The greatest time of the year has arrived: football season. And nothing complements the greatest time of the year quite like a memorable fantasy football league with your family, friends, and/or coworkers.
Now, let’s be honest, every fantasy football extraordinaire in their right mind wants to fill every position with Cowboys players, but that simply is not feasible. So, depending on your spot in the draft, when and who from the Dallas Cowboys should you target? Under standard, 12-team PPR league rules, let’s take a look at the players who deserve a spot on your fantasy football squad.
Draft position: Late first round
Dez Bryant will be coming off draft boards late in the first round or early in the second round. If you pick late in the first round, I would be sure to snag him while you have the chance. ESPN lists Bryant as the seventh best receiver in this year’s draft, but he is a safe bet to finish in the top five come the end of the season. With running back Ezekiel Elliott currently suspended for the first six games, Bryant headlines a high-powered Dallas offense that many experts ranked as one of the best in the league last year. Bryant spent all of last season jelling with his new quarterback, and, now that the chemistry is there, Bryant will undoubtedly churn out reliable WR1 production. Plus, it helps that the Cowboys faithful now has plenty of faith in quarterback Dak Prescott after many fans were left to wonder what would happen following the Romo injury during the preseason last year.
Draft position: Late second round
Many experts had Ezekiel Elliott ranked in their top five overall prior to him receiving the suspension. While these same experts now have him exiting the boards in the third round, I am going to go out on a limb and say the suspension will only cost him one round. I am also confident that his suspension will be reduced, so there is that to keep in mind. Either way, fantasy owners can count on the returning offensive rookie of the year providing strong RB1 output. The Cowboys do possess plenty of veteran firepower behind Elliott, which understandably is a point of concern for owners when it comes to the running-back-by-committee mantra. Nevertheless, Elliott will remain the workhorse once he returns.
Draft position: Late twelfth round
Word on the street is that Dak Prescott’s production will endure a substantial drop from last year, but I am not buying it. You heard it here first–there will be no sophomore slump in Dak City. With Prescott not being selected until the latter end of the draft, he provides a huge steal. Prescott went from zero to hero in Dallas in a matter of weeks last year, and he did that as a rookie. Just imagine what he will do with one year under his belt. Furthermore, look at the weapons surrounding him. Besides Bryant and Elliott, receiver Cole Beasley solidified himself last year as one of the best slot receivers in the league. Tight end Jason Witten, who is just as trustworthy, returns for another year despite his age and declining production. Finally, Prescott still has an offensive line littered with all-pros and future hall of famers protecting him at all times. All of this to say that Prescott has the same selection of deadly weapons that he had last year, which is bad news for defenses going against Prescott & Co.
Draft position: Early thirteenth round
Cowboys fans have certainly lamented Witten’s steadily decreasing production, but, at the end of the day, he is still Jason Witten, a future first ballot hall of famer and arguably the best tight end to play the game. Nonetheless, I still would not be dependent on Witten for TE1 numbers. Outside of Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce, it is hard to find dependable production from the tight end position in fantasy football, so plan to select a tight end in the earlier rounds. Witten, however, should be your choice backup for your bye week.
Draft position: Late thirteenth round
Cole Beasley typically is a boom or bust candidate when it comes to posting worthy numbers, but, if you are indeed playing in a PPR league, then that fact alone will bode well for you since Beasley tends to rack up the targets as a slot receiver. Still, I would not rank Beasley higher than a WR3.
Pending any injuries to these five players, do not target any other Cowboys on draft day. Also, even though it pains me to say this, try to not stack your team with more than two of the above players, as you would be hosed come the bye week for the Cowboys.
Happy drafting, folks!
Photo: Sean Martin (Inside the Star)