2022 Buffalo Bills Preview: Roster Moves, Depth Chart, Schedule, Storylines and More

2022 Buffalo Bills Preview: Roster Moves, Depth Chart, Schedule, Storylines and More

This article is part of our Team Previews series.

Buffalo Bills

Coaching stability, a dynamic offense and one of most talented defenses in the NFL make the Bills the team to beat in the AFC. The Josh Allen to Stefon Diggs connection continues to thrive, and the defensive corps was bolstered by the signing of pass rusher Von Miller and drafting of cornerback Kaiir Elam.

2022 Offseason Moves – Buffalo Bills

Key Acquisitions

When healthy, he can be a reliable pass catcher out of the slot.

Still just 27, he's hoping to record production matching his athleticism.

Dalvin's younger brother is the lighter, faster Cook running back.

An underrated slot receiver who could produce early on in Buffalo.

Gives the team an experienced backup behind Josh Allen.

Key Departures

The 33-year-old departs the team after back-to-back 82-catch seasons.

After a one-year stop in Buffalo, he could be the starter in Pittsburgh.

The veteran wideout's exit frees up added looks for Gabriel Davis.

Buffalo Bills 2022 Coaching Staff

Head Coach: Sean McDermott (Year 6)

Offensive Coordinator: Ken Dorsey (Year 1) – Spread offense with Erhardt-Perkins terminology

Defensive Coordinator: Leslie Frazier (Year 6) – 4-3 scheme

Stats to Know for the Buffalo Bills 

2022 Vegas Projected Wins: 11.5 (T-1st)

2021 Record: 11-6

2021 Points Scored: 483 (3rd)

2021 Points Allowed: 289 (1st)

2021 Point Differential: +194 (1st)

2021 Run-Play Rate: 40.8 percent (18th)

2021 Offensive Snaps: 1,143 (3rd)

2021 PFF O-Line Ranking: No. 17

Full 2021 Team Stats

2022 Buffalo Bills Depth Chart

QB: Josh Allen / Case Keenum / Matt Barkley

RB: Devin Singletary / James Cook / Zack Moss / Duke Johnson

WR1: Stefon Diggs / Khalil Shakir

WR2: Gabriel Davis / Tavon Austin / Marquez Stevenson

WR3: Jamison Crowder / Isaiah McKenzie

TE: Dawson Knox / O.J. Howard

O-Line: LT Dion Dawkins / LG Rodger Saffold / C Mitch Morse / RG Ryan Bates / RT Spencer Brown  (RotoWire Rank: No. 18)

Kicker: Tyler Bass

Full 2022 Depth Chart

2022 Buffalo Bills Schedule

WeekDateOpponentKickoff (ET)
1Sep 8@ Los Angeles Rams8:20 PM
2Sep 19Tennessee Titans7:15 PM
3Sep 25@ Miami Dolphins1:00 PM
4Oct 2@ Baltimore Ravens1:00 PM
5Oct 9Pittsburgh Steelers1:00 PM
6Oct 16@ Kansas City Chiefs4:25 PM
7Bye  
8Oct 30Green Bay Packers8:20 PM
9Nov 6@ New York Jets1:00 PM
10Nov 13Minnesota Vikings1:00 PM
11Nov 20Cleveland Browns1:00 PM
12Nov 24@ Detroit Lions12:30 PM
13Dec 1@ New England Patriots8:15 PM
14Dec 11New York Jets1:00 PM
15TBDMiami DolphinsTBD
16Dec 24@ Chicago Bears1:00 PM
17Jan 2@ Cincinnati Bengals8:30 PM
18TBDNew England PatriotsTBD

Buffalo Bills Storylines for 2022

Targets for Josh Allen

Star signal-caller Josh Allen's supporting cast in the passing game this coming season features some new faces and a couple of returning ones charged with potentially expanded roles. Naturally, Stefon Diggs remains the Bills' top wideout, but opposite him Emmanuel Sanders has moved on, leaving Gabriel Davis poised to ascend the depth chart and earn steadier volume.

In the slot, Cole Beasley effectively has been replaced by free-agent acquisition Jamison Crowder, who is four years younger and has produced solid stats without the benefit of the elite quarterback play that Beasley enjoyed the past couple of seasons.

Beyond the top trio, Isaiah McKenzie is back to reprise his depth role, but the one phenomenal game he had in December (11-125-1) demonstrates his potential to step in capably when handed added reps for any reason. Meanwhile, rookie Khalil Shakir adds valuable depth and versatility to the mix, while offering slot insurance if Crowder misses time.

At tight end, Dawson Knox is joined by an intriguing offseason pickup in O.J. Howard, who has the skill set to thrive in such a high-powered offense. As far as pass catchers out of the backfield, rookie James Cook and veteran Duke Johnson seem destined to vie for change-of-pace duties, a role Cook has the speed and pass-catching ability to seize.

Buffalo's Backfield Breakdown

These days, the Buffalo offense is known as a dynamic aerial attack, but don't sleep on the team's ground game. On that front, the Bills still are led by Devin Singletary – who averaged 4.6 yards per carry last year – with a big addition coming in the draft via the second-round selection of James Cook.

Moreover, this unit also features one more devastating element that most teams can't match. Namely, the opportunistic running ability of quarterback Josh Allen, who set a career high with 763 rushing yards in 2021 to go along with six touchdowns on 122 carries.

Singletary, who finished strong last season, is solid and unspectacular, but he's a vital component of the offense's operation. He'll look to build on career highs of 870 yards on the ground and eight total TDs.

Complementary backfield touches are up for grabs this summer, with Cook's wheels providing a needed element of speed to the mix. Zack Moss also returns, but in his second year as a pro, he lost some of the luster of his rookie campaign and will need to prove himself worthy of increased playing time in 2022, especially given the draft capital invested in Cook.

Rounding out the group is veteran Duke Johnson, who handled a key role for the Dolphins down the stretch of the 2021 campaign and could stick around thanks to his pass-catching aptitude.

Paying the Bills on Defense

With a well-constructed roster and the draft looming, the Bills were able to be very targeted and specific in free agency this spring. The franchise's championship window is open, so the brass wasn't afraid to pay up for key roster improvements needed to augment a strong nucleus.

The most notable free-agent splurge was edge rusher Von Miller, who signed a six-year deal that averages $20 million per season. He'll be looking to add to his 115.5 career sacks, but more importantly the 33-year-old will seek to earn championship ring No. 3 with his third team in the league.

The defensive line saw numerous changes, including the replacement of Harrison Phillips with DaQuan Jones and his 110 career starts at defensive tackle. The Bills also said goodbye to Mario Addison and hello to Tim Settle and Jordan Phillips, while bringing back Shaq Lawson for a second tour of duty with the squad. The new-look line should have the personnel to roll out a strong rotation and keep its key cogs fresh for the long haul.

On the other side of the ball, a hole at left guard was plugged by the signing of Rodger Saffold, and adding skill players like WR Jamison Crowder, TE O.J. Howard and RB Duke Johnson helped fortify a solid core on offense. Collectively, the team's offseason moves put the Bills in a good position to defend the AFC East.

Fantasy Football Stock Watch

⬆️  Rising: WR Gabriel Davis

After recording 35 catches in each of his first two NFL seasons, Davis is being trusted to assume a starting role opposite Stefon Diggs. Davis' huge game in last year's divisional round offered a glimpse of his upside.

⬇️  Falling: RB Zack Moss

The 2020 third-round pick regressed during his second season, dropping from 4.3 yards per carry to just 3.6. Moss now has rookie James Cook and Duke Johnson to compete with for snaps behind Devin Singletary.

😴  Sleeper: WR Jamison Crowder

Given that both Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders are gone, Crowder is being counted on to absorb a share of their 184 vacated targets. If he can avoid injuries, Crowder could yield PPR utility out of the slot.

🌟  Pivotal Player: Josh Allen

Allen has arrived. The No. 7 overall pick in the 2018 Draft is a bona-fide superstar at the most important position in team sports. While his passing numbers did come back to earth a tad last year, there's little reason to doubt that the 26-year-old dual threat will have another highly productive fantasy season in 2022.

Buffalo Bills Injury Report

TE Dawson Knox

Knox enjoyed a breakout season in 2021, but the tight end did endure some health concerns, including a broken right hand that he suffered Week 6. That injury forced the 25-year-old to miss two games (plus the Bills' bye week), but he did return to form Week 10. While an undisclosed issue forced Knox to miss time during OTAs this offseason, he was able to resume practicing and should be healthy entering training camp. As the coming campaign approaches, he remains atop the depth chart at his position, with O.J. Howard now serving as Buffalo's No. 2 TE.

CB Tre'Davious White

White, arguably the most talented player on the top-ranked Buffalo defense, tore his left ACL and meniscus Week 12 last year and subsequently was placed on the season-ending IR. The two-time Pro Bowler had surgery in mid-December and reportedly is bouncing back well. Still, given the severity and timing of his injury, it's not a lock that White will be at full strength to start the coming season, so his progress will need to be monitored in advance of Week 1.

WR Jamison Crowder

Crowder has a long history of soft tissue injuries and other minor issues that have limited his participation from time to time. With the Jets in 2021, he was relatively healthy until a Week 15 calf injury. The issue kept him out of the team's next two contests, but the slot man did return to action Week 18, ironically versus the Bills. However, he was able to snag only one catch in that game before aggravating his calf. The 29-year-old did pass a physical as a part of the free agent signing process, and there's been no reported setbacks since then, so Crowder should be healthy as training camp approaches.

Training Camp Battle 2022 – Buffalo Bills

The Bills' top pass-catching threat at wideout is Stefon Diggs, and he'll be joined on the outside by an up-and-coming No. 2 in Gabriel Davis. But the slot role previously manned by Cole Beasley is up in the air and a competition worth watching.

The odds-on favorite to land the assignment is newcomer Jamison Crowder. During his seven years in the NFL, the 29-year-old has amassed 409 receptions and 28 touchdowns, which makes him the most accomplished option available even though he has a career 66.9 percent catch rate. He's also averaged four missed games per year over the past four seasons, so nagging injuries may continue to slow him down.

Also in the mix for Buffalo's slot work is returnee Isaiah McKenzie, who caught just 20 passes in 15 games last season but did have an 11-catch effort Week 16 when both Beasley and Davis were unavailable. The 5-8, 173-pound McKenzie often hasn't had that sort of volume opportunity but showed what he can do when given the chance.

The wild card here is rookie Khalil Shakir, who totaled 77 catches and seven touchdowns in 12 games during his final campaign at Boise State, but it may take him some time to enter the fantasy equation.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dave McKay
Dave McKay is a former ESPN producer and currently the publisher of TheFantasySportsBrain.com. He is focused primarily on strategy in fantasy sports. Dave is from Baltimore and roots for the Ravens, Orioles, and the Detroit Pistons.
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