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FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS

Bills play volume drives James Cook surge in touches

By Jared Smola | Updated on Mon, 27 Nov 2023, 1:40 PM EST
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Bills RB James Cook logged a season-high 22 touches in Sunday's loss to the Eagles: 16 carries and a season-high 6 receptions. It marked the third time this season he has reached 20 touches and the second such game in a row. So does that mean his role is growing? No. Cook's carry and opportunity shares have not increased the past two weeks, following the team's OC switch. In fact, Cook's 51.6% share of RB carries against Philly was his second-smallest of the season. His 53.5% opportunity share (carries + targets) was his fourth-lowest. Cook benefited in each case from high team play volume. The Bills ran a season-high 92 plays at Philadelphia and 76 in the Week 11 win over the Jets, their third-most plays of the year. Buffalo RBs, though, have also seen a boost in target share over the past two games. A 21.9% share against the Jets was the highest since the season opener -- until Sunday's 23.5% share. If that continues, Cook's fantasy numbers would certainly benefit. He has caught four passes in two straight games after reaching that number just twice through the first 10 weeks. Buffalo now heads into a Week 13 bye. Then come matchups with the Chiefs and Cowboys that should support RB targets, because each ranks among the league's toughest WR defenses. Then comes Cook's best remaining matchup (Chargers) and a Week 17 rematch with New England. The Patriots afforded him 102 total yards and a TD at 6.4 yards per touch in their first meeting. Cook should be a solid PPR contributor the rest of the way. He won't be a lock for strong touch counts, though. Latavius Murray actually played 1 more snap vs. Philly, ran six more routes, and trailed Cook by just 1 target. Ty Johnson has also worked in for 6 touches each of the past two weeks. Leonard Fournette, meanwhile, has yet to be called up from the practice squad a month after signing.

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Jared Smola, Lead Analyst
Jared has been with Draft Sharks since 2007. He’s now Lead Analyst, heading up the preseason and weekly projections that fuel your Draft War Room and My Team tools. He currently ranks 1st among 133 analysts in draft rankings accuracy.
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