Potential breakout WR named Bills' 'biggest fantasy football value' for 2024 season

One outlet feels as though you should take a swing on Buffalo Bills wide receiver Curtis Samuel late in your fantasy football drafts.
Nov 12, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Washington Commanders wide receiver Curtis Samuel (4) walks to the locker room following pregame warmups against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 12, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Washington Commanders wide receiver Curtis Samuel (4) walks to the locker room following pregame warmups against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports / Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

National interpretation of the Buffalo Bills’ offseason signing of veteran wide receiver Curtis Samuel has shifted throughout the past several months as the team’s subsequent maneuvers framed the acquisition in new context. Buffalo inked the 27-year-old to a three-year, $24 million deal in mid-March, slotting the versatile speedster into a receiving corps that, at the time, had just seen No. 2 option Gabriel Davis depart as a free agent.

Pundits generally liked the deal, feeling as though Samuel may experience a mid-career breakout while serving as a complementary piece in an offense helmed by one of the league’s best signal-callers in Josh Allen. The aforementioned ‘new context’ was provided when Buffalo traded perennial Pro Bowl wideout Stefon Diggs to the Houston Texans in early April, leaving Samuel and third-year contributor Khalil Shakir atop a Buffalo receiving corps that was suddenly a hodgepodge of unproven options.

The Bills further supplemented their receiving corps later in the offseason by selecting Florida State pass-catcher Keon Coleman in the second round of the 2024 NFL Draft, but its offensive weapons are still generally unproven, and we’re not quite sure who—if anyone—will emerge as Allen’s favorite target come September.

Related: NFL writer envisions stunning highs or painful lows for Bills in 2024 NFL season

Bleacher Report’s Gary Davenport is staking his flag in the Samuel camp, and he feels as though fantasy football owners should do the same. In a recent article identifying each NFL team’s “biggest fantasy football value” selection of the 2024 season, the writer circled Samuel as Buffalo’s biggest sleeper.

“The departure of Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis in the offseason has thrown the Buffalo passing attack into chaos,” Davenport wrote. “But someone is going to have to emerge as Josh Allen's new favorite wide receiver, and Samuel is easily the most proven wideout on the team. As late-round dart throws go, fantasy managers could do a lot worse.”

Davenport writes that Samuel is currently being valued as WR50, which admittedly does seem a bit low considering the wideout’s advantageous situation. The former second-round pick is an objectively skilled play-maker who is set to join forces with the most talented quarterback he’s ever played with in an offense in desperate need of capable pass catchers. He’s also re-uniting with offensive coordinator Joe Brady, who led him to the best production of his professional career in their sole season with each other with the Carolina Panthers (Samuel totaled 1,051 scrimmage yards under Brady in the 2020 NFL season). Throw in the idea that he’s a versatile piece who is set to get the ball in his hands in a myriad of ways, and it’s difficult not to be excited about his opportunity.

Curtis Samuel
Sep 24, 2023; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Commanders wide receiver Curtis Samuel (4) runs onto the field prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

That said, there are some reasons for pause. Samuel is set to enter his eighth professional season and has never as much as sniffed 1,000 receiving yards in a single campaign. He’s also set to be fighting for targets in what is an unproven, but crowded aerial attack that includes the aforementioned Shakir and Coleman in addition to Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Mack Hollins, and tight ends Dalton Kincaid and Dawson Knox. There are certainly targets available, but there’s a bevy of mouths to feed.

We’ll have a better idea regarding the hierarchy of the passing attack as the summer progresses, but at this juncture, Samuel seems a worthy player to take a swing on late in your fantasy drafts. There’s a possibility he settles into a complementary role, but given his obvious talent and demonstrated comfort in a Brady-designed scheme, there’s potential for him to become a significant contributor. That possibility seems too much to pass up on as he’s being drafted as the WR50.

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Kyle Silagyi