Will Zack Moss Stifle Devin Singletary's Fantasy Football Production in 2020?
With the 86th pick in the third round, the Buffalo Bills landed running back Zack Moss out of Utah. Bills' 2019 draft pick Devin Singletary appeared poised for a breakout role, but Moss now adds to a crowded backfield in Buffalo which also includes T.J. Yeldon.
Moss led the Pac-12 in rushing in 2019 but saw his draft stock take a perceived hit after running a disappointing 4.65 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine.
How He Wins
Despite his poor testing numbers at the combine, Moss is more than just a downhill, between-the-tackles runner. In 2019, Moss averaged 6.8 yards per attempt when running outside the tackles, according to Sports Info Solutions. Those outside-the-tackles attempts accounted for over half his carries, as demonstrated by this chart from CFB Film Room:
Utah's Zack Moss could hear his name called in the NFL draft today. Despite disappointing numbers at the combine, Moss proved his explosive ability running outside the tackles in 2019. pic.twitter.com/6eC1TqWRVP
— CFB Film Room (@CFBFilmRoom) April 24, 2020
While Moss is more explosive than you might expect, he also has the power you would anticipate from a 223-pound runner. According to Sports Info Solutions, Moss had 22 rushing attempts inside the 10-yard line last season and scored on 10 of those carries. He also converted 64 percent of his short-yardage attempts.
Further adding to Moss' value is his ability to contribute in the passing game, where he averaged 8.5 yards per target on 81 career targets.
What to Expect in Buffalo
In 2019, Frank Gore played the role of the physical, downhill runner in Buffalo. According to Sports Info Solutions, 43 percent of Gore's attempts were between the tackles. Buffalo likely views Moss as a replacement for Gore in that role. As previously mentioned, Moss is a well-rounded runner, but he did have success between the tackles and should be able to fill that role for the Bills.
Moss will also likely take over for Gore as the goal line back in Buffalo, giving him some potential fantasy value. Gore led the Bills with 11 rushing attempts inside the opposing five-yard line last season. However, Josh Allen's rushing prowess cuts into that role -- Allen had five touchdowns on five attempts inside the five-yard line in 2019.
While Moss looks like a good fit for this role in Buffalo, unfortunately it doesn't give him much of a fantasy ceiling. Gore played in all 16 games in 2019 and still finished as only the 50th-ranked running back in PPR scoring. Moss will likely enter the 2020 as a handcuff for Singletary in redraft leagues and won't have much added value in dynasty leagues due to the presence of Singletary.
JJ Zachariason projects Moss for a rushing line of 160 carries, 657 yards, and 4.5 touchdowns in 2020.