2019 Fantasy Football Team Previews: Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys have once again returned to relevance, both in fantasy and reality. After a 3-5 start, Dallas made the playoffs and won their first playoff game since 2014. They overpaid for Amari Cooper, but he had enough big moments to make that pill easier to swallow. Leighton Vander Esch had a terrific rookie season and Jaylon Smith emerged as a stud. There’s plenty of reason for optimism in Big D. But will expectations get the better of them in 2019? More importantly, what can they offer our fantasy teams?
Joe has just gotten started, but he’s making his way through all 32 NFL Team Previews.
2019 Dallas Cowboys Fantasy Preview
KEY LOSSES: Cole Beasley WR
Impact: Cole Beasley was a comfortable target for Dak Prescott in his early year’s, but Ezekiel Elliot’s emergence in the passing game and the Amari Cooper acquisition made him expendable from a salary cap standpoint. The Cowboys really didn’t lose many important pieces outside of Beasley, and that’s a win for team continuity.
KEY ADDITIONS: Randall Cobb WR, Jason Witten TE
Impact: Randall Cobb will slide into the slot receiver spot vacated by Cole Beasley. In fantasy terms, that role is now dicey with old reliable Jason Witten returning to the fold. Witten was Prescott’s favorite short target for some time, before heading to the announce booth. We’ll see what he’s got left in the tank. My guess is not much. But, it’s probably enough to eat into Cobb’s value. Not to mention, Cobb’s myriad of injuries in the last few years. He’s a bigger name than an asset at this stage.
Impact: Many see Trysten Hill as a boom or bust guy. If rumors of him not being as committed as he should be in terms of work ethic, he won’t last very long. At worst, McGovern is solid O-Line depth and considering injuries are bound to strike. Therefore, this was a wise “best guy on the board” selection. They had no first rounder after the Cooper trade mid-season, so it wasn’t a flashy 2019 draft for Big D.
OFFENSIVE OUTLOOK: Much like his predecessor, Dak Prescott is a better fantasy QB than a real one. Prescott rushed for 6 TD’s and 300 yards on the ground while throwing for 22 TD’s. He’s a solid QB2 in Superflex. Ezekiel Elliott was a beast last year, adding 77 catches and 567 yards receiving to his monstrous 1.4K rushing yards. Two-thousand all-purpose yards seem like a repeatable feat in 2019, and he’s arguably the No. 1 RB in fantasy (especially in standard leagues).
Amari Cooper was still inconsistent last year, mixing huge weeks with vanishing acts. Some say a full off-season together will create consistency, but history tells us that this is basically who Cooper has always been. Michael Gallup has more upside in year two of his career and his strong finish gives credence to his supporters. It’s all about the cost you have to pay in terms of ADP as to whether he’s a worthy risk.
DEFENSIVE OUTLOOK: Leighton Vander Esch had 100 solo tackles as a rookie and DeMarcus Lawrence reached 10.5 sacks. The Cowboys were 7th overall in YPG and 5th against the run. Just 13th against the pass, the secondary could use some improvement. Still, this is a strong fantasy unit with a few IDP gems.
2019 OUTLOOK: The Cowboys have some huge potential contracts on the horizon for Dak and Zeke and the purse will most assuredly open for both. The question becomes, how much do those contracts restrict them from building roster depth on both sides of the ball down the line? Time will tell. They’re probably the favorite to win the NFC East as it stands right now and they’ll be one of the stronger fantasy contributors in terms of individual talent. Just pray that Ezekiel Elliott stays out of trouble.
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