Buffalo Bills Fantasy Football Preview

Updated: Jul 26

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Before we look at where we're going, let's take a look at where we've been. (That's a shoutout to Mader from Cars for all you fellow Dads.)

As you know, Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills were an offensive juggernaut last season, scoring 28.41 points per game, the 3rd most in football. They ranked near the top of every offensive category in football, including:

  • 381.94 yards per game (5th most)

  • 67.24 plays per game (3rd most)

  • 5.7 yards per play (10th most)

  • 23.41 1st downs per game (4th most)

  • 13.88 passing first downs per game (5th most)

  • 27.12 rushing attempts per game (13th most)

  • 129.94 rushing yards per game (6th most)

  • 1.18 rushing TDs per game (8th most)

  • 7.88 rushing first downs (6th most)

  • 45.2 scoring percentage on offensive drives (5th best)

2022 looks to be no different for an offense with THE best odds of winning the Super Bowl (as of 6/21/2022), producing an MVP (Josh Allen) and, most importantly for fantasy football, leading the league in scoring (by far).


The Bills are THE team to target in fantasy football in 2022.

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Josh Allen 📈

2019 fantasy points per game: 18.04 (QB 11)

2020 fantasy points per game: 24.75 (QB 4)

2021 fantasy points per game: 23.67 (QB 1)


Key weapons lost:

  • WR Cole Beasley

  • WR Emmanuel Sanders

  • OC Brian Daboll (new OC Ken Dorsey served behind Daboll each of the last 2 years)

Key weapons added:

  • WR Jamison Crowder

  • TE OJ Howard

  • RB James Cook

  • RB Duke Johnson

  • BONUS: More playing time for Gabriel Davis

2021 recap:

Josh Allen led all QBs in fantasy scoring last season, including:

  • 4,168 passing yards (7th most)

  • 385 completions (6th most)

  • 600 passing attempts (4th most)

  • 34 passing TDs (6th most)

  • 15 interceptions

  • 700 rushing yards (3rd most)

  • 117 rushing attempts (3rd most)

  • 6 rushing TDs (3rd most)

He’s been an absolute GOAT over the last 2 seasons, playing in 32 fantasy football games (weeks 1-17), scoring at least 20 fantasy points in 65.5% of his games and topping 30 in 31.25% of his games.


Josh Allen has the best odds of winning MVP, the 6th best odds of leading the league in passing, and, most importantly, the Bills have the best odds—by far—to lead the NFL in scoring. Josh Allen is the clear-cut QB1 heading into the 2022 season.


Unfortunately, the public tends to agree, as he’s drafted as the first QB off the board on both Underdog (around pick 30) and DraftKings (much more expensive in the 2nd round around pick 17).


To be frank, 2nd round Josh Allen is too expensive for my taste, but I’ve paid the premium a couple times in the 3rd round (and he’s an auto-draft for me in the 3rd if I took Stefon Diggs and have a chance to stack the two). I prefer him in the 4th and will likely pass on him in the 3rd (especially in small leagues), but I wouldn’t fault someone for using their 3rd pick on him.


Stacking: If you drafted Allen and were able to pair him with Diggs, consider drafting Gabriel Davis around pick 50 (Underdog) - 60 (DraftKings). Other options include Dawson Knox (102 on Underdog, 75 on DraftKings) and Jamison Crowder (131 on Underdog, 167 on DraftKings).


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Devin Singletary 📉

2020 PPR points per game: 8.98 (RB 43)

2021 PPR points per game: 10.79 (RB 34)

Competition added: RB James Cook (2nd round pick in NFL draft)


Over his last 2 seasons with Josh Allen and the explosive Buffalo Bills, Devin Singletary has appeared in 33 games, averaging:

  • 10.41 PPR points per game

  • 12.79 touches

  • 10.42 carries

  • 3.03 targets

  • 2.36 catches

  • 62.24 scrimmage yards (15.06 receiving)

  • Has 10 total TDs in 33 games

Correspondingly, in his last 32 fantasy football games (weeks 1-17), Singletary has hit 20 PPR points just 1 time (and never hit 25), while hitting even just 10 PPR points just 46.88% of the time.


Zack Moss is still in town (for now) and the Bills ALSO added Duke Johnson (after nearly signing JD McKissic) before spending a 2nd round pick on James Cook. Already an unexciting flex, Singletary might fall off the fantasy radar entirely if Cook comes on strong.


After failing to finish better than RB 34 in either of the past two seasons WITHOUT James Cook in the picture, Singletary is puzzlingly the 33rd RB off the board in Underdog best ball drafts around pick 107 (9th round). It's an easy "no thank you" from me.


James Cook 📈

James Cook went from undrafted in pre-NFL-draft best ball leagues to a 9th round pick on Underdog after the Bills used the 63rd overall pick on him (2nd round) in the NFL draft. Prior to selecting Dalvin’s brother—a pass catching weapon—the Bills whiffed on signing JD McKissic before bringing in Duke Johnson, making it crystal clear they were in the market for…well…a pass catching weapon. And you could argue Cook is the best receiving RB in this draft class.


An explosive pass-catching weapon on a high-scoring offense in an unsettled backfield is a ZeroRB drafter’s dream, and there’s opportunity for Cook to become the type of player Buffalo simply hasn’t had in years. While the path for Singletary looks like a fade into irrelevance, the path for Cook appears to be receiving work at a minimum with a chance to grow from there. It seems likely that, come late in the season, Cook is a PPR RB 3 while Singletary is on the waiver wire.


James Cook is currently the 34th RB off the board in Underdog best ball drafts around pick 107 (9th round). With Singletary (who’s also drafted around pick 107) and Moss still in town (for now), that’s a bit expensive, especially considering the fact that neither Moss nor Singletary has been able to finish better than RB 34 in each of the past 2 years. For what it’s worth, forced to choose between Singletary and Cook, I’d take Cook’s upside every single time. Still, considering some of the names frequently drafted around those guys (Aaron Rodgers, Robert Woods, Melvin Gordon, Zach Ertz, Chase Edmonds, etc.), I’m finding myself most frequently passing on Buffalo’s backfield entirely.


For what it’s worth, as of 6/21/2022, James Cook has the 10th best odds of winning Offensive Rookie of the Year.


Zack Moss 📉

2020 fantasy points per game: 7.82 (RB 54)

2021 fantasy points per game: 8.48 (RB 51)

Competition added: RB James Cook (2nd round pick in NFL draft)


Zack Moss faded away last season (even “serving” as a healthy inactive at times) and hasn’t finished better than RB 51 in PPR points per game since entering the league two-years ago. The Bills spent a 2nd round pick on James Cook, signaling the likely end of times for Moss in Buffalo. He can be safely ignored in 2022 outside of insanely deep fantasy football leagues.


Duke Johnson 📉

The Bills dang-near signed pass-catching specialist JD McKissic before he changed his mind and returned to Washington. The Bills’ consolation prize was follow pass-catching dynamo Duke Johnson. Johnson WAS my favorite last-round pick in pre-draft best ball leagues, but then Buffalo went and got another pass-catching back in James Cook. Far from a sure thing to even make the roster in Buffalo, Johnson can be safely left on the waiver wire in fantasy football.

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Key targets available:

  • WR Cole Beasley - 107

  • WR Emmanuel Sanders - 72

Competition added:

  • WR Jamison Crowder

  • TE OJ Howard

  • RB James Cook

Stefon Diggs📈

2020 PPR points per game: 20.54 (WR 3)

2021 PPR points per game: 16.4 (WR 11)


Stefon Diggs has finished as a WR1 in each of his two seasons with Josh Allen. He finished top 11 in every receiving category last season and top 3 in every receiving category the year before (except TDs where he finished 12th). Here are his numbers in each of the last 2 seasons:


2021:

  • 262.4 PPR points (7th most)

  • 16.4 PPR points per game (11th most)

  • 150 targets (7th most)

  • 94 catches (10th most)

  • 1,144 yards (7th most)

  • 9 TDs (9th most)

2020:

  • 328.6 PPR points (3rd most)

  • 20.54 PPR points per game (3rd most)

  • 168 targets (MOST)

  • 127 catches (MOST)

  • 1,535 (MOST)

  • 8 TDs (12th most)

Last season, Diggs hit 10 PPR points in 87.5% of his games, 20 PPR points in 25% of his games, and 30 PPR points in 6.25% of his games.


The year before that, Diggs hit 10 PPR points in ALL of his games, 20 PPR points in 43.75% of his games and 30 PPR points in 6.25% of his games.


Looking forward to 2022, there’s no reason to think Diggs is NOT in for another WR 1 campaign, especially with Cole Beasley (214 targets over the last 2 years) and Emmanuel Sanders (72 targets last year) out the door. Sure, Gabriel Davis should take a gigantic step forward and the Bills brought in Jamison Crowder to fill the Cole Beasley role, but Diggs is the unquestioned WR1 on the NFL’s 5th pass-heaviest team and 3rd highest-scoring team.


It’s certainly not a BAD thing that Diggs currently (6/23/2022) has the 6th best odds to lead the NFL in receiving.


Diggs is well-worth his 12th overall pick ADP on DraftKings best ball leagues (he’s notably more expensive in Underdog—interesting since that’s a half PPR format—as the WR4 at pick 8; I personally would grab Dalvin Cook and Najee Harris—who are drafted after him—ahead of him there).


Gabriel Davis 📈📈

2020 PPR points per game: 8.56 (WR 76)

2021 PPR points per game: 7.93 (WR 72)

👆 Do NOT pay attention to this 👆


Gabriel Davis is one of the most fascinating players in 2022 fantasy football.


On the bright side, the 3rd year WR finally gets his shot as a full time starter in the NFL’s 5th pass-heaviest and 3rd highest scoring offense. The 4th rounder was terrific in his first 2 seasons as a part-time player, routinely creating big plays and registering a promising 13 TDs while stuck behind Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders (and kind of John Brown in 2020), all of which are no longer in town. The Bills DID bring in Jamison Crowder to play the Cole Beasley role (good for 214 targets in the last 2 years), but even if Davis sees a good chunk of Emmanuel Sanders’ 72 vacated targets after compiling 49 of his own last year, he’s a virtual certainty to (far) surpass his previous career-best WR 72 finish. He’s in a very exciting spot.


On the not so bright side, he’s not really a sleeper candidate if the public is drafting him like they’re expecting a breakout campaign. Davis is currently (6/23/2022) the 24th WR selected (fascinating since he DOES have the 25th best odds of leading the NFL in receiving) in Underdog best ball drafts around pick 49. Put another way, he’s already being drafted as a WR 2 in the 5th round alongside names like Jerry Jeudy, Terry McLaurin, Allen Robinson, DK Metcalf, Rashod Bateman, Brandin Cooks, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Chris Godwin and more (he’s even MORE expensive on DraftKings at pick 45). And that’s just WRs, I didn’t even mention Darren Waller, Patrick Mahomes, Cam Akers, Breece Hall, Justin Herbert, George Kittle, David Montgomery, Lamar Jackson and JK Dobbins among others.


It’s strange to be really excited about Davis’ 2022 prospects while being out on him in fantasy football, but that’s where I’m at. He’s simply too expensive for my taste this season considering other options available around there.


Jamison Crowder 📈

Jamison Crowder is one of the newest members of the Super Bowl favorite Buffalo Bills. Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders skipped town, vacating 179 targets that need to find a new home (Beasley in particular—the slot role that Crowder is expected to play—had 107 targets in each of the last 2 seasons).


In his last 2 campaigns with Josh Allen, Beasley finished:

  • 38th (2021) and 27th (2020) in PPR points

  • 26th (2021) and 29th (2020) in targets

  • 18th in catches in both years

  • 41st (2021) and 21st (2020) in yards

Beasley played 30 fantasy football games in the last 2 years, registering 10 or more PPR points in 50% of his games and 20 or more PPR points in 20% of his games.


Crowder will be taking the Beasley role and is 4 years younger with greater athleticism.


Whereas Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis are very expensive, Crowder is easily one of my favorite values in all of 2022 fantasy football, particularly in PPR leagues. As of 6/23/2022, Crowder is the WR 61 in Underdog best ball leagues, drafted around pick 129 (11th round).


WR 61. Remember that even in a down year for 32-year-old Beasley last season, he still finished as the WR 38. Heck even Crowder himself had PPR finishes of WR 54 and WR 25 (PPR points per game) over the last two seasons as a member of the Jets (who aren’t even close to the firepower of the Bills).


Of course, there’s always the possibility of Isaiah McKenzie or even dark-horse rookie Khalil Shakir siphoning slot targets, but Crowder is the likely lead slot man come week 1.


Crowder is an autopick in the 11th round (and one helluva buy-low trade candidate in dynasty leagues).


Isaiah McKenzie

With Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, Jamison Crowder, Dawson Knox and James Cook in town with possibly 5th round rookie Khalil Shakir or even TE OJ Howard nipping at his heels in the Buffalo Bills pecking order, Isaiah McKenzie is a longshot to find fantasy football relevance.


And he’s drafted that way as the 92nd WR off the board in Underdog best ball leagues around pick 209 (round 18).


Still, fantasy football is a game of what ifs, and what if McKenzie is able to wrestle the slot receiver role—one that produced 214 targets for Cole Beasley over the last 2 seasons—away from newcomer Jamison Crowder? He DID flash for 12 targets, 11 catches, 125 yards and 1 TD against a tough Patriots defense when Beasley missed week 16 last season…


You could certainly do worse for an 18th round dart throw.


Khalil Shakir

The 5th round rookie is (very) unlikely to make any noise in 2022 with Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, Jamison Crowder, Dawson Knox, James Cook, OJ Howard and Isaiah McKenzie all under contract.


He IS slightly intriguing as a dynasty league hold, however, with Crowder on just a one year deal. What if Shakir can work his way into the slot receiver role—one that produced 214 targets for Cole Beasley over the last 2 seasons—by kickoff of 2023?


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Key targets available:

  • WR Cole Beasley - 107

  • WR Emmanuel Sanders - 72

Competition added:

  • WR Jamison Crowder

  • TE OJ Howard

  • RB James Cook

Dawson Knox 📉

Dawson Knox exploded onto the scene last season with 11.13 PPR points per game, the 8th most among TEs. He played in 14 fantasy football games, registering at least 10 PPR points in 42.86% of them, and at least 20 points in 14.29% of them.


The problem?


That all happened on the back of 9 TDs, which tied with Mark Andrews and Hunter Henry for the most in football among TEs. That’s obviously not a BAD thing, but the rest of his statistical output leaves room for concern:

  • 66 targets (20th “most”)

  • 46 catches (19th “most”)

  • 538 yards (15th “most”)

So if there’s some regression in the TD column, will he be able to make up for it in catches in yards? In other words, is .64 TDs per game sustainable with Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, Jamison Crowder, James Cook and now OJ Howard in the picture?


It certainly MIGHT be in the NFL’s 5th pass-heaviest and 3rd highest scoring offense.


But it’s not a bet I’m interested in taking around pick 102 (9th round) which is where he’s currently drafted as the TE 9 in Underdog best ball leagues around names like Damien Harris, Kareem Hunt, Aaron Rodgers, Robert Woods, Melvin Gordon and more.


Instead, my TE philosophy is to either land a stud or wing it on the waiver wire.


OJ Howard 📉

Assuming you’re in a semi-normal league, you can ignore Howard entirely. He’s not even the TE 1 on his own team. He joins a new team and is buried on the totem pole behind Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, Jamison Crowder, Dawson Knox, James Cook and probably even Isaiah McKenzie and maybe even 5th round rookie Khalil Shakir. The dude will probably randomly appear for a few TDs here and there, but he’s not a legitimate option in 2022 fantasy football.




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