by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Obviously since the news of Tony Romo’s injury broke all eyes have been on rookie Dak Prescott, who will be stepping into the starters role. However what about standout wide receiver Dez Bryant? Can he still be counted on or would fantasy owners be wise to sell now? First, let’s take a look at the numbers Bryant put up in six games without Romo a year ago:
20 catches, 282 yards, 2 TD
Of course Bryant was battling his own injuries, but just over 3 catches for 47 yards per game is as pedestrian as you get. In the one start Romo missed in 2014, Bryant managed a meager 2 catches for 15 yards and 1 TD. He did post a big performance in the final game of 2013, with 8 catches for 99 yards and 1 TD, but that appears to be the exception not the rule.
We can argue that Dak Prescott is an improvement over the types of backups the Cowboys have deployed in recent seasons, and that’s fair. Of course he is also a rookie, and with that brings inexperience and uncertainty. We may want to believe that the rapport will be there from Day 1 and he can step up and handle the pressure, but the odds are better that he stumbles a bit. It’s unfortunately the nature of the beast.
He did present himself well in the preseason, but of course that’s the preseason and the competition level isn’t quite what it will be when the lights officially turn on. You also have the potential for a run heavy attack, centered around Ezekiel Elliot, which would further limit Bryant’s potential.
Are we saying that Bryant won’t be productive? As long as he’s healthy he will put up some numbers, but will they be Top 10 receiver marks? That’s not something we would be willing to bet on. If you can find someone willing to pay that type of price tag, take it without a second thought.
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
Make sure to check out all of our updated preseason rankings: