Each week I’ll rank the Top 5 fantasy starters on the Dallas Cowboys and why in Dallas Cowboys Fantasy.
1. RB Ezekiel Elliott. Yeah, that didn’t work out in Week 1. But the matchup looks strong in Week 2 with Washington and after doing some research I didn’t feel Dez Bryant was a No. 1 option (see below). The Redskins gave up 143 yards and two touchdowns to DeAngelo Williams on Monday night. That was something the Redskins had trouble with last year, finishing No. 26 in run defense, giving up 123.7 yards per game. You saw how the Steelers shoved the Washington front four around. I think this is the week Elliott gets on track.
2. WR Dez Bryant. He edges out Jason Witten here as the top receiver/tight end based on past history. While Bryant’s numbers aren’t great against Washington (an average of 8.3 targets, 4.6 receptions, 70.3 yards and .7 touchdowns per game), he tends to bounce back when he’s been held to one catch. In games after behind held to one catch Bryant has averages of 4.8 receptions, 63.4 yards and a touchdown. One would assume with all of the hub-bub over Bryant’s lack of catches and targets last week he would see more passes. I think he will.
3. TE Jason Witten. QB Dak Prescott showed he likes throwing to the guy. Witten saw 14 targets and ended up putting up the best fantasy numbers for the Cowboys last week (15 points in a PPR league) among pass catchers. His numbers will likely take a dip vs. Washington with Bryant looking for more touches. Plus, against Washington Witten averages 4.6 receptions, 50.9 yards and .3 touchdowns per game. That’s about 10 points in a PPR format. I wouldn’t bench him, but make sure you have two better pass-catching options in your lineup to go with him.
4. QB Dak Prescott. With all the praise for his first start in the NFL in a standard format Prescott probably only got you about 10 points. Not starter-worthy. Now, had Cole Beasley and Dez Bryant caught those potential touchdown passes and we’re talking about 22 points, plus, perhaps, close to 300 yards passing. In researching rookie quarterbacks’ stats after their first NFL start it’s clear that it might not be wise to expect better numbers from Prescott immediately. He would benefit from a more productive running game, but that would also siphon off passing attempts.
5. RB Alfred Morris. Given how poorly the Redskins stopped the run, I think there’s room for two solid rushing performances on Sunday. Plus, if Bryant gets more passes thrown his way, as expected that will take opportunities away from Witten, Terrence Williams and Cole Beasley. Morris averaged five yards per carry on seven attempts. If he gets closer to the 10-12 carries I would expect he could get you a half-dozen points if you’re really desperate for a running back.
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