PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- Through nine practices of training camp, here is an updated projection for the Buffalo Bills' 53-man roster:
Peterman's pick-six at the end of this past Friday's practice was a sign that the 2017 fifth-round pick is not yet ready for the No. 2 quarterback role. That would have been the only way Yates, who has struggled at times during camp, would have been released in this projection.
Barnyard is an addition to this projection because he has been showing up on special-teams units. The main question at this spot, especially from a fantasy perspective, is whether Tolbert or Williams sees more snaps and rushing attempts this season behind McCoy.
FULLBACK (1): Patrick DiMarco
DiMarco has taken the majority of fullback reps during training camp, especially with the first team. Tolbert's usage has come mostly as a running back.
I'm swapping out Corey Brown from my previous projection for Streater, who has been a hot name during training camp. While I think Streater has performed well through nine practices, he has yet to receive many first-team reps. The Bills' top three receivers remain Watkins, Holmes and Jones. I'll also give the nod to Tate as a kick and punt returner despite the Bills' signing of Taiwan Jones last week. Jones will either have to beat Tate as a kick returner or push Banyard off top special-teams coverage units.
This position has been one of the bright spots of Bills camp, with Clay, O'Leary and Thomas each making plays in the passing game. There is not much intrigue right now from a roster projection standpoint.
I was tempted to go 10-deep at this position, adding Jordan Mudge to the projection. Mudge, an offseason signing when the Bills needed additional players for an April minicamp, has seen time as both a second-team guard and third-team center. He projects as a top practice squad candidate and if Groy replaces Wood in 2018, when Wood's contract expires, Mudge could become the top interior backup. At tackle, Ola sticks on this projection as a fourth tackle given the uncertain situation surrounding Glenn's left foot.
Like Mudge, Yarbrough was signed to the Bills in April when they needed to fill out their roster for a minicamp. The Wyoming product, who was in training camp last summer with the Denver Broncos, has proven more than just a fill-in, flashing potential as a pass-rusher. He received first-team reps this past Friday evening after Lawson (groin) and Davis (concussion) were both sidelined. Yarbrough replaces Max Valles, who has slipped to the third team in practice.
I'm keeping the same group as my last projection, although Washington's status bears watching. He slipped to the third-team defense at one point last week and is scheduled for an Aug. 24 non-jury trial on a misdemeanor charge of improperly carrying a concealed weapon in Ohio.
This position remains one of the harder spots to pin down in a projection. Despite coach Sean McDermott saying previously that Ragland would compete with Brown for the starting middle linebacker job, Brown has received all of the first-team reps to this point. At one point last week, Hodges replaced Ragland in the middle on the second team, which inserts some doubt about Ragland's roster status. If Ragland, a 2016 second-round pick who missed all of last season with a torn ACL, is not a good fit for McDermott's defense, would the Bills consider trading him later this month? Buffalo seems to like what it sees from Vallejo, a sixth-round rookie who has played both outside linebacker spots with the second-team defense.
I'm not 100 percent that Wright is a lock to make the roster, especially given that as a vested veteran, the Bills would have to guarantee his $800,000 base salary if he is on the Week 1 roster. If the Bills went another direction, they could keep Bradley Sylve on the roster instead of Wright and save roughly half of Wright's $1.075 million cap number. Both players' contributions on special teams in the preseason will presumably be factors in such a decision.
The Bills seem to be high on Gary, who is on his fifth NFL team since entering as an undrafted free agent with the New England Patriots in 2014. Gary replaced Hyde on the first-team defense last week after Hyde injured his hip. Right now, I don't see a spot for Bacarri Rambo, whom the Bills signed at the start of training camp. Rambo has seen mostly second- and third-team action to this point. This projection assumes that Anderson, a key special-teams player, comes off the active/PUP list in time for the regular season.
Special-teams coordinator Danny Crossman reiterated last week that undrafted rookie Austin Rehkow is competing with Schmidt for the punting job and not Hauschka, even though Rehkow has handled some field goals in practice. Schmidt has performed well this camp and does not appear to be in jeopardy of losing his job.