Buffalo Bills: Charles Clay 2017 fantasy football outlook

ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 24: Charles Clay /

The NFL has recently been taken over by the prototype, pass-catching tight end. In a league dominated by Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, Travis Kelce, and Jordan Reed it can be tough to gain notoriety at the tight end position.

Charles “Big Play” Clay is in the lower tier of fantasy tight ends. Almost every single team has that go-to tight end to utilize in the red zone, and those are the guys who inhabit the upper tiers. Fantasypros.com currently has Clay ranked as the 29th tight end in the league and PFF 23rd.

In his two seasons in Buffalo, Clay has yet to eclipse the 600-yard mark.  Targeted 87 times in 2016 with just 552 yards to show for it. Clay has not yet lived up to the play making ability he showed in his final two years at Miami.

In his career year (2013) Clay posted a stat line of 759 yards and six touchdowns. It will be interesting to see how McDermott utilizes one of his top weapons in the new offense.

CBS Sports showed Charles Clay in a negative light:

"“Charles Clay is an important part of the Bills offense, but he isn’t a great Fantasy tight end. He was the No. 2 receiving threat for the Bills in 2016 with 57 catches for 552 yards and four touchdowns on 87 targets, but he was only the No. 19 Fantasy tight end in standard leagues. In two years in Buffalo, Clay has combined for 108 catches for 1,080 yards and seven touchdowns, and he only has six games with double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league over that span. It’s clear he’s just a No. 2 Fantasy tight end in most formats, and he’s not worth drafting in the majority of leagues”"

The addition of second round pick, wide receiver Zay Jones, will hurt Clay’s potential production in the offense. Although the two pass-catchers play different positions, there are only so many targets to go around.

That’s not to say he doesn’t flash big play potential.

Buffalobills.com recently wrote an article detailing the reasons why Charles Clay will exceed. One of those being the new offensive scheme:

"“The scheme change under new coordinator Rick Dennison will not ignore the tight end at all. Over the recent history of the scheme in Houston, Baltimore and Denver (in two separate stints) Dennison and play calling comrade Gary Kubiak had a lot of plays dialed up for the tight end.In five of the last 10 seasons in which Dennison was either the coordinator or quarterbacks coach, the tight end on the roster finished either first or second in receptions and/or touchdown catches.”"

Tyrod Taylor’s improvement will also aid Clay’s quest in becoming a top tight end in the league. Late in the season is when Taylor found Clay the most. Targeting him 17 times in the final two games. If the duo keep up the momentum they had at the end of 2016 then they will be in good shape moving forward.

My 2017 projections for tight end, Charles Clay:

  • 610 yards
  • 3 touchdowns

Charles Clay is a 28-year-old tight end with a nagging knee injury. McDemott recently commented on this stating the need for him to get healthy. He also said Clay is one of the teams biggest weapons.

Unless Charles Clay surprises us this year, then we should be in store for something similar from last year. 500-600 yards and a couple of touchdowns.

Clay is a back-up tight end with a chance at being a TE2. Unless your fantasy league, is a two TE league I wouldn’t use a roster spot on this player.

Next: Buffalo Bills: Steven Hauschka 2017 fantasy football outlook

Do you agree with my thoughts on Charles Clay? Let me know in the comments below!