Gabriel Davis’ fantasy outlook is more promising than we could have imagined. The Bills wide receiver was largely unknown last season until recording several breakout games. He notably caught four touchdowns in the Bills’ last playoff game, and of course, the fantasy football community erupted.
We previously mentioned Davis in our 2022 rankings as a potential sleeper pick. Throughout the remainder of this article, we will expand on this idea and analyze all possible scenarios for the Buffalo Bills this year.
Gabe Davis had 549 receiving yards on 35 receptions and 6 touchdowns in 2021. In addition to these numbers, he added 242 yards and 5 TDs in two playoff games. These stats are not jaw-dropping on paper, but it’s clear that Davis finds the end-zone quite often with not too many opportunities.
His 2021 stats reflect the fact that he wasn’t a starter in most games. Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders started a majority of games last season, but they’ll no longer be around to fill that role. Knowing this, it’s easy to throw the numbers out the window and focus more on how productive Davis actually is.
Despite only having 35 receptions last season, Gabriel Davis had an impressive 15.7 yards per reception. With some simple math, it’s apparent that the Bills receiver would be on pace for 1570 yards if he can manage to record 100 receptions in a season. This is speculative, of course, as it’s hard to maintain a high average with more attempts, but worth noting nonetheless.
The Bills depth chart currently lists Gabriel Davis as one of the starting wide receivers. Although he saw plenty of looks in his first two seasons, he’ll have a much bigger role to fill this season. Stefon Diggs will see a majority of the targets from QB Josh Allen, but Davis is likely the WR2 now that Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders are gone.
His new starting role combined with Josh Allen’s average of 38 pass attempts per game last season is a recipe for success. We got a glimpse of the potential in the AFC Divisional Playoffs last year when Davis had a career high 8 receptions for 210 yards and 4 touchdowns. His four TDs broke the record for the most receiving touchdowns in a NFL playoff game.
The most bullish aspect regarding Gabriel Davis’ fantasy outlook is his strong close to last season. He racked up five touchdowns over four weeks about a month prior to his 4-touchdown playoff performance. 29 of his 35 receptions were converted for first downs last season – 82.8% is a remarkable percentage in this category.
Given his status as a starter and his known upside, Davis has extensive potential this season. He’s in a favorable offensive situation with Josh Allen at quarterback and being in his third year in the offense. It’s worth giving consideration to Davis as a sneaky WR1 if he proves to be successful early in the season.
It’s easy to have hope for Gabe Davis in fantasy this season, but it’s important to consider a bearish scenario as well. There’s difficulty in making accurate projections for Davis this year considering he hasn’t been a starter in the past. Nonetheless, we will take the information we’ve gathered from the past two seasons to back these ideas.
To start, Davis caught 35 passes on 63 targets last season. This works out to a 55% catch rate when he’s targeted. We know that Josh Allen normally targets Davis on deep balls, so the low catch percentage makes sense from that perspective. Nonetheless, it’s concerning that the Bills ranked 11th in total dropped passes last season. Gabe Davis will see the field more often this season, but he’ll fail to produce if he’s not converting his targets.
We also don’t know what type of role Davis will be playing this season. He was obviously a deep ball threat in 2021, but his role could change now that he’ll see the field more often. If other teams are aware of his breakout ability, they can easily hone in on this and lock him down.
The last potential downside to bring up is the change in receiving core during the offseason. While this is likely to be a good thing for Gabriel Davis, there’s always a chance he gets the short end of the stick. He’ll be splitting the target share with Jamison Crowder, Stefon Diggs, and Dawson Knox.
Things seem to be looking up for the young wide receiver. The Buffalo Bills remain in a position to be one of the top teams for the league, and they’re a pass heavy offense to begin with. Davis is likely to benefit from taking over the starting position, especially given the fact that he knows the offense.
All things considered, there’s more upside than downside when talking about Gabe Davis. He has the ability to put up multiple touchdowns in a game, gain crucial first downs, and record a lot of yards after the catch. Moreover, he’s paired with Stefon Diggs who will garner a lot of attention given his status as one of the league’s top receivers.
There remains an aspect of uncertainty considering we don’t have an idea of Davis’ usage rate as a starter. Knowing this, it’s not smart to draft him early solely because of his insane playoff stats last season. It’s best to take a wait and see approach if applicable and then pick him up as soon as he flashes greatness. There’s no doubt that Davis is roster-able in 2022, but it’s entirely too early to say he’ll breakout.
Expect the young wide receiver to garner a lot of interest in fantasy football this year. He ended the 2021 season strong and gave fans something to remember by catching 4 touchdown passes in a playoff game. This flash of greatness potentially foreshadows what’s to come now that he’s a starter on the Bills.
Throughout this player spotlight, we’ve given both a bullish and bearish case for Davis. The pros seem to outweigh the cons in this situation, but it’s worth considering both sides of the spectrum before you make any rash decisions. Until next time, thank you for reading our Gabriel Davis fantasy outlook. We wish you the best in your leagues this upcoming season.