In the Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast, Matt Harmon and Scott Pianowski break down their expectations for the Dallas Cowboys offense after the loss of star LT Tyron Smith.
MATT HARMON: There's not a ton of offensive lines that really move the mark a ton in fantasy, but the Cowboys used to be a great line. And now, our friend Brandon Thorne from "Establish The Run", said that they went from 6th-20th in his rankings just because they lost Tyron Smith. That is a pretty big deal, I think, when you're trying to trickle the effect down for this offense in fantasy, that's where it gets a little tougher. I did swap Dak Prescott and Trey Lance on my quarterback rankings, but that was the only real change I made as a result of this.
SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Yeah, I'm probably going to move Prescott down too. Very quietly, the Cowboys led the NFL in scoring last year, and I realized that part of that was a defense that generated a lot of takeaways, part of it was a really easy schedule. Of course, when you lose your stud left tackle, it's not like OK, well, let's just go to the stud left tackle store and get another one. It doesn't work that way. There's no tree where they fall off and you just plug another guy in.
I was already out on Zeke. This just makes me more out on Zeke. The problem with Pollard is that I find myself in every room ready to get myself some Tony Pollard and somebody else wants him a little bit more than I do. We know this receiver room is really thin after CeeDee Lamb, who I think everybody loves. I certainly love him. I'm trying to get some CeeDee Lamb if I can.
But ultimately, this is a team I can't be proactive. I'll be proactive on Lamb, I'll be proactive on Dalton Schultz, because I think he's the clear number two target, but he's shielded by Lamb. I think Schultz is a decent tight end in a pocket I'm willing to invest in. So green light on Lamb, green light on Schultz. Other than that, because Pollard's a little too pricey, because Zeke's in a point of his career arc I'm really nervous, because Dak just lost his left tackle and I hate his receiver room after Lamb, these are a lot of guys I'm not going to draft.
MATT HARMON: I don't know, man. I do think what's interesting about this team this year for fantasy is they not only led the NFL in scoring last year, they have thrown the hell out of the ball the last two years. Under Mike McCarthy, Kellen Moore calling plays, they have thrown the ball a lot. So for a guy like CeeDee Lamb, I think he's the one absolute green light pick for me. If you can get CeeDee Lamb in the early second round, do it.
I think he is going to smash this year. I think he is that good. And him going into that vacated Amari Cooper flanker role is going to be great news for him. And then you just look at Dalton Schultz is a good name to call out, because this offensive line, if it's not pass protecting well, he's going to get those bunny hop passes. He's not a down the field tight end.
He's kind of like a short area catch and fall type of guy, like sort of this generation Zach Ertz in a little bit of way. The running backs, if you can get Zeke in the fourth, fifth round, you got to do it. And then Tony Pollard, I know that you're right to say, and Salvino said this about the running backs don't coexist at the same time usually. However, I will say, they're going to need Tony Pollard to sort of play like an early career Austin Ekeler role, right?
I think that, and you look at that one of those first seasons with them, I talked about this with Frank Schwab, Melvin Gordon had 13 yards from scrimmage. Austin Ecker had 9 yards from scrimmage. Melvin Gordon scored a ton of touchdowns. In a best case scenario, I think that's possible for these two running backs.