Dez Bryant Released: Dallas Cowboys Wide Receivers Fantasy Impact
Fantasy Impact After Dez Bryant Release
The Line: -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
Dez Bryant was released by the Dallas Cowboys Friday, and the move has the NFL world buzzing. Bryant isn’t the receiver he’s been in past years, but he’s led Dallas in receiving four of the last six seasons, including last season when he produced 838 yards and six touchdowns on 69 catches. We’ll take a look at Bryant’s impact fantasy wise once he signs with a new team, but this article is all about who this move helps for the Cowboys current receivers and who you should be looking at now.
For me, this certainly improves the stock of the newly added Allen Hurns, who comes over from the Jacksonville Jaguars. Hurns hasn’t played a full season since 2014 and his numbers have dropped off due to playing with a subpar QB in Blake Bortles and a run-first offense. But he has big play ability and the one year (2015) he received 100-plus targets, Hurns had 64 receptions, 1,031 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was also 17th in the NFL that season with 16.1 yards per reception, proving he’s a big play threat when he’s actually getting the ball thrown his way. Hurns will be the No. 1 target in this Cowboys offense and should be taken in mid rounds.
USA TODAY Sports
I also love this move for slot receiver Cole Beasley. It seems like the Cowboys are looking for a quicker offense, going with smaller receivers and getting the ball out of Dak Prescott’s hands quickly. In the last two seasons, Beasley has earned a combined 116 targets and has 111 receptions with 1,147 yards and nine touchdowns during that span. In other words, Beasley has caught almost 69 percent of his targets the last two years, and with no big name star receiver on the roster anymore, he should be involved a lot more moving forward. There's no more feeling the need to force feed Dez at times. We should see Beasley return to the receiver he was in 2016, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he gets 1,000 receiving yards for the first time in his career. I’m high on Beasley coming into this season and would love to have him as a late No. 2, early No.3 receiver.
The status for Terrance Williams doesn’t change much, as he’s been consistently the same receiver each year no matter his role. Williams has value considering he’s played every game since 2013, and he’s had no less than 61 targets each year and averages 672 yards per season. The problem is Williams had zero touchdown receptions last season and has produced just seven touchdowns the last three years combined. Williams is a nice fill in on bye weeks, as you know he’s going to play, gets his targets and can break off the big play here and there. But he has just three career 100-yard receiving games in his career and enters this season as the No. 3 option in the Cowboys offense. Williams is a bench fantasy receiver.
Other options are Deonte Thompson and Ryan Switzer, but neither of those guys are proven on the NFL level and will only see consistent player time if there’s an injury. Nothing changes with either of those guys.
Recap: Hurns becomes a low No. 1 - high No. 2 receiving option on your team and will be given every chance in the world to put up big numbers, while Beasley becomes a steal if you can snag him in the mid rounds and even make him your No. 3 option. Status for Williams and other Dallas receivers doesn’t change.