Devin Singletary or Zack Moss: How fantasy-relevant are the Bills’ RBs moving forward?

With one-third of the 2021 NFL season in the books, what does the fantasy value of Bills RBs Zack Moss and Devin Singletary look like?

We are officially one-third of the way through the 2021 NFL season, which means we have a decent amount of data upon which to draw conclusions. Let’s take a look at the fantasy football outlooks of Bills RBs Zack Moss and Devin Singletary going forward.

Both Zack Moss and Devin Singletary belong on fantasy rosters

We’ll get the obvious out of the way first — both of these running backs should be rostered in standard-sized fantasy football leagues. The Bills have one of the most high-powered offenses in the NFL. And even though they are pass-heavy, their lead running back will always have a chance to score. That is enough to earn a spot on fantasy rosters at least.

Devin Singletary took the lead early, but Zack Moss has overtaken him

When Moss was a healthy inactive in Week 1, many fantasy managers, myself included, interpreted that as an endorsement of Singletary. For the first two weeks of the season, that looked to be correct. Singletary carried the ball 11 times for 72 yards in Week 1 and 13 times for 82 yards and a touchdown in Week 2. Most notably, Singletary’s snap share was 75% in Week 1 and 66% in Week 2 (with an active Moss).

Things changed considerably beginning in Week 3. Moss abruptly flipped the split. Moss played 56% of the snaps in Weeks 3 and 4. However, it was Week 5 where Singletary clearly took a backseat to Moss as the snap share split was 76-24 Moss.

Despite being the lead back, Moss hasn’t exactly played well

There is little doubt that the Bills prefer Moss to Singletary. They drafted Moss just a year after selecting Singletary. They pushed Moss over Singletary last year. And even when Singletary looked to be playing well, it didn’t take much for the team to go back to Moss this season. Why? I’m not quite sure.

Moss and Singletary have nearly identical evaded tackle rates (35% and 36%), run a similar number of routes (Singletary has 19 more routes run, but he played an extra game), and Singletary is averaging 1.2 more yards per carry than Moss (5.2 to 4.0).

Why has Moss been so much better than Singletary from a fantasy perspective?

Touchdowns. The answer is touchdowns. Sure, Moss is outperforming Singletary in some efficiency metrics. But Singletary is outperforming Moss in others. The real difference is that Moss has dominated goal-line work, and Josh Allen hasn’t been stealing all the scores like he did last season.

Since Week 2, Moss has 17 combined red-zone opportunities (14 carries, 3 targets) against Singletary’s 7 (all carries). Moss converted 4 of those RZ opportunities into touchdowns. Singletary’s lone score was a 46-yard scamper against the Miami Dolphins in Week 2.

Should fantasy managers be buying Moss or Singletary?

Let’s start with Singletary because the answer is simple — no. Even when Singletary was the primary back in Weeks 1 and 2, he was completely untrustworthy. Singletary is the type of back fantasy managers are never confident starting. Even if Moss were to get hurt, you would just never feel comfortable starting Singletary. He’d be an RB3, at best.

As for Moss, he is more of a hold than anything else. If you can sell Moss for a legitimate RB2, absolutely go ahead and do that. Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone is valuing Moss as more than the RB3 that he is.

Moss’ red-zone usage is encouraging, but his scoring is likely unsustainable. Moss scored 5 times on 126 touches in 2020, a rate of 3.9%. In 2021, he’s scored 4 TDs on 54 touches, a rate of 7.4%. Out of Moss’ 57.8 PPR fantasy points on the season, 41.5% of them have come from touchdowns.

For context, take Josh Jacobs’ 2020 season. Jacobs was incredibly reliant on touchdowns for his fantasy value, scoring 12 of them. To put into perspective how absurd Moss’ scoring rate has been, Jacobs’ 2020 touchdowns accounted for 30% of his total fantasy points. That’s a lot, but still significantly less than Moss’ rate through the first five weeks of the 2021 season.

Fantasy managers should hope Moss finds a way to fall into the end zone another time on Monday night against the Titans and try and sell him for plus value. If you can’t get anything good, it’s fine to just hold onto Moss as a TD-dependent RB3.

Jason Katz is a Fantasy Analyst at Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter: @jasonkatz13 and find more of his work here. Don’t forget to listen to the PFN Fantasy Football podcast and check out our free fantasy newsletter.