🤩 A Star Returns in Houston

This offense is going to be a problem...

Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by Underdog

If you catch a pass in OTAs, you go up a round in ADP. I don’t make the rules…

In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by Underdog:

  • Texans WR Practicing at OTAs after a wild offseason

  • Watercooler: The time to draft Blake Corum cheap is over…

  • Cowboys Team Preview: Hartitz with all the notes you need on Dak

  • It's 5/22. Take it away, Chris Allen…

I’m workshopping a take that we shouldn’t interact with or repost clips from OTAs. In reality, we’re watching guys play catch. And, in some cases, the takeaways from the videos aren’t always positive (sorry, Kyle Pitts’ truthers…).

However, for some players, just seeing them on the field is noteworthy. Like Aaron Rodgers engaged with the offense as the Jets prepare to make a run at the AFC East title. Christian Watson running routes in another attempt to prove his hamstrings aren’t made of silly strings and sadness certainly caught my eye. But the news out of Houston stole the show on Tuesday.

Tank Dell was out working with the rest of the Texans’ offense and the second-year WR looked like he hadn’t missed any time. But in reality, Dell’s been working his way back from a fractured fibula suffered in Week 13 and, most recently, a gunshot he sustained just three weeks ago.

Naturally, the uncertainty around his situation and the team adding Stefon Diggs created a gap between Dell and the other Houston WRs in Underdog drafts.

  • Nico Collins: 22.5 (ADP), WR15 (positional rank)

  • Diggs: 26.4, WR17

  • Dell: 42.3, WR27

The fellas and I voiced our concern over Collins’ draft cost a couple of weeks ago, and yesterday’s news should be the catalyst for a reshuffling of the ranks. Dell and Collins only played more than 50.0% of the snaps together in seven games last year, but, per TruMedia, Dell matched or beat the presumed WR1 in multiple usage metrics:

  • Target Share: 22.6% (Dell), 22.1% (Collins)

  • Air Yard Share: 36.0%, 25.4%

  • TPRR: 0.23, 0.24

It’ll be hard to move Dell up past some of the established WR1s or WR2s he’s valued around (Tee Higgins, Zay Flowers). So, the chain reaction may be receivers like Jaylen Waddle (WR19) or Michael Pittman (WR21) slide up as Collins and Diggs fall. In the end, it’s good news for C.J. Stroud and Houston while being another puzzle piece for drafters to consider once they hop in the lobby.

Speaking of drafting…

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📺 Which Bills players should you draft? Answering every AFC depth chart question.

🗽 Can Daniel Jones right the ship? New York Giants fantasy football outlook for 2024.

😬 Kyren Williams is dealing with a foot issue. We can’t have nice things.

😤 DeAndre Hopkins sets the record straight on Treylon Burks. Tell 'em, Nuk.

😭 Malik Nabers gives his opinion about the Giants' throwback uniforms. Well, at least he was honest.

👀 Falcons’ RB1 working through an ankle injury. Put him in bubble wrap, please.

💪 Taysom Hill working with fullbacks and TEs. His package continues to grow.

🤓 League to test electronic system for measuring first downs. Finally!

Dallas Cowboys Fantasy Football Outlook For 2024 by Ian Hartitz

Dallas’ offseason may have been lackluster, but there are still pieces of the offense worth targeting in fantasy drafts. Ian Hartitz breaks down the relevant skill players at each position for the Cowboys along with his prediction for their 2024 season.

🤠 Quarterback

Dak and the Cowboys have been lighting up scoreboards for the better part of the last half-decade in a manner that most offenses can only dream of achieving:

Cowboys points per game

  • 2019: 27.1 (No. 6)

  • 2020 pre-Dak injury: 32.6 (No. 2)

  • 2021: 31.2 (No. 1)

  • 2022 post-Dak injury: 32.5 (No. 1)

  • 2023: 29.9 (No. 1)

This has naturally led to a ton of fantasy success for loyal Prescott fantasy managers, as he's posted QB3, QB1, QB8, QB14 and most recently QB5 finishes in fantasy points per game during this stretch. Overall, only Josh Allen (22.9), Lamar Jackson (22.2) and Patrick Mahomes (21.8) have averaged more fantasy points per game than Prescott (20.2) among all signal-callers with at least 16 starts since 2019.

Last year specifically Dak ranked second in EPA per dropback (+0.245) and sixth in completion percentage over expected (+3.9%). There really weren't many (any?) QBs playing better football for large portions of the 2023 season; Prescott was more than deserving to be in the MVP conversation and deserves to be included in any top-five, let alone top-10, discourse surrounding the position's best real-life players at the moment.

While Father Time is indeed undefeated, and Dak turns 31 in July, QBs don't fall off in fantasy land during their 30s the same way as other positions

Percentage of top-12 fantasy producers by age over the last 10 years (PPR per game ranks, minimum 8 games)

There isn't much of a logical reason to believe Prescott's physical ability as both a thrower or rusher is due to fall off a cliff in 2024.

Ultimately, the assumption that Dallas will again field one of the NFL's top-10 scoring offenses bodes well for Prescott's chances at once again turning in a QB finish in fantasy land: 68% of top-10 scoring offenses have produced a QB1 in fantasy land in terms of fantasy points per game over the past decade of action.

Then again, since 2000 roughly five of each season's top-10 scoring offenses repeat the following year. This sure looks like Dak's worst skill-position group in half a decade (although 2022 is close), easily his worst supporting run game, and the typically great offensive line will be breaking in two first-year starters.

Don't be surprised if this group underwhelms relative to recent finishes due to the offensive line turnover and lack of high-end skill-position weaponry outside of Lamb. Fellow pocket passers like C.J. Stroud, Joe Burrow, Brock Purdy, Tua Tagovailoa and Jared Goff certainly seem to be in better positions in terms of available weaponry; I'm far more bearish on Dak's 2024 upside after realizing just how little he has to work with at the moment.

✍️ Bottom line

The lack of high-end rushing ability these days keeps Dak out of the position's top-three conversation in fantasy land, but it's very difficult to rank him outside the top 12 thanks to his high-end combination of efficiency and consistency in recent years.

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Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by Underdog