What Is the Fantasy Football Impact of CeeDee Lamb Going to the Cowboys?
You're probably tired of hearing about the 2020 Draft Wide Receiver class... but you're going to get over it for this guy -- CeeDee Lamb.
I'm sure the Dallas Cowboys didn't expect Lamb to be there at 17, but there you have it. Mike McCarthy is going to love him. There's a reason many considered him the top prospect in what has been dubbed as the "deepest receiver class in decades."
Here's a look at what the Cowboys are getting, and what we can expect from Lamb in fantasy.
A YAC Machine
Lamb averaged 19.03 yards per reception at Oklahoma. Let that sink in for a second. In fact, here's a chart of how he compared to some wideouts who had...okay careers.
|Player||Yards Per Reception|
|Odell Beckham Jr.||16.4|
There's a slim chance that you've heard of one or two players on that list. All kidding aside, that's some pretty elite company.
Lamb totaled a mind-boggling 24 catches of 40 or more yards in three collegiate seasons. Sheesh. You might think that these numbers mean that he's primarily a downfield threat, but that's not the case at all. His ability to see soft spots in the defense, break tackles, and get way in space are all elite.
The 21-year-old won't have to be pigeonholed into a specific role at the next level -- he can play both outside and inside at a high level.
As is the case with most rookie wideouts, Lamb's route-running will need some ironing out. There were times where he struggled against press coverage -- you can be certain that NFL defensive coordinators will try to throw him off at the line of scrimmage.
Our Editor-In-Chief JJ Zachariason compared Lamb to Sidney Rice. Though Rice wasn't ultra-productive for most of his career, he did have one season where he caught 83 passes for 1,312 yards and 8 scores. Expecting similar statistical outputs from Lamb as he matures is not unreasonable.
Fantasy Fit With Dallas
Unless he landed with a team like the Arizona Cardinals, Lamb was always going to be one of the top rookie fantasy prospects. Dallas is far from the worst destination for the Oklahoma sensation.
The Cowboys came into the draft not having much beyond Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup -- this for the team that attempted the 10th-most passes in 2019. Expect even more in 2020. McCarthy's Packers were among the league leaders in passing volume year after year.
As for Lamb's rookie season, JJ Zachariason projects him to catch 47.9 passes for 741.3 yards and 4.44 scores.
Even if the nuances of NFL route-running elude Lamb as a rookie, McCarthy can just design simple plays to get Lamb the ball in space. That alone makes him an intriguing prospect.
As for Dallas' current receivers, Cooper and Gallup can be bumped down a couple spots in redraft leagues -- as Lamb will assuredly siphon some targets.