One of the young superstars in the NFL, Dallas Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb appears set to take his dynasty fantasy football value to new heights in 2022. Given the team’s offseason moves, we take a look to see if Lamb’s value has changed, and help you understand what managers should do if he is on their fantasy roster.
CeeDee Lamb’s dynasty profile for 2022
Perhaps I am the odd man out on this one. It wouldn’t be the first time that has happened. But I can’t seem to understand this lack of excitement surrounding Lamb. It’s gone so far that I’ve seen people talking about Lamb as a player that fantasy managers should sell. That’s a narrative I simply cannot endorse.
Lamb just turned 23 and is an absolute alpha receiver. He’s been that since his time at Oklahoma. As a rookie, Lamb played in all 16 games and caught 74 of 111 targets for 935 yards and 5 TDs. Lamb’s 1.78 PPR points/target were just 0.02 behind Amari Cooper (1.80), despite him having 40% more red-zone targets. Also, this was with a full season from Michael Gallup and a partial from Dak Prescott.
Then, in 2021, Lamb took another step forward in every category. His targets were up to 120, as were his receptions (79), yards (1,102), touchdowns (6), and points per target (1.88). Finishing as the WR19, Lamb has posed WR2 or better seasons in both years, with 44% of his weekly finishes inside the top 24.
I don’t see this slowing down anytime soon. If anything, Lamb is set to explode, and if you don’t have him now, good luck trying to acquire him. Not only is Cooper with the Cleveland Browns, but Cedrick Wilson Jr. went to Miami, and Gallup is doubtful to be ready for the start of the season (ACL).
In dynasty, Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase are in a tier of their own. But given his age, production, skill set, and current projection, Lamb sits right behind them. He is a receiver you can build a team around in dynasty as your No. 1.
Fantasy projection for CeeDee Lamb
Opportunity is king — not just in the NFL, but also in fantasy. How many chances in every game does a player project to have where they can influence the game? For as complicated of a game as fantasy and dynasty can be, it really boils down to that simple question.
As far as Lamb is concerned for 2022, opportunity is the least of his concerns. Say what you want about them, but vacated targets from the year prior do give us a slight glimpse. However, they are not a be-all, end-all, and the quality of the player needs to be the primary concern. Average players getting a significant boost in opportunities does not instantly make them a star.
As for Lamb, he has the skills to take advantage of this wide-open Dallas pass-catching room, which has 32.1% of its targets (205), 39.3% of the air yards (1,898), and 44.4% of targets inside the 10 (16) up for grabs.
Lamb was already who Prescott was turning to when looking for a deeper play, as he recorded 26.19% of the Cowboys’ air yards last season. What’s most impressive about this is Lamb’s ability to convert air yards into production. He led all starting Dallas receivers by converting 91% of his air yards into receiving yards. For comparison, Cooper’s rate was 76%. When targeted, Lamb was more efficient with his opportunities.
When we factor in that Lamb could see 140+ targets in 2022, there is a legitimate path for him to finish this season as the WR1 in fantasy. He is a young alpha receiver who watched his top target competition change teams, is on a pass-happy team (59% in 2021), and has a top-tier QB looking his way at the snap.
At a bare minimum, Lamb will be a low-end WR1 in drafts and the season. But that’s just his floor, as he comes with top-three upside. I’m all in.