Dallas Cowboys running back Rico Dowdle is someone who has been getting increased work in the running game over recent weeks. As such, he has caught the attention of fantasy football managers up and down the country.
However, should fantasy managers pick up the Cowboys’ running back this week off the waiver wire? If so, what is a reasonable expectation for fantasy managers in terms of a possible return for him? Let’s dive in and find out.
Should Fantasy Managers Add Rico Dowdle in Week 13?
Dowdle has been making a name for himself in recent weeks, with an increased workload in recent weeks prior to Week 12.
In Weeks 4-9, Dowdle only managed to have more than five touches in one game — a Week 7 win versus the Los Angeles Rams. But in Weeks 10 and 11, he had 12 and 10 touches, respectively. His touches did drop to just four in Week 12, although one of them ended up resulting in a touchdown.
In fact, two of Dowdle’s three touchdowns have come in the last three weeks. This has led to him becoming a more valuable part of Dallas’ offense — the No. 1 scoring offense in the NFL. The Cowboys average 31.5 points per game entering Week 13.
Dowdle is currently ranked as the RB35 in our PFN Consensus Rankings for Week 13. This is due to his increased usage in recent weeks and his ability to find the end zone. However, there are other benefits to adding Dowdle off of the waiver wire.
For starters, lead running back Tony Pollard is currently on pace for 308 touches this season. This has decreased in recent weeks. Before Week 10, he was on pace for over 350 touches.
The Cowboys are clearly reducing the amount of touches for Pollard to keep him as fresh as they can for the playoffs. They’re also reducing his risk of getting injured in the process.
Pollard is currently ranked fourth in the NFL for RB touches, behind only Josh Jacobs, Christian McCaffrey, and Travis Etienne Jr. Since the end of the 2019 season, only 11 running backs have ended with more than 308 touches in a season. Therefore, the Cowboys are wise to reduce the burden on Pollard.
Also, situationally, it’s becoming more and more unlikely that the Cowboys will win their division. Although Dallas is currently tied for the second-best record in the NFC, they’re two games behind the Philadephia Eagles for the division lead with just six games to play.
Defeat to the Eagles in Week 14 will more than likely condemn them to the fifth seed in the NFC. If that occurs, the Cowboys could be in a situation where in the weeks the fantasy playoffs take place, they have very little to play for. This could impact Pollard’s usage even further.
The other additional benefit of Dowdle is he’s probably the No. 1 premium handcuff to own in fantasy football. If Pollard were to get injured, Dowdle would immediately go into contention as a fantasy RB1 for the rest of the season.
Currently, Dowdle is an RB3 in fantasy football. However, he’s likely to vault upwards to an RB2 if the Cowboys seal the fifth seed in Week 15 or 16, leaving it more likely he’ll claim more of the workload in lieu of resting Pollard. Therefore, fantasy managers should jump at the chance of acquiring Dowdle off the waiver wire this week if he’s available.
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