Daily Dr. Roto — July 26, 2018
Dallas Cowboys Team Preview
Outlook: America’s Team won’t look the same this year with the retirement of future Hall of Fame TE Jason Witten and the release of WR Dez Bryant. Ezekiel Elliott’s legal troubles are behind him, but Dallas is in a very competitive division, and they seem to be lacking the horses needed to compete in the race.
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QB: With the Cowboys so deeply committed to running the football, Fantasy owners must realize that Dak Prescott is not going to ever put up “big” Fantasy statistics. Dak is a glorified game manager who has excellent mobility. He can convert the big third down when needed and has the moxie to lead the Cowboys on the field. In 2017, Prescott only had one 300+ game passing; he had eight games under 200 yards. Therefore, he cannot be used as anything more than a QB2 in deeper leagues, and in best ball formats.
RB: There are rumblings in the Fantasy industry that Ezekiel Elliott might be a potential first-round bust due to the lack of a Dallas passing attack. And while I understand where those rumors are coming from, I will dispel them right now. There is no way that Zeke can be a bust if he is going to touch the football 300+ times this season. In fact, I would argue that the lack of a passing attack in Dallas makes Zeke more valuable. Opportunity = touches and touches = points. Using that theory, Zeke is still a first-round stud. Backing up Zeke once again will be Rod Smith. Smith was impressive in Zeke’s absence in 2017 and has secured himself at least about 100 touches in 2018. If I take Elliott, I have no problem handcuffing Smith to him in Round 19-20.
WR: With Dez Bryant gone, the Cowboys receiving corps is a little bit of a mess right now. Leading the pack is free agent signee Allen Hurns from Jacksonville. Hurns is a terrific route runner but lacks breakaway speed. The good news, though, is that he has great hands and should build trust with Dak Prescott instantaneously. Dallas drafted rookie Michael Gallup from Colorado State in Round 3 of this year’s draft with an eye on starting him in 2018. Gallup was probably one of the more pro-ready receivers available in the draft, but it is hard to expect him to catch more than 50 balls. Cole Beasley returns as the slot receiver and Terrence Williams returns as the Cowboys’ deep threat. Williams’ situation is slightly more precarious as he has been dealing with a foot injury which should give Gallup a chance to earn the starting role.
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TE: Your guess is as good as mine as to who will take over for the retired Jason Witten. Geoff Swaim seems to be in the lead to become the starter, but he is unproven. Despite his size, Rico Gathers struggles with his blocking which will hurt his chances to play. Perhaps rookie Dalton Schultz from Stanford will get an opportunity at some point this season. Stanford is known for its pro-style offense, so there is a chance Schultz might be ready to contribute earlier than most other rookies.
K: Dan Bailey is one of the top kickers in all of Fantasy Football. With Dallas’ troubles on offense, it would seem likely that he will have a bevy of chances as the team will struggle to find the end zone.
D: Dallas’ defense is slowly picking up steam as one to own in Fantasy circles. DeMarcus Lawrence is a pass-rushing machine, and the linebacking corps has improved with the recent additions of Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch. The biggest problem here is that the NFC East is going to be wide open in 2018 and I expect a lot of high scoring games.
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