How many times did Twitter explode with a tweet along the lines of “Dez is a grown man.”?
A lot, I presume.
It’s true, though. Cowboys wideout Dez Bryant is, in fact, a grown man. He shaves, does his taxes, takes care of his family and goes to work everyday.
He’s damn good at his job, too.
Bryant is coming off an explosive fourth campaign, hauling in a career-high 93 balls for 1,233 yards and 13 scores. Those numbers were good enough for him to finish as the number six wideout in fantasy football. He was passionate, he was emotional and, whether you like him or not, you loved owning him in fantasy. Bryant was consistent, too, finishing as a top-12 option 68.8 percent of the time, the third-best rate among wide receivers. With all of these numbers, and the offense he plays in, no one should be selling Bryant in fantasy.
Especially since he could have been even better last year.
In 2013, Bryant was tackled inside the opponent’s 10-yard line a league-leading seven times, a rather unlucky number. If you convert just some of those chances into touchdowns, he would have had more fantasy points than Calvin Johnson. He clearly has the upside and talent that translates to the number one receiver in fantasy football, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone if that comes to fruition this year. The volume is going to be so juicy.
NFL Leaders In Targets Inside 10
No one in football saw more looks from inside an opponent’s 10-yard line last year, and Dez was super efficient. He caught 68 percent of those looks, while converting a league-leading 38 percent of those targets into touchdowns. Bryant is my pick to lead the league in touchdown catches, and it makes too much sense. He is arguably the most physically dominating end zone receiver in football, and he makes them count, scoring 111 fantasy points off short throws, among the best in football. 57 percent of his total fantasy points came off of such throws, but under new offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, expect more downfield looks for one of the best wideouts in the game. Linehan has had great success with number one receivers, such as Megatron, Randy Moss and Torry Holt.
Of course, the Cowboys are going to have to throw the ball all year long, which only helps Dez case to not only lead the NFL in the aforementioned targets, but the category is a whole. Last year, Dallas passed the ball 65 percent of the time, 4th-highest in the league, and that number should actually rise in 2014.
Get all of the Dez shares in 2014, folks. He is going to absolutely eat.