Devin Singletary has agreed to a contract with the Houston Texans, paving the way for James Cook to be the Buffalo Bills’ top running back. In line to get the bulk of the Bills’ carries, Cook is a top candidate to become a breakout fantasy football star in the 2023 season.
James Cook made the most of his 89 carries last season. The second-round pick rushed for 507 yards, leading Bills’ running backs with 5.7 yards per attempt. Given what Cook did with limited carries in 2022, Twitter reacted to the news of Singeltary’s departure by predicting that Buffalo’s new top running back would be a strong fantasy football option next year.
Singletary's departure opens the door for a James Cook breakout in Buffalo, but the Bills are still likely to add a "big" back (Damien Harris? Zeke? Fournette?) and Nyheim Hines figures to have a passing-down role.
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) March 20, 2023
RIP to the little fantasy value that Devin Singletary ever had. James Cook 📈…For now.
— Aaron Schill (@aaron_schill) March 20, 2023
I don’t know about you guys but I’m excited for James Cook to be RB1👀👀👀 pic.twitter.com/L765FISB8n
— Zach Jezioro (@ZachJ13_) March 20, 2023
James Cook: RB1 in Buffalo 😎 pic.twitter.com/F8Pf63RFIV
— ESPN Fantasy Sports (@ESPNFantasy) March 20, 2023
The Bills should allow James Cook to have the backfield to himself in 2023: pic.twitter.com/eplIrJ8TzG
— Moody (@EricNMoody) March 20, 2023
Nyheim Hines is the only other running back on the Bills’ roster. Hines is largely used as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. Buffalo is expected to sign another running back at some point in free agency, though Cook should be the lead tailback.
Singletary led the Bills with 819 yards on 4.6 yards per attempt last season.
Cooks’ workload increased down the stretch of the season. As he proved to be Buffalo’s best running back, the 23-year-old saw a bigger role in the Bills’ offense. In four of the last seven regular-season games, Cook had at least nine carries.
The increased workload didn’t hurt Cooks’ production. He averaged 6.5 yards per carry in those four games.
It’s been six years since Buffalo had a 1,000-yard rusher. Much of the Bills’ ground attack runs through Josh Allen. The quarterback has rushed for 763 and 762 yards, respectively, in the last two seasons. Allen has 38 rushing touchdowns in five NFL seasons.
The Bills were held to 64 rushing yards on 19 carries when they were eliminated by the Cincinnati Bengals in the divisional playoffs.