Robert Woods: Instant Fantasy Reaction from Bills vs. Giants in Preseason

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIAugust 3, 2014

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Robert Woods (10) jumps for a nine-yard pass against the New York Giants in the first quarter at the Pro Football Hall of Fame exhibition NFL football game Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014, in Canton, Ohio. (AP Photo/David Richard)
David Richard/Associated Press

There's good and bad fantasy football news as it pertains to Buffalo Bills wide receiver Robert Woods' performance in the NFL Hall of Fame Game.

Sure, Woods had five passes thrown his way, and he caught four of them, including a short two-yard strike in the second quarter against the New York Giants. In all, he had 49 receiving yards.

This output would lead you to believe the 22-year-old is set to make a splash in his second season.

Elliot Harrison of and Joe Marino of were impressed by the bite-sized sample from Woods.

In his rookie campaign, Woods caught 40 passes for 587 yards and three scores. It would be a natural progression for him to shine a little brighter this season.

Usually, talented receivers like Woods see their biggest improvements from their rookie year to their second season in the NFL.

There is one potential problem with Woods' numbers on Sunday. None of his receptions or targets came from starter EJ Manuel. Manuel had his attention focused on prized rookie Sammy Watkins.

Ron Schwane/Associated Press

Manuel threw to Watkins three times but didn't connect with him once. In fact, Manuel completed just two of seven attempts for 19 yards before Jeff Tuel took over under center.

Watkins was taken No. 4 overall in the 2014 NFL draft, and he has been impressive in Bills training camp. Matthew Fairburn of called the rookie the star of the preseason activities thus far.

Because of his draft position and what he's already shown he can do, there will be an emphasis on getting him the ball. That could drastically limit Woods' fantasy value.

There's also a question as to whether Manuel will play well enough for any of his receivers to be valuable fantasy options.

It's early, and Woods will see far more time on the field with Manuel moving forward, but one has to wonder whether the second-year quarterback has regressed.

Woods may be willing to break out, but if his quarterback doesn't play well enough to get him the ball, he'll have a problem putting up the numbers Harrison suggested he may be primed for.

Dec 8, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver Robert Woods (10) smiles against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Buffalo Bills 27-6. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TOD

When John Murphy of asked Woods if Manuel was better now than he was last season, Woods sounded a little hesitant, but he said, "I would think so. He's definitely understanding the offense a lot more and his throws are more accurate."

I'm not sure how confident fantasy owners can be in the chemistry between the two.

At this point, it's hard to elevate Woods too high on your big board. We need to see Manuel be more accurate with his throws and show that he can spread the ball around before looking at Woods too favorably as it relates to fantasy football value.