Fantasy Football Mailbag: Monday 8/29/16

Jared Cook finally has a top-tier quarterback with the Green Bay Packers. Does that mean we can buy into his fantasy value?

Fantasy football research never stops, and offseason news can really complicate things, especially when coaches talk up second- and third-string players. That's why we're starting up a fantasy football mailbag.

Have a question about a certain player, team, draft strategy, or anything football? Shoot us a question on Twitter or send an email to, and we can talk anything fantasy football related -- even daily fantasy football.

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Now, let's answer some questions.

Earlier today on numberFire, we looked at why math suggests the Dallas Cowboys could be okay with Dak Prescott at quarterback. The fantasy aspect of the discussion is a bit different, though.

Using the RotoViz team splits app, we can see differences in the Cowboys' offense with and without Romo over the past three years. There are a few red flags here, and it's not just about the offense's efficiency.

Split Plays Per Game Points Per Game Points Per Drive
With Romo 62.03 28.00 2.33
Without Romo 59.29 16.36 1.47

When Romo was out last year, the Cowboys' offensive pace slowed to a crawl. This will negatively impact the team's fantasy viability, and you would assume they'd be of a similar mindset this year with Prescott taking over.

Additionally, now that Ezekiel Elliott is in town, it seems safe to assume that all positive and neutral game scripts will be heavily focused on the run. Those are the most valuable passing situations for fantasy because negative game script has harsh effects on efficiency, and the Cowboys don't seem likely to throw the ball when they're in that position. That's another major ding to Prescott's outlook.

Even if Prescott winds up being a quality quarterback, his fantasy value in Dallas could suffer due to pace and volume. That's why -- for now, at least -- it's likely best to stick with Andy Dalton and evaluate Prescott once he sees regular-season action.

Email submission from Luiz Heber Amaral

Hi, I can't define my 1st (#12 overall) and 2nd pick (#13 overall). It's a 12 teams PPR league. I expected to pick Allen Robinson and Brandon Marshall BUT Keenan Allen and Jordy Nelson are nice targets to me. Can you help me?

The luxury of drafting at the turn between the first and second round is that you're going to wind up getting two solid players. The ideal scenario here is that A.J. Green falls to you, but you won't have to fret even if he doesn't.

Of that list, the player who'd be hardest to pass up is Allen Robinson. He saw 22 targets inside the red zone last year, and he was able to convert 12 of them into touchdown receptions. Only three players had more red-zone targets than Robinson, and nobody converted more into touchdowns than him. Even with a bit of regression from the Jacksonville Jaguars' offense, Robinson should continue to be an elite option.

To figure out the second spot, we can spin the wheel on numberFire's season-long draft kit to see whom it prefers. With the 12-team, PPR settings, Jordy Nelson claims a slight edge over Keenan Allen with Brandon Marshall checking in third place. This allows you to put a little personality into your draft.

Given the knee injuries he has suffered, Nelson gets the "high risk" label from the draft kit. If you're okay with that risk (it's not negligible), then it's okay to roll the dice and get exposure to one of the best quarterbacks in the league. If not, Allen's risk level is lower than Nelson's, likely making him the superior choice. Either way, you're going to have a pair of talented studs occupying your roster by the time your second pick is on the board.

Because of the nature of the tight end position, we want to latch onto an offense with high touchdown upside, giving the player plenty of opportunities to plunge into the end zone. Not many offenses have more touchdown upside than the Green Bay Packers, and Jared Cook is almost free right now. That's your guy.

Last year, Richard Rodgers finished as the 11th-ranked tight end in PPR leagues, scoring eight touchdowns on just 85 targets. Cook has been working ahead of Rodgers in the preseason and appears to be the new pass-catching tight end in the offense.

We can't use previous production to judge Cook's talent because he has played with a laundry list of utterly wretched quarterbacks. All we can judge him on right now is his situation, and few have it better than him when it comes to fantasy. If Rodgers can finish as a starting option at the position in a down year for the offense, Cook's potential stretches well beyond that.

If Cook is a bit too risky for your liking, Dwayne Allen has a similar situation and is going just one round before Cook, according to Fantasy Football Calculator. Similarly juicy potential would exist with the Pittsburgh Steelers if we were to get clarity on the health situation of Ladarius Green. If Green's good to go, he has fun upside. If not, Jesse James immediately becomes a streaming candidate within the offense.

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