CeeDee Lamb was ranked as the top receiver in this class draft class for many and was a fantasy football players dream. Yet for those who believe landing spot is key were disappointed when Dallas drafted him. At first glance yes the idea of him being behind Cooper who just got a big deal and Gallup who is a rising star is disheartening. Yet when you look deeper this landing spot to me seems more ideal and ideal. I recently had done a dynasty rookie draft and Lamb fell all the way 9! I thought to myself that was absurd. So for those who may be passing up CeeDee Lamb let me tell you why you should not pass him up.
CeeDee Lamb: A Top Talent
First let us break down what makes CeeDee Lamb such a special player in this year’s draft class. Lamb came onto the scene in 2017 when he was 18 recording 807 yards and 7 touchdowns. The following year he had a true break out year racking in over 1150 yards and having an 82.5% catch rate. He also had 11 receiving touchdowns. In his final year he had 14 touchdowns and over 1300 yards. He is a down the field threat who has a physical presence and terrific hands. On tape Lamb shows excellent hands, very good route running and can run after the catch. His size is key as he should be able to overwhelm opposing cornerbacks whether he is in the slot or on the outside. Lamb is not going to impress people with his speed as he is not a burner but he is very explosive.
Dallas 2019 Personnel
The key to really breaking down Lamb’s influence this season and beyond is through the Cowboys offensive philosophy. Yes they have a new coach in McCarthy but they did retain Kellen Moore as their offensive coordinator. The Cowboys offensive unit was a juggernaut last year averaging 6.46 yards per play and were top 6 in offensive plays. The biggest take away from this team was that they ran 11 personnel nearly 67% of the time. That means that two out of every 3 plays they ran a 3 receiver set. That number does not even include the times they held 4 or 5 receiver sets. To me McCarthy is only going to increase that number. In his final year with the Packers he ran 11 personnel 77% of the time! With adding CeeDee Lamb we should see this trend continue. The question though is will Lamb get the targets?
Dallas 2019 Target Shares
Last year Dak Prescott threw the ball 596 times which was 6th most in the NFL. Two players that are key to this is Jason Witten and Randall Cobb. Both are gone and yes we would assume Lamb could take Cobb’s target share. But Witten leaving also frees up 83 targets or about a 14% target share. That is huge and to me will be mostly distributed among the 3 receivers as Jarwin is not a consistent receiving tight end. It also helps that Lamb will be on the field with one of the more inconsistent receivers in Amari Cooper. While I see Cooper being a more boom or bust fantasy player on a week to week basis Lamb could fall into the more consistent role. Short term expect him to be a solid flex option with some wr2 upside for the first two years.
Dallas Receiver Contracts
In order to understand why Lamb could be an elite talent in this league earlier rather than later we must break down the receiver’s contracts. For one Amari Cooper’s contract has one clause to it that is key to recognize. After 2021 the Cowboys have the opportunity to have a potential out with his contract. Not only that the Cowboys would only eat 6 million in dead money! For one of the more inconsistent receivers in the game this is not good. If he continues to be inconsistent and Lamb shows flashes earlier I expect the Cowboys to move on from in. It is also important to note that Gallup will be a free agent in 2021. Lamb is a better talent than Gallup and if the Cowboys need to decide between the two I expect them to choose Lamb. Of course in Jerry world we always are surprised.
Today we have outlined the keys to why CeeDee Lamb will still succeed early in his fantasy career. For one his talent is elite that cannot be questioned. We also have shown that the Cowboys will utilize 3 wide receiver sets a ton this season between McCarthys and Moore’s offensive philosophy. The target share will be there as Dak spread the ball around a ton last season leaving. Also in 2021 the Cowboys will have to make choices for the other two receivers on the roster which will impact Lamb’s long term fantasy value. So for those who may be a bit lower on Lamb do not be. He still should be a top 4-5 dynasty pick and could be considered in redraft formats. Please do not let him fall in your dynasty drafts! Let us know what you think about CeeDee Lamb.