PFF: Bills’ James Cook could be fantasy football sleeper

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The Buffalo Bills took a swing on running back James Cook during the second round of the 2022 NFL draft.

Pro Football Focus suggests you do the same during your fantasy football draft. The football analytics outlet put Cook on their list of “sleepers” for fantasy next season.

Cook joins a bit of a loaded backfield in Buffalo. The Bills will still have a place for Devin Singletary and there’s also Zach Moss to consider near the goal line.

Out of the gate, the team has touted Cook’s ability to play in the passing attack. He’s versatile and comes with a good set of hands and good news: Cook joins a pass-happy offense led by quarterback Josh Allen.

Cook will have a chance to contribute there. If he improves his stock enough to consistently get carries out of Buffalo’s backfield in the running game, Cook could really be a supreme option in fantasy football.

Here’s how PFF sees Cook’s stock for the 2022 fantasy football season:

The Bills did not draft Cook in the second round to sit him on the bench. They want him to be a dynamic weapon for quarterback Josh Allen.

Devin Singletary went nuts at the end of 2021, racking up the following PPR fantasy point totals in his final seven games (including playoffs): 14.9, 16.6, 18.8, 23.0, 25.2, 24.4 and 15.1.

He is a fine player, but Buffalo has been searching for an explosive playmaker who can elevate the offense. PFF’s Miles Ruder explained earlier this offseason the dynamic element that Cook brings to the Bills’ offense, especially in the passing game. Singletary really struggles as a receiver (43.9 PFF receiving grade, third-worst) and should cede all the long-down and distance work to Cook from the jump.

The former Georgia standout posted a stellar 83.4 PFF receiving grade (eighth among all FBS running backs) while averaging over 10 yards per reception and 8.6 yards after the catch per reception last season.

It is a foregone conclusion that Cook takes over this backfield’s receiving role, but the rushing split is unclear. What if Cook proves to also be a better runner than Singletary? The upside case here is astronomical — there is certainly a universe where Cook sees most of the rushing and receiving work in this high-powered Bills offense, while Singletary is left to eat up the scraps.

Sign me up for RB1 ceiling in the later rounds with James Cook. His PFF consensus fantasy ranking is RB34.

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