Dez Bryant: Fantasy Expectations for Dallas Cowboys WR for Rest of Season

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IOctober 21, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 01:  Dez Bryant #88 of the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on October 1, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant is set to put smiles on the faces of countless fantasy owners this season.

The troubled superstar is on pace to record his first 1,000-yard receiving season in 2012, thanks to a defining performance against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 6.

Despite showing some flaws, Bryant stole the show with big play after big play on the road, and put Dallas in position to win in the end before finally coming up short. If anything stellar came out of that bitter Cowboys loss, it was the emergence of the third-year wideout.

Here we break down what to expect from Dez Bryant the rest of this season. 


What's in Store

The Cowboys don't face a pass defense ranked higher than 12th in the NFL until Week 15, when they host the Pittsburgh Steelers. Even better news for Dez Bryant owners: After Week 7, six of the Cowboys' last 10 games will be played at home in Arlington.

In two home games this season, Bryant has caught 14 balls for 167 yards. If that production continues, then fantasy owners are in store for an exciting second half. 

Another important statistic to keep an eye on is targets. Bryant was targeted 48 times through Dallas' first five games this season. He was only targeted 103 times in 15 games all of last year. The growing number speaks to Bryant's improvement and maturation as a top NFL wide receiver.

Despite his issues off the field and occasional mistakes on the field, he is a talent worth holding onto this season. 


What to Expect

Dez Bryant was targeted 28 times over the course of two games against the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens. During that time, Bryant recorded 21 receptions for 200 yards and two touchdowns. 

If Bryant can stay healthy—assuming Tony Romo does as well—then he will be a threat to catch eight balls every week for close to 100 yards and a touchdown. He has the physical ability to perform week in and week out, and the schedule is in his favor as well.

With Romo looking Bryant's way more often than Miles Austin's or Kevin Ogletree's this season, the former Oklahoma State playmaker is sure to lead the Cowboys in targets, receptions and yards. He should catch around 100 balls by season's end and cash in on over 1,000 yards and close to 10 touchdowns. 

Bottom line: Dez Bryant is a valuable fantasy player and is only going to gain more confidence and rhythm in Dallas' offense as the season wears on this fall. 


Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

Follow _Pat_Clarke on Twitter