This is undoubtedly mine and about 90 million people’s favorite time of the year. Despite the 110 temperatures, the smell is in the air. And it’s exciting! There are far less fans interested in fantasy football, but for those of us who are commissioners or team owners, it’s time to get busy scheming and plotting our fantasy dream rosters. Without further ado, here is the Loon’s 2012 Dallas Cowboy fantasy edition.
If you want to win your fantasy league, you will keep your heart out of draft night. Case in point: one of my team owners drafted five or six New Orleans Saints. I don’t know that he won one game all season. Cowboy fans are no different and must use your brains when choosing your team. Here, I will focus on the key positions. As for the other fantasy positions, kicker and defense, grab Dan Bailey as fast as you can (not in the first round and, as most everyone will tell you, in the last round) and avoid all things Dallas defense. They are still a year away from being any kind of threat in fantasy or real life.
Disclaimer: fantasy football statistics / projections come from CBS Sports.
Quarterbacks: DeMarcus Ware declared recently that Tony Romo is an elite quarterback. When I hear “elite”, I think Troy Aikman, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, even Eli Manning, aka Super Bowl champions. In Romo’s career with the ‘boys, he’s won ONE playoff game. Is this what you call elite? Not me. When it comes to statistics, the man has the numbers of the elite. On the football field, he’s just not getting it done. Will this be the year? That IS the million dollar question.
Well, it’s not about statistics, it’s about winning. That’s what the story is going to be written when it’s all said and done. Tony Romo
CBS projects Romo as the sixth best fantasy quarterback this season, with an improvement of 6.5% over 2011 fantasy points scored. They place him under Cam Newton, and right above Michael Vick. In 2011, he accumulated 326 fantasy points, which ranked him at #7 on the fantasy list. His 31 touchdowns put him at #5, as does his rating of 102.5. He is a good quarterback, I agree, but when it comes to pressure situations, he’s one of the worst. Even Tim Tebow led the Denver Broncos, who as a team, was average at best, to a playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Loon’s advice: until Romo learns how to close the deal, he will not be an elite. Pick him up in the later rounds, once you have drafted a couple of top running backs / wide receivers / tight ends who score lots of points. Sidenote: the team owner in my league who picked up Romo the past three years – didn’t make the playoffs – any year.
Kyle Orton pulling a Tim Tebow? According to my editor, Steven, possibly so. The Cowboy organization saw the need for a solid back up and they pursued Orton in the off-season. He’s been steady, but is another I would not put in the elite status. He’s not horrible, as his completion rating is 58% and his quarterback rating is 79.4 over his career. The upside is that he is younger than Romo and has had less wear and tear.
The Loon’s advice: do not draft this man. If Romo goes down with another injury, be ready to snag him, but otherwise skip right on past Tebow’s back up.
Running backs: Super fast, strong as an ox, and compact; DeMarco Murray has the qualities of a superior rusher. At the University of Oklahoma, he was a record-breaking back, with 3,685 career rushing yards, 50 touchdowns, 157 career catches with 13 touchdowns, and 1,462 kickoff return yards with 2 touchdowns. Very impressive. There’s a slight problem though – weakness in the knees, hamstrings, ankles, and shoulders all point to one thing – injury prone.
Drafted by the Cowboys in the third round, Murray racked up 104 fantasy points his rookie season, with 895 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Not too shabby for a rookie sharing rushing duties with the starter. He was the #22 back in total rushing yards last season. But, and this is a BIG but, like his career at OU, he went down with injuries twice in 2011. First, a shoulder injury, then later, a fractured ankle. Drink more milk, Murray, so your bones will toughen up. Murray is listed around the likes of Darren McFadden and Trent Richardson in terms of production.
The Loon’s advice: CBS expects him to do 47% better than the 2011 numbers. The Loon believes he’ll be 48.3% better. Pick him up late in the 1st / early 2nd rounds. If he stays healthy, you’ve got yourself a stud. If he goes down, you are in trouble.
Felix Jones is off to a horrendous start as a Cowboy this year. As has been discussed ad nauseum, he failed his training camp conditioning test. He was out of shape and unable to run a few short exercises to prove he was ready to go. In my research, I found that this is the last year of his contract. Does he not care about being a Cowboy any longer? Has he mentally checked out? Did he see the writing on the wall, much like Colt McCoy, Cleveland Browns quarterback, did when they picked up old man Brandon Weeden in the first round? Jones has not exactly been Mr. Consistent for the Cowboys and an injury-laden career hasn’t exactly helped his future.
The Loon’s advice: Jones is a solid late, very late, round bench player. I hate to keep bringing up injuries, BUT, if Murray comes up gimpy, you will need a productive back. CBS Sports anticipates an improvement of 19.3% over last year’s numbers. They also expect less yards, but more touchdowns. In my league, we allow for six points per touchdown and one point for every ten rushing yards. That might not be bad if Murray runs down the field, but Jones punches it in the endzone. Consider him, if nothing other than a bargaining chip during the season.