Expect Buffalo Bills running back James Cook to have a much greater role in the offense this season. It would be easy to consider the second-year back a prime candidate to start as an RB2 in most weeks this season. However, Cook has a tough Week 1 matchup against the New York Jets that might force fantasy owners to wait a week.
Fantasy Football analysis: Buffalo RB James Cook
Cook was primarily the second-part of a running back timeshare last season, so his numbers were predictably up and down. He finished with 507 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 89 carres. Cook added 21 catches for 180 yards and another touchdown.
Start or sit in Week 1 PPR leagues?
Leaning toward SIT
In a backup role Cook had 5,3 points (PPR) in the first game against the Jets, a 20-17 Jets win, and 4.4 points in the second game, a 20-12 Bills win. The starting back, Devin Singletary, didn’t do much better with 8.8 points in the first game and 5.3 in the second. The Bills success with running came from Josh Allen who had 86 yards and two toiuchdowns in the first game and 47 yards and a touchdown in the second. The Jets clearly felt comfortable lettng Allen run and getting free shots on the quarterback.
It’s likely Cook was the second or third back taken for the fantasy teams that he’s on, so sitting him is tough, but this is not a good matchup. If you have to start him, the hope is Cook can get enough pass catches to make it worthwhile.
Start or sit in Week 1 standard leagues?
Without PPR points, Cook has to get in the end zone to have value. It looks like Damien Harris might be the Bills preferred option in goal-to-go situations.
Player(s) you would start ahead of James Cook
In terms of running backs I would look to either of the Washington Commanders backs, Brian Robinson Jr. or Antonio Gibson, both of whom have a great matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. Denver Broncos running back Jahvonte Williams also looks like a potentially good start against the Las Vegas Raiders.