Should You Start Devin Singletary vs. the Lions? Fantasy Outlook for Bills Running Back

What is Devin Singletary's fantasy outlook for Week 12, and should fantasy managers be locking him into lineups on Thanksgiving?

Devin Singletary’s fantasy football value has been up and down throughout his NFL career, and that continues into the 2022 season. Coming off the back of two good performances, is the Buffalo Bills‘ RB someone that fantasy managers can trust against the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving?

Devin Singletary’s Fantasy Outlook for Week 12

The last two weeks have seen Singletary average 15.95 fantasy points in half-PPR scoring. Looking at Singletary’s 2022 stats, in both of those games, he has seen double-digit touches with 31 total rushing attempts and four targets. That has continued a trend over the past five weeks that has seen Singletary getting more consistently involved in the offense.

Over the past five weeks, Singletary has averaged 17.2 opportunities per game, with 14 rushing attempts and 3.2 targets per game. In the five games before that, he was averaging 12.6 opportunities per game, with eight rushing attempts and 4.6 targets per game. It is also worth noting that 20 of those 63 opportunities in the first five weeks came in the Bills’ Week 3 game against the Miami Dolphins.

The shift has also been seen in terms of snap counts in the past five weeks. In those games, Singletary has played at least 72% of the offensive snaps in every game. Prior to that, he had only played more than 72% of the snaps in two games. In every game this season that Singletary has played more than 70% of the offensive snaps, he has touched the ball double-digit times.

MORE: Week 12 Fantasy RB Start/Sit Recommendations

It is also worth noting that Singletary seeing double-digit touches has not necessarily translated into being a fantasy starter. He has failed to reach 10 fantasy points in half-PPR in three of the eight games in which he has touched the ball that often. However, when he has touched the ball fewer than 10 times in a game, he has yet to register a double-digit fantasy score this season.

That inconsistent output had made Singletary an option better suited to Underdog Fantasy Best Ball leagues than conventional season-long fantasy lineups. However, in recent weeks, he has proved to be an intriguing option in both scenarios.

When you look at the raw stats for the Lions’ run defense, this looks like a really nice matchup for Singletary. They rank last in the league in terms of yards per rush attempt (5.2) and rushing touchdowns (17).

However, the Lions have been much stouter against opposing run games in recent weeks. Overall this season, they are allowing an average of 20.49 fantasy points to opposing backs, which is just 2.7% above the league average.

In the past four weeks, they have allowed an average of just 10.98 fantasy points to the RB position. That is the fourth-lowest number in that stretch. Having allowed more than 20 fantasy points to opposing backs in all of their first six games, they have not allowed more than 13.9 in those last four games.

In that stretch, the Lions have faced the Dolphins, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, and New York Giants, so they have faced some decent run games in that stretch. Just last week, they held Saquon Barkley to 22 yards on 15 rushing attempts and 13 receiving yards on two receptions from five targets.

In Week 10, the Lions allowed a total of 258 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. However, 147 of those yards and both touchdowns were accounted for by QB Justin Fields. The Bears’ running backs accounted for 94 yards on the ground and 101 yards in total.

Should you Start Devin Singletary in Week 12?

It is extremely hard to bench a running back that has scored three touchdowns and over 30 fantasy points in the past two weeks. However, those three touchdowns accounted for 56.3% of his total fantasy output. They were also his first rushing touchdowns of the season and just his second, third, and fourth touchdowns in total this year.

The Lions have allowed just one touchdown to opposing backs since Week 7. That score was a fourth-quarter one to Matt Breida with the Lions leading 24-6 prior to the score. Additionally, while the Lions have allowed 1,537 rushing yards at an average of 153.7 yards per game, they have only allowed 1,055 of those rushing yards to RBs (105.5 per game).

In the last four games, they have allowed an average of just 68.75 rushing yards per game and just 3.57 rushing yards per attempt. That is in contrast to 130 rushing yards per game to opposing backs at an average of 5.38 yards per rush attempt in the first six games.

The more you dig into it, the more concern this matchup presents for Singletary. However, it is hard to completely ignore the increased usage and the three double-digit fantasy outputs in the last five games. With so much uncertainty around the RB position, Singletary is still a starting consideration in 12-team leagues, but it comes with some caution.

There are no teams on a bye in Week 12, so fantasy managers should have a wide range of choices. Singletary sits as the RB24 in Tommy Garrett’s Week 12 RB fantasy rankings, but there is a realistic chance, based on his draft position, that you may have two or three higher-ranked RBs on your roster. In that situation, trying to force Singletary into your lineup could prove to be an error in judgment.

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