Draft season, for the serious leagues, is just getting ready to jump off. Most competitive leagues wait until after the dress rehearsal preseason game to make sure their targets are entering the regular season healthy. It's why the Fear The Star leagues don't draft until Tuesday night.
Being a Cowboys fan makes playing fantasy football pretty difficult. Because there are so many of us, in a public league you'll normally end up being next to one or two other Cowboys fans come draft time. Inevitably, there will be that guy who wants his team comprised of mostly Cowboys players and will draft them way earlier than he should; thereby locking you out of the greatest joy of all: having Cowboys touchdowns work for you in two realms.
If you aren't nodding your head right now, just know that you are that guy and other Cowboys fans that take this thing seriously don't like you. Hate to break the news.
If you aren't that guy, here's what you need to know about the prominent Dallas Cowboys.
(Note: I don't speak Non-PPR-ese. I don't know why you are still playing that mess.)
Dez Bryant is going as the 2nd - 4th WR chosen. You all know that I feel Bryant is in line to have one of the best wide receiver season's ever recorded. My personal projection for him is 118 catches, 1,650 yards, 17 touchdowns. My advice, if you are drafting in the late first round, and none of the top running backs have slipped... make no hesitation choosing Bryant, and then going back to back running back in rounds 2 and 3.
Murray is coming in around the 18th ranked running back. I'm not high on Murray for A) durability and B) time share. I know the Cowboys love what he can do, but in this pass heavy offense and the fact they seemingly have a short-yardage back, a change-of-pace back and a clone back?? I'd grab Murray in the fourth if I already have a great top tier back, but I'd look elsewhere if you really need a two-headed monster out of your backs. I'll give Murray 1,000 yards and 6 touchdowns, but I'm wary (and growing weary) of banking on him.
The Senator is the second or third TE depending on what rankings are doing with Rob Gronkowski. Jason Witten's two-yard-per-target dip scares me. The 12 personnel can work either way when it comes to his production and I feel that Dez on a slant will become the 2013 Romo Security Blanket. I know it's Cowboys blasphemy, but I'm staying away from Witten in 2013. I know they are preaching more red zone targets, but I'll see it when I see it, and then I'll think about believing it. 90 catches 850 yards, 4 touchdowns.
Romo is ranked as between the 8th and 12th best QB in 2013. The fact that it's a QB heavy year is great for Cowboys enthusiasts. A constant Top 7 performer with the memory of 2012 final game mean that Romo should be available for you when your turn comes up in the 6th or 7th round. If you really want him, go in the 6th after you've taken two backs, two WR and a TE and you should be pretty happy. Can he get to 5,000 yards? Maybe, but I'm pretty sure he's giving you over 30 TDs and cutting down on the interception total.
Opinions on Austin range from the 30th best to the 40th best WR, which is right where the best No. 2 receiver in the game should be. He spent all of 2012 playing hurt, but I think Dez's ascension will lessen his targets. That's ok, because I think he'll be more efficient, especially out of the slot with a deep burner (Terrance Williams) on the outside. I really do like Austin, but he is what he is at this point; a viable WR3 for your fantasy team, with occasional breakout possibility. 60 catches, 900 yards, 8 TDs.
Split'Em! Now that my Tyronasaurus nickname has caught on, it's your duty to go forth and spread Split'Em! I think with his increased leg strength, there is nothing holding Bailey back from those 50+ yard kick bonus points. All things considered, I'm taking Bailey over other kickers, even though he's ranked between 3rd and 7th. The difference between kickers is the most negligible difference you'll see in fantasy. Take the guy you already root for... IN THE LAST ROUND!
I love the turnovers this team is producing in the preseason, but it's very doubtful that anyone will be checking for this D outside of Dallas fans. If you do want to target them, you can wait until the next to last round and still nab them most likely. That means focus on other areas and know that you will be able to grab them. Myself personally, I wouldn't take them unless you're the type that likes to roll with two defenses.
(ranks per FFToolbox.com, per BTB Fear The Star League Scoring)
Terrance Williams: WR Rank 69
Dwayne Harris: WR Rank 88
Joseph Randle: RB Rank 61
Lance Dunbar: RB Rank 80
Phillip Tanner: RB Rank 111
Gavin Escobar: TE Rank 60
James Hanna: TE Rank --
IDP Players (ranked based on ESPN leagues IDP Standard Scoring)
Demarcus Ware: DL Rank 6
Anthony Spencer: DL Rank 10
Jason Hatcher: DL Rank 75
Jay Ratliff: DL Rank 91
Sean Lee: LB Rank 13
Bruce Carter: LB Rank 28
Justin Durant: LB Rank 72
Morris Claiborne: DB Rank 75
Brandon Carr: DB Rank 102
Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to sit down with Ben Standig to discuss the Cowboys fantasy football viability in depth. I was the first guest and we talked for about an hour and a half. If you have time, give it a listen.