somewhere locked in on him. But I think there's a legit chance Samuel is the team's most productive wide receiver this season. Seriously.

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.

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

Sorry to bury the lead, but 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? That Brady connection is most interesting to me; seems likely he was a big part of Buffalo's decision to add him to the roster.

Samuel won't command much in the way of a draft pick. In the Experts Draft for the magazine, he was taken midway through the 9th round, after Coleman (slightly before Shakir), and I think even that might be earlier than where he'll go in most leagues. But I think he could pay dividends better than that.

--Andy Richardson

Fantasy Index