There was a great deal of hype surrounding Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant entering this season from both an NFL and fantasy football perspective, and for the first time this year the third-year pro appeared to fulfill some of that promise with his huge outing in Sunday's loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Bryant had one of the best games of his career against the Ravens, hauling in 13 passes for 95 yards and a pair of touchdowns. While most of the attention in the media has been paid to the two-point conversion catch that Bryant didn't make, he was dismissive of his critics when speaking with Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News:
I don’t care what anybody thinks. I only care about what my coaches and what my teammates think. That’s the only thing that matters. Don’t nobody else understands what’s going on. Only this organization.
Bryant's explosion against the Ravens followed his first 100-yard game of the season in Week 4. While Bryant's fantasy owners may be hopeful that this is the beginning of the realization of Bryant's considerable talent, it's just as likely that it was a one-week fluke that won't be repeated.
For starters, that game came against a Baltimore Ravens defense that was already struggling against the pass entering Week 6, and it just got that much worse when top cornerback Lardarius Webb went down with what turned out to be a season-ending ACL tear.
Also, Bryant's history leans against a repeat (or near-repeat) of last week's game. The 23-year-old's 13 catches were easily a career high. In fact, Week 4 was the first time that Bryant had topped 100 receiving yards in a game since Week 10...of the 2010 season.
Where Will Dez Bryant Finish the 2012 Season Ranked Among Fantasy WR?
Mind you this isn't necessarily Bryant's "fault," at least where this season is concerned. Quarterback Tony Romo has been erratic at times. With an array of weapons at Romo's disposal, including wideout Miles Austin and tight end Jason Witten, the ball can get spread out a lot, leaving individual receivers such as Bryant as the "odd man out" from time to time.
That may be all well and good from an NFL perspective, with the Cowboys having multiple weapons in the passing game, but where fantasy football is concerned watching your WR1 run routes all day without getting targeted can give you heartburn.
Add it all up. While Dez Bryant is a talented player that deserves a spot in the starting lineup for your fantasy team, if you go into this week hoping for another 30-point game you're going to be disappointed, as those sort of games just don't happen every week.
Unless you're A.J. Green, in which case a 20-point game's a letdown week.