The starting running back on one of the best offenses in the NFL should be fantasy gold, right? Not necessarily, especially if you are a running back on a team that likes to operate in a bit of a committee. So after emerging as their top running back by the end of the 2022 season, will Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary be ready to carry more of a load this season? That is exactly what we will look at as we examine Singletary’s fantasy value in 2022.
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2022 Fantasy Football Outlook: Devin Singletary
Although the Bills plan to share the workload among their two running backs in 2021, Devin Singletary played 60% of the team’s offensive snaps, nearly twice as many as Zack Moss, who came in second. For 2021, Singletary finished with 188 rushes for 870 yards, seven touchdowns on the ground 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 through most of the beginning of 2021, Singletary began to get 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 also catching 15 passes for 114 yards and another touchdown. In Buffalo’s last four regular-season games, he scored six touchdowns during the critical fantasy playoff period.
Fantasy owners looking to draft Singletary in 2022 must wade through a lot to determine his value. The Bills have quite a few people in their backfield that could see quite a few reps this season. The team invested second-round draft capital into rookie, James Cook, but it appears that his value may come in the passing game. Moss and Duke Johnson are also candidates to take touches away from Singletary, especially as the Bills look to try to keep their featured back fresh and healthy. The good news for potential owners is that Singletary has been getting all of the first team reps so far in training camp.
The other player that takes rushing attempts away is his own quarterback. Last year, Josh Allen rushed for 763 yards with six touchdowns, career bests for the young signal caller. While some of these come from scrambling, others were designed plays called by the staff or Allen himself. The Bills would love to see those numbers drop for Allen in an attempt to keep him healthy. If that does happen, then Singletary should benefit from some extra touches.
Projecting Singletary’s fantasy value in 2022 remains somewhat muddled. Based on his end-of-year production, a case could be made that he could be considered a top 15 fantasy running back. However, the drafting of Cook indicates that 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 numbers similar to last season, making him a solid top 20 running back in most fantasy formats.
Average Draft Position
Singletary’s average draft position has seen a wide range of where he has been selected. Fantasy Pros has him going at RB29 and the 75th pick overall in their tallies. At the high end of that range, he has been drafted inside the top 15 running backs and top 50 overall. At the bottom end, he fell into the top 35 of running backs selected, going as low as being picked in the 140s overall. This seems to reflect the uncertainty of how he will be used by the Bills in the upcoming season.
The analysis of many of these drafts has indicated that some prudent owners are drafting Singletary and Cook together on their teams. The idea that the running back by committee approach will hurt overall volume for fantasy, both players can still be very productive and impactful. The expectation will be that Singletary is the solid first and second down back, while Cook will appear in passing situations. They could appear together as Cook lined up in the slot numerous times at Georgia, which the Bills are also expected to employ.
Overall, it seems that the ADP for Singletary has him slotted as an RB3 or Flex play in most leagues. Most owners were reluctant to take him as a top 20 RB but saw some value when he dropped down to the top 30. His draft position also drops in PPR leagues, as Cook is expected to see more looks in the passing game. Tapering expectations for the talented running back has seemed prudent given how the Bills may use him. But like last season, he could provide good value to a fantasy owner who wants to take him and see if his late-season production has another upward swing.