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The Football Guru

Instant Fantasy Analysis - WR CeeDee Lamb, Cowboys

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Lamb was one of the most dynamic receivers after the catch in the country. (He averaged 11 yards after the catch per reception in 2019 and forced 26 missed tackles - fifth and second among draft-eligible receivers, respectively, per Pro Football Focus). Creating separation, playing the ball well in the air and generating yards after the catch are all important qualities to be a successful NFL receiver, and those are all areas in which Lamb easily holds his own or excels. He can make an inaccurate quarterback look good and an accurate quarterback look great. In that way, the comparison to DeAndre Hopkins is mostly accurate.

However, Lamb is nowhere near as physical as Hopkins and will need to add some more strength in his upper body if he hopes to get there. He also doesn't have elite speed or much experience against press coverage. In other words, good luck getting seven-plus targets consistently in an offense that already has Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. Ultimately, Lamb's run-after-catch ability is going to allow him to be a factor as a rookie, but he's going to struggle to get the chance to be the alpha receiver that many expected him to be prior to the draft with Cooper and Gallup around.

What does it mean in redraft? While this pick is all about value for the Cowboys, this is a disappointing Year 1 landing spot for Lamb, who must battle Cooper and Gallup for targets. It seems Randall Cobb's production in 2018 (55-828-3) might be pretty close to the ceiling of Lamb's statistical upside as the third option in this offense. As such, Lamb is shaping up to be a middling WR4 if Cooper and Gallup stay healthy. If they don't, however, the rookie could easily become an every-week fantasy starter as a low-end WR3.

What does it mean for dynasty? Given the fact he will be competing with a quality receiver in Gallup and Cooper, it's possible Lamb could fall toward the end of the first round. (Will update again after the draft is completed.)

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I had high hopes for Lamb, but yikes!

The only silver lining I see is that he won't be the featured WR1 for the Cowboys right out of the gate, like he might have been for the Raiders or possibly even the Broncos.  Without facing defenses best coverages, his YAC ability (averaged a whopping 11 yards after catch in college) could become a potentially sneaky but risky fantasy asset...?  Maybe?

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5 minutes ago, Vikings4ever said:

Cooper signed a 5 year deal with the Cowboys. If anything, it's a statement on Gallup.

Whoops! Completely forgot that extension got done.

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Great place for him and he has high potential in that offenss as the no.2.

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I think Lamb has a good bit of potential with the Cowboys. In his rookie season, he, like most rookie WRs, likely won't be a stud fantasy WR, but he will have his moments.

He'll have the advantage of other teams not being able to focus on him, so he'll face single coverage a lot, and he'll be moved around the formations a bit too. So he'll be versatile on the field. Still he'll get a good amount of his work from the slot. Randall Cobb had a respectable season in the slot, but I expect Lamb to be much better.

This season, I expect him to be a good depth pick. He probably won't be consistent enough to be a guy you put in your starting line up and just forget about. He will be a good choice to come off the bench if you have bye weeks or injuries from your starters. He'll have some week where he's worth next to nothing, 2 catches for 15 yards or something, but he'll have some big games too. He'll have a couple of 100 yard games or so, score some TDs, and make some big plays. So it will be a bit of a gamble to play him, but it will pay off big sometimes.

In dynasty leagues, he'll be a gem. His rookie season he may not be more than good depth, but I wouldn't be surprised if he passes Gallup by his 2nd season. Then after two years, Gallup will be a FA and probably hit the market. So by his 3rd season, he may be one of the top fantasy WRs in the NFL.

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I can see why he would be worth the gamble.  

Cooper and Gallup have the wr1 and two spots covered.  

I think the word Gamble is the perfect word for Lamb this next season, and worth a draft pick late extremely late, but unless either  Cooper or Gallup suffer a injury I can’t see how I would ever trust starting him, over another wr that I hope I have on my roster that’s a much better and safer play. 

Cobb in non ppr was a wr4 and had about four games worthy of starting him in non ppr , so Lamb is worthy of a roster spot for sure, but starting him with Cooper and Gallup still available on the field would just be frustrating at best.  

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23 hours ago, weepaws said:

I can see why he would be worth the gamble.  

Cooper and Gallup have the wr1 and two spots covered.  

I think the word Gamble is the perfect word for Lamb this next season, and worth a draft pick late extremely late, but unless either  Cooper or Gallup suffer a injury I can’t see how I would ever trust starting him, over another wr that I hope I have on my roster that’s a much better and safer play. 

Cobb in non ppr was a wr4 and had about four games worthy of starting him in non ppr , so Lamb is worthy of a roster spot for sure, but starting him with Cooper and Gallup still available on the field would just be frustrating at best.  

I wouldn't be shocked if at some point in the season Lamb is better than Gallup and possibly even Cooper.

Both Gallup and Amari are kind of streaky, if Lamb can find a bit of consistency, I say it's not out of the realm of possibility he's the best of the three.

It's a long shot this season because he's a rookie, but I wouldn't rule it out

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46 minutes ago, polecatt said:

I wouldn't be shocked if at some point in the season Lamb is better than Gallup and possibly even Cooper.

Both Gallup and Amari are kind of streaky, if Lamb can find a bit of consistency, I say it's not out of the realm of possibility he's the best of the three.

It's a long shot this season because he's a rookie, but I wouldn't rule it out

Not saying this to be combative, but what's more likely? Amari and Gallup being streaky or Dak not being as good as some make him out to be? FWIW, I liked Gallup's college tape more than I did Lamb's.

The D-Hop comps need to stop (not talking specifically to you again, polecatt). I think Lamb will be very good, but folks need to cool it on comps to perennial 100-catch pro WRs. I didn't see Lamb separate very often, and it's always a bit of a dice roll when receivers rely so heavily on ball skills. His ball skills and run-after-catch should make him a stud eventually, but Amari is one of the best in his game right now. As for Gallup, he's one of 66 receivers in NFL history to post 1,100 receiving yards in his first and/or second season.

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2 hours ago, The Football Guru said:

Not saying this to be combative, but what's more likely? Amari and Gallup being streaky or Dak not being as good as some make him out to be? FWIW, I liked Gallup's college tape more than I did Lamb's.

The D-Hop comps need to stop (not talking specifically to you again, polecatt). I think Lamb will be very good, but folks need to cool it on comps to perennial 100-catch pro WRs. I didn't see Lamb separate very often, and it's always a bit of a dice roll when receivers rely so heavily on ball skills. His ball skills and run-after-catch should make him a stud eventually, but Amari is one of the best in his game right now. As for Gallup, he's one of 66 receivers in NFL history to post 1,100 receiving yards in his first and/or second season.

I'm talking best case scenario. I'm not saying it's likely to happen. Lamb is gonna get some soft coverage this season and if he can take advantage of that, he could have a very good season. Most likely though, I think he's about an 800 yard, 5-7 TD guy this year. I don't think it's out of the question though that he goes over 1000 yards and has 8 or 9 TDs. I don't think there is much of a chance at all he puts up better numbers than Hopkins.

I could see Amari have a big year, or I could see Gallup  be the top WR on the team. When you get down to their skills, I think they are all three on a similar level. Amari has the most experience, so he's the best at this point. That could change though.

Dak will be just fine. I think he will pass for over 4500 yards again and around 30 TDs.

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41 minutes ago, polecatt said:

I'm talking best case scenario. I'm not saying it's likely to happen. Lamb is gonna get some soft coverage this season and if he can take advantage of that, he could have a very good season. Most likely though, I think he's about an 800 yard, 5-7 TD guy this year. I don't think it's out of the question though that he goes over 1000 yards and has 8 or 9 TDs. I don't think there is much of a chance at all he puts up better numbers than Hopkins.

I could see Amari have a big year, or I could see Gallup  be the top WR on the team. When you get down to their skills, I think they are all three on a similar level. Amari has the most experience, so he's the best at this point. That could change though.

Dak will be just fine. I think he will pass for over 4500 yards again and around 30 TDs.

I got you. I think I agree with your 800-yard estimate.

Regarding Hopkins vs. Lamb, I've just grown tired of people (not talking to you specifically again) who believe Lamb is the next Hopkins (in reality). Sure, Lamb will almost certainly improve. It's just irresponsible for people who "watch football for a living" to set the bar that high with him. I do think defenses will just have to flat-out ignore Lamb (or Cooper/Gallup need to get hurt) in order for him to get 1000/8 though.

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When Dallas brought in Tavon Austin a couple of years ago, they probably thought they were getting the gadget RB/WR who went 900/9 for the Rams in 2015.  Austin never really gained any traction in Dallas, though.

With Lamb's elusiveness and ability to make plays in space, he may end up out-TavonAustining Tavon Austin this year, and grow from there--but as I posted during the draft, Dallas was really not the ideal landing spot for his fantasy potential.  Maybe iron will sharpen iron, and the elite level of WR competition will drive him to be even better--but had he signed with the Raiders or Broncos or even the Jets, he'd have WR1 potential as a rookie.

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1 hour ago, The Football Guru said:

I got you. I think I agree with your 800-yard estimate.

Regarding Hopkins vs. Lamb, I've just grown tired of people (not talking to you specifically again) who believe Lamb is the next Hopkins (in reality). Sure, Lamb will almost certainly improve. It's just irresponsible for people who "watch football for a living" to set the bar that high with him. I do think defenses will just have to flat-out ignore Lamb (or Cooper/Gallup need to get hurt) in order for him to get 1000/8 though.

That's the thing, the defense is going to have to leave somebody with a mismatch in coverage. They have to cover Amari and Gallup, and of course play up to try and stop Zeke. I think Lamb will see a good bit of favorable coverage this season. I don't think he's necessarily going to blow up and have a huge season but I'm almost certain he's going to have two or three big games and some big plays. On the flipside, I think he'll have at least as many tough games where he struggles. That's why I say, for fantasy purposes, I think he's going to be a pretty decent feast or famine guy to fill in some weeks. Not a guy you put in your starting line up each week but maybe when you have a hole or he has a good match up.

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1 hour ago, polecatt said:

That's the thing, the defense is going to have to leave somebody with a mismatch in coverage. They have to cover Amari and Gallup, and of course play up to try and stop Zeke. I think Lamb will see a good bit of favorable coverage this season. I don't think he's necessarily going to blow up and have a huge season but I'm almost certain he's going to have two or three big games and some big plays. On the flipside, I think he'll have at least as many tough games where he struggles. That's why I say, for fantasy purposes, I think he's going to be a pretty decent feast or famine guy to fill in some weeks. Not a guy you put in your starting line up each week but maybe when you have a hole or he has a good match up.

I can get on board with this.

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9 hours ago, polecatt said:

I wouldn't be shocked if at some point in the season Lamb is better than Gallup and possibly even Cooper.

Both Gallup and Amari are kind of streaky, if Lamb can find a bit of consistency, I say it's not out of the realm of possibility he's the best of the three.

It's a long shot this season because he's a rookie, but I wouldn't rule it out

I don’t see streaky, but I think it’s a case of two equally talented wr on the same team , and a Star rb to boot, simply not enough footballs to feed everyone, I think Lamb is worthy of a draft pick and stash , and I’m sure he’ll have some good games , but of course those games won’t happen when you flex him Into the starting line up, if both Gallup and Cooper stay healthy I’m not so sure when I would trust starting him, unless I’m short at that wr postion.  

He Lamb is very talented, but he’ll be a rookie, I’ll probably pass , unless he’s there very very late I won’t get him.  

 

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10 hours ago, weepaws said:

I don’t see streaky, but I think it’s a case of two equally talented wr on the same team , and a Star rb to boot, simply not enough footballs to feed everyone, I think Lamb is worthy of a draft pick and stash , and I’m sure he’ll have some good games , but of course those games won’t happen when you flex him Into the starting line up, if both Gallup and Cooper stay healthy I’m not so sure when I would trust starting him, unless I’m short at that wr postion.  

He Lamb is very talented, but he’ll be a rookie, I’ll probably pass , unless he’s there very very late I won’t get him.  

 

In dynasty he'll be a top 5 pick, if not 1st overall sometimes. For good reason.

In redraft, I think he's a decent mid to late round selection. He'll probably be drafted too high though in a lot of leagues, like 3rd or 4th round. I wouldn't take him that high.

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Wow I hope he’s a third or fourth rounder in my league. 

That’s on team down and only 12 others to beat.  

Like I said , I think he’s worthy of a late pick up, but not much else, unless there is a injury before I draft, if we get to draft. 

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