Buffalo Bills RB James Cook has been a solid option for fantasy football lineups recently, aside from Week 5. However, he has yet to truly work his way into the top-12 RB conversation week in and week out.
With the news that RB Leonard Fournette is set to visit the team this week, is it time for fantasy managers to try and capitalize on his value in fantasy before significant competition is added to this backfield?
Looking to make a trade in your fantasy league? Having trouble deciding who to start and who to sit? Setting DFS lineups? Check out PFN’s Free Fantasy Football Trade Analyzer, Start/Sit Optimizer, and DFS Lineup Optimizer to help you make the right decision!
Should Fantasy Football Managers Trade James Cook?
If the Bills were set to add any other free agent RB off the open market, this wouldn’t be much of a conversation. The players that are usually available at this point of the season are out there for a reason.
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) February 8, 2021
However, Fournette has shown that he can be a very capable rusher in the past when he’s gotten the volume, but he’s been waiting for the right opportunity to come in and play again in 2023.
MORE: 2023 RB Fantasy Football Rankings
That opportunity may be here now, as he is set to visit Buffalo on Tuesday, per Jordan Schultz. If he ends up signing with the team, he’s sooner — rather than later — going to take away touches from Cook and limit his fantasy ceiling.
It is worth noting that this is all speculation at the time of writing. This offseason, we saw RB Kareem Hunt visit the New Orleans Saints and leave without a contract, so it’s far from a guarantee that Cook will see someone else added to this backfield.
However, with RB Damien Harris likely to miss significant time with his neck injury, the Bills clearly want to add another veteran presence that can help carry the load for this team deep into the postseason. Fournette has that on his resumé.
What Should Fantasy Managers Look To Acquire When Trading Cook?
Winning the game of fantasy football — and setting yourself up for a fantasy championship — comes down to knowing when to move off of a player and when to hold them. Cook will not see his fantasy value disappear overnight if Fournette signs with the team. He’ll still be involved.
MORE: PPR Rankings
Still, he will almost certainly cede goal-line opportunities to Fournette due to his size profile. And there’s the potential that the Bills move Cook into a complete pass-catching role versus lead option.
As mentioned above, though, there’s also the possibility that the Bills don’t sign Fournette after his visit tomorrow. Cook would remain the lead option with Harris sidelined.
This uncertainty means you shouldn’t sell Cook for anything in your fantasy league. It needs to be for the right price.
Some of the players to consider moving Cook for in your league would be Cincinnati Bengals RB Joe Mixon, Kansas City Chiefs RB Isiah Pacheco, or Green Bay Packers RB Aaron Jones. Plug in some of the available options in your league into our free PFN Trade Analyzer to see where the line is and who you should consider moving him for.
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