Devin Singletary may end up being a story of what could have been in 2020. The rumors had been going around for much of the offseason that Buffalo would be seeking another back to compliment Singletary, but I didn’t want to believe it so I pushed my chips in during an April bestball. And by pushing my chips in, I mean, I really pushed my chips in. The type of bestball draft that we were doing was a slow auction, where every player on the board has a clock of 12 hours that gets reset to 10 hours every time that there is a new bid. It goes a lot faster than you think, there is is usually 36 players on the board at a time that you can bid on.
So we started this draft the day before the NFL draft started to make it really interesting. Dumb? Yes. Fun? Yes. Anyways, it’s Friday evening and I’m enjoying some quarantine cocktails while watching the 2nd and 3rd rounds of the draft. Our budget was $260 and he was going for $35 which I thought was too cheap for a player that I liked and his clock was at 30 minutes before an opponent won the bid. It was late in the 2nd round portion of the actual NFL draft and the big running back names were off of the board so I told myself I would go up to $40. I go up to $40 and I’m still not winning the bid. Whisky tells me I can do $41, no big deal. It’s just a dollar right? 41? Nope. 42, 43, 44, and I’m still not winning this bid. I debate on just letting the opponent who is winning the bid take him but the whisky had too much pride on the line so I put in a bid for $45. BOOM! The name flips, and I have the inside track to Devin Singletary unless anyone outbids me over the next 10 hours which I doubt. I’m paying a premium for a player that I really like, so it’s worth it to me. About 15 minutes after I flip the name in my favor, Buffalo takes a baseball bat to the crackling knees of this bestball team I’m building and they draft Zack Moss.
That pick put the already inflated price that I paid for Singletary into a free fall when it comes to value. And I’m still devastated about it to this day even though it’s only a $20 league. There are a couple lessons that I could learn from this experience, but I assure you that I will learn nothing. Next year, I’ll still be drafting in April. What can ya do?
Devin Singletary only played 12 games last season and built up a reputation as being an explosive play back. And the 5.1 ypc that he averaged last season told a similar story. But, even when you break it down on a per game basis, Singletary only averaged 12.3 PPR points per game which ranked #26 among running backs. A huge deterrent for Singletary was that he wasn’t that active in the red zone. He ranked 42nd among running backs in red zone touches. Which is weird because in 2017 Singletary led the entire FBS with 32 touchdowns. But, in his rookie year he was only able to score four times, only two of those being on the ground. Frank Gore wasn’t great running the ball in the red zone either, but Josh Allen was. Josh Allen plays a similar role to Cam Newton as a red zone QB so that is going to hurt fantasy production for any Bills running back.
Sean McDermott has some excitement for Zack Moss which also doesn’t bode well for Singletary. It’s hard to see Singletary getting too much of an increase in work load. Singletary did rank 8th among running backs in breakaway runs in 2019 but that’s not a lot to hang your hat on even for a team that ranked 6th in run plays per game. I don’t want to spend a 5th round pick on Singletary when Chris Carson, James Conner, and Mark Ingram are being drafted right around them. Carson and Conner have bell cow possibilities in 2020 and Mark Ingram will be very useful in the red zone as long as the Ravens can maintain the production that they had last year. When it comes to Singletary, I like the talent and the player but I don’t think it will translate to a fantasy season that is worth the price of admission.
It does not help that Singletary only averaged 4.3 targets per game last year (and only averaged less then seven yards per catch). I didn’t realize that Zach Moss had two college seasons with at least 28 catches and last year averaged at least 13.9 yards per catch. I don’t see how we can expect any uptick in target volume for him this year. His current ADP of 21st RB off the board (bestball) comes with no value, you are paying for what essentially is his ceiling.