“To ride a horse at a gallop; ride at full speed”. That is the dictionary.com definition of the word “gallop”. So what happens when you change a vowel? What is the dictionary definition of the NAME Gallup? Is it “breakout,” “efficient,” “underestimated,” “regression”? These are the questions that many fantasy football drafters are asking right now when they’re staring at Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup in their queue this draft season. Should you hop on and ride at full speed into your championship?
As I type this article, I am next on the clock in the Explosive Output Bestball Draft for the 4th pick of the 7th round. My fingers and toes are crossed that my gamble to wait and not pick Michael Gallup on the way back in the 6th pays off and I can still land him in the 7th. I think at the 76th pick of the draft I’d be locking up a great value for my WR2, which is right around where Gallup’s ADP is currently (75.2 according to NFFC). For those of you looking for a solid option at wide receiver in the late 6th or early 7th round of your drafts, I think you should join me and lets “Gallup” our way to victory!
Let’s start by talking about why some people are NOT as high on Gallup coming into this season. The obvious is the “rookie mania” that has swept the nation this off season. All the buzz has been on the rookie class since the NFL draft was all we could watch to get our sports fix during COVID-19 quarantine times. The selection of CeeDee Lamb in the first round raised eyebrows and people immediately gravitated to the “shiny new toy” for Dak Prescott. Lamb is certainly a talented receiver, but I am not as high on his possible fantasy production in his rookie season. Not only does Lamb have to deal with the funky off season like all of the rookies, but he has one of the best WR duos in the NFL in front of him. I think he has a quieter 2020 than most are thinking he will.
Even if Lamb comes in and shows he can be productive right off the bat, it doesn’t have to come at Gallup’s expense. Last year, Randall Cobb played the roll of third receiver in the Cowboys offense. Even as the third receiver, he still managed to accumulate 828 receiving yards on 79 targets. Jason Witten also departed and he had 82 targets last season. Just factoring in the loss of the WR3 and TE, there are 161 available targets. Sure, some of them will go to Blake Jarwin who will become the starting tight end, but I believe that there is plenty of volume for all the weaponry that Mike McCarthy and Kellen Moore have to work with.
In 2019, Both Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup had over 100 targets at 116 and 112 respectively. They played a lot of close games and were certainly better than their 8-8 record showed. Of those 8 losses, 6 of them came in one score games and they still have the ingredients of a winning football team. The defense did have some turnover, particularly in the secondary, so that may lead to even more points being scored against them this year. If that is the case, they will have to keep pace and put up points themselves, leading to more volume for the offensive weapons.
Mike McCarthy taking over at the helm in Dallas could also point to the Cowboys continuing to pass the football. When McCarthy was calling the shots for his Aaron Rodgers led offense, Rodgers averaged just shy of 500 pass attempts per season from 2008-2018, including 2 seasons that were shortened due to injury. As a head coach, McCarthy has proven he likes to throw the football. Now granted, he didn’t have Ezekiel Elliot in his backfield. Zeke will surely eat, but you cant teach an old dog new tricks, and I believe that there will be plenty of passing plays and opportunity for Gallup in this offense.
As I mentioned before, Gallup had 112 targets last season. He turned that into 1107 receiving yards on 66 receptions. He broke out in his sophomore season, becoming one of the leagues most effective intermediate threats. He ranked 9th in the league with 483 receiving yards on routes ran between 10-19 yards. Gallup also averaged 16.8 yards per reception last year! Over the final 8 weeks of the 2019 season, Gallup even out produced Cooper, ranking as the WR10 in a PPR format. He will continue to work on the outside where he was the 4th ranked receiver in yards after catch per reception.
Right now Michael Gallup is being ranked as WR32 according to PFF consensus rankings. Last season Gallup was in the top 20 of fantasy football wide receivers in a PPR format and the rookie hype of Lamb is driving Gallup’s value to a sweet spot for us. He will remain a solid WR2 option with some tremendous big play upside. Do not underestimate the Cowboys’ and Mike McCarthy’s ability to support the weapons in this offense. Michael Gallup can certainly surpass the 1,000 yard mark once again this season, and I just smashed the “draft” button to lock him up as my WR2. Jump on the value we are getting him at right now and lets Gallup together! Am I beating a dead horse? See what I did there? Ba Dum Tssss!