If you are anything like me and the other fantasy football fanatics, you are super excited because FOOTBALL IS BACK!! That means its time for the Fantasy Football Leagues to start going crazy! Week 1 of fantasy football is always one of the most roller coaster esque weeks of the season. All the rookies, all the magic 8 ball predictions, all the research, all the trash talk comes to a head! Everyone who’s anyone, are setting their lineups and searching the web for any help they can find. So, let’s see if I can take the edge off for any Cowboys player owners.
The Rookies in Dallas, offensively, are not quite as intriguing as the Zeke and Lamb seasons, on the surface. I wrote an article recently about the competition between Tolbert and Houston, the Cowboys two rookie WRs. Tolbert was drafted higher, he was supposed to fill in the role Gallup played with Cooper and Lamb leading the charge. However, he has not impressed Dallas coaches and Houston is gaining ground. Houston has the better connection with Dak, atleast for the time being. I highly suggest leaving this situation alone, but continue to monitor the two. Someone in this wide receiver room for Dallas absolutely must step up or the dominoes will fall, in the worst way, for the Cowboys.
Returning, in this Cowboys WR room, will be Lamb, Gallup, and Noah Brown. Cedriick Wilson left last season and was replaced with James Washington. However, Washington and Gallup will start the season banged up on the sidelines. Noah Brown will fall into the WR2 room for Dallas, simply off necessity, but he has very limited experience, averaging under 25 targets per season in 4 years. Noah Brown will definitely be an interesting player to watch, I would suggest looking at him as a WR5 at best for fantasy, until we see what he brings. The best weapon is clearly Lamb, which will skyrocket his value for fantasy and makes him an automatic start each week. The WR room is the weak link for Dallas, at this moment, but the strength will lie in their RB room and Defense, making them valuable fantasy assets.
Dallas’s RB room is a lot of fun for fantasy purposes, especially with some help coming in the draft to the O-Line. Dallas has long had an issue with their top tier O-Linemen not playing a single game as one unit since early 2017, that has drastically hurt Zeke. They have filled some holes, Tyron Smith is a little banged up but will return for their O-Line soon. Zeke should have a much better season, its a contact year so expect him to be doing everything in his power to lock in one more big deal. Tony Pollard is that make/break your fantasy team type of guy. TP is excellent at pass catching duties, he’s had some solid running games also. My personal hope for Dallas is to see them use Zeke and TP on the field together as a serious dual threat combo, that will also help Dak stay safe and maybe even open holes for big time Dak running plays. I highly suggest rostering these two backs and I truly believe Dallas will work them both in enough for Pollard to produce RB2/3 numbers in fantasy. All this boils down to the health and game of the most important offensive piece, Dak Prescott.
It seems like it was yesterday, but only two short years ago Dak ended his season early. We seen Dak Prescott come in last year and continue to produce high end QB1 numbers, he didn’t seem to miss a beat. The struggle I have with Dak is I fear the WR depth will hurt him like it did in the seasons between Dez and Cooper. Lamb is undeniably talented, but will he be enough to hold it down without a guy like Gallup to draw some pressure away? I believe it will be a rocky start, but they will get it together by week 4-5, at worst. If you see people in your league getting frustrated with Dak or Lamb, its not a bad idea to trade for them cheap before they blow up.
Dallas will have some serious growing pains to start the year, between some tough matchups and the lack of experience in the WR/O-Line units. This will inevitably leave the door open to make some guys available either via waivers or trades. The pieces I would expect to see on waivers will possibly be Gallup and Pollard, those two could prove to be league winners later in the year. I would monitor the receiver room for waiver options as well. Trade targets for Dallas could even include Zeke and Dak, if they start off rough, and you could get them for little value lost on your end. So, pay attention for these options. Keep your eyes peeled for that WR2/3 spot in Dallas, Dak almost created three 1,000 yard receivers already and can definitely do it again. The one piece that could save the value of the offense and help Dallas is their most solid side of the ball, the defense.
Dallas has an exceptional Defense and they are only getting better. They should prove to be a good DST option this year, maybe even great depending on how the weaker teams in their schedule perform. They have the guys like Parsons, Diggs, D-Law, and many more returning, that will only get better as a unit. This is key for keeping Zekes workload up. Dallas Defense has done very well at creating turnovers, which in turn has helped Dak and the offense score, as well as your fantasy team. It is a weird situation there because they do give up points and yards, which hurts your fantasy totals at times, and that is the only reason I wouldn’t suggest them as more than a streamer until we see how they’ve progressed.
Week one against Tampa Bay should give us some very valuable information on where Dallas stands in the Post Cooper era. Tampa has an incredible Defense, as well as an incredible Quarterback. The only issue with Brady has been his repetitive slow starts, though he seemed to do very well in Tampa last year. We can’t forget Father Time is real and as much as most honest fans know he is Football Royalty, it will catch up to him. My fears with Brady are that he quit and then didn’t quit, which is not a great sign. Dana White has always told reporters, when asked about fighters that he thought should retire, “if they think about retiring, they are retired”. That statement has always resignated with me, I try to use that in my own life. Think about a situation where you knew it was time to quit and didn’t, then think of how many times it resulted in a positive versus a negative. More times than not, when you know its time to quit but don’t, it shows in your performance. We will only get a glimpse of where Brady stands without Gronk and with a banged up WR room himself. This match-up should be a very defensive orientated affair, it will be tough for the offenses out the gate. In the end, I wouldn’t expect my offensive fantasy pieces to do a ton, I definitely would not suggest starting anyone that is more of a streamer, like Pollard and Noah Brown this week.
If you are looking for a game to take the under, this is probably you’re better bet. The stars like Brady, Evans, Fournette, Dak, Zeke, and Lamb will produce the lower end of their steady averages. Avoid starting streamers here, if you can, due to the fact these two defenses are just so good and have had very few personnel changes. If you like wagering, wager the unders in points and possibly yard totals. This will no doubt be a fun game outside of fantasy, but expect a rough start here this week.
I sincerely hope this piece helps give you the best fantasy football advice to decipher who to sit/start this week. The ultimate goal of all of this is to win your fantasy leagues. You can always comment on my week one post on IG, @fantasyfootballgrinder and get a more in depth look at the Bucs from the Fantasy Football Networks Tampa Bay analyst. We all will continue to work hard to find those waivers wire targets and trade targets that can be league winners! Thank you for taking time out to read this article and let’s go win your fantasy leagues!