Fantasy Football NFL Draft Reactions: Cowboys draft CeeDee Lamb, create logjam for targets

CeeDee Lamb was arguably the Draft’s top wide receiver prospect, an early declare who was productive early in his Oklahoma career and dominating by the end of it. He looked like a guy with legitimate WR1 potential down the line as a versatile route runner who can win on the inside and outside alike, and can command a heavy share of his team’s targets. 

That may still be true, but it will be tested now that he fell a bit in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft and Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys did a very Jones and Cowboys thing, grabbing the Sooners star at Pick 18. Lamb will fit in nicely into a Cowboys offense that lost Randall Cobb this offseason, and his versatility will make the passing attack that much more difficult to defend after a breakout 2019 season with Kellen Moore calling plays. 

But the question will be volume. Amari Cooper is now signed long-term, and Michael Gallup is a good, young player in his own right. It’s a tough landing spot for Lamb, who figures to be somewhat limited in his role early in his career, and will have to compete with two established players for looks. There are also questions about whether the Cowboys will remain as pass-heavy as they were last season — while Moore is still the offensive coordinator, Mike McCarthy took over as head job this offseason, and the Cowboys also racked up a lot of their heavy passing volume in comeback mode last season. 

The move is also a tough blow for Gallup’s value as a potential breakout third-year player, and it probably takes WR1 upside off the table for Cooper. Gallup missed two games last season, but when healthy was step-for-step with Cooper in many statistical categories, actually averaging more targets and yards per game than Amari. I’m optimistic Gallup can keep playing at that level, but Lamb’s presence adds a major roadblock to him seeing 120-plus targets. 

If you just look at the volume Dallas had in their passing game last season, things don’t look so bad. But again, whether this team will maintain what was a significant leap from prior seasons is a big question mark. As it stands, the Cowboys have three hyper-talented wide receivers, and Dak Prescott looks like the clear-cut QB3 behind Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson. 

As for the three receivers, the Los Angeles Rams trio over the past two seasons gives us a couple ideas on the range of outcomes. In 2018, things went well enough for all three of those Rams receivers to be WR2s in PPR points per game, although Cooper Kupp missed half of that season, opening up targets for the other two. But that was in an offense that was second in total yards and points scored. 

In 2019, things didn’t go as well for the Rams on a team level, although with Brandin Cooks dealing with concussions, both Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods were top-15 options in PPR leagues. 

What we know about the Cowboys is this passing offense will be tremendously difficult to guard, and there will almost certainly be production here. Maybe it’s not as bad as it seems on its face, but it’s hard to see this as a rising tide situation. None of these receivers will be consistent Fantasy producers — that’s always been the book on Cooper — and it will take an elite passing offense for all of them to be Fantasy producers. For now, I’d draft Cooper as a WR2 — and closer to a WR3 than a WR1 — and both Gallup and Lamb as low-end WR3s or WR4s. It will be interesting to see where their ADPs fall, because each will have upside from those spots if a teammate misses time. 

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