The Yahoo Fantasy analysts will preview all 32 NFL teams between now and the eventual start of the 2020 draft season. Here, we’ll tackle pressing fantasy questions, #FantasyHotTaeks, and team win totals. Next up, the Dallas Cowboys.
Dak Prescott was QB2 in 2019 with 348.78 fantasy points. What are the odds he finishes 2020 with more?
Dalton: He was a fantasy monster last year, and Dallas added arguably the best playmaker in this year’s draft when CeeDee Lamb unexpectedly fell to them at No. 17. Blake Jarwin replacing Jason Witten is another upgrade for Prescott, who also dealt with a badly hobbled Amari Cooper over the second half of last season. Michael Gallup finished top-10 in yards per route run as a sophomore, while Tony Pollard is another mismatch at Prescott’s disposal. The Cowboys also provide one of the league’s best offensive lines, and Prescott has added 21 rushing scores over the first four seasons of his career. The addition of Lamb gives him a comical number of weapons, making Prescott an MVP candidate and my QB3 with easy No. 1 upside. But given that health isn’t a certainty, I’ll give him a 50/50 shot at beating his 2020 fantasy production this season.
Andy: Put me down for Prescott having, say, a 50-55 percent chance of hitting last year’s point total again. I mean, just listen to the video propaganda I gave you above. It’s hard not to love everything about Prescott’s fantasy setup in 2020. He has a pair of 1,000-yard receivers already on the roster, plus his team added CeeDee Lamb, a potential future All Pro. Lamb’s collegiate highlights are pretty much obscene. Weapons are certainly not an issue. Even if Prescott falls short of last season’s filthy passing stats, he’s a decent bet to boost his rushing numbers. He’s a clear top-3 QB for me.
Scott: My colleagues outline the pro-Prescott case very well. Unfortunately, the market understands this, too. Prescott stands as the QB3 in early Yahoo drafts, with an ADP inside the Top 50. Prescott might be my most-commonly rostered quarterback since he entered the league in 2016, given how good the value has so often been. But this year, I think I need to find someone a little cheaper in draft rooms; look for a little more fantasy profit potential.
Between Amari Cooper (25.2 ADP), Michael Gallup (63.1), and CeeDee Lamb (118.2), which receiver would you want at their draft position?
Andy: Gallup and Lamb both feel like steals at their current ADPs. I refuse to choose just one. Last year, Gallup averaged 81.6 yards per game over his final eight weeks, comfortably outproducing Cooper (61.0). It won’t surprise me if he produces a 75-1,250-8 line in his third season. Lamb, again, is just a terror for opposing defenses, a missed-tackle machine who thoroughly dominated at the collegiate level over multiple seasons. He’s a fantastic upside pick in any format.
Dalton: Lamb dominated as an 18-year-old freshman and enters the NFL after leading the nation in receiving yards, touchdowns, and yards per target over the last two seasons and as PFF’s all-time leader in depth-adjusted yards per target. Like Lamb, Randy Moss also unexpectedly fell during his draft and entered the league as part of a loaded offense as his team’s No. 3 wide receiver, and he proceeded to score 17 touchdowns as a rookie. Cooper has averaged just 43.5 yards on the road over the last three years and has an underrated injury history that last season alone included foot, ankle, quadriceps and knee sprains. I want no part of Cooper at his ADP, while I rank Lamb more than 50 spots higher than his.
Scott: I share everyone’s optimism on Lamb (his highlight tape put an instant bounce in your step), but he’s still a rookie and entering an offense loaded with talent. He’s not unfairly valued in draft rooms, but I can’t view him as a proactive pick. I already have drafted Cooper a few times, but it’s not a proactive pick, either; the third round is a tricky area to navigate this season. Gallup probably has the best ADP pocket to consider, outside of the Top 60 despite the fact that his breakout year already happened.
If Ezekiel Elliott is in for another top-5 RB finish, can Tony Pollard be a reliable contributor on one of the NFL’s best offenses?
Dalton: While there have been reports Pollard will play the slot more, I’m drafting him purely as a backup with a ton of upside, not expecting to use him (with so many other mouths to feed in Dallas) unless Elliott goes down. But given this offense led the NFL in yards per play last season and then added Lamb, and Pollard finished top-five in true yards per carry himself, he possesses “league-winning” upside, so I still have him ranked as a top-40 RB despite the downside (Zeke is a workhorse with good durability).
Andy: If you’re the sort of fantasy manager who typically drafts the understudy for your primary back, then Pollard is a priority. If he were to fall into a Zeke-ish workload, he would obviously be a difference-maker for fantasy purposes. But will he be flex-worthy assuming good health for Elliott? No, probably not. He certainly won’t be a reliable contributor; he only handled 101 touches last season.
Scott: Pollard is an obvious talent, but it’s hard to see stand-alone consistency coming from him unless something happens to Elliott. If you’re a believer in running back insurance or you see something bad happening to Zeke, fine, I’ll approve a Pollard pick. But this team’s usage tree is so wide, it’s difficult to imagine Pollard doing much unless something clears ahead of him. (If you’re looking for an inexpensive value pick on this team, consider Blake Jarwin, currently the TE24 in early Yahoo drafts. When I miss out on Jonnu Smith, Jarwin quickly percolates to the top of my tight end queue.)
Andy: Gallup outperforms Cooper in every sort of fantasy format and delivers a top-15 positional finish. To be honest, I’m not even sure this is such a hot take. I feel like this one has a strong chance to happen.
OVER/UNDER on 9.5 Win Total from BetMGM
Scott: The most plausible side is the OVER, but at -164, you might have trouble justifying that ticket, given the juice you have to cover. If you’re a believer in Dallas (and this could be a fun team, now that Jason Garrett is gone), perhaps +110 to win the division is more your speed (only Philadelphia looms as a serious challenger).
Follow Dalton: @daltondeldon
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Follow Andy: @AndyBehrens