• Jim Nastic

Rookie WRs Part I - CD or Cassette?

There was a lot of excitement this past April among the fantasy community with the incoming rookie WR class being touted as possibly the best since 2014. My top rookie WRs coming into the 2020 season were CeeDee Lamb, Jalen Reagor and Justin Jefferson.

We're at the point of the fantasy season where people are making playoff pushes, or looking ahead to next year, and I want to take a look at some of the 2020 WR rookies. How have they fared over halfway of the season for fantasy purposes, and did the shine wear off our new fantasy toys? I’ll take a look at the offenses they play in, the draft capital spent during fantasy rookie drafts, and see if they are worth the price of admission moving forward.

The first WR off the board in this past April’s draft was CeeDee Lamb from the University of Oklahoma. With Dallas already having a dynamic WR duo in Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup, many thought they would pass on a WR with their first round pick. But Jerry Jones couldn’t help himself seeing Lamb fall to the 17th pick, and Dallas couldn’t take the chance that their rivals Philadelphia would scoop him up.

Through nine weeks of the season, CeeDee hasn’t disappointed Dallas fans or fantasy managers. Despite his teammate Amari Cooper being the presumed WR1 in Dallas, and the turmoil at the QB position this year (Prescott, Dalton, Dinucci and Gilbert), Lamb has still managed to be the WR17 on the year. Last week, Garrett Gilbert spread the ball around evenly, as Amari (6 targets), Gallup (7 targets), and Lamb (7 targets) all saw pieces of the pie. I don't expect Gilbert to be the answer going forward in Dallas as Andy Dalton is coming off the Covid-19 list. But it will be interesting to monitor how the targets get spread out without Dak playing for the Silver and Blue for the rest of the season.

This might be the best time in dynasty to try and acquire the budding WR star, as some managers may be worried about the QB situation in Dallas. Regardless who is under center, Lamb is getting thrown to, as he's already seen 66 targets this year (most by a rookie WR so far). He's still second fiddle behind Amari Cooper (83 targets), but make no mistake, there is enough volume in this passing game to support two top WRs. If you ask my colleague @connorten, if Dak was behind center we could have possibly seen three 1,000 yard WRs this year for the Cowboys.

If you were thinking of sending offers out to acquire this potential stud in dynasty, I'd act fast, as his value can only go up by either continuing to produce with quarterbacks we all have to Google before kickoff to know anything about, or when the return of Dak Prescott eventually happens in 2021.

Thanks for reading my article. Make sure to check out my future articles, as I'll continue to look and analyze the 2020 rookie class. Please give me a follow on Twitter @Goldjacketqbs and/or a listen to The Gold Jacket Podcast.

Editor: Joe Simonetti (@joesimonetti77)

Graphic work: Dan Made Graphics (@DanMadeGraphics)