Dez Bryant: Inconsistency Will Keep Explosive WR from Being No. 1 Fantasy Option

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistOctober 2, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 23:   Dez Bryant #88 of the Dallas Cowboys runs the ball against  Ahmad Black #43 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cowboys Stadium on September 23, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Dez Bryant is explosive and athletic, but the little things will keep the Dallas Cowboys wide receiver from becoming a No. 1 option in fantasy football.

Everyone knows about Bryant's character issues.

There's a reason the Cowboys decided to set rules for their prized young target prior to this season; however, dropping passes and miscommunicating with Tony Romo on a regular basis is another thing entirely.

This instance from Dallas' Monday Night Football matchup with the Chicago Bears sums things up perfectly:

At first glance, especially in live action, the interception looked like an obvious Romo mistake. After watching the replay, and Romo's discussion with Bryant on the sidelines, fans could see that Bryant obviously missed the adjustment made at the line of scrimmage.

Sure, it's just one play, but things like this can set the tone for an entire game. In this case, it definitely did.

Bryant's Monday night struggles didn't end there. His eight-catch, 105-yard performance doesn't look bad on paper, but he was targeted 13 times.

Three massive dropsincluding a huge miss on a deep ball in the fourth quarterresulted in tweets like this from the Bleacher Report feed:

Dez Bryant: #DropsOnDropsOnDrops tonight…

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 2, 2012

According to ESPN, Bryant has scored 27 points in their standard-scoring leagues. He has 21 catches for 269 yards on the season, but has failed to find the end zone.

It's no use saying where that ranks him in fantasy land; just know that it's low. For comparison's sake, A.J. Green leads all receivers with 60 points.

Based on physical tools, Bryant should be a No. 1 fantasy target, but look at the guys he's grouped around right now. Do you consider Davone Bess, Donald Jones or Mike Williams elite targets in fantasy world?

I highly doubt that you do, but all three currently have more points than the maligned Cowboys target.

So what gives? Bryant is a 6'2'', 220-pound specimen. When he does actually catch the ball, he shows flashes of brilliant open-field explosiveness. In terms of the eye test, he has it all.

But watch a few of Dallas' games. Bryant is equal parts skilled and frustrating. He's destined to be an enigma for the rest of his career, and I'm not talking the Terrell Owens or Randy Moss-type, either.

Those two, despite their inherent flaws, understood the position they were playing. Bryant doesn't appear to have that same grasp, and he will never realize the potential that made him a first-round NFL draft pick in 2010 until he does.

Of course you have Bryant on your fantasy squad. Chances are you battle with starting him every week. If you start him against poor defenses, who can blame you? But as much as you want him too be that guy, he's not even close to that level.

Based on what he's shown recently, he's never going to get there.