Being a Buffalo Bills fan means you already have certain trigger words that cause severe mental anguish. Even the slightest mention of the words “wide right” is enough to make a Bills fan crash into the nearest folding table. If that wasn’t enough, after the 2022 playoffs you might as well add “13 seconds” and “squib kick” to the list of no-no, naughty words for Buffalonians. Then, of course, the Cincinnati Bengals had to go and rub it in during the AFC Championship Game against the Chiefs.
Hey Bills fans. In case you were wondering that was :04 seconds that went off the clock right there on that squib kick.
— Ambrose (@fudwvu) January 30, 2022
The Bills’ exit from the playoffs was equal parts exciting and heartbreaking. But their late-season offensive surge that continued into the playoffs taught us some valuable lessons as we ponder the 2022 fantasy football season. Who are we buying and selling on the Bills for next season? Why not start with a guy who had a performance never before seen in a playoff game.
Buy: Gabriel Davis
Only one player in the history of the NFL can now claim to have at least 200 receiving yards and four touchdowns in one playoff game: Gabe Davis. Hell, only four other players in history can claim to have at least 200 yards and two touchdowns in a postseason game. And in a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately league, the lasting taste in fantasy managers’ mouths is going to be an absolute smash performance by Davis on the biggest stage possible.
What does that mean for his ADP in 2022? An early consensus of Davis’ ADP slots him at WR46 in half-PPR formats. That’s later than Kadarius Toney, Courtland Sutton, and Devante Parker. Give me Davis over that whole group. Underdog’s pre-draft Best Ball contests see him going pick number 75 on average. Considering the nature of the offense we saw, I am all in at those prices.
In 2021, we saw Buffalo call a passing play almost 60% of their plays. Unfortunately, there was a time through the first nine weeks of the season that six targets per game in that offense were going to the corpse of Emmanuel Sanders. By the last four games of Davis’s season, however, he drew eight targets per game, leaving Sanders in his dust. That continued in the playoffs, leading to the historic divisional round performance.
The biggest benefit coming Davis’ way next season is that Sanders is a free agent and won’t be around next year. The Bills may have also found a workhorse back in Devin Singletary, but only six teams threw to running backs fewer times than the Bills. The aerial weapons next year should be almost fully concentrated on Davis and Stefon Diggs next year. In an offense that averaged the seventh-most passing yards per game in 2o21, I am buying in at Sanders’ current prices.
Sell: Dawson Knox
What was it that ole’ Newton said? For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction? In that scenario, Davis’ gains are Dawson Knox’s loss, and the writing has been on the wall even before the playoffs.
First, the Bills ranked 29th in total tight end targets with just 83 all season. Knox saw more than five targets just four times in 2021 and ended the year with a lousy 9% target share. I’ll grant you that he was the only tight end with any receiving ability, so he got all the TE work, but in the end, it was a minuscule piece of the pie.
The reason why everyone was all hot and bothered this year for Knox is that he led the position in red-zone targets with 22. Those high-leverage looks led to eight touchdowns, which trailed only Mark Andrews and Hunter Henry in that area. Are those 22 targets sticky? I guess we will find out, but he managed 14 red-zone targets combined in 2019-2020 with just four scores.
Knox is currently TE10 in early ADP, which means you are choosing to pass up Mike Gesicki, Noah Fant, Dalton Schultz, Logan Thomas, and Zach Ertz. With the emergence of Gabriel Davis and a legit option in the running game, I’m passing on Knox at that price.
I may be falling down the recency bias hole, but just two catches for nine yards in the most important game of the season doesn’t inspire me to grab Knox at his cost right now.