There won’t be too much to say about either of these backs, because most of their prospective fantasy worth falls into the bucket of “what if” scenarios. It starts first of all with the health of LeSean McCoy. If Shady suffers an injury, we’ll see more of Frank Gore and/or T.J. Yeldon.
But it’s not quite that easy.
However, there’s also a rookie in Devin Singletary and his fresh legs to battle for action. Gore continues to plod along, and Yeldon brings a pass-game element to help offset a potential loss of McCoy. Singletary is practically a clone of Shady’s style, though, which really makes this situation tenuous during training camp for the older, more expensive pair.
Should Singletary stand out, one has to believe Yeldon is the probable cut, but it really could go either way. At some point, Gore’s magical longevity has to come to an end, so a weak training camp performance, or mild injury, could spell the end of his time in Buffalo — and possibly the NFL.
Extenuating factors include the maturation of quarterback Josh Allen and his revamped receiving corps. Opening running lanes via play-action passing, and simply being competent enough in the aerial game to make defenders question what is coming next will go a long way. No matter what Gore or Yeldon do on their end, being overwhelmed by stacked fronts spells doom.
The arguably more important aspect is the new offensive line. All positions but left tackle Dion Dawkins will be manned by someone new in 2019, and there’s little doubt this group will be improved from the ’18 model. This should immediately upgrade the entire running game, regardless of which back is toting the rock.
Fantasy football outlook
As mentioned in the intro, short and sweet: As long as McCoy is upright and productive, there is zero reason to own either Gore or Yeldon. Singletary is the primary handcuff at this time, and unless he bombs in the late summer, the rookie should be Buffalo’s second in line to spell/replace Shady.
Sometimes novice gamers get lost late in drafts and pick the most familiar name, which is bound to be Gore of this duo, so if you’re new to fantasy football, neither of these backs present upside. Gamers in cavernous leagues (14-plus or huge rosters) can consider Gore as a late-round roster-filler.
In best-case scenario for Gore and Yeldon, McCoy is lost for the year in the summer months, forcing the Bills to retain both vets and rotate them into the mix. It still could result in Singletary outplaying them in camp and taking the primary gig.