Fantasy Football Week 15: WR Dez Bryant Likely to Start

By Charles Chan
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

All week long, fantasy football owners have been patiently waiting to hear positive news from the Dallas Cowboys regarding the status of breakout star Dez Bryant.

Bryant sustained a fractured left index finger during Week 14 against the Cincinnati Bengals, but returned to the game only to capture the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter. His Week 15 status remains up in the air, but all signs are looking positive for his availability when the Cowboys face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

His fantasy owners will be hard-pressed to bench him this week after he’s been among fantasy’s hottest receivers over the last four weeks, with only Calvin Johnson scoring more points than him over that span.

On paper, the matchup doesn’t look very good as the Steelers’ field the top-ranked defense in the NFL. But in reality, the loss of top-corner Ike Taylor earlier this month has left the Steelers’ secondary quite thin, and the team has been forced to roll with nickelback Cortez Allen opposite Keenan Lewis.

Though the Steelers’ defense as a whole is ranked No. 1 in the league, defending opposing receivers has been their biggest weakness as they rank dead last in that category.

Bryant returned to practice on Thursday after being evaluated by doctors earlier this week. He sounds intent on starting on Sunday after telling reporters, “They’d have to break my leg to keep me out.”

Bryant showed up to Thursday’s practice with a white padded glove on his left hand and some bulky tape around his fractured left index finger. He was seen getting in some practice reps while catching just a few passes. Then prior to Friday’s practice, was reportedly playing catch with RB DeMarco Murray on the sideline and was expected to increase his workload throughout the day.

All that’s left to do is for the Cowboys’ staff to evaluate Bryant’s effectiveness on the field. We’ll find out more on Saturday, but for now, expect Bryant to start in Week 15 and be an integral part of the Cowboys’ offense.

Let’s not forget, he caught a touchdown pass after sustaining the injury in last week’s game, he’ll be good to go. Continue to start him in your lineups this week with confidence.

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