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Michael Gallup: Lamb to the Slaughter?

I just settled back down on the couch after grabbing another plate of pizza. The Cowboys were on the clock, and to my surprise, CeeDee Lamb was still on the board. I thought to myself Jerry will somehow mess this up, even though wide receiver wasn’t a big need, you have to take the best available. With the 17th pick, the Cowboys took wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. Crap!

As a Cowboys fan, I love the Lamb pick, it adds another weapon to an already stellar offense, but for fantasy, this pick crushed my soul. I have shares of Michael Gallup in a number of dynasty leagues, and with one pick, it seemingly made them worthless.

Before the draft, I had started an article about Michael Gallup being a must-buy this offseason. I debated scrapping the article and writing something else instead, but I decided to go back over my notes and look at the positives. My notes filled up over two pages, and would best be described as the equivalent of a love-crazed middle school girl’s diary. My love for him is unbridled, or I’m just a good note-taker, but it’s most likely the former.

So I decided to break out my article into two pieces; a pre-draft analysis and a post-draft analysis to help you figure out what to do with Gallup. Hold your horses and rein it in before you go selling him for less than he’s worth.

Pre-Draft Analysis

Let’s not go and put the cart before the horse here. Gallup is coming off a breakout season, where he set career highs in every category and finished as the WR22. He is on a high-powered offense that finished second in the league in passing and should finish in the top-five again this upcoming season. His talent, coupled with the Cowboy’s offense, is what made him a must-buy for me this offseason.

He didn’t just merely set new career highs, but he almost doubled them. He was a 1,000-yard receiver (1107) along with fellow receiver Amari Cooper (1189) and most likely would have led the team if he hadn’t missed time due to injury. Gallup was averaging more yards per game (79.1) than Amari Cooper (74.3), saw six fewer targets, and 13 fewer receptions than Cooper. He did all that and played two fewer games than Cooper. On targets of 11-20 yards, Dak was looking for Gallup more than any other receiver, leading the team 32. He also tied Cooper for the team lead in targets of 20+ yards, with 17.

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Kellen Moore taking over the play-calling in 2019, brought new life into the offense, and the hiring of Mike McCarthy made Gallup even more of a buy. During McCarthy’s 13 year tenure with the Packers, he had two receivers finish in the top 25 six times. This Cowboy offense is well equipped to facilitate two top 25 receivers in the 2020 season. Gallup was a must-buy and was locked in as a high-end WR2 with low-end WR1 potential. All of that changed after the NFL draft, or did it?

Post-Draft Analysis

The Cowboys will enter the 2020 season with the second-most vacated targets (190) thanks in large part to the loss of Randall Cobb and Jason Witten. That is 33.1% of the passing game, and Gallup should be one of the biggest beneficiaries of those vacated targets. Lamb could see around 80 targets with zero impact on Gallup or Cooper’s target share.

CeeDee Lamb was my WR1 coming off the board. I see him as the most complete receiver in this draft class, and his landing spot with the Cowboys is perfect. He is just another weapon in an already high-powered offense and will be a valuable asset to your fantasy team. His impact on Gallup won’t be immediate, and it might be Cooper who will be the odd man out down the road.

Cooper has a potential out in his contract in 2022, and that could open the door for Lamb to take over as the WR1. Gallup also benefits from the unfortunate hit of the Coronavirus. The longer the NFL pushes back training camps, the harder it will be for incoming rookies to adjust and get up to speed with their new teams.

Michael Gallup is a stud. You heard it from the horse’s mouth, he will be a weekly WR2 in 2020. The Cowboys offense will be a top-five offense, and there are plenty of targets to go around. I expect Gallup to see over 125 targets this season and will finish as a high-end WR2. I was nervous about his outlook for the 2020 season, but after his break out season, another year with Dak, and the amount of vacated targets, he is still a must-buy. If you have panicked league-mates, you can get him at a discount, and you won’t regret it.

Thank you for reading. If you have any comments you can find me on Twitter @CarbonFox_FF.


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