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CBS Sports: Bills’ James Cook is top-five rookie RB

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The Buffalo Bills enter the 2022 NFL season with a stable of running backs. Even if Devin Singletary is the player presumed to be at the top of that list, one outlet believes that James Cook is still going to be a factor for the Bills.

CBS Sports rated the top-five rookie running backs for the upcoming season. Cook checks in, rounding out the ratings at No. 5.

Here’s the breakdown on Cook:

In fantasy football, you want to draft backs who are part of high-quality offenses, even if they aren’t in obvious feature-back roles. That’s precisely the reasoning why Cook’s on this list. The Bills have one of football’s most fun, explosive attacks. That will lead to Buffalo playing with leads in the second half often and for as many mouths as there are to feed, Cook’s 4.42 speed out of the backfield will add a new component for Josh Allen.

And Cook’s part-receiver, part-back, with silky-soft hands and experience running routes in the slot and the perimeter. Cook won’t be a high-volume type, but expect plays to be tailored for him in new OC Ken Dorsey’s game plan. Buffalo’s offensive line is solid too. And it’s not like defenses will feel comfortable loading the box against the Bills. Last year, Devin Singletary saw a loaded box on just under 14% of his runs, the eighth-lowest rate among qualifying backs.

Cook’s involvement in the passing game is what’s clear heading toward next season, perhaps ironically considering his position. What will be monitored is how much he actually carries the ball.

In college, he did take carries. However, his 230 total is his career is pretty low compared to other prospects. He only surpassed 100 in a year (113) once as a senior.

If the Bills start to trust Cook’s skills carrying the ball, he could steadily see his workload increase throughout 2022.

Singletary will also have something to say about that as he preformed well down the stretch last season. Not the worst problem to have.

Cook was the team’s second-round pick at the 2022 NFL draft.

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