CeeDee Lamb’s Best Ball Fantasy Outlook: Can the Cowboys Star Repeat as Overall WR1?

Coming off an overall WR1 finish in fantasy, should Dallas Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb be the first wide receiver selected in 2024 Best Ball drafts?

Dallas Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb’s annual progression reached its apex in 2023 with an overall WR1 finish.

What can fantasy football managers expect for an encore? Is Lamb worth selecting as the first wide receiver off the board in Best Ball drafts?

CeeDee Lamb’s 2024 Fantasy Outlook

Ever since Lamb entered the NFL, fantasy managers have had to pay for his progression in advance. After averaging 13.6 fantasy points per game as a rookie, the sophomore-year breakout was baked into his draft price.

Lamb progressed to 14.6 points per game in his second season. Then, the third-year ascension into the ranks of the WR1s was priced in. Fantasy managers paid for it and were rewarded with 17.7 points per game, an overall WR7 finish.

Of course, the progressive pricing didn’t stop there. Ahead of the 2023 season, fantasy managers had to pay for an elite WR1 if they wanted to draft Lamb, even though he had never produced like one … yet. Once again, the juice was worth the squeeze.

Lamb averaged 23.7 fantasy points per game last season, finishing as the overall WR1. His scorching close to the season allowed him to narrowly edge out Miami Dolphins WR Tyreek Hill for the crown. Lamb has now improved on his targets, receptions, yards, touchdowns, and fantasy points per game in every year of his career.

That will inevitably stop. Lamb can’t be better every year. Very few wide receivers have ever averaged over 23 fantasy points per game. But even if Lamb doesn’t reach 2023 numbers in 2024, he’s still established himself as an elite wide receiver worthy of being a first-round pick in Best Ball drafts.

Lamb was finally treated like the true alpha he is in 2023 by the Cowboys. He saw a 29.9% target share and was targeted on 29.9% of his routes run.

While some other teams like to use their best receiver as a decoy, the Cowboys went out of their way to scheme the ball to their best player. The desire to get Lamb the ball early and often explains his low 9.5 aDOT (average depth of target).

Fortunately, Lamb is a monster after the catch. He led all receivers with 680 yards after the catch, which helped him reach 2.89 yards per route run — fifth in the league.

Should You Draft Lamb in 2024 Best Ball Leagues?

The Cowboys provide the perfect environment for Lamb. Despite head coach Mike McCarthy’s offseason claims about not wanting to light up the scoreboard and wanting to run the ball, the Cowboys were fourth in the league with a 61% neutral game script pass rate. They also played at the second-fastest pace in the NFL.

Lamb has an excellent quarterback in Dak Prescott. He was the clear alpha WR1.

And his target competition is minimal. His setup is so good because he’s always going to command a massive target share, but guys like WR Brandin Cooks and whoever the WR3 ends up being (last year it was WR Michael Gallup) are good enough to be complementary pieces, but not actual threats to take volume away from Lamb.

The Cowboys need to draft or sign another receiver. However, there is quite literally no chance whoever that guy is takes anything meaningful away from Lamb. We are poised for another massive season from the dynamic wideout.

I would never project a receiver to finish with more than 22 fantasy points per game. But if anyone can do it again, it’s Lamb.

This is a unique situation for Best Ball drafters where they can take the guy who just finished No. 1 at his position and avoid paying the WR1 cost in drafts. I would still take Hill and Minnesota Vikings WR Justin Jefferson ahead of Lamb. However, I imagine others may also opt for Cincinnati Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase.

KEEP READING: Best Ball Stacking Strategy

There will be drafts where, between those four receivers and the top 2-3 running backs, Lamb falls into the second half of the first round. If you ever see that happen, pounce. Lamb is worth drafting as high as No. 1 overall if you feel compelled to do so this offseason.

With the fantasy football season behind us, why not start preparing for your rookie drafts with our dynasty rookie rankings? Additionally, as you look to improve your team heading into 2024, our dynasty trade calculator can help you find the perfect deal to boost your championship chances.

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