Depending on how one keeps score, David Nelson is developing at a quicker rate than Donald Jones as the No. 2 receiving option in the Buffalo Bills' suddenly high-scoring offense.
In addition to scoring the winning touchdown last Sunday against Oakland, Nelson is the team leader in receptions and yards — the statistics that matter most for wideouts. But if not for Jones, the second-year receiver from Youngstown State, the Bills could easily be .500 instead of overflowing with confidence heading into Sunday's AFC East matchup with New England.
Underscored in the Bills' thrilling, 38-35 come-from-behind victory against the Raiders were two key plays by Jones on what proved to be the winning drive: A 9-yard reception on fourth-and-3 and an end-zone breakup of a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass that was nearly intercepted.
The result was a young receiver sending a message to his teammates that he can be counted on in tough moments. That is part of the blueprint to help Jones grow into his expanded role as the No. 2 receiver and Lee Evans' replacement.
"Donald has not made as many big plays yet but I think as time goes on he's going to continue to be a bigger and bigger part of our offense," Bills coach Chan Gailey said. "He's a very good football player and I think going to be a very good football player for a long time here."
Nelson is the better pickup this week given his hot start, but fantasy owners in deeper leagues should keep an eye on Jones.