Booms, Busts, Breakouts & Bets: Dallas Cowboys


As the mercury rises and we inch closer to training camp openings, our resident fantasy football aficionados, Brad Evans and Derek Brown, profile their favorite Booms, Busts, Breakouts and Bets for every NFL team. Giddy up, gamers. Today’s topic: Jerry Jones’ Hobby.

Fantasy Football Booms – Cowboys

Dak Prescott, QB

Early reports are encouraging that Prescott will be a full go and not inhibited in any way to start the season. If that’s the case, Prescott is going to light the league on fire. In last year’s brief four-game sample, he was fantasy’s QB18, QB1, QB4, QB1. The Cowboys offense was leading the league in total plays and was first in neutral-script passing rate. Dallas could shatter play volume records this year with Kellen Moore still in the house. If volume is king, Prescott will be at the top of the mountain wearing the crown this year. With the three-headed monster of Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup all running routes and Prescott tossing darts behind a healthy offensive line, it’s not outlandish that he could finish as the QB1 overall this year. — Derek Brown

Dak Prescott, QB

Before a gruesome lower leg injury abruptly halted his 2020 campaign, Dak was on pace to post obscene numbers. His embarrassment of riches at wide receiver amplified his overall talents. Dallas’ overly generous defense, too, provided an assist. His 371.2 passing yards per game and dozen TDs (3 rushing) accumulated over five games catapulted him to the top of the QB fantasy points per game ranks. He also slotted inside the top-five in deep-ball completion percentage. 

Though Jerry Jones invested substantial draft and free agent capital in defensive upgrades, Prescott should pick up where he left off and then some. A slight reduction in running is a distinct possibility, but his floor remains exceedingly high. North of 5,000 passing yards with 35-38 total touchdowns are achievable. Could he threaten Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen for the top QB spot? Is a 24-hour confinement in a Waffle House a cruel and unusual fantasy football punishment? You know the answer. — Brad Evans

2021 Fantasy Football Busts – Cowboys

Amari Cooper, WR

One of the three modern triplets, Cooper has regained a mostly trustworthy reputation after years of week-to-week inconsistency. Last year, for the third straight season, he topped 75 receptions with over 1,000 yards and at least five touchdowns. Post-Dak setback, elevated backups Andy Dalton and Ben Denucci ultimately didn’t sink him, as he finished WR17 in total 0.5 PPR scoring among wide receivers. He also finished top-12 in total yards after catch and red-zone targets. 

Though the superficial numbers offer encouragement, his perceived value (WR14, 37.77 ADP) is still ballooned. Remember, he ranked WR25 in per game average in 2020 and landed outside the top-40 in air yards share. With Lamb on the rise and Gallup still on roster, he doesn’t belong in the same tier as Terry McLaurin, Robert Woods and Allen Robinson. — Brad Evans

Blake Jarwin, TE

This year, fading Jarwin is not so much an indictment on Jarwin as it is believing that Dalton Schultz has earned a role in this Cowboys’ passing attack. The last time we saw Jarwin, he was ultra-efficient in a part-time role. In 2019, Jarwin ranked top seven in quarterback rating when targeted, fantasy points per route and yards per target. But coming off a torn ACL in 2020, Jarwin could return to a split role with Schultz. 

Last year, Schultz finished eighth in yards after the catch and 12th catch rate among tight ends in a full-time role. Even at Jarwin’s depressed ADP (TE19, 160.3 overall) in a limited capacity, he could be a draft landmine. — Derek Brown

Fantasy football breakouts for the Cowboys

CeeDee Lamb, WR

If we believe Dak Prescott is ready to rock and roll (we should), then all of the hype Lamb has been garnering is well warranted. In the tiny snippet of games that Lamb had Prescott tossing him the ball and not the ginger ghost of fantasy seasons past, he was on his way to crushing his rookie season. In Weeks 1-4, Lamb made opposing slot corners look silly as the WR22 in fantasy points per game. Over this quartet of contests, he also ranked 29th in yards per route run (among all wideouts with 20 or more targets) and 11th in yards after the catch, ranked immediately ahead of Tyreek Hill. The Cowboys’ offense will have the passing rate and play volume to possibly support two top 15-20 wide receivers this season, so buy high on Lamb entering his sophomore season. — Derek Brown

CeeDee Lamb, WR

The chef’s special rack of Lamb will soon be a permanent fixture on every fantasyland menu. Considering the circumstances, the receiver’s inaugural campaign was nothing short of brilliant. Working out of the slot 68.6% of the time, he often registered 7-7-7, scoring sizable payouts for his backers. Most promising, he ranked WR56 in unrealized air yards and WR40 in catchable target rate, meaning, with a healthy Dak and a year of experience under the belt, a sizable forward step is likely. Could he catch 85-90 balls? It’s not off the table, especially if Dallas’ defense continues to be overly forgiving. 

Showcasing a WR13 price tag in best ball exercises (37.75 ADP overall), the fantasy community’s infatuation is strong. Still, the setup for him to profit, even given the exorbitant sticker, is there. — Brad Evans

Best Bets for the Cowboys 2021

(Use the FTN Prop Shop to uncover the best lines across legal sportsbooks) 

Dak Prescott to pass for the most yards in the NFL (+700, PointsBet)

Prescott was on a ridiculous pace of 6,760 passing yards in his four full games played. While he won’t finish anywhere close to the insane mark, the pace and passing rate should put him in contention for the top spot. — Derek Brown

Dak Prescott to win MVP (+1700, DraftKings)

For all the reasons listed above, Prescott is a firm dark-horse MVP candidate. This is unquestionably one of my favorite wagers on the futures board. — Brad Evans

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