Buffalo Bills 2022 Fantasy Football Rookie Roundup

The Buffalo Bills didn’t have a whole lot to fix on their offense. They were the league’s most prolific scoring team last season and still mustered 36 points in the playoff game that bounced them from competition in 2022. So, the idea of them taking a “luxury pick” running back in the first round never passed the smell test. Mostly because they scored 36 points in a playoff game and lost. They alternated defense and offensive depth before taking The Punt God in round six. With two new fantasy football-eligible players in tow, the Bills try to make a push for the 2023 Super Bowl. what can we expect from James Cook and Khalil Shakir in 2022 fantasy football leagues?

Rd. Pick Player Pos. College
1 23 Kaiir Elam CB Florida
2 63 James Cook RB Georgia
3 89 Terrel Bernard LB Baylor
5 148 Khalil Shakir WR Boise St.
6 180 Matt Araiza P San Diego St.
6 185 Christian Benford DB Villanova
6 209 Luke Tenuta OL Virginia Tech
7 231 Baylon Spector LB Clemson
Round 2, Pick 63 Overall: James Cook, Running Back, Georgia (5’11” 199 lbs)
Depth Chart:
RB1:       Devin Singletary
RB2:       James Cook
RB3:       Duke Johnson, Jr.
RB4:       Zack Moss

James Cook wasn’t tasked with doing a lot at Georgia (140 touches in 15 games his senior season) and he wasn’t exceptional, but he wasn’t exceptionally bad. The best way I can describe James Cook is “underwhelming competence.” He can catch the ball pretty well, he’s good in pass protection, and he is just okay at running the football. He had a long run against Alabama that had a nice cut back in it, but he was tracked down by DB Jordan Battle who had to run at a near 30-degree angle to get him (meaning Battle ran him down while taking a longer path to get there). It doesn’t bode well for his long speed. In the end, he reminds me of Myles Gaskin or a smaller Jamaal Williams. Not great at any one thing but fast enough, shifty enough, elusive enough, and tough enough to stick around the league for a while. He likely peaks as a passing downs specialist who somehow gets 85 targets one year.


The James Cook Role in the Buffalo Bills offense will be one that will result in a lot of wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth this offseason. On one hand, he won’t get a lot of touches behind Devin Singletary and Josh Allen. On the other hand, the Bills really wanted to get a pass-catching back. They spent a second on Cook (who was the third running back off the board) after getting spurned by J.D. McKissic in free agency, and even have a fallback option to that role with Duke Johnson, Jr. on the roster.

But even in college, he was merely a part-time back. He fell behind D’Andre Swift and Zamir White, and never had a chance to prove himself with any sort of workload. He peaked at 7.5 rush attempts and just under 2 receptions per game his senior year. And, granted, he was good with those touches, but he’s so unproven, and the Bills just went full bore with him as their second-rounder to play in a limited role. And by limited, I mean that if he gets 13 carries or 16 touches in a game, both would surpass his single-game records in college.


Luckily, with all that uncertainty comes a diminished ADP. Cook is currently pick 110 on Underdog, meaning he’s a double-digit round pick. At that point, there aren’t any wrong picks, but I still don’t feel great about Cook at that ADP. Especially when you can just get McKissic 80 picks later. We don’t really have a feel for James Cook, and drafting him is purely vibes, and no numbers. I can’t get down with a vibes-based approach to fantasy football, so I am going to be fading Cook at his ADP.

Round 5, Pick 148 Overall: Khalil Shakir, Wide Receiver, Boise State (6’0” 196 lbs)
Depth Chart:
WR1:     Stefon Diggs
WR2:     Gabriel Davis
WR3:     Jamison Crowder
WR4:     Isaiah McKenzie
WR5:     Khalil Shakir

Like a lot of receivers going in the 2022 NFL Draft, Shakir is a versatile, athletic receiver who handled handoffs as well as targets in college. He’s good, if a bit unpolished as a prospect and a tad unimpressive when you see him in warmups. Still, he’s explosive with the ball in his hands, even if he lacks a top gear. Shakir is aggressive and instinctual as a receiver, but his physical limitations. His arm length and overall size make it easier for opposing defensive backs to stymie his attempts at the football, which lead to some focus drops at times, as he braces for contact before it comes.


There have been quite a few takes on the old take machine (twitter dot com) about how this is a death knell for Gabriel Davis’ value. This mostly comes from the same accounts that say that Josh Allen sneezing funny is a death knell for Gabriel Davis’ value, though. While it could sap some touches from Davis, Shakir is there to eventually take over as the lead slot receiver to replace Cole Beasley, who the Bills released this offseason. Unfortunately, the Bills also signed Jamison Crowder to play that spot, relegating Shakir to a backup role his rookie year.

But, should there be an issue ahead of him on the depth chart, whether it be a surprise cut or an injury, he could end up with some appeal. Cole Beasley had seven targets per game as the Bills’ slot receiver, and Shakir could be in line to soak up those targets should something happen to Jamison Crowder and Isaiah McKenzie.


There have been quite a few takes on the old take machine (twitter dot com) about how this is a death knell for Gabriel Davis’ value. This mostly comes from the same accounts that say that Josh Allen sneezing funny is a death knell for Gabriel Davis’ value, though. While it could be an issue for the fantasy upside of Jamison Crowder and/or Isaiah McKenzie, I doubt he gets enough work to matter his rookie year, and he falls in the 98% of day three wide receivers who don’t matter in year one.

Do you want a Five Goodell grade? Then check out these links!


quarterback Beersheets Arizona Cardinals Seattle Seahawks Los Angeles Rams San Francisco 49ers New England Patriots

About Jeff Krisko

You can follow me on twitter, @jeffkrisko for the same lukewarm takes you read here.

View all posts by Jeff Krisko →

Leave a Reply