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RB James Cook, BUF (1 Viewer)

Ilov80s

Footballguy
I think the most ardent Cook supporters know he is not going to be a workhorse, that is just not who he is...I am sensing there is a disconnect in his value based on how one wants to build their RB unit/overall team.
The Cook thing is pretty obvious IMO. He's the best route running pass catching back. He was a 2nd round pick to the one of the best and most pass happy offenses in the league. That team also happens to have a vacancy at slot WR and no legit pass catching RB. The Bills are going to throw a lot and it's very possible Cook is on the field a lot. 

 

rockaction

Footballguy
Really re-thinking my Skyy Moore over Cook pick, especially after Waldman's post-draft report. In fact, if that report comes out before we have our draft, I might have taken Cook at the 1.09. 

I think he'll be on the field a bunch and the way the potential touches were broken down, six-eight a game as a RB and six-eight a game as a receiving back isn't out of the question. 

Thing is, he just doesn't seem explosive in highlights for his stature and build. We'll see. 

 

Ilov80s

Footballguy
Really re-thinking my Skyy Moore over Cook pick, especially after Waldman's post-draft report. In fact, if that report comes out before we have our draft, I might have taken Cook at the 1.09. 

I think he'll be on the field a bunch and the way the potential touches were broken down, six-eight a game as a RB and six-eight a game as a receiving back isn't out of the question. 

Thing is, he just doesn't seem explosive in highlights for his stature and build. We'll see. 
I would take Skyy 10 times out of 10 over Cook. 

But as someone who did take Cook, what is this Waldman report that would get me excited?

 
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rockaction

Footballguy
I would take Skyy 10 times out of 10 over Cook. 
Yeah, and if Cook was that good or distinguished from the competition in Buffalo, I probably would have taken him because running backs are so scarce. I just can't help but think that if his between-the-tackles work is as good as Waldman claims, he'll likely get an opportunity to shoulder a bit of the rushing load, and that would make him extra valuable. That's why I paused with a bit of potential regret. 

RB scarcity is real. 

But that above scenario is on the coaches and their decisions regarding his talent, and they already called him a "sub back," so who knows what they think of him?  

 

Ilov80s

Footballguy
Yeah, and if Cook was that good or distinguished from the competition in Buffalo, I probably would have taken him because running backs are so scarce. I just can't help but think that if his between-the-tackles work is as good as Waldman claims, he'll likely get an opportunity to shoulder a bit of the rushing load, and that would make him extra valuable. That's why I paused with a bit of potential regret. 

RB scarcity is real. 

But that above scenario is on the coaches and their decisions regarding his talent, and they already called him a "sub back," so who knows what they think of him?  
He might have the skill between the tackle but I don't think he has the bulk to handle it. His best case is a young Kamara or rookie David Johnson like usage. 

 

mcintyre1

Footballguy
Overall? 
12th overall, I believe. 

Yes, 12th. With almost certainty. He ranks them in different ways, but 12th is the overall ranking for this year. 
I usually don't like to post Waldman's exact ranking because I like to support him/get people to buy his guide so he keeps making it, but I just re-checked the post-draft guide and he's got him at 5th overall on the cheat sheet and RB3 in the class. Basically gives him Ekeler/Kamara type upside.

 
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Ilov80s

Footballguy
I will say, Cook has a CEH vibe but CEH went top 2, Cook is around the turn so it almost doesn't matter

 

rockaction

Footballguy
but I just re-checked the post-draft guide
Yeah, I was talking pre-draft RSP. I've looked at the post-draft RSP but wasn't concentrated on situation. He's 12th. 

I don't like giving away exact rankings, either, which is why I talked about his work in between the tackles rather than giving away a ranking. I was simply correcting what you said, but we were talking about different things, which is why I hedged my comment ever so slightly. 

 

Dr. Octopus

Footballguy
Yeah, and if Cook was that good or distinguished from the competition in Buffalo, I probably would have taken him because running backs are so scarce. I just can't help but think that if his between-the-tackles work is as good as Waldman claims, he'll likely get an opportunity to shoulder a bit of the rushing load, and that would make him extra valuable. That's why I paused with a bit of potential regret. 

RB scarcity is real. 

But that above scenario is on the coaches and their decisions regarding his talent, and they already called him a "sub back," so who knows what they think of him?  
That was the GM that called him a “sub back”.

 

dipandglide

Footballguy
Ilov80s said:
I will say, Cook has a CEH vibe but CEH went top 2, Cook is around the turn so it almost doesn't matter
Big difference between taking someone 1.01 and taking a guy in the late 1st-early 2nd. There's no comparison, IMO. It'd be comparable if people are drafting COOK in the top 1-4. They aren't. He's a great value at his ADP. 

 

zamboni

Footballguy
Just be aware that as a general rule, the Bills don’t like to give rookies a lot of playing time early outside of defensive first round picks. They show a lot of loyalty to veterans and really make rookies earn playing time.
IIRC Singletary got a fair amount of touches his rookie year, although they never seemed to want to fully supplant Frank Gore.

 

flapgreen

Footballguy
Got him as 3rd rb off the board at pick 13/1st pick of 2nd round. Hurting at rb so hoping he can contribute by year 2.

 

GroveDiesel

Footballguy
IIRC Singletary got a fair amount of touches his rookie year, although they never seemed to want to fully supplant Frank Gore.
He did, but the Bills really seemed to want Gore to be the main guy to start the season but Gore got dinged and it became pretty obvious that he was in decline and they really didn’t have other options.

I do think Cook could end up with a good amount of work by the end of the season, but I think, barring injuries, the Bills will prefer to sprinkle him in for specific packages early and go from there. He’ll definitely have to adequately prove to them that he can pass protect if he is going to become their 3rd down back.

 

Football Jones

Footballguy
Lots of differing opinions on Cook. One thing is for sure, though, he could have an outstanding rookie season as well as good production to start his career if things fall right.

That said, I see him going too high in many rookie drafts. Eventually (maybe right away), he’ll be used more as a weapon than a feature back. I’m curious to see how many carries he gets this year.

Either way, Cook should be a fun player to watch.

 

Gally

Footballguy
Ilov80s said:
The Cook thing is pretty obvious IMO. He's the best route running pass catching back. He was a 2nd round pick to the one of the best and most pass happy offenses in the league. That team also happens to have a vacancy at slot WR and no legit pass catching RB. The Bills are going to throw a lot and it's very possible Cook is on the field a lot. 
The BIlls may be pass happy but not really to the RB.  Singletary had 50 targets last year (compare to Ekeler at close to 100).  Also, the Bills do have slot WR's in Crowder and the rookie they just drafted.  

Josh Allen usually just pulls down and runs when in trouble and doesn't just dump off to a RB like most other target hog RB's get.  I am not saying Cook won't do ok but being pass happy and RB pass happy are two different things.  

 

Boston

Footballguy
The BIlls may be pass happy but not really to the RB.  Singletary had 50 targets last year (compare to Ekeler at close to 100).  Also, the Bills do have slot WR's in Crowder and the rookie they just drafted.  

Josh Allen usually just pulls down and runs when in trouble and doesn't just dump off to a RB like most other target hog RB's get.  I am not saying Cook won't do ok but being pass happy and RB pass happy are two different things.  


On the flipside they "signed" McKissic and then used a second round pick on a pass-catching RB...based on that it would appear they are changing their philosophy.

 

Dr. Octopus

Footballguy
On the flipside they "signed" McKissic and then used a second round pick on a pass-catching RB...based on that it would appear they are changing their philosophy.
At some point they will tell Allen to dump it off instead of getting hit running the ball, but that’s probably not quite this season.

But to your point it could be a “chicken egg” thing here as to why they didn’t have a ton of receptions out of the backfield.

 

zamboni

Footballguy
At some point they will tell Allen to dump it off instead of getting hit running the ball, but that’s probably not quite this season.
A few months ago, McDermott alluded to that very plan to have Allen run less this year - which may have had some effect on the Cook pick.

Whether the coaching staff actually does have Allen cut down on his running, and thus take away a huge offensive threat, remains to be seen.

ETA link: https://www.nfl.com/_amp/bills-sean-mcdermott-looking-for-josh-allen-to-run-less-in-2022-we-want-to-evolve

 
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ratbast

Footballguy
Spiller’s fall from grace, based solely on off-season, hurt his draft capital. He was hurt. He’s still young. He also can catch. His ceiling is bellcow. His floor is Gus Edwards. Cooks ceiling isn’t as high and his floor is lower. 

This WR class seems strong but heavily influenced by state of the NFL salaries. Not all WRs are Chase, Jefferson, Metcalf, Lamb. All those guys went to good offenses/qbs with plenty of weapons. 
 

Pass catching sometimes takes awhile, wr or rb. Running often comes quick. I look for Chargers to give Spiller 1b right away. He landed in SD. They were lucky. They need to keep Ekler healthy for their playoff run. 
 

Cook could be a great pass catching back. But could he be a bellcow? 

 

Biabreakable

Footballguy
A few months ago, McDermott alluded to that very plan to have Allen run less this year - which may have had some effect on the Cook pick.

Whether the coaching staff actually does have Allen cut down on his running, and thus take away a huge offensive threat, remains to be seen.

ETA link: https://www.nfl.com/_amp/bills-sean-mcdermott-looking-for-josh-allen-to-run-less-in-2022-we-want-to-evolve
This definitely seems to be their plan and they have put their money where their mouth is to make it happen.

Also true that running QB do not seem to dump it off to RB as much as less mobile ones, so plan or not it just might not happen as much with Allen as it might with some other QBs.

For the most part I think targets are earned. Cook could be good enough as a slot receiver to earn targets vacated by Beasley and that is a lot of opportunity.

 

Biabreakable

Footballguy
Spiller’s fall from grace, based solely on off-season, hurt his draft capital. He was hurt. He’s still young. He also can catch. His ceiling is bellcow. His floor is Gus Edwards. Cooks ceiling isn’t as high and his floor is lower. 

This WR class seems strong but heavily influenced by state of the NFL salaries. Not all WRs are Chase, Jefferson, Metcalf, Lamb. All those guys went to good offenses/qbs with plenty of weapons. 
 

Pass catching sometimes takes awhile, wr or rb. Running often comes quick. I look for Chargers to give Spiller 1b right away. He landed in SD. They were lucky. They need to keep Ekler healthy for their playoff run. 
 

Cook could be a great pass catching back. But could he be a bellcow? 
Its unlikely Cook ever becomes a bellcow in the traditional sense that I think most of us think of for that term. 300+ touches.

The way the NFL is trending a bellcow player is very uncommon now.

That said a reception is about twice as valuable as a rushing attempt, so if Cook has a lot of receptions he wont need to be a bellcow to be a useful starter in fantasy football.

 

Aznflyer14

Footballguy
Bell-cow RB is going extinct now and many more teams are now employing RBBC.  This necessitates to keep their RBs fresh throughout rigorous 17-games regular season and playoffs.   

With James Cook, Bills are asking their stud QB to run less and take advantage of his offensive playmakers.  At best-case scenario, Cook could produce somewhat similar to Alvin Kamara.  

 

travdogg

Footballguy
Spiller’s fall from grace, based solely on off-season, hurt his draft capital. He was hurt. He’s still young. He also can catch. His ceiling is bellcow. His floor is Gus Edwards. Cooks ceiling isn’t as high and his floor is lower. 

This WR class seems strong but heavily influenced by state of the NFL salaries. Not all WRs are Chase, Jefferson, Metcalf, Lamb. All those guys went to good offenses/qbs with plenty of weapons. 
 

Pass catching sometimes takes awhile, wr or rb. Running often comes quick. I look for Chargers to give Spiller 1b right away. He landed in SD. They were lucky. They need to keep Ekler healthy for their playoff run. 
 

Cook could be a great pass catching back. But could he be a bellcow? 
I think I disagree with this all around. 

Firstly, Cook was a second round pick, going to a team with very little ahead of him, and that very little is likely gone after 2022. Spiller is a 4th rounder, who is going to a team with one of the best players at the position ahead of him.

I think Spiller's talent has been thoroughly throughout the process. I would call Gus Edwards a lot closer to his ceiling than floor. His floor, is basically being Joseph Kelley part 2.

In Cook's case, I'm not a huge fan of his, but his opportunity is golden. He's at least a full round above Spiller for me in rookie drafts.

 

GroveDiesel

Footballguy
This maybe belongs more in the Singletary thread, but I thought was interesting enough to post here, especially since this stat could affect Cook in some way. It’s definitely a stat that surprised me a bit.

Devin Singletary tied for the 5th most explosive running plays (runs of 15+ yards) in the league last year. That was behind an O-line that wasn’t great in general and was pretty bad at run blocking.

I’m not entirely sure how that possibly affects Cook, but it was certainly a stat I did not expect.

Of course the possibly crazier stat is that he wasn’t even the highest Bill on that list. Josh Allen was 4th.

 

Ilov80s

Footballguy
The BIlls may be pass happy but not really to the RB.  Singletary had 50 targets last year (compare to Ekeler at close to 100).  Also, the Bills do have slot WR's in Crowder and the rookie they just drafted.  

Josh Allen usually just pulls down and runs when in trouble and doesn't just dump off to a RB like most other target hog RB's get.  I am not saying Cook won't do ok but being pass happy and RB pass happy are two different things.  
It's hard to say whether that is a offensive philosophy thing, a QB tendency thing or a personnel thing. I don't think I would pass the ball to Moss or Singletary much either. Both lack any explosiveness, Singletary is so short too- not much of a target. Are they creating separation on routes? If you look at the advanced stats, Singletary was running the 6th most routes last year but was 31st in target share and 30th in yards per catch. So he got a lot of opportunities to get the ball but he wasn't commanding targets and wasn't effective when he did. 

Also, Cook is a good enough receiving weapon that he could see slot usage. 

 

titusbramble

Footballguy
Bell-cow RB is going extinct now and many more teams are now employing RBBC.  This necessitates to keep their RBs fresh throughout rigorous 17-games regular season and playoffs.


I'm kind of thinking the opposite way - there's enough GMs and coaches out there who are clued in to a "RBs are replaceable" mantra that could quite easily draft someone with the intention of giving them 1k+ attempts over a four year rookie deal, injuries permitting, then just letting them go as the tank runs out. That, or sign a veteran free agent who may not cost the earth but still has a year left of juice in them.

Sure, if you get a generational talent like a Barry Sanders, or someone who will be getting a lot of receptions like an LT2, Westbrook, Faulk, and more recently the likes of Ekeler or Kamara, then I think you get RBBCs, or at least have someone spell the elite guy, by design. Cook probably falls into this category but I don't really know how good he will be. But I think there will be enough spots where a team is confident that they have someone who's maybe a bit more than JAG, but they don't necessarily want to commit to a second contract to, who they're fine to run into the ground. Let's see what the Raiders do with Jacobs this season, and maybe the Seahawks with Walker

 

Bracie Smathers

Footballguy
High praise comp to his Pro-Bowl RB bro Dalvin Cook.

PFF will watch Bills' backfield at 2022 training camp

...The Bills’ backfield could prove to be an intriguing matchup. There are three different candidates there in Devin Singletary, Zack Moss and rookie second-round pick James Cook that all bring different skill sets to the table.

How could it all unfold? PFF gave a preview: 

...the team clearly felt that Cook brought something to the table that the teams wasn’t getting from Singletary or Moss. Bills general manager Brandon Beane talked about Cooks’ run-after-the-catch skills, and Dalvin’s younger brother bears more than a passing resemblance to his Pro-Bowl brother. That resemblance gives Cook a chance to be better than his second-round pick status and take command of a greater portion of the available workload than was originally intended.

A prediction of Cook standing out in Buffalo’s running back is a bold one, but it’s not out of the question.

 

Obie Wan

Footballguy
This maybe belongs more in the Singletary thread, but I thought was interesting enough to post here, especially since this stat could affect Cook in some way. It’s definitely a stat that surprised me a bit.

Devin Singletary tied for the 5th most explosive running plays (runs of 15+ yards) in the league last year. That was behind an O-line that wasn’t great in general and was pretty bad at run blocking.

I’m not entirely sure how that possibly affects Cook, but it was certainly a stat I did not expect.

Of course the possibly crazier stat is that he wasn’t even the highest Bill on that list. Josh Allen was 4th.
seems FBG has no idea about the Bills backfield

1. in their own words they state Singletary was RB 1 last part of year

2. convince Bills will have Allen run less, meaning RBs will run more

3. McDermott hates giving rookies too much, too early

4. thus Singletary role not likely to decease from RB-1, at least for 1st half of season

5. FBG states Singletary not much of receiving threat, yet put in his own category of receiving backs with upside

for one of the best offenses in the leagues, you'd think the coverage would be a little deeper than reading Joe Buscaglia's Singletary hit pieces 

https://www.footballguys.com/article/2022-offseason-rb-tiers

RECEIVING BACKS WITH STANDALONE UPSIDE

Tony Pollard, DAL

Devin Singletary, BUF

James Cook, BUF

TARGET AT ADP: The entire tier

This group offers PPR flex play value with the ability to be a lot more. They should be on your bench running back target list and could end up making your draft.

Singletary was a fantasy RB1 down the stretch and he can do it again if he’s given the opportunity. The team took James Cook in the second round, which indicates that Singletary will be back in a committee, but Cook has to stay healthy and make good on his promise, which isn’t a given. He’ll have matchup flex value in any event.

Cook was drafted as a receiving back first and foremost, but he has the juice to carve out a role in the running game and this offense is likely to make his fresh legs look even better against overmatched defenses. It’s possible that he leads this backfield in touches and establishes himself as an every-week fantasy RB2.

 

OldMilwaukee

IBL Representative
seems FBG has no idea about the Bills backfield

1. in their own words they state Singletary was RB 1 last part of year

2. convince Bills will have Allen run less, meaning RBs will run more

3. McDermott hates giving rookies too much, too early

4. thus Singletary role not likely to decease from RB-1, at least for 1st half of season

5. FBG states Singletary not much of receiving threat, yet put in his own category of receiving backs with upside
1.   He was...

2.   Team want's this.   Can new OC Dorsey control him?   IMO Allen will be Allen,  when he wants,  to especially on 3rd downs.

3.   Very, very true with McDermott/ Daboll.  With Dorsey?

4.   Yep.....I believe McDermott to be very loyal to his players and will give Singletary every shot (all season long!) to earn a nice contract next year from whomever.

5.   Unless Cook is supper impressive in camp.  He will be limited to around 4-6 touches a game.  

 IMO Singletary is a great value in redraft (getting everywhere I can) and Cook is overvalued.    Cook is valued right in Dynasty(I am buying) but don't think he will have a path into anyones fantasy starting lineup this year. 

This is were the dynasty hype bleeds into redraft.

 

TheDirtyWord

Footballguy
The problem I see here is that the Bills had 326 (17 games) non-QB rushing attempts last year which is miniscule. 303 (16 games) the year before.  Singletary is not going to be 'the guy' in that backfield even if he's the preferred option.

I don't see them moving away from putting most of the offense on Allen's plate even with the OC change.

 

Alex P Keaton

Footballguy
The problem I see here is that the Bills had 326 (17 games) non-QB rushing attempts last year which is miniscule. 303 (16 games) the year before.  Singletary is not going to be 'the guy' in that backfield even if he's the preferred option.

I don't see them moving away from putting most of the offense on Allen's plate even with the OC change.
Agreed.  And Singletary won’t get a ton of garbage time carries in the regular season, because the team will simply rest him in the 4th quarter during blowout wins.

 

barackdhouse

Footballguy
I find myself taking him every time I am looking at RB in the 10th round and thinking which Bills RB do I want. I need to diversify with some Singletary but I can't bring myself to do it.

 

smbkrypt24

Footballguy
I find myself taking him every time I am looking at RB in the 10th round and thinking which Bills RB do I want. I need to diversify with some Singletary but I can't bring myself to do it.
Which other RBs are there for you when you are making that selection.

I have pick 10 and think J. Cook will probably make it there. I have also been thinking about trading 1.10 for an RB like Jacobs, Elliott, Mitchell, etc.  So essentially are you passing on RBs similarly listed or are these players all gone by then?

 

Ilov80s

Footballguy
Which other RBs are there for you when you are making that selection.

I have pick 10 and think J. Cook will probably make it there. I have also been thinking about trading 1.10 for an RB like Jacobs, Elliott, Mitchell, etc.  So essentially are you passing on RBs similarly listed or are these players all gone by then?
I get the impression he was taking redraft/bestball. 

 

TS Garp

Footballguy
Cook is an ideal best ball pick.  Had the highest explosive run rate of his draft class, has real draft capital, and remember that the Bills were last in the NFL in YAC last year.  They clearly want more explosive plays & the fact that they tried to sign McKissic, got Duke Johnson and then invested a very high pick (for a RB in 2022) in Cook says a lot.  He will have a real role. However, I don't think that means that Singletary is a poor pick. I think they can both succeed. I do think the Bills want Allen to have to play less hero ball so they may be a bit more balanced in the post-Daboll era.  And I don't think you'll see Cook, who is less than 200 lbs, getting goal-line carries. I don't imagine Singletary getting 40 catches again but is it possible that Singletary scores 10 TD's and Cook has 1,000 combined yds and 6 td's? I think so...

 

Faust

MVP
The Athletic's Joe Buscaglia expects James Cook to operate as the Bills' third-down back and to see snaps at receiver. 

"Cook will likely mix in on obvious passing situations and when the Bills feel comfortable enough to use two-running-back sets and split him out wide," Buscaglia reported. "They’ll also aim to keep Devin Singletary fresher by giving Cook early-down snaps throughout the game." Despite those forecasted breather touches, Buscaglia expects Singletary to remain the clear early-down leader. Buscaglia's words jibe with those of GM Brandon Beane in May, who dubbed Cook a "sub" pass-catching back. That is his profile coming out of the SEC. Cook is worthy of a back-half pick in PPR leagues. 
 

SOURCE: The Athletic

Jun 30, 2022, 11:53 PM ET

 

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