Curtis Samuel's Fantasy Football Impact as a Buffalo Bill

Mar 19, 2024
Curtis Samuel's Fantasy Impact as a Bill

After seven seasons in the NFL as a Panther and then Commander, Curtis Samuel signed a three-year, $24 million deal worth up to $30 million, including $15 million guaranteed, with the Buffalo Bills. He should provide a jolt to this offense that’s been so deadly at times and also fallen short in recent postseasons.

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Curtis Samuel, the Pass Catcher

Coming into the 2024 season Samuel boasts a total of 317 receptions for 3,383 yards and 22 touchdowns, with an additional 121 carries for 715 yards and seven scores on the ground. His best statistical year was in 2020 with Carolina under Joe Brady, who he’s now reunited with in Buffalo. Samuel saw 97 targets and 41 carries that year, which he turned into 1,050 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns.

The 27-year-old has been a favorite at Matt Harmon’s Reception Perception throughout his career and we can see why based on his 2023 charts alone.

According to Harmon, “Samuel has cleared a 75% success rate vs. man coverage in all four of his sampled seasons for Reception Perception. He sneaks up on you as an explosive separator in isolated coverage.”

Speaking of explosive, Samuel has been one of the quickest in his routes, with last season’s burst highlighted by Next Gen Stats.

How Curtis Samuel Fits in Buffalo

The Bills got themselves a Swiss Army knife of a receiver with a multilateral skillset to semi-replace Gabe Davis who left for the Jaguars this free agent period. According to PFF, Samuel lined up in the slot 70.7% of his routes over the last two seasons, with an out-wide percentage of 25.9%, and 45 designed rushing attempts in that time frame.

Samuel’s utilization under Joe Brady in 2020 is something to consider when assessing the new-look WR room for Buffalo, as he saw 10.6% of snaps out of the backfield which resulted in career-high carries (41) and rushing yards (200).

The signing makes sense for an offense that has been craving big plays opposite Stefon Diggs. While he won’t be a direct replacement for Davis in terms of usage on the field, Samuel is a solid bet to see a huge chunk of the 81 targets that were thrown Davis’ way last season. We can’t forget about Khalil Shakir, the newly-acquired Mack Hollins, and TE Dalton Kincaid, of course, the Bills may still add another WR in the 2024 NFL Draft. However, this signing indicates that Buffalo likely won’t go after a top-tier pass catcher in favor of Samuel as their starting WR2.

The Fantasy Outlook in Buffalo

Josh Allen has to be happy with another explosive weapon in the fold which is also great for fantasy football purposes, but as the QB1 in our Never-Too-Early rankings, his value remains unchanged.

Stefon Diggs struggled last season, particularly down the stretch, and ended as the WR15 in half-PPR points per game. Not much changes here and he should be considered a fantasy WR2 heading into 2024 (4for4’s WR15). Diggs is also the WR15 in early Underdog drafts at pick 2.12.

Samuel currently sits as a fantasy WR5 in our early ranks (WR50) but has the ceiling of a WR3 based on offense and hybrid potential under Bills OC Joe Brady. He’s a great value right now in early Underdog drafts as the 27-year-old is the 65th WR off the board with an ADP of 13.01.

Shakir takes a slight hit down to a WR5/6 and likely isn't relevant for redraft purposes unless there’s an injury, but he’s viable as a best ball sleeper target in double-digit rounds.

Bottom Line

  • Curtis Samuel signed a three-year deal in Buffalo, reuniting with OC Joe Brady, who brought out his best statistical season in 2020 with the Panthers.
  • Samuel brings an explosiveness and multi-faceted skillset that has been lacking in the Bills offense during their recent post-season runs.
  • While we can’t get too excited about the addition for fantasy purposes, Samuel is currently being drafted as a WR6 in early Underdog drafts but has a higher ceiling (WR3) based on spike weeks and potential hybrid usage.
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