By Brendan Taffe
Every year there are a handful of players who lose a significant amount of value as soon as the NFL Draft happens. A new, younger, rookie is drafted to the same position by the same team as your RB2 or WR3 and his value immediately tanks. I am here this week to defend some of those players.
Michael Gallup – WR, Dallas Cowboys
Why his value dropped: CeeDee Lamb
For a receiver who went from community college to Colorado State, Michael Gallup was not on many people’s radar. He was apparently on Jerry Jones’ radar because his 176 catches for 2,690 yards and 21 touchdowns over his junior and senior years were enough to get him drafted in the third round. Gallup finished the year behind Zeke, Cole Beasley, and Amari Cooper in targets with 68. He finished as WR77.
Last year, Gallup made tremendous strides as a receiver and as a fantasy football asset. He jumped up to WR22 by the year’s end and was the 15th best WR when looking at points per game. From his 2018 class, Gallup is a part of a solid group of five up-and-coming receivers with DJ Moore, Cortland Sutton, DJ Chark, and Calvin Ridley. Moore, Sutton, and Chark are all their team’s WR1, while Ridley and Gallup are the second-best receivers on their team, but only because of Julio Jones and Amari Cooper alongside them.
Although Dallas lists Gallup as their WR2, it doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to see why that is untrue. In 2019, Dak Prescott targeted Amari 119 times and Gallup 113 times. So Cooper had six more targets on the year, but he played two more games. This fact means, when both players are healthy, Dak preferred to throw to Gallup more than Cooper. Their end-of-year statistics were very similar. Cooper averaged 12.9 points per game, and Gallup averaged 12.8. The difference is that Cooper has much higher highs, and much lower lows, while Gallup is much more consistent. In Week 9 against the Vikings, Cooper put up 11 catches for 147 yards and a touchdown. In the following two weeks combined, he caught three balls for 38 yards with 0 TDs. Three weeks later, he caught one ball for nineteen yards during the fantasy semifinals and did not score a TD.
Gallup, on the other hand, showed much more consistency. If you remove his performance against the Rams, he averaged 8.5 targets per game and only dipped below six targets once. While Cooper has been a boom or bust player his entire career, we are just starting to get a sense of what Gallup is as a fantasy football asset. Over the last seven weeks of last season, Cooper caught 26 balls for 341 yards and a touchdown. Gallup caught 33 balls for 577 yards and three touchdowns on nine more targets during the same timeframe. Last week, Cowboys Head Coach Mike McCarthy said, “Let’s make it clear, Michael Gallup’s a number one receiver in my view.”
What was more shocking, two receivers getting selected before CeeDee Lamb, or the rest of the NFL letting him fall to the Cowboys? Lamb is the highest graded receiver from this year’s class on NFL.com. That is impressive for any year, but this year features the best wide receiver class since the esteemed 2014 class. Many people have high hopes for Lamb, and he has already impressed in the short time Cowboys camp has been live.
Dak only needs to add 100 yards onto last year’s total to eclipse the 5000-yard mark. He also threw for 30 touchdowns for the first time in his career, and that number should only increase. My Cowboys prediction for my “1 Bold Prediction for Every Team” series claims that the 2020 Cowboys will become the second team in NFL history with three 1000 receivers and a 1500 yard rusher. Even if Lamb is impressive right away, and Cooper goes crazy for a couple of games, Gallup should still be a fantastic fantasy option. Right now, only ten receivers are going before Cooper. Gallup, meanwhile, has an ADP of twenty-nine! People think Lamb’s presence will downgrade Gallup but not Cooper. If the Cowboys’ true WR1 is going nearly 20 picks later than the more popular guy, you know in whom to invest.
Brendan Taffe – Dynasty/Podcast
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