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Fantasy Football Rookie Spotlight: Keon Coleman

Keon Coleman- Fantasy Football Rankings, College FB, WR, NFL Draft Sleepers

After trading back with the Kansas City Chiefs in a move that puzzled many, the Buffalo Bills traded back again at the end of the first round to allow the Panthers to move up one spot to select Xavier Legette. This move was just as puzzling, considering the Bills missed out on having a fifth-year option on the player they were to select.

With the first pick of the second round Buffalo opted for Keon Coleman, the star receiver out of Florida State and instant fan favorite. Coleman burst onto the scene in 2022 at Michigan State before becoming a hot commodity in the transfer portal in the spring of 2023. He wound up at Florida State, where he quickly rose up NFL draft boards.

With Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis no longer in Buffalo, it is a new era for the passing game. Will Coleman live up to the high expectations in place for him?

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers won two writing awards and received 12 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. A big congrats to our very own Byron Lindeque (Golf) and Jordan McAbee (NASCAR) for both winning Writer Of The Year awards! Be sure to follow RotoBaller's analysis and advice all year long, and win more. Win More With RotoBaller!

 

Keon Coleman NFL Rookie Profile

Team: Buffalo Bills
College: Michigan State/Florida State
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 213
Age: 20 (5/17/2003)
Arm Length: 32 1/8"
Hand Size: 9 3/8"
2022 NFL Draft: Round 2, Pick 1

 

Michigan State Production

Keon Coleman started his career at Michigan State in 2021. Initially a dual-sport athlete, Coleman saw limited action both on the football field and on the basketball court for Tom Izzo. During his sophomore season in 2022, he turned his focus to football. This is when he burst onto the scene.

Michigan State was atrocious in 2022, finishing at 5-7 and thirteenth in the Big Ten. They suffered from poor defensive play, poor play calling, poor quarterback play, and poor offensive line play. All they had going for them was their receiving corps, which featured a talented trio in Coleman, current Green Bay Packer Jayden Reed, and current Alabama Crimson Tide receiver Germie Bernard.

Michigan State 2022 Receptions Rec Yards Yards/Gm TDs
Keon Coleman 58 798 66.5 7
Jayden Reed 55 636 53.0 5
Tre Mosley 35 359 29.9 4

Coleman paced the receiving room in receptions, yards, and touchdowns, outproducing a current NFL WR1 in Jayden Reed, and still managed 798 yards and seven touchdowns in a horrendous offensive system.

In the spring, Coleman decided that the grass was greener elsewhere. He went to Florida State, making a decision that proved to pay off.

 

Florida State Production

Coleman’s receiving corps with the Seminoles was just as loaded as his Michigan State room, only this time he had strong quarterback play for most of the season. He opened the season with a dominant performance against LSU in which he grabbed nine receptions for 122 yards and three touchdowns, catching the eyes of NFL teams.

Florida State 2023 Receptions Rec Yards Yards/Gm TDs
Keon Coleman 50 658 54.8 11
Johnny Wilson 41 617 68.5 2
Jaheim Bell 39 503 50.3 2

Coleman outproduced fellow draftees Johnny Wilson and Jaheim Bell, leading the receiving room with 658 yards and 11 touchdowns despite missing a game with an injury. His combination of size, smooth route running, and ability to win jump balls stand out as he enters the NFL. While his 40-yard dash time was unimpressive (4.61), he performed well in the gauntlet drill and his speed and quick change of pace shows up on film. Coleman has the tools to continue being a WR1 at the next level.

 

Rookie Situation

Between letting Gabe Davis walk and trading Stefon Diggs, the Bills’ receiving room is losing over 44% of their targets. A massive opportunity awaits for newcomers like Coleman, but he is not the only person that will be fighting to fill the void.

Buffalo brought in former Panthers and Commanders receiver Curtis Samuel on a three-year deal this offseason. Samuel’s most productive season came in 2020 when he had 851 receiving yards, 200 rushing yards, and five total touchdowns for Carolina. He put up 613 yards and four touchdowns a season ago in Washington. While he won’t step in and produce crazy numbers, he will cut into the available target share.

Third-year receiver Khalil Shakir is also expected to have an expanded role. Shakir played well in 2023, catching 39 passes for 611 yards and two touchdowns. Third years typically mark receiver breakouts, and Shakir is poised to take a step forward with Diggs and Davis no longer in the fold.

The Bills also added veterans Mack Hollins, Chase Claypool, and K.J. Hamler. While none of them are a lock to make the roster, whoever is there come September could soak up five percent of the targets.

While Buffalo was always going to be a dream landing spot for any rookie receiver, Coleman will not be a one-for-one Diggs replacement. 

 

Keon Coleman Fantasy Football Outlook

While he was locked in on getting the ball to Stefon Diggs the past four seasons, Josh Allen should have a lot more free will this season. After a 91-target rookie season, tight end Dalton Kincaid figures to pace the team in targets and should be the most consistent piece of the receiving corps.

Coleman projects to have some massive games along with some quiet ones as a rookie. Allen won’t force-feed him the ball and he will have to earn targets, but the opportunity is there for him to emerge as the top receiver on the team down the stretch run of the season. In rookie drafts, Coleman is routinely going at the top of the second round. He is a smash at any point in the second and even can be considered at the back of the first. The ceiling is through the roof and besides - who doesn’t want to roster a player that funny and easy to root for?

Beware that he may not be the most consistent option, but he should offer plenty of boom-bust potential in year 1 and has the raw talent to blossom into Josh Allen’s favorite target.



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