Not only is Dallas Cowboys football finally less than two months away, but for many fans, your fantasy football draft is around the corner, too. Selecting the perfect roster of players amongst the 32 NFL teams is always challenging. Getting your team a top receiver is usually the first action item.
To help out, Pro Football Focus has been putting out rankings and tiers for each major fantasy football position. The criteria for the site when it came to ranking and tiering these receivers was to look at seven major categories: target pedigree, performance peripherals, offense quality, passing volume, quarterback quality, target competition, and player average draft position.
PFF believes the ultimate fantasy receivers “demand targets at all levels of the field and make plays after the catch on winning pass-heavy team.” Players who fall under that category were placed in tier 1A. Only three players got that prestigious of a ranking. All the other subsequent tiers were deemed to have some sort of weakness.
Before we get into tiers, here are the top 10 fantasy WRs, per PFF (tier after team name):
- Justin Jefferson, Vikings (1A)
- Cooper Kupp, Rams (1A)
- Ja’Marr Chase, Bengals (1A)
- Stefon Diggs, Bills (1B)
- CeeDee Lamb, Cowboys (1B)
- Davante Adams, Raiders (1B)
- Mike Evans, Bucs (1C)
- Tee Higgins, Bengals (1C)
- Deebo Samuel, 49ers (2A)
- Tyreek Hill, Dolphins (2A)
Can’t get one of these receivers by the time it’s your turn? Don’t worry, PFF ranked a whopping 107 receivers in the league to help with your draft.
Lamb has been a dark horse to lead this league in receiving yards ever since the football world found out that he’d be the new WR1 for the Cowboys. With Amari Cooper in Cleveland and Michael Gallup out for an unknown amount of time, Lamb’s targets will rise exponentially. The 23-year-old already led the Cowboys in yards last year. Imagine what he can do in 2022 with increased snaps and targets.
PFF ranks Cowboys’ CeeDee Lamb the fifth-overall fantasy receiver and puts him in the second tier
Let’s talk a little bit more about the tiers. As we mentioned above, the three players in the first tier “have it all.” They’ll be heavily targeted by a highly talented quarterback on a team that prioritizes passing.
Some of the elements of the Cowboys roster may be why Lamb didn’t make that tier. While Dak Prescott is a good quarterback, he’s not Joe Burrow or Matt Stafford. Also, the Cowboys love to run the ball and have two talented backs to help them do so.
The tier where Lamb is (1B) was titled “most likely to catapult into tier 1A.” So we aren’t sure Lamb could do much better apart from roster circumstances outside of his control.
Here was writer Dwain McFarland’s explanation for Lamb’s landing spot:
"CeeDee Lamb, the No. 17 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, already has two top-24 fantasy finishes and led Dallas in target share (18%), air yards (25%) and YPRR (2.06) in 2021. Since 2011, only 10 other wide receivers put together two top-24 finishes in their first two seasons. His deep target rate, YAC and explosive target rate rank favorably against many options ranked behind him.Lamb’s ranking requires a step forward in the target share department despite those accolades. However, even if Lamb’s targets per route don’t climb dramatically, we can expect to see his route participation surge with Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson out of the picture. The average top-24 fantasy receiver runs a route on 86% of his team’s dropbacks, and 55% of those players eclipse the 90% mark. Lamb’s route participation has fallen well below those thresholds over his first two seasons (72% and 76%).If the third-year receiver also takes a step forward in targets per route run (TPRR), we could see an even more significant bump in expected targets for the 2022 season."
There are a lot of Cowboys fans who may be underestimating Lamb’s ability to lead a team in just his third season. But the reality is that he has done a lot for this team, and did so without his star quarterback for half a season and while being the No. 2 or No. 3 behind other Cowboys receivers. The opportunity for him to have his best year yet is his for the taking. Hopefully, that’s helpful to your fantasy football team, too.