2011 Fantasy Football Dallas Cowboys Preview, Auction Values: Bounce-Back Year?
America's team is coming off a disastrous 6-10 record and will try to right the ship once again this year. All the pieces are in place for the offense to be a fantasy juggernaut, especially with Tony Romo back with a revamped offensive line. It also doesn't hurt that the Cowboys' defense was in the bottom two of the NFL in points allowed last year, and they have done virtually nothing to address that problem.
QB -TONY ROMO ($23): Romo was having an excellent season last year until a broken collarbone in Week 7 ended his year. His ADP right now is fluctuating between the third and fifth round. With Peyton Manning's injury status looming, Tony has moved up to the sixth spot for QBs being taken in many draft formats. Romo has arguably the best receiving corps in the league; mix that in with a non-playoff schedule and a poor defense and you have a huge season looming. If you want him, he will go in the top 40 picks, so be prepared to draft him early. If the Cowboys can keep him upright, I foresee him as a top-four fantasy QB this year.
RB - FELIX JONES ($14): Felix will be the featured back this year for the Cowboys. He should get 300-plus touches in a high-octane offense and will be a three-down back. Jones finished third on the team last year in receptions and averaged 4.3 yards per carry on the ground. He is currently the 26th running back off the board in many leagues with an ADP of 5.1. I like his chance to outshine many being drafted ahead of him, especially if the Cowboys can solidify the O-line, giving Felix many more short-yardage TD opportunities. He is more valuable also in PPR leagues. Chance for a very big year here. If you want him, he will go in the top four rounds.
WR - MILES AUSTIN ($18): Miles had a decent year last year considering he lost his starting QB seven weeks into the season. He still finished with 88 receptions, 1,246 yards and eight TDs. He is currently the 11th WR being picked off many fantasy league draft boards. With all the Cowboys' weapons, it is hard to project him going any higher than that, but an injury to fellow wideout Dez Bryant would certainly bump his value into top-10 status. Austin is a solid pick come draft day and has potential to be a top-five wideout.
WR - DEZ BRYANT ($12): Here is the Cowboys' version of a high risk, high reward candidate. Dez scored six TDs in 12 games last year and has the talent and potential to be a top-20 wideout in this offense. With that potential, though, you also get a player who has been in and out of trouble off the field and an injury risk, especially since he returns punts. Jerry Jones likes him and this will be year number two in the Jason Garrett-led system. The potential is there for a big year, just be prepared to temper your expectations at any time during the season. His ADP is fourth or fifth round in most 12-team leagues.
TE - JASON WITTEN ($13): Jason enjoyed one of his best seasons ever last year, leading all tight ends in receptions and yards while catching nine touchdowns. He was John Kitna's favorite target. With Tony Romo back, it is logical to assume Jason's numbers will fall back into more like the norm for his career. Witten has managed four straight seasons with at least 81 receptions and 900-plus yards. Jason is another Cowboy who will go off the board before the sixth round, so again, if you covet him, you will have to draft him early.
K - DAVID BUEHLER ($1): "Ferris" struggled early in the year for the 'Boys, but still managed to stay with the team for the year. He was 24-for-32 on his attempts, scoring 114 points. Buehler could be a nice addition to your team if you get extra points for longer FGs. He hit four from over 50 last year and eight from 40-plus. The Cowboys figure to be a high-flying offense this year, so why not draft him with your last pick?
* Please note Buehler (k) has hip strain at this time.
DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS ($1): The Cowboys' defense will take on a new look this year with Rob Ryan coming over from Cleveland. Maybe some swagger and attitude will revamp a squad that is loaded with stars but has no substance. Most leagues group both defense and special teams as one unit, which is where the 'Boys have some value. Dez Bryant is an excellent punt returner and will return at least 2-3 punts for TDs this year. I see an upgrade here for the defense basically because they cant get much worse, but there are plenty of other defenses worth owning come draft day.
If you liked this, there's plenty more in The Fantasy Fix's 2011 Fantasy Football Draft Guide.
Written by John Marino exclusively for the The Fantasy Fix.
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