The starting running back on one of the NFL’s best offenses should be fantasy gold, right? Not necessarily, especially if you’re a running back on a team that likes to function a bit in committee. So, after becoming their top running back at the end of the 2022 season, will Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary be ready to carry more loadout this season? That’s exactly what we’ll be looking at when we look at Singletary’s fantastic value in 2022.
Fantasy football outlook 2022: Devin Singletary
Although the Bills plan to split the workload between their two running backs in 2021, Devin Singletary has played 60% of the team’s offensive snaps, nearly twice as much as Zack Moss, who came in second. For 2021, Singletary finished with 188 carries for 870 yards, seven rushing touchdowns and 40 catches for 228 yards, and another touchdown through the air. He finished the 2021 season as the 19th best fantasy running back in most leagues.
After sharing touches for most of the start of 2021, Singletary started getting more consistent touches starting in Week 12. Over the final seven games of the regular season, he had 105 carries for 455 yards and five touchdowns while catching 15 passes for 114 yards and another touchdown. In Buffalo’s last four games of the regular season, he scored six touchdowns during the critical playoff period.
Fantasy owners looking to draft Singletary in 2022 have to wade through a lot to determine its worth. The Bills have quite a few people in their backfield who could see quite a few reps this season. The team invested second-round draft capital in rookie James Cook, but it looks like his value may come in the passing game. Moss and Duke Johnson are also candidates to pull touches from Singletary, especially as the Bills look to try and keep their backs fresh and healthy. The good news for potential owners is that Singletary has secured every first-team representative in training camp so far.
The other player who eliminates rush attempts is his own quarterback. Last year, Josh Allen rushed for 763 yards with six touchdowns, career highs for the young signalman. While some of them are from the jamming, others were designed by the staff or by Allen himself. The Bills would like to see those numbers drop for Allen in an effort to keep him healthy. If that happens, then Singletary should benefit from a few extra touches.
Singletary’s fantasy value projection in 2022 remains somewhat muddled. Based on his year-end production, it could be argued that he could be considered one of the top 15 fantasy running backs. However, Cook’s writing says the Bills may still want to limit the number of touches he gets in a game. The general expectation would be for Singletary to produce similar numbers to last season, making him a solid top 20 running back in most fantasy formats.
Average draft position
Singletary’s average draft position saw a wide range of places he was selected. Fantasy Pros place him at RB29 and the 75th overall pick in their tallies. At the top of that range, he was drafted into the top 15 running backs and top 50 overall. At the bottom of the ladder, he fell into the top 35 running backs selected, going so far as to be picked in the 140 overall. That seems to reflect uncertainty about how he’ll be used by the Bills in the upcoming season.
Analysis of many of these projects has indicated that some cautious owners are drafting Singletary and Cook together in their teams. The idea that the committee running back approach will hurt the overall volume of fantasy, both players can still be very productive and impactful. Singletary is expected to be the solid first and second back, while Cook will appear in passing situations. They could appear together as Cook lined up multiple times in the Georgia slot, which the Bills are also expected to use.
Overall, it looks like the ADP for Singletary rated it as an RB3 or Flex game in most leagues. Most owners were reluctant to take him to the top 20 RBs, but saw some value when he dropped to the top 30. His draft position is also dropping in the PPR leagues, as Cook is expected to see more looks in the passing game. Lowering expectations for the talented running back seemed prudent considering how the Bills could use him. But like last season, he could offer good value to a fantastic owner who wants to take him out and see if his end-of-season production has another upside.