Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox may soon be on the verge of being one of the game’s top tight ends.
Right now, the game’s top tight ends have solidified themselves as Kansas City Chiefs Travis Kelce, Baltimore Ravens’ Mark Andrews, San Francisco 49ers’ George Kittle, Las Vegas Raiders’ Darren Waller, and Atlanta Falcons’ Kyle Pitts.
Other young tight ends have also begun to make cases as being among the best. Dallas Cowboys’ Dalton Shultz, Philadelphia Eagles’ Dallas Goedert, and Miami Dolphins’ Mike Gesicki have all been solid options. Knox currently falls more in line with the great talent in this group.
During his first two seasons, Knox was a solid piece within the Bills’ offense. He appeared in 27 games, with 18 total starts. Over this two-year stretch, Knox recorded 52 receptions, 676 receiving yards, and five total touchdowns.
Dawson Knox underwent a true breakout last season. The 25-year-old tight end set career-highs across the board in his third professional season. He finished the year playing in 15 games. Knox and quarterback Josh Allen built a solid connection as the two have connected often.
Dawson Knox: 13 red zone receiving touchdowns since 2020. Tied for 2nd most among all Tight Ends🔥 pic.twitter.com/for62TOYdO
— PFF BUF Bills (@PFF_Bills) August 1, 2022
Knox finished the season with 49 receptions, 587 receiving yards, and nine touchdowns. He also averaged 12 yards per reception. 31 of Knox’s 49 receptions resulted in first downs.
Knox’s nine touchdown receptions were tied for the most in the NFL. He finished alongside Mark Andrews, Travis Kelce, and Hunter Henry for the lead.
Much of Knox’s success has been found within the red zone. His career-highs in both receptions and receiving yards fall far behind the current top group of tight ends.
For example, Andrews finished the season with 107 receptions on 153 targets. Kelce had 92 receptions on 134 targets. Dalton Shultz had 78 receptions on 104 targets. Knox is far behind all of these players in this category. But clearly, Knox has remained effective as he has been a touchdown machine.
This 2022 season could be where Knox is able to truly solidify himself among the best at his position.
Dawson Knox 2022 Fantasy Football Outlook
Dawson Knox finished the season as the 11th-ranked tight end in PPR scoring. His 164.1 fantasy points put him right behind Hunter Henry, Mike Gesicki, and Dallas Goedert.
With some of the Buffalo Bills’ off-season moves, Knox could find himself in a drastically different spot at the end of this season.
The Bills’ offense had several big losses over the off-season. Wide receivers Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders aren’t currently on the roster. The two of them had legitimate roles on this roster last season.
Buffalo has added multiple pass-catchers through both free agency and the draft to make up for these losses. They drafted wide receiver Khalil Shakir and signed tight end Jalen Wydermyer after the draft. The Bills also drafted running back James Cook who could be a legitimate receiving threat.
In free agency, they signed veteran tight end O.J. Howard.
All of these moves could prove to impact Dawson Knox. His targets within the offense weren’t high, to begin with, and now the ball will be spread between even more solid pass-catchers.
The addition of O.J. Howard could be what really hurts Knox this upcoming fantasy season. Howard, who has dealt with injuries throughout his career, is still a solid option at tight end.
Since being drafted in the first round in 2017, Howard has struggled to stay on the field. He has never played a full season and has been limited to just 10 games over the past two seasons. When on the field, he has recorded 119 receptions, 1,737 receiving yards, and 15 touchdowns.
It’s still unknown how good a fully healthy Howard can be within an offense. But if he can find his footing with this Bills team, he would certainly be taking touches away from Knox.
Knox will also still be playing alongside star wide receiver Stefon Diggs and a potential superstar in Gabriel Davis.
Diggs has proven himself as one of the league’s best pass-catchers. He has been a star within this Bills offense. During last season, he recorded 103 receptions, 1,225 receiving yards, and 10 touchdowns.
Knox will have to fight for the ball this season in Buffalo. He has already proven to be a touchdown machine and a legitimate threat in the red zone, but his usage throughout the rest of the field could be up in the air. This could lead to his fantasy numbers being inconsistent, much like they were at times last season.
Knox is projected to be the 15th best tight end this upcoming season. His average draft position is currently pick #100. This may be an accurate spot for him given how this offense looks heading into 2022.