Fantasy Football Today - fantasy football rankings, cheatsheets, and information
A Fantasy Football Community!

Create An Account  |  Advertise  |  Contact      

Andrew Swanson | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

2019 Player Outlooks: Dallas Cowboys

Amari Cooper

Unless we get a significant change in philosophy, the Cowboys can only support one fantasy wideout.

QB Dak Prescott
(2018 QB Rank - No.18, 21.8 FPts/G)

Prescott has been the model of consistency in his three seasons with the Cowboys, with an average of 22 passing touchdowns and 3,500 passing yards to go along with six rushing touchdowns. You can bank on around six rushing touchdowns based on the fact that he posted that number in each of the last three campaigns.

His 21.8 fantasy points per game tied with Tom Brady in 2018, while just a tenth of a point behind Russell Wilson, a player who is slated to be drafted well ahead of Prescott this summer.

Prescott’s consistent rushing numbers, especially the touchdown production, makes him a valuable fantasy asset and makes up for the fact that he has yet to throw for more than 23 TDs in a year. A full offseason working with Amari Cooper and a refreshing new offensive play caller in Kellen Moore could be the formula Dak needs to have a breakout passing TD season.

Despite these changes, the Cowboys are a run-first team with the goal of using their high-priced offensive line to maul the opposition and create holes for Ezekiel Elliott. For this reason, Dak will likely be drafted as a QB2 in most formats.

RB Ezekiel Elliott
(2018 RB Rank - No.8, 16.9 FPts/G)

The 2018 season turned out to be a combination of positive and negative trends for Ezekiel Elliott, as the former fourth overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft finished outside the top 5 in fantasy running backs for the first time in his career.

Zeke won the rushing title over Saquon Barkley by a commanding 128 yards in one fewer game, but he managed just six rushing touchdowns and nine total TDs. The lack of rushing touchdowns appears to be an anomaly, as Dak Prescott did not see an increase in rushing TDs that would justify taking away opportunities from Zeke.

In the history of the NFL, there were 112 instances of a player rushing for at least 1400 yards on 300 or more carries in a season. Out of those 112 seasons, only seven times did a player manage to rush for six or fewer touchdowns.

Positive touchdown regression is in the mix for Zeke, especially when you consider the fact that he took a massive jump in receiving production in 2018 that should continue into 2019. After logging just 58 receptions in combined in his first two seasons, the Cowboys finally came to their senses and gave Zeke 77 receptions for 567 yards and three touchdowns last year.

It should also be noted that center Travis Frederick appears to be on the mend from missing all of last year due to effects from Guillain-Barre syndrome. His return to the middle of the Cowboy offensive line, along with an improved passing attack, should provide Zeke with ample opportunities this season.

WR Amari Cooper
(2018 WR Rank - No.23, 9.6 FPts/G)

Cooper played in nine games with the Cowboys in 2018 after joining the team via trade from the Oakland Raiders for a 2019 first round draft pick. In those nine games, Cooper caught 53 balls for 725 yards and six touchdowns on 76 targets.
His 16-game pace based on his numbers with the Cowboys would have given Cooper 94 catches for 1,288 yards and 12 touchdowns, which would have placed him firmly inside the top-12 at the wide receiver position.

On a negative note, Cooper continued his career-trend of monster games mixed in with duds, with two 30-plus point performances sandwiched around three games of fewer than five fantasy points. Lack of consistency is the main reason why Cooper has yet to ascend to the elite level among wide receivers, as his knack of disappearing at times burns fantasy owners.

For this reason, Cooper is a far more attractive player in best ball formats than standard leagues, but he should still be considered a high-end No.2 WR in both standard and PPR leagues.

WR Michael Gallup
(2018 WR Rank - No.105, 4.2 FPts/G)

Gallup flashed some upside in his rookie season and showed promise to live up to his third-round draft cost. The former Colorado State Ram caught 33 receptions for 507 yards and two touchdowns on 68 targets and finished the year with a career-best six catches for 119 yards on nine targets against the Rams in the Divisional Playoff round.

An increased usage down the stretch of six of more targets in six of his final seven games, including two playoff rounds, show a positive trend heading into his second season.

Cooper will no doubt be the alpha dog and will lead the team in targets, and the return of Jason Witten will undoubtedly take away targets in the passing game as tight end was a wasteland for Dallas in 2018. But Gallup could be a wild-card play on the outside with single coverage as teams focus on the other key players in the passing game.

WR Randall Cobb
(2018 WR Rank - No.75, 5.6 FPts/G)

Cobb signed a one-year $5 million contract with the Cowboys to presumably replace departed wide receiver Cole Beasley in the slot. The eight-year veteran finished his time with the Packers with 470 receptions for 5524 yards and 41 touchdowns, with his best season as a pro coming in 2014 when he caught 91 passes for 1287 yards and 12 touchdowns.

As the No.3 wide receiver on the depth chart and arguably the fifth in the pecking order for targets in a group that includes Zeke Elliott and Jason Witten, it is difficult to see a scenario in which Cobb will get enough volume to be fantasy relevant.

In addition to volume concerns, Cobb has not played a full 16-game season since 2015, as a wide variety of soft-tissue injuries have plagued the once-elusive wide receiver.

Only owners in deep 14-team PPR formats should consider adding Cobb as a late-round flyer, especially in PPR formats.

TE Jason Witten
(2018 TE Rank - N/A)

After a dreadful single season as the color commentator for Monday Night Football, Jason Witten returned to the Cowboys to assume the starting tight end role in an offense that greatly needed a shot in the arm at the position.

Rico Gathers flashed his elite athleticism at times, and Blake Jarwin did post a league-winning, three-touchdown performance for people who play fantasy into the final week of the regular season. But in reality, the Cowboys needed an upgrade at tight end, and even at age 37, Witten will be an upgrade over Gathers and Jarwin.

For fantasy purposes, it does not take much for a player to finish as a tight end one, and Witten certainly can post five touchdowns and 600 yards that would place him squarely into TE rankings. But he lacks the ceiling of other players at the position who have the chance of breaking out, like Chris Herndon or even Mike Gesicki.

Draft Buddy - Fantasy Football excel draft spreadsheet