Devin Singletary impressed in his first season with the Buffalo Bills. After a poor draft combine where he ran a 4.66 40-yard dash and struggled in passing drills, Singletary fell on many expert’s draft boards. The running back was eventually drafted in the third as a complement to Frank Gore. However, Singletary proved the doubters wrong, becoming the Bills go-to running back in at the end of the season. His 5’7’’ frame was useful, as it allowed him to hide behind the offensive line and then make devastating cuts to the outside for huge gains. While his season was impressive, his fantasy value was limited in 2019 primarily due to the Bills preferring Frank Gore in goal-line situations. Sadly, Singletary won’t have that role in 2020. While the Bills opted to let Gore test free agency, they drafted his replacement in Zach Moss. This acquisition will limit Singletary’s usage in the red zone, crippling his fantasy value in 2020.
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Devin Singletary had a great season as the RB2 for the Bills. The rookie running back rushed for 775 yards and two rushing touchdowns while catching 29 passes for 194 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Fantasy-wise, Singletary generated 137 points for 8.56 points per game. While lauded as slow during the combine, his quick burst of acceleration and lateral agility shined when he broke into space. When the Bills offense struggled, Singletary was often the answer for Sean McDermott.
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Devin Singletary will only improve as his career progresses. However, a layer of uncertainty surrounding the Bills running back depth chart makes me hesitant about his fantasy impact. The Bills drafted 5’9 223 pound running back Zach Moss to fill Frank Gore’s void. Even though Singletary is slated as the number one running back, nobody knows how good Moss will be. If he excels in training camp and the preseason, he could surpass Singletary on the depth chart. Also, GM Brandon Beane has already stated that “I think more of the goal line and things like that as we did with Frank last year, you’ll see Zack do. I think Devin will do a similar role that he had.”
Lineups agrees projecting the receiver to finish with 678 rushing yards for two rushing touchdowns. On the receiving end, Lineups projects Singletary to generate 34 receptions for 285 receiving yards and one touchdown as the receiver showed an ability to produce on shorter routes. For fantasy owners, Singletary is expected to generate 167 fantasy points for an average of 10.44 points per game.
Zack Moss is my dude. Will replace Frank Gore in the Bills' offense and figures to seriously hinder Devin Singletary's upside in fantasy. Very nice RB duo for the Bills.
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) April 25, 2020
ADP: 37.9 RB: 24
Auction Value: $13
Fantasy owners and sports fans are high on the Buffalo Bills in 2020. With a stout defense, the acquisition of wide receiver Stefon Diggs, Josh Allen’s progression, and the Patriots anticipated decline, many expect the BIlls to not only make the playoffs but potentially make a run at the Superbowl. However, I don’t think the Bills’ success will translate to increased production for Singletary. The Bills will throw the ball more with the Stefon Diggs signing, and while I believe Sean McDermott will find ways to incorporate Singletary into the passing game, the acquisition of Zach Moss for goal-line situations sours me on Singletary.
I wouldn’t mind fantasy owners drafting him at 37.9 especially if other backs like Melvin Gordon, Leonard Fournette, and Chris Carson are still on the board. I think Singletary is in a better situation to produce than any of these three options, all of which have higher ADP’s than Singletary. However, I would prefer to draft guys like James Conner and Miles Sanders in the third round, if possible.
I have a high floor for Singletary primarily because the Bills are a run-first team. I do not imagine them changing this philosophy between now and the end of the 2020 season. This philosophy will provide Singletary opportunities to make an impact. Also, he averaged 5 yards per carry in 12 games. His youth makes him a fresh running back that shouldn’t slow down at the end of the season.
Singletary has a very high ceiling. The third-round running back surprised many with his numbers and usage given a poor combine. Also, rookie Zach Moss could struggle in 2020 giving Singletary more opportunities to produce. Lastly, the offensive line is excellent at protecting the run, which should open outside lanes where he was deadly in 2019. In his second season, I could easily see him exceed his 2019 yardage. Zach Moss just can’t get in the way.
As mentioned, the Bills have a balanced offense. They have a number one receiver in Stefon Diggs to complement slot receiver Cole Beasly and deep threat John Brown. The offensive line looks strong on paper and Josh Allen will continue to improve. With a run-first offensive philosophy, the Bills running backs will get opportunities to produce at a consistent level. The offensive outside of Zach Moss will not hinder Singletary’s success. Again, the major threat for Singletary is Moss and his ability to take away valuable red zone and touchdown opportunities for Singletary.
Strength of Schedule
What may hurt Singletary is the Bills Strength of Schedule. The Bills not only their division foes the Jets and Patriots, both of which have astounding run defenses, but also match up against some of the league’s better defenses. This list includes the Titans, 49ers, Steelers, Broncos, Chargers, and teams like the Chiefs and Rams who have strong run defenses but poor secondaries. I see eleven games against tough front sevens, which could impact the Bills from establishing the run. If they can’t establish the running game, the offense will lean on Josh Allen and the passing game, limiting Singletary’s impact.
Overall, I think Singletary will continue to shine in 2020. As a sophomore, I think his patience and balance will only improve. However, his situation is not ideal. RB Zach Moss is expected to play in short-yardage and goal-line situations, limiting Singletary’s touchdowns and fantasy value in non-PPR leagues. I recommend non-PPR owners to stay away from Singletary entirely. For PPR, I think his production in the passing game could improve to justify his ADP. IF he’s your #3 running back, you are getting great value for a back that could cusp 1000 yards.