When the Dallas Cowboys’ wide receivers are all healthy, CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper, and Michael Gallup dominate targets. There’s little room for anyone else. With Cooper out and Lamb’s status up in the air, fantasy football managers are left wondering what to do with Cedrick Wilson in Week 12 lineups.
Cedrick Wilson will have fantasy value — the question is how much?
We have over half a season’s worth of data on how the Cowboys utilize their wide receivers. Wilson is the clear WR4, ascending into a relevant role whenever one of the top three guys is out.
The Cowboys have had one full game with Lamb, Cooper, and Gallup healthy. In that game, Wilson played a single snap. Last week, with Cooper out and Lamb sidelined the entire second half due to his concussion, Wilson ended up playing 63% of the snaps. It was his third-highest snap rate of the season.
Cedrick Wilson’s fantasy value hinges on CeeDee Lamb’s status
Lamb has been progressing quickly through the concussion protocol. It’s exceedingly rare for a player to sustain a concussion on a Sunday and play on Thursday, but it’s not unprecedented. In 2016, Davante Adams was concussed in a Sunday game against the Cowboys and returned for the Packers’ Thursday night game just four days later.
Every update we’ve gotten throughout the week has been positive. Lamb is already at the final stages of the protocol. He has one more hurdle to clear prior to a review from an independent neurologist. If cleared, he’s good to go on Thanksgiving Day. The only slight negative is we won’t know until Thursday morning.
Wilson’s fantasy outlook if Lamb plays
I’m going to start with what appears to be the more likely outcome — Lamb playing. An active Lamb relegates Wilson to a WR3 role. He would not be on the field in two-receiver sets.
Gallup missed Weeks 2-9. Lamb and Cooper played all of those games. With Cooper out, Gallup slots right into his role, and Wilson stays where he is. That gives us a nice sample size of what to expect from Wilson when he’s the WR3. From Weeks 2-9, Wilson played roughly 50% of the snaps and averaged about 3.5 targets per game. If Lamb plays, Wilson is nothing more than a WR5 — he’s better left out of lineups.
Wilson’s fantasy outlook if Lamb sits
Last week, Wilson caught 4 of 7 targets for 36 yards. It was his second 7-target game of the season. If Wilson is in the WR2 role opposite Gallup, he’s going to be a near-every-down player.
We’ve seen Wilson make some explosive plays on the season. He’s scored 3 touchdowns and hauled in a couple of long receptions. Wilson has enough talent to produce if the volume is there.
Should fantasy managers start Wilson on Thanksgiving?
If Lamb plays, which seems like the most likely outcome, I’d recommend sitting Wilson. The Raiders allow the sixth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers, and Wilson is not going to see anywhere near enough volume to justify a spot in your lineup. He probably won’t get you 0 points, but barring a flukey touchdown, you’re looking at no more than 5-7 PPR points.
If Lamb cannot get cleared by the independent neurologist, Wilson becomes much more intriguing. In the WR2 role, he is a strong bet for 6-8 targets, which puts him firmly in the WR3 range.
Fantasy managers can certainly do worse and would be wise to consider Wilson, especially if you have Sunday players with uncertain statuses.
As always, Pro Football Network will keep you apprised of the latest updates, so check back with us Thanksgiving morning for the final word on Lamb’s status.