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Preseason Fantasy Spotlight: Tony Romo!

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Preseason Fantasy Spotlight: Tony Romo!

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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 QB Tony Romo.

Getting a handle on where, precisely, to draft Cowboys QB Tony Romo this season isn't easy. Romo appeared in just six games last season due to a busted collarbone, and even before he got hurt, there was the matter of Romo throwing picks at a much higher rate than usual. He had three games last season in which he threw two or more picks. And while his completion percentage last year was insane (nearly 70%), surely you remember the endless parade of 2-yard bubble screens he threw to Dez Bryant that helped goose that stat. So much about Romo this year is hard to predict. Will he stay healthy? Will he be good? If he turns the ball over, will he get a quick hook? And what about the Dallas running game? If Felix Jones flops, will Romo again be forced into throwing the ball way more than he ought to?

So those are the concerns. But then there are issues of upside to consider. First of all, Romo remains a brutally efficient passer, and even with last year's picks he was still on track to have his usual solid season with well over 20 touchdown passes. And now, Romo has a blossoming Bryant, who will do far more than just run bubble screens from the get-go, along with the usually dependable targets in Miles Austin and Jason Witten. Oh, and Romo now works under a good head coach.

Fantasy owners seems to be more interested in Romo's potential than any lingering questions left over from last season. On average, Romo is the seventh QB taken in all Yahoo and NFL.com drafts. In fact, for both fantasy outlets, Romo's draft position is exactly the same: right at the 34th pick, in the 4th round (3rd round if you 12 teams). That puts him below such stalwarts as Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady but above the likes of Matt Ryan, Big Ben, Matt Schaub, and Josh Freeman. You'd think Romo would have some buy low value this year, but no. No, groupthink seems to be that Romo will bounce back and again be one of your better options for fantasy this season.

Perhaps it's a matter of scheduling. The Cowboys play the likes of Buffalo, Miami, and the NFC West. It's easy to picture Romo having good days against such weak competition. BUT... but the last three games of the Cowboys season go at Tampa, vs. Philly, and at the Giants. Right during the fantasy playoffs. Not an easy run.

Here's what I think: Romo is just outside the top tier of fantasy QBs right now (Rivers, Rodgers, Brady, Manning, Vick, Brees). The reason he's getting drafted this high is because once those first six are gone, Romo the best gamble left and one that many owners will need to take. But there's NO guarantee he'll be any better than Big Ben or Josh Freeman this season. And if his collarbone flares up or the Cowboys running game goes down the toilet, you're suddenly going to find yourself in a tight spot. You wanna be a homer and draft Romo as your QB? Go for it. If he falls to Round 5 or 6, he's a great value. But make sure you have backups. Make sure your season doesn't go down if Romo goes down, because you just saw in 2010 how that plays out in real life.


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