The 2020 NFL draft class is full of star-studded talent, but no position is deeper than wide receivers. There is a very good chance that when we look back on this class in future years, we will deem it to have been the best wide receiver class ever. Leading the 2020 class, especially in terms of his dynasty value, is Oklahoma stand-out WR Ceedee Lamb. With the Dallas Cowboys selecting Lamb 18th overall, what will that mean for his short- and long-term impact in dynasty leagues?
A versatile weapon for this Cowboys offense
Amongst most fantasy experts, including myself, Lamb came into the draft as the top-ranked prospect. When you look at his career at Oklahoma and his film, it’s a pretty easy case to make. Clearly, the Cowboys also loved what they saw, as they bypassed other needs in selecting Lamb with the 17th overall pick, making him the third wide receiver off the board this year.
In three seasons at Oklahoma, Lamb caught 32 touchdown passes, and in 2018 and 2019, he put up over 1100 and 1300 receiving yards, respectively. His ball skills and ability to track while not alerting the defensive back are exceptional. Once Lamb is in the air, his body control and ability to high point the football are amongst some of the best we have seen in years. After the catch, Lamb is just as dangerous. While not possessing track-star speed (4.50), his vision, acceleration, and contact balance pose a massive threat to would-be tacklers.
At the line of scrimmage, he is more than comfortable getting physical with a DB and using his hands and body to create leverage and attack off the line. He doesn’t allow a defender to dictate his route, which is imperative for building consistent trust with his new quarterback Dak Prescott, who will be relying on Lamb to be where he should be when he releases the ball.
Ceedee Lamb’s Dynasty Value and Impact for the Dallas Cowboys?
The selection of Lamb to the Cowboys was one of the real “wow” moments of the first round. With the selection of Lamb, the Cowboys have now devoted their first-round pick to the wide receiver in consecutive drafts. They traded their top 2019 pick to acquire Amari Cooper from the Raiders in a 2018 midseason trade, and just secured him to a long-term contract. It is safe to say that with this selection, the Cowboys offense just got scarier. While the Cowboys had other needs they could have addressed, owner Jerry Jones could not pass up the opportunity to land a player who was most expert’s top-ranked wide receiver with the 17th pick.
Team owner Jerry Jones said that Lamb was the sixth-highest player on the Cowboys’ draft board. While there were opportunities to trade down, the talent of Lamb was too much to pass up.
“Lamb prevailed,” Jones said. “We just didn’t want to miss him. Those trades ultimately are supposed to add another player to be valuable, but we couldn’t trump him. He was just there. He’s a football player. He’s a playmaker. He just earned it.”
For dynasty leagues, the Cowboys’ offense is full of elite talent ripe for the drafting. Amari Cooper is still a top asset, and breakout WR Michael Gallup is good enough to be a WR1 for most other teams in the NFL. The addition of Lamb into the mix makes it even harder to imagine how defenses can stop the passing attack. Throw on top of that one of the top running backs in the league in Ezekiel Elliott, and the Cowboys offer some of the best options for upcoming drafts.
While some will be quick to say both Cooper and Gallup take a hit by this acquisition, I disagree. I believe there is more than enough to go around to keep all players and dynasty owners happy in 2020. Lamb will continue to be a first-round pick for me in rookie drafts next week. The Cowboys ranked 6th in passing attempts in 2019 with 596, and new head coach Mike McCarthy will likely keep that trend going in 2020.
Dak Prescott walks away from round one as likely the biggest winner of the night. Adding another weapon like Lamb vaults him into either the QB2 or QB3 spot for dynasty leagues heading into 2020.
If anyone takes a hit in dynasty for the Cowboys, it would be TE Blake Jarwin. While he is the de facto starter with Jason Witten now in Las Vegas, its hard to imagine him being chosen in the red zone over the options that will be on the field. Luckily, Jarwin is a later round pick in drafts, so owners shouldn’t have to spend too much to select him in dynasty drafts.
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Tommy Garrett is a writer for PFN covering Fantasy Football. You can follow him at @TommygarrettPFN on Twitter.