Fantasy Forecasting For The Dallas Cowboys
By KD Drummond, Bloggingtheboys.com
There’s not much that can beat watching the Dallas Cowboys score touchdown after touchdown, making a mockery of the opposing defense. I think I can remember back that far, because we sure didn’t see much of that for most of 2010.
If there is something better, it could be having the Cowboy that reaches said promise land, penciled into the starting lineup of your fantasy football team. America’s Team and still undisputed, despite the 6-10 campaign from ’10. Cowboys fans take part in fantasy football just like everyone else; rabid enthusiasm until the requisite week 3 catastrophic injury to RB1. The difference is that with so many Cowboys fans worldwide, a publicly assigned fantasy league is destined to have at least one fan that drafts Cowboys players way too high.
If you’re playing in a league comprised of NFC East rivals though (#Redskinsdontscore), you should be able to get your Cowboys players in the perfect round. This will allow you to maximize the value of the pick and form your strategy. What’s that you say, you don’t have a strategy? Well at least you’ll know what kind of production to expect out of the Cowboys you reached for three rounds too early.
Quarterback Tony Romo is almost always a must get for me. His production is consistently above average, and he is consistently hated on by non Cowboys fans. In a pass happy offense, Romo has a career average of 8.0 yards per attempt. That’s guaranteed production. He has 118 career touchdowns in 61 games, close to a 2 per contest average. Over the past three years he’s averaged over 34 attempts per game. That’s an average stat line of 270+ yards and 2 tds. I’ll take that all day and twice on Sundays.
All these stats occurred with Marc Colombo at right tackle, who by most advanced metrics was the third-worst tackle in the entire league last year. The upgrade on the line should allow Romo more time and cut the interceptions down. If healthy, expect Romo to throw for over 4400 yards, over 30 touchdowns with 10-13 interceptions. He should be looked at immediately after the first tier of QB’s goes, target end of 3rd, early fourth round. QB1 material all the way.
Running backs Felix Jones and DeMarco Murray should be targeted in the 4th and 7th rounds respectively in you play in a points per reception league. Drop them a round each if it’s a pure yardage/touchdown scoring system. Jones shouldn’t be counted on to be a RB1. Expect 1100 yards rushing with 5 TDs, plus 40 catches for 500 yards 2 TDs. If you draft Felix, you should definitely handcuff him with Murray as there is an injury history to be concerned with. Felix averages 9 yards a reception and never drops a pass. Murray is a Jones clone and can run routes as well. A Jones injury turns Murray moves Murray up from a RB4 to a RB2. Tashard Choice is a RB4/5, as both ahead of him have a history of dings.
Wide receivers Miles Austin and Dez Bryant make a dynamic one-two punch. Austin is WR1 material, and his off year without Tony Romo should allow you to grab him in the second round after you acquire a stud running back in the first round. Bryant’s injuries and offseason nuisances could allow you to steal him in the fifth or sixth round, but I wouldn’t count on it if you really want him on your squad. Early fifth round at the latest. He is definite WR2 material with WR1 potential. Roy Williams isn’t worth the consideration. He drops more balls than anyone not in a teabagging contest. Austin could go for 1600 yards in 2011 and double digit touchdowns are a possibility. Expect Bryant to approach 1000 yards and 6-8 touchdowns. In leagues where return yardage counts for offensive players, bump him up a notch.
Jason Witten is Mr. Consistent. Fifth or sixth round value. You’ll get 1000 yards, 90 catches (big number in PPR leages) and about 5-7 TDs. The Cowboys defense had a down year in 2010, but you can normally wait until about 6-8 defenses are picked and still get great production from the unit. That should get you going for when your league’s draft rolls around. Go Cowboys!