The Dallas Cowboys picked up a much-needed 38-14 victory over Washington on Thursday at AT&T Stadium to move to 6-6, and fantasy players who relied on running back Alfred Morris and wide receiver Dez Bryant were richly rewarded.
Morris saw a whopping 27 carries—clearly establishing himself as the primary back over Rod Smith (10 carries)—and finished with 127 yards and a touchdown. Bryant also found the end zone on one of his five receptions, which went for 61 yards.
With that in mind, here is a fantasy breakdown for each.
Alfred Morris Thrives
Morris found the end zone against his former team to put Dallas ahead by three scores in the fourth quarter, and it was a sight for sore fantasy eyes considering it was his first touchdown of the season:
Let's just say @FredoSauce is having a good night against his former team. 127 yards on the ground so far, and this TD! #dallascowboys #WASvsDAL https://t.co/gPowz6yMpi2017-12-1 04:02:05
It was also a welcome change after he tallied 53, 91 and 36 yards, respectively, in his previous three contests after Ezekiel Elliott was suspended.
The offensive line played a critical role in Morris' performance. Football Outsiders ranks it as the third-best run-blocking unit in the league, but it has struggled with consistency at times with four-time Pro Bowler Tyron Smith out at left tackle with injuries.
He played Thursday and cleared the way for Morris, as Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network noted:
Daniel Jeremiah @MoveTheSticks
Tyron Smith just toying with dudes2017-12-1 03:29:49
There is reason to trust Morris as a flex option moving forward with Elliott out as long as Smith is healthy and anchoring the offensive line.
Dez Bryant Makes Franchise History
Bryant is a three-time Pro Bowler with three seasons of more than 1,200 receiving yards, but he hasn't been his typically dominant self this season.
He is yet to crack 100 yards in a single game and reached the 80-yard mark just once, and he hadn't scored in five straight contests before Thursday.
He changed that with one reception Thursday, which marked his fifth touchdown of the season and a franchise-record 72nd of his career:
VINTAGE DEZ. 💪 #ThrowUpTheX because that's a #dallascowboys TD, courtesy of @dezbryant! #WASvsDAL https://t.co/7ygNJywieO2017-12-1 03:41:31
Dallas Cowboys @dallascowboys
RT to congratulate @DezBryant on becoming the franchise leader in receiving touchdowns. #DallasCowboys https://t.co/2HjRBvFOAA2017-12-1 03:41:51
Bryant's performance was encouraging beyond just the touchdown as his seven targets led the team and suggested he is still Dak Prescott's top option.
Bryant isn't having the season fantasy players were expecting when they drafted him, but he is still a superstar name who demonstrated his value as a red-zone threat Thursday. Ideally, the Cowboys will remember how talented he is after his head-turning reception over Bashaud Breeland and continue targeting him in scoring positions.
He is still a must-start moving forward even if the ceiling isn't as high as it once was in his prime.