James Cook is a must-start fantasy running back vs. Bengals

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Buffalo Bills
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Buffalo Bills / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The Buffalo Bills are heading into their second consecutive primetime this week to take on the Cincinnati Bengals, who have had trouble stopping the run all season long. They are near the bottom of the league (28th overall) when it comes to defending the run.

Heading into Week 9, they are giving up nearly 140 rushing yards per game. This should set up the Bills' run game nicely, giving lead back James Cook plenty of opportunities to not only set the tone of the game but also keep Joe Burrow off the field.

The Bills have yet to lose a game when they rush for over 100 yards, and have lost all three that they were not able to reach the century mark. One of the main factors for the Bills being able to run the ball is the development of Cook, who is averaging 4.8 yards per carry this year. Despite only getting one rushing touchdown on the year so far, he has been able to bounce to the outside on designed runs that picks up the first down and more.

Even though he has only had one game over 100 yards on the ground this season, Cook is getting between 13-15 carries a game. Another upside for Cook heading into this game is catches out of the backfield. Even though the Bills just signed Leonard Fournette who can also be a pass-catching back, Cook is still the favorite to get most if not all the production out of the backfield.

Last year, Cook only had 21 catches for 180 yards and one touchdown. Through eight weeks, he currently has 18 catches for 192 yards and a touchdown. Buffalo has vastly improved the run game this season and they should get a break this week on the ground heading into Cincinnati.

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