The 2022 NFL Season is nearly upon us. As part of the run up to the season, we’re preview all the teams, culminating with our picks for who makes the playoffs and who wins the awards this season. Check back each day through September 5. Let’s get ready for some football!
The Buffalo Bills won their second straight AFC East title in 2021, but that wasn’t the team’s aim. The Bills want to get back to the Super Bowl—a place they haven’t been since the Jim Kelly era. The team was agonizingly close, losing a coin toss and the game to the Chiefs in overtime in the Divisional Round. In 2022, the Bills again are on a quest that looms larger than a successful regular season.
As so often happens when a team is successful, the Bills saw one of their key coaches—Offensive Coordinator Brian Daboll—leave. Daboll is coaching the Giants, leaving Quarterback Coach Ken Dorsey to handle the offense and the play calling. And he’ll be doing it with a slightly different receiving corps, as veterans Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders are still in the free agent market and no longer on the Bills’ roster.
The Bills worked on boosting the offense. The team added veteran quarterback Case Keenum as a backup for Josh Allen through a trade with the Browns and signed a host of offensive linemen, including former Titan guards Roger Saffold and David Quessenberry, which should boost the middle of the line. The team added tight end O.J. Howard as a compliment to Dawson Knox and signed veteran receiver Jamison Crowder, most recently of the Jets. In the draft, the Bills added receiver Khalil Shakir and spent a Second-Round pick on running back James Cook out of Georgia. Cook was a solid rusher and receiver at Georgia and figures to add to the mix that includes Devin Singletary, Zack Moss and Duke Johnson.
Defensively, the Bills spent their First-Round pick on cornerback Kaiir Elam and spent a Fifth-Round pick on punter Matt Araiza. The Bills added a few other pieces on defense, most notably pass rusher Von Miller. Miller spent most of his career in Denver and was the MVP of Super Bowl 50. He was traded to the Rams mid-season in 2021 and finished last season as a force on their Super Bowl winning defense.
Josh Allen finished as QB1 in fantasy in 2021. He’s a force throwing and rushing the ball, and that doesn’t figure to change. He’s a QB1 and a decent bet to finish as the QB1. The backfield is murkier. Singletary figures to be the lead back and flashed well to end the season. He finished as RB18 in 2021. He has RB2 potential again. I like Cook in dynasty formats but his role in 2022 is unclear. He was the third back in—after Singletary and Moss—in pre-season. Moss and Johnson are little more than dart throws or handcuffs to me. Moss seemed to fall out of the rotation at times in 2021 and with Cook in town and Singletary leading the backfield, he doesn’t have a reliable role.
In the passing game, it starts with Stefon Diggs. He was WR7 in 2021 and should easily be a WR1 again in 2022 thanks to the solid Bills’ passing game. Behind him, Crowder and Isaiah McKenzie will fill the slot role, while third-year receiver Gabe Davis gets a shot at a bigger role as WR2. Davis has been a fantasy darling this off-season, but just how big will his role be? He’s going as WR30 in drafts, which feels like decent enough value for a player that could be on the verge of a break out. At tight end, Knox finished as TE11 in 2021. I think he’s a low-end TE1, while Howard is just a nice change-of-pace option.
I loved the Bills heading into last year. I thought they were Super Bowl contenders and despite the end to their season, my belief in this roster and this team is undiminished. They will win the AFC East, earn a top seed and, finally, make it back to the Super Bowl in 2022. And I think they can win it all!
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.