2019 Fantasy Football Team Previews: Ezekiel Elliott still the centerpiece for the Cowboys
Key additions and departures, numbers to know, and which players to target in Fantasy Football from the 2019 Dallas Cowboys.
While many top Fantasy names are in flux, Ezekiel Elliott is as projectable as it gets. The fourth-year back has led the league in rushing yards per game in each of his three seasons, plus he took his receiving production to the next level in 2019. He'll continue to be the centerpiece of the offense, while Amari Cooper gives Dak Prescott the legitimate No. 1 WR he didn't have entering 2018.
Record: 10 - 6 (8th in NFL)
PPG: 21.2 (22)
YPG: 343.8 (22)
Pass YPG: 221.1 (23)
Rush YPG: 122.7 (10)
PAPG: 32.9 (21)
RAPG: 27.4 (10)
2018 Fantasy finishes
QB: Dak Prescott - QB14
RB: Ezekiel Elliott - RB5; Rod Smith* - RB89
WR: Amari Cooper - WR18**; Cole Beasley* - WR43; Michael Gallup - WR76
TE: Blake Jarwin - TE26; Geoff Swaim* - TE37
*No longer with team
**Played six games with OAK
Number to know: 51.8%
The Cowboys scored touchdowns on 51.8% of their red-zone possessions, good for seventh-worst in the NFL last season. Long-time playcaller Scott Linehan took the fall and was replaced by ex-backup quarterback Kellen Moore, who will run the same kind of scheme but implement versatility and strike up some creativity to improve their red-zone numbers.
"I think we have (made improvements) coaching wise. We are going to do that scheme-wise. We are going to have real scheme changes on offense. That is going to improve us. I don't mean to be trite. We are going to make a big effort to be better offensively. We are going to try to challenge the defense more. We are going to try to expand our options." - Jerry Jones
Head Coach: Jason Garrett (9th year)
Offensive Coordinator: Kellen Moore (1st year - previously QB Coach, DAL)
2. (58) Trysten Hill, DT
3. (90) Connor McGovern, G
4. (128) Tony Pollard, RB
5. (158) Michael Jackson, CB
5. (165) Joe Jackson, DE
6. (213) Donovan Wilson, S
7. (218) Mike Weber, RB
7. (241) Jalen Jelks, DE
Rankings and Projections
|Heath Cummings' projected offensive stats|
|3,964 YD, 24 TD, 9 INT; 344 Rush YD, 5 TD|
|321 ATT, 1,508 YD, 11 TD; 84 REC, 668 YD, 3 TD|
|69 ATT, 275 YD, 1 TD; 12 REC, 84 YD|
|134 TAR, 83 REC, 1,154 YD, 7 TD|
|96 TAR, 53 REC, 764 YD, 4 TD|
|96 TAR, 63 REC, 627 YD, 4 TD|
|54 TAR, 37 REC, 337 YD, 4 TD|
Will Michael Gallup or Randall Cobb put up meaningful numbers?
Ideally, Dallas would like to spread the ball around more effectively than last year when Amari Cooper and Ezekiel Elliott combined for 42 percent of Dak Prescott's targets from Week 9 on. Cobb might have one decent year left as the Cowboys' slot, but Gallup should continue reaping the rewards of being in single coverage. He's the better late-round Fantasy grab.
One sleeper, one breakout, and one bust
Sleeper: Tony Pollard
A wide receiver-turned-running back, Pollard doesn't look like he packs much of a punch but proved over three seasons at Memphis that he's a capable runner and a dang good receiver. He had as many rushing touchdowns as he did receiving touchdowns (nine) and averaged over 11 yards per catch with the Tigers. He could fill a scatback role for the Cowboys that gives him around five touches per game (not including kick and punt returns). And if anything were to happen to Ezekiel Elliott, he'd theoretically see more touches.
Breakout: Michael Gallup
No one else on the Cowboys roster has enough potential to be considered a breakout. Gallup, a favorite sleeper for a handful of us last year, had 5.1 targets per game in the nine contests he shared the field with Amari Cooper. In those matchups he averaged 13.8 yards per grab and began showing signs of life as a capable No. 2 receiver. The Cowboys offense should be more creative this fall, giving Gallup more opportunities to score some nice numbers. Begin the year with him on your bench.
Bust: Dak Prescott
Prescott should be good but given the state of quarterbacks available to us in Fantasy Football this year, good isn't good enough. His career consistency rate (20-plus Fantasy points in six-point-touchdown leagues) is 46.8%. In nine games with Cooper last year his rate was 44.4%. Every year he comes up with a handful of really strong games, but not enough of them to make him worth a priority draft pick.
So which Fantasy Football sleepers should you snatch in your draft? And which RB2 can you wait on until late? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy Football cheat sheets from the model that called Andrew Luck's huge season, and find out.
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