Steve Lemonds, NBCDFW.com
Your fantasy draft is coming soon. You're overwhelmed. Confused. You don't quite know what to do, largely because you are full of beer and churros. Fear not, we at Blue Star are here to help you properly gauge the fantasy value of your favorite Cowboys players. Today, it's WR Dez Bryant.
When I did the Deadspin fantasy football preview with Andy Behrens of Yahoo, Behrens said that Dez Bryant had the potential this year to become the #1 wide receiver in all of fantasy football. And you know what? It didn't sound all that crazy to me. The top wideout in fantasy football last year was Brandon Lloyd, who caught 11 TDs and amassed over 1,400 yards receiving. Dez can do that. If you saw him play against the Vikings on Saturday night, you know it's true.
After a slow start to his rookie year, Bryant quickly became the best rookie wideout in football before his season ended prematurely due to injury. Now he's back and at full health, he knows the offense, and he has Tony Romo back and at full health as well. There's also the matter of Miles Austin and his hamstring injury, which has kept him out all preseason and perhaps accelerated the process of Bryant becoming Tony Romo's go-to guy down the field.
Right now, NFL.com leagues have Dez going at about the 63rd overall pick, in the seventh round. But that's a misleading average. He's getting hotter by the week, and I wouldn't be surprised at all if he went somewhere around the fourth round of your drafts. It makes sense because fantasy football owners are so reliant on finding that ONE breakout guy, that one dude who skyrockets after getting his chance in the spotlight (like Arian Foster last season), and Bryant has both the ability and the support around him needed to bust out this year. The old adage was that wide receivers usually broke out in their third year in the league, but Bryant has already demonstrated that he's far ahead of the learning curve.
The only concern about Bryant, of course, is his maturity. You know you're a head case when you have not just one jewelry-related lawsuit on your hands, but MULTIPLE such lawsuits. You never know when Dez will decide to visit Turd Island and become a worthless malcontent, and that's probably the only reason why Bryant doesn't rank higher than Austin in most fantasy drafts right now. But that could change by the end of this year. By the end of this year, Dez Bryant could be the biggest fantasy stud you've seen in a long time.
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