Cowboys' Top Players to Target in Fantasy Football Drafts

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistAugust 4, 2021

Cowboys' Top Players to Target in Fantasy Football Drafts

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    The Dallas Cowboys were a relative bust when it came to fantasy football in 2020, but that setback is setting up a major comeback in 2021. 

    The ceiling of the offense was set fairly low when Dak Prescott went down with a season-ending injury. That left a combination of Andy Dalton and Ben DiNucci under center and lowered the stock of pretty much everyone involved in the Cowboys' offense. 

    The fact that some were still fairly productive is an indicator of how good this offense could be. 

    Zack Martin, La'el Collins and Tyron Smith all suffered serious injuries on the offensive line, yet Ezekiel Elliott was still RB11 overall. Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb finished 19th and 20th, respectively, among receivers. 

    Looking across the league at current average draft position, there are multiple targets on the Cowboys who could lead your fantasy team to victory. Let's take a look at a few of them. 

RB Ezekiel Elliott

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    Current ADP: 7.6 (RB6)

    It's really tempting to leave Elliott off this list and predict this is the year that Tony Pollard breaks free from the shadows of being the backup. His rushing stats have been better than Elliott's in back-to-back seasons but that isn't a fair comparison. 

    Pollard is still worth taking in the later rounds if you wind up with Elliott. His ADP of 123.2 makes him easy to attain, and he's a great insurance policy. 

    But Elliott will more than likely return to his former glory in 2021. He put up career-lows in multiple categories last season, but he also played behind an offensive line that only gave him 1.9 yards before contact and played musical chairs from week to week. 

    With Smith, Collins and Martin all back in the lineup, the Cowboys should once again have a good-to-great offensive line. Elliott has also taken some responsibility for his down year, cutting weight down to 218 pounds from 228 last season. 

    "Just having the year I had last year," the 26-year-old said, per Jon Machota of The Athletic. "You don't need more motivation than that. I just know the type of player I am. I don't think I showed that last year. I got a lot to prove."

    A motivated Elliott with a healthier offensive line could absolutely outplay his RB6 draft slot. 

WR CeeDee Lamb

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    Current ADP: 43.4 (WR15)

    If you're in the market for one of Dallas' top passing targets, it's likely you'll wind up mulling CeeDee Lamb vs. Amari Cooper. They are back-to-back on the current ADP list and have virtually identical stock heading into the season. 

    It makes sense. They finished 19th and 20th in scoring, with Cooper holding the slight edge over Lamb. But that's the point in choosing the latter in this spot over the former. At this point, we know what Cooper is, as he's entering his eighth year in the league. 

    Lamb, though, is still an unknown with top-10 potential. He's already drawn comparisons to already-great Cowboys receivers from teammate Dak Prescott:

    "CeeDee [Lamb] continues to make play after play, catch after catch that are jaw-dropping," the quarterback told reporters. "It looks like another 88 that wore that number. It's impressive."

    If you're going to spend an early pick on one of Prescott's receivers, it should be the one with the potential to be in the top 10 at the end of the season. That pick is Lamb. 

WR Michael Gallup

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    Current ADP: 127.5 (WR52)

    Michael Gallup is the forgotten man in the receiving corps. It's understandable. CeeDee Lamb lived up to the hype as a rookie and will now get Dak Prescott throwing him the ball. 

    Amari Cooper is a proven fantasy football commodity who still saw 130 targets last season, but getting him on your team will cost you. His ADP puts him at WR16.  It will be tough for him to exceed that. He was WR19 even with all the volume he got last season. 

    Gallup's stock has taken him out of the top 50 receivers, which is a bridge too far considering what he can do. 

    Even with Cooper and Lamb in the lineup last season he saw 105 targets. From the way Mike McCarthy is talking camp, that isn't going to change. 

    Michael Gehlkin of the Dallas Morning News reported that McCarthy believes Gallup has taken a "huge step" this offseason and has repped all three receiver spots throughout camp. That opens up opportunities for the Cowboys to utilize their big three wide receivers. 

    Considering the 25-year-old is in the final year of his contract in Dallas, he has every reason to make the most of his volume and pay off big for managers who get a share in this offense at Gallup's ADP.