When fantasy football leagues around the world gather to draft teams for the 2018 season, at least one Dallas Cowboys player will be in high demand– Ezekiel Elliot, of course. Dan Bailey will be one of the first kickers off the board. Depending on how deep your league is, Dak Prescott could see some late interest.
But what about receivers? Will any of them be worth drafting?
Dallas is a run-first team. But to get by in the NFL, you have to be able to pass the ball well. Prescott isn’t a great passer, but he isn’t half-bad either. In NFL.com leagues, he finished the season ranked inside the top-12. But during his rookie season, he was sixth in fantasy points among quarterbacks.
If Prescott is a decent fantasy option, then surely some of the Dallas receivers are decent (or better) fantasy options as well—right?
You’d think, but if some recent comments of his are any indication as to how the offense is going to operate, it doesn’t sound like any Dallas receiver will be a good option:
“I don’t know if any team in the league necessarily needs a No. 1 receiver,” Prescott said, according to Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk. “It’s about getting the ball out, spreading the ball around, keeping the defense on its toes.”
For a receiver to be of value in fantasy football, he needs to be targeted; more targets mean more potential catches which means more yards, receptions, and touchdowns—and fantasy points. But if your quarterback is all about spreading the ball around, then no one has an opportunity to earn many fantasy points.
But just because he says that doesn’t mean the Cowboys are going to operate that way. Then again, as a rookie, Prescott operated as if he didn’t have a No. 1 receiver. He spread the ball around pretty well. Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, and Cole Beasley each got around 20 percent of the team’s total targets (97, 95 and 98 times respectively).
However, no one had what could be described as a good fantasy year. Neither cracked the top-25 among wide receivers.
Last season saw Bryant get the lion share of the targets (132) and record fewer fantasy points than in 2016.
What about 2018?
It is probably safe to assume that the Cowboys offense is going to look more like the 2016 version than last year’s. They are going to run the ball as much as they feel Ezekiel Elliot can handle. Dak Prescott is likely going to throw for around 3500 yards.
But with Bryant and Jason Witten gone, who is he going to throw to?
Until a clear-cut No.1 emerges, he’ll likely spread the ball around among Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams, Michael Gallup, Allen Hurns, Deonte Thompson, and Tavon Austin. He’ll have options, and he’ll probably use them all.
Which likely means fantasy players should avoid the wide receivers on the Dallas roster on Draft Day.