Dez Bryant getting cut opens the door for targets to be spread out among the remaining WRs. Dez played in 16 games last season, racking up 132 targets as the #1, but only pulled down 69 receptions, didn’t break 900 yards, and catching 6 TDs. With the receiving corp as is, we should expect Allen Hurns to take over Dez’s role as the X, while Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley maintain their roles as the Z and slot, respectively. The Cowboys have had visits from a few first round receivers, so there’s a possibility that a rookie gets some playing time as well.
Allen Hurns showed the best version of himself in 2015 in 15 games, but the knock on him is not being able to stay healthy. He hasn’t been able to stay on the field since then, so can we expect him to hold up when given a bigger load? If he does stay healthy, he could do more than what Dez was able to do with his target share. In Hurns’ best season, he racked up 64 catches on 105 targets and 10 TDs. Is it an outlier? Possibly. We also don’t know how he’ll do against #1 corners. He’ll likely get the type of target share Dez got, but possibility of lack of consistency on a week to week basis along with injury history is why I won’t be drafting him unless he comes at a serious discount. At the end of the day, volume is king.
Speaking of volume, Cole Beasley was able to get something going with Dak Prescott’s rookie year in 2016 with Dez banged up. He had a down year last year, but Dez was healthy and played in all 16 games. I wouldn’t consider drafting Beasley other than in full PPR leagues as a late round flier. He’ll be someone you might be able to plug in for depth to give you a floor to complement your high ceiling players. Beasley averaged about 5 catches per game which added up to 75 catches. Since I like to draft for upside at the end of drafts, I’ll probably wait to see Beasley’s name on the waiver wire in the first couple of weeks of the season.
Will Terrence Williams finally break out? If anyone were to lose playing time to a rookie, it would probably be him. Williams lost some time on the field to Brice Butler, but since he’s gone, Deonte Thompson can steal that time away once again. There isn’t anything that Williams does particularly well, so they might want to have someone that complements Hurns in a better way. I wouldn’t take a shot on Williams in drafts this summer.
Will you take a chance on Hurns in your draft? Do you expect his ADP to be at a place worth drafting?