How To Treat James Cook as Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Target

How To Treat James Cook as Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Target article feature image

Photo by Jason Hanna/Getty Images. Pictured: James Cook.

After a quiet Thanksgiving game, James Cook rebounded against the Patriots and rushed 14 times for 64 yards and added six receptions for 41 yards. While he was outsnapped by Devin Singletary, it is Cook’s second quality performance in three games – the rookie rushed for 86 yards against Cleveland on Nov. 20.

Given how late into the fantasy season we are, there aren't many high-upside adds to be found on the waiver wire. Cook is one of them, and the Action Network's fantasy football experts agree that he is someone every manager should be looking to roster now.

Sean Koerner: Cook should be rostered in all formats. The rookie has outperformed Singletary all season, but Week 13 was the first time he led the team in both rush attempts and routes run.

It’s probably too early to view Cook as anything more than a RB3/Flex, but if he continues to out-touch Singletary, he could be a RB2/Flex by the time we reach the fantasy playoffs. He’s also a Singletary injury away from being a clear RB2, so he has a few different paths to become a potential “league winner” down the stretch.

Samantha Previte: Cook had the best game of his short career in the Bills' Thursday night 24-10 win over the Patriots. He rushed 14 times for 64 yards and caught 6-of-6 targets for 41 yards, while Singletary saw 13 carries for 51 yards and a touchdown.

Singletary slightly edged Cook in snaps by a count of 33 to 32, which is a huge leap from their Week 12 split of 60 to 14 in favor of the veteran. Cook was a second-round pick in this year's draft from Georgia, with whom he won the CFP National Championship in 2021.

The Buffalo backfield could be turning into a 1A/1B situation and Cook's pass-catching abilities give him standalone value. He should be a RB3/flex next week against the Jets.

Mike Triplett: There is some sleeping-giant potential here after the rookie second-round pick played a much bigger role on Thursday. Cook could be worth the rest of your FAAB budget since time is running short to buy lottery tickets.

Cook is no sure thing, considering how small his role has been for much of the season, but the talent is there both as a runner and a pass-catcher — and now the opportunity could potentially match it.

Cook played a season-high 32 snaps (just one fewer than Singletary), with his involvement starting early in the game. He also finished with seven more touches (20 to 13, including six receptions).

Bills reporters, like The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia, speculated Cook's usage could be the beginning of a philosophical shift for Buffalo’s offense after reading into head coach Sean McDermott’s comments. Even if Cook only becomes the “1B” in a Cowboys or Packers type of timeshare, he could be worth playing every week in such a dynamic offense.

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