Dallas Cowboys‘ star wide receiver Dez Bryant had the best season of his career in 2012. He and teammate Tony Romo finally established a connection that translated into production on the field and in fantasy football.
The stats were there. Dez had 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns. Dez had an average draft position of the sixth pick in the second round, making his production match his expectation. He finished with 201 points in a standard league format, which was third among receivers. With a year like that, many people are going to jump on him in the early round picks. What should you do? Should you jump on him too?
Rarely does a receiver go from a 1,300 yard receiving year into another one. Let’s not forget, Dez has serious off the field issues as well as an injury history. Dez having that great of a year is fantastic for owners who had him, but it only spells trouble for the next year. Relying on Dez Bryant to be your top fantasy football receiver is hard to do.
Just a year before, Dez only had 928 receiving yards. The year before that he only had 561 yards. It is a really good sign that he has continually progressed in the statistical area, but it adds to the pile of pressure he already has. He is playing on “America’s Team” with a huge spotlight on him to not only succeed, but excel in a tough NFC East. To add to the huge spotlight, nobody’s expectations are higher than Jerry Jones’. Dez will have to carry that receiver corps with Miles Austin’s recent struggles.
Wide receiver success directly depends on the quarterback getting him the ball. He may have the most inconsistent quarterback in all of the NFL with Tony Romo. Nobody knows if Romo will look like an elite quarterback or throw 18 interceptions. Romo has the potential to make Dez a top five receiver again, but I wouldn’t bank on it.
It is very reasonable to think Dez can put up 1,100 yards and nine touchdowns in 2013, which is very good, but it isn’t first round draft pick good. To expect him to come in and lead your fantasy squad to championship is a little absurd. Play it safe and stay away from Dez Bryant.