Electric WR Curtis Samuel Joins Bills, Boosts Josh Allen’s 2024 Fantasy Outlook

Curtis Samuel brings a much-needed element to the Bills' offense.

The Bills added a volt of electricity to its offense after signing former Commanders WR Curtis Samuel to a three-year, $24 million deal worth up to $30 million, including $15 million guaranteed.

Outside of Stefon Diggs and rookie TE Dalton Kincaid, Josh Allen had an array of inconsistent pass-catchers, with both Diggs and Kincaid also showing weekly instabilities. Signing an elite separator and YAC-god like Samuel will add a much-needed element to the Bills’ up-and-down passing offense.

CURTIS SAMUEL’S FIT IN BILLS OFFENSE

Despite his recent stints with the Washington Commanders and Carolina Panthers, Samuel showcased his upside, emerging as a consistent real-life WR2 despite primarily operating from the slot.

Primarily utilized as a slot receiver during his tenure with the Commanders, Samuel’s versatility extends beyond traditional wideout roles.

Pro Football Focus data reveals that Samuel lined up in the slot for 74.6% of his wide receiver snaps over the past two seasons and lined up in the backfield 63 times in that role during the same period. His multifaceted skill set includes the ability to contribute as a rusher, as he amassed 187 yards on 38 attempts in the 2022 season alone.

As Samuel transitions to the Bills, his potential to function as a hybrid player, seamlessly switching between positions and even lining up outside, introduces a fresh dimension to Buffalo’s offensive arsenal, which was notably absent in the previous season.

Samuel also has a connection with Bills OC Joe Brady, who he played under in 2020 with the Panthers — arguably his best season to date.

The utilization of Curtis Samuel under Joe Brady’s offensive scheme stands out, especially when considering the role Samuel is expected to play in Buffalo. Brady was the first OC to truly utilize Samuel out of the backfield (10.6% of snaps) and he saw career-highs in carries (41). Samuel also had career-highs in receptions (77), receiving yards (851), and 1051 total yards (1,051) under Brady’s watch.

It’s clear Brady targeted Samuel in free agency, and the team pulled the trigger.

JOSH ALLEN 2024 FANTASY BOOST

Examining his statistics paints a picture of Samuel’s undeniable impact on the field. Samuel’s versatility and playmaking abilities remain formidable, with an 18.3% target share, explosive play rate of 16.3%, and yards per route run (YPRR) of 1.53.

However, the intrigue lies not only in Samuel’s talents but also in how he integrates alongside Allen. Although Allen’s arm strength remains a cornerstone of Buffalo’s aerial attack, the team’s recent shift towards shorter passing routes and the Samuel addition proves the Bills’ offense is evolving.

Last season, Allen had a career-low average depth of target (aDOT) at 8.6 yards. The team also drafted a tight end in the first round and parted ways with field-stretcher Gabe Davis. Although this signing may hint towards a more efficient passing game, the Bills still need to add a true X receiver to its receiving corps to replace Davis.

Signing Samuel makes the offense more YAC-dependent than before, and although there won’t be as many deep shots, turnovers should lessen, big plays will still happen, and the offense should be more efficient.

SUMMARY: CURTIS SAMUEL 2024 FANTASY OUTLOOK

The Curtis Samuel addition proves the Bills are transitioning their offense under Joe Brady, who coached Samuel during best season as a pro.

Whether he’s lined up in the slot, outside, or in the backfield, Samuel has a versatile skill set that will boost Josh Allen’s 2024 fantasy outlook. Brady’s creativity will also make the receiver a valuable WR3/Flex option in fantasy lineups.

Sure, he and Khalil Shakir are sort of redundant, but Brady identifying his guy and the team signing him to a lucrative three-year deal should provide optimism for Samuel’s outlook.

Samuel rises to WR49 (+14 vs ECR) on The Wolf’s 2024 Fantasy Rankings and Big Board, proving Wolf and I are in lock-step about Samuel’s upside in this offense.

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