Dallas Cowboys Depth Chart and Fantasy Preview: CeeDee Lamb, Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and More

With Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb, and a returning Ezekiel Elliott, what can we expect from the Dallas Cowboys' fantasy options in 2024?

In fantasy football, we want good players on good offenses. Well, look no further than the always-prolific Dallas Cowboys offense. Featuring elite WR1 CeeDee Lamb and QB1 Dak Prescott, here is your 2024 Cowboys fantasy preview.

Dallas Cowboys Fantasy Depth Chart

QB
Dak Prescott, Cooper Rush, Trey Lance

RB
Ezekiel Elliott, Rico Dowdle, Deuce Vaughn, Royce Freeman

WR1
CeeDee Lamb, KaVontae Turpin, Jalen Cropper

WR2
Brandin Cooks, Jalen Brooks, Racey McMath

WR3
Jalen Tolbert, Ryan Flournoy

TE
Jake Ferguson, Luke Schoonmaker, Peyton Hendershot

Dak Prescott’s Fantasy Outlook

Since being drafted in 2016, Dak Prescott has been a useful fantasy quarterback every season. He’s never averaged fewer than 17.1 fantasy points per game and never finished lower than overall QB16.

Last year, he was one of the best values at the position, finishing as the QB4 and averaging 20.7 fantasy points per game.

Head coach Mike McCarthy claims he wants a run-first offense. The Cowboys’ 61% neutral game script pass rate suggests otherwise.

The Cowboys spent considerable draft capital rebuilding their offensive line. While this may help their run game, they lack a true RB1 and RB depth to be a run-heavy offense. They should throw at one of the highest rates in the league once again.

This is great news for Prescott, who is coming off a season where he led the league in completions (410) and passing touchdowns (36). Largely overlooked when compared to the powerhouse elite QBs and the more mobile guys around him, Prescott is an appealing mid-round option for fantasy managers.

Ezekiel Elliott’s Fantasy Outlook

We spent two full years clamoring for the Cowboys to let Ezekiel Elliott go and allow Tony Pollard to shine. After one year of finally giving us what we wanted, the situation completely flipped on its head. Now, Pollard is gone, and Elliott is back.

The Cowboys’ running back depth chart has been this weak since 2018. What happened that year? Elliott had his career-best season, averaging 21.8 fantasy points per game.

Of course, there is almost zero chance Elliott will do that this year. A 29-year-old Elliott is nowhere near the caliber of player 23-year-old Elliott was.

Having Elliott back as the lead back for the Cowboys with the weakest backfield competition of his career presents an interesting conundrum for fantasy managers. On the one hand, Elliott was truly awful last season in every facet of the game.

READ MORE: 2024 Dynasty Mock Draft 

He averaged a career-worst 3.5 yards per carry. His explosiveness appears completely gone, with just one of his 184 carries going for 15+ yards.

Elliott’s 4.1 yards per touch was outside the top 50, and his 15.3% evaded tackles per touch rate was outside the top 40. On film, he also is clearly no longer a quality pass-blocker, which was one of his strengths during his prime.

By no means should Elliott’s 2023 performance undermine how incredible he was from 2016 to 2019. But it’s been five years since Elliott was an RB1 and three years since he was even a serviceable RB2.

With that said, we did see Elliott handle a 91% snap share and post an overall RB1 week with the Patriots last season. The talent may no longer be what it was, but the situation and opportunity couldn’t be better.

Sure, we would prefer our running backs actually be good for fantasy. But, in this case, it might be enough for the Cowboys to think Elliott is good.

Last season, Pollard averaged 13.1 fantasy points per game. If we transpose his 14.8 carries per game and 11.1% target share onto Elliott while reducing Pollard’s efficiency to Elliott levels, that would give us a borderline fantasy RB2.

However, Pollard was woefully inefficient near the goal line. For all of Elliott’s flaws, the one thing he can definitely still do is fall into the end zone.

Let’s assume Elliott performs no better than 2023 Pollard but scores six more touchdowns, giving him 12 on the season (and for what it’s worth, I think he can do better). We’d be looking at around 15 fantasy points per game, a mid-to-high RB2.

Touchdowns are everything in fantasy football, and there’s a distinct chance that 2024 Elliott will show us why. As long as the price doesn’t get out of hand, Elliott is going to be worth drafting.

CeeDee Lamb’s Fantasy Outlook

Every year of CeeDee Lamb’s career, fantasy managers have had to pay for progression in advance. Every year, Lamb has delivered.

Since entering the league in 2020, Lamb has seen his fantasy points per game average increase every season. It’s fair to say that trend will come to an end in 2024.

That’s not a bad thing, though. Lamb reached his final form in 2023, averaging 23.7 fantasy points per game and finishing as the overall WR1. Lamb led the league in receptions with 135.

One of the most frustrating aspects of rostering certain elite WR talents in fantasy is watching their teams not make a deliberate effort to get them the ball. If a head coach/offensive coordinator cannot figure out how to force-feed targets to his best pass catcher, he shouldn’t have a job. Fortunately, that’s never been an issue for Mike McCarthy.

The Cowboys finally treated Lamb like the true alpha he is. He saw a 29.9% target share and was targeted on 29.9% of his routes run. Fantasy managers should not fret about Lamb’s 9.5 aDOT (average depth of target). It’s low because the Cowboys made it a point to throw Lamb the ball. That’s what we want.

Lamb did just fine with his short targets, leading all receivers with 680 yards after the catch. That helped him reach 2.89 yards per route run — fifth in the league.

The best type of wide receiver to roster in fantasy is an elite talent on a good offense with no real threat to his volume. Lamb checks every box. In fact, Lamb checks every box better than every wide receiver in the NFL right now.

There are three legitimate contenders to be the overall WR1. Lamb is worth drafting literally as soon as your draft begins.

Brandin Cooks’ Fantasy Outlook

It’s been an incredible run for Brandin Cooks, but the decline is quite noticeable at this point. Never an elite player — but always a very good one — Cooks’ production has decreased considerably over the past two seasons. Even playing in an elite Cowboys offense could not revive his fantasy value last season.

After averaging at least 13.7 fantasy points per game in seven of his first eight seasons, Cooks averaged 10.8 fantasy points per game, the second-worst season of his year. He’s now been below 12 fantasy points per game in two straight seasons.

Cooks still has enough left in the tank to be a useful NFL player. He’s a serviceable WR2 opposite Lamb. But it’s pretty clear to see what’s changed.

At his peak, Cooks was a downfield monster, averaging anywhere from 13.5 to 16.6 yards per reception. His past three averages have been 11.5, 12.3, and 12.2.

Michael Gallup leaving should help Cooks stay on the field more, but it wouldn’t shock me if Jalen Tolbert overtook him this season. Cooks is not an appealing fantasy option.

Jake Ferguson’s Fantasy Outlook

Jake Ferguson may not have been as valuable in raw fantasy points per game as Cooks. However, since he plays tight end, Ferguson wound up being one of the best values at the position last season.

Largely overlooked in fantasy drafts, Ferguson replaced Dalton Schultz in pretty much the exact same role and produced relatively similar numbers. Ferguson averaged 10.4 fantasy points per game, finishing as the overall TE10.

Nothing about Ferguson’s profile is overly exciting. He’s not particularly athletic. He’s not fast. He doesn’t command volume at a great rate (16.9% target share and 20% targets per route run rate, 16th and 17th last season). But he gets to play with Prescott on a great offense without a clear second option in the passing game.

Ferguson will remain a “fine” tight end. Unless a tight end is going to average 14+ fantasy points per game, he’s not really a difference-maker. Ferguson is not going to be a difference-maker. He’s a random TE1 with a value slightly above streaming. If you wait on a tight end in your 2024 fantasy drafts and Ferguson is there late, he will be what he was last year — “fine.”

Cowboys’ Fantasy Sleepers

Most rosters would do well even to have a single sleeper. On the Cowboys, there are two guys who could potentially end up surprising us with fantasy-relevant performances.

The first one is backup RB Rico Dowdle. It remains to be seen if the Cowboys bring in a veteran to compete with Dowdle. However, they did no such thing last year when Pollard was the lead back. It stands to reason Dowdle will reprise his role as the team’s RB2.

If Elliott gets hurt or ends up being completely finished to the point where even Jerry Jones can see it, Dowdle could end up in a very favorable position as the primary RB in one of the league’s best offenses.

The second fantasy sleeper on the Cowboys is third-year WR Jalen Tolbert. Now, to be clear, you will never see me fully endorse a wide receiver who did as little over his first two seasons as Tolbert. This is purely a dart throw.

KEEP READING: NFL Draft Fantasy Football Winners and Losers

Despite being the only Tolbert to play wide receiver in the history of the NFL, Jalen does not lead all Tolberts in receiving yards through his first two seasons. That’s right. The Kool-Aid man himself, RB Mike Tolbert, had more receiving yards over his first two years in the league (363) than the Cowboys’ wide receiver (280).

Nevertheless, Prescott can’t throw every pass to Lamb. If Cooks struggles and Tolbert improves, the latter could end up producing WR4 numbers. It’s unlikely, but when looking for under-the-radar wide receivers, you want to take shots on unknowns in great offenses with a plausible path to volume. Tolbert fits the bill.

As we look ahead to the 2024 fantasy football season, 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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