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Should We Worry About Amari Cooper and the Dallas Receivers?


With Amari Cooper and Ezekiel Elliott leading the way, the Dallas Cowboys' offense is stacked at the skill positions; however, the offensive line is a mess. Travis Frederick was a huge loss this offseason. The season-ending injury to Tyron Smith makes it even worse for anyone behind center. Andy Dalton is no Dak Prescott. He is not going to run for yardage and touchdowns. This means the run game will be important going forward. We saw this after Dak's injury last week as the first points scored were on a 12-yard run by Elliott.

Cooper has been far more consistent this season than he has in the past. No more is the boom or bust weeks where we do not know what to expect from him. We are now seeing steady weeks in which he finishes top-20 for fantasy. CeeDee Lamb has been a monster as a rookie. Again, Lamb went for over 100 yards in a game last week. Two passes on the final drive to Michael Gallup also show a connection is there between him and Dalton.

The new triplets in the Dallas offense do take a hit. Of course, Dalton is no Prescott, and this does remove some value. But not as much as you may think, as Justin Carter recently explained. Dalton is still going to throw the ball quite a bit. He will not average 400 yards per game like Dak was doing for the first month of the season. He is easily going to average the highest yardage per game of his career though - an average which to this point stands at 234.85 yards per game. While Dalton will be fine, we need to figure out what exactly we can expect from the pass catchers in Dallas.

 

Amari Cooper

After a career of inconsistency, Cooper has finally found his way this season in Dallas. With 39 receptions so far this season, he has established himself as the man for Dallas after signing his $100 million contract this offseason. Almost eight receptions per game is great for those playing in a PPR league format. For those still stuck in standard leagues, the 424 yards on those catches is a bit concerning for sure, as is only one touchdown catch.

Michael Gallup certainly takes the largest hit of the three main targets. Cooper also takes a hit though. No longer can we expect him to get eight receptions per game. Lamb could easily overtake him as the lead receiver with the offense going ahead the rest of the way. We also have nagging injury concerns with Cooper which we do not have with Lamb. This could cause him to lose even more of his potential output.

Of the top two receivers in the Cowboys' offense, Cooper is by far the riskiest. His tendency for inconsistency as well as his nicks and bruises could lead his managers to regret having him later in the season. If you are forced to keep him, he is still going to be good for you so do not be too concerned. He likely does not have the top-six upside he had under Prescott. He still has a comfortable top-18 WR potential the rest of the way. This can be extremely valuable, and he will still have a boom game at some point. On the other weeks, reign in your expectations and you will be happy with the production he gives you the rest of the way.

 

CeeDee Lamb

The rookie came into the season as an undersized prospect who has massive after-the-catch potential. He has only built on this through the first month of the season. With 29 receptions, 443 yards, and two TD so far, Lamb is on pace for a potential Offensive Rookie of the Year award. He already has two games of at least 100 yards receiving and he has yet to have fewer than five receptions in any game thus far.

In a move only Jerry Jones could achieve, Lamb fell right into the lap of the Cowboys and they pounced. It has not disappointed. Either for them or Lamb managers for fantasy.

As the slot receiver for the Cowboys, Lamb will retain the biggest value moving forward with Dalton at the helm. With the offensive line issues, Dalton will be forced to get rid of the ball quickly. Some of these dump-offs will go to Ezekiel Elliott. The majority of the rest will go to Lamb.

Lamb has already shown he is a true NFL receiver. His placement in the offense has helped Amari Cooper become far more consistent in 2020. Dalton is a smart veteran. He will realize the importance of Lamb going forward if Dallas wants to remain competitive in the NFC East.

While most weapons may take a bit of a hit due to the Prescott injury, Lamb is the exception. His value will only rise as he gains even more targets than before. This will give Dallas two WR1s in this offense. Trading for Lamb, if possible, is a good move. He is the receiver you want to roster.

 

Michael Gallup

Gallup was the fantasy community's sleeper darling this preseason. So far, he has been the WR3 in Dallas behind Cooper and rookie Lamb. Going forward, expect this to continue. With Cooper still receiving the lead target share, Gallup and Lamb will be garnering the secondary targets. Lamb wins in this matchup. He is the slot receiver and with the offensive line being in shambles, the short routes will be the desired dump off. Gallup will continue to get a few shots per game downfield. But he is clearly the third option so proceed accordingly.

Initially this season, Gallup was seen as a possible WR target for fantasy as he is on a great offense and has a clear connection with Prescott. With the emergence of Lamb and the continued ascension of Cooper, Gallup should be considered only a flex play at best going forward. And if you can find a league mate who is a Dallas fan or is still a believer, make a trade with them. You will be much happier and less stressed for having done it, as he could let down in low-scoring matchups.

 

Dalton Schultz

TE Dalton Schultz has been surprisingly productive since the injury to Blake Jarwin. Last week? Not so much. With only one reception against a vulnerable Giants Defense, his upward trajectory may have taken a downturn. There are much better options at the TE position moving ahead in the season. Of all the players on the Cowboys offense, Schultz is the only one you can and should drop.

 

Conclusion

In regard to the Dallas wide receiving trio of Cooper, Gallup, and Lamb, you can stick with them in 2020. Just know they are still going to have good seasons, but the hopes of GREAT seasons are likely gone. As long as you know what to expect from them going forward, they will not disappoint.

With not only the triplets, but solid pass-catcher Ezekiel Elliott in the backfield, expect the offense to continue to hum. Especially the passing game. This is important since the Dallas defense just gave up 34 points to the Giants. Yes, to Daniel Jones, folks. The defense does not look to be getting better any time soon. So, the output on offense will be important if Dallas wants to remain in the lead of a bad NFC East.

Another factor to consider is that even if you did want to trade them, it would be difficult. Everyone else in your league also saw Prescott get hurt. They have the same concerns you do which means you will not get a fair return in a trade for them.

Injuries can crush a season. This goes for real teams as well as fantasy teams. Not all injuries are created equally though. Some hurt more than others.

Dallas was extremely smart in signing Andy Dalton this offseason. Instead of this being a death sentence for the fantasy production on the Cowboys, it is a lesson. If you have a solid backup QB, you can still be relevant. Dalton keeps them relevant if not top tier.

Do not panic. Do not sell on the cheap. Things in Dallas will stay level for the most part. At worst, a slight decline is coming. At best, no decline comes as Dalton lives up to his reputation and plays up to his surrounding weapons.

Man, 2020 is a fun season, isn’t it?



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The 2020 MLB season will always be one for the record books, even if everything that took place will have multiple asterisks attached to it. Evaluating Statcast numbers is a nice way to find hot and cold hitters, as well as underachievers and overachievers. Now that the regular season is over, let's reflect on the... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 16th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 16th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 15th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 15th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 14th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 14th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Bubba and Bat Flip 53: 2 Early Mocks APD Trends & More - Benched with Bubba (Episode 315)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by Bat Flip Crazy (@BatFlipCrazy) to take a deeper look at the 2 Early Mocks ADP. They dig into trends, some interesting risers/fallers, and much more. They also go over some listener questions at the end to keep the Fantasy Baseball information coming even in the offseason. Be sure to subscribe... Read More