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Is Michael Gallup the better Cowboys receiver in fantasy?

The Dallas Cowboys have a Pro Bowl WR in Amari Cooper, and a hyped rookie WR in CeeDee Lamb, but it’s Michael Gallup that could end up being a top fantasy performer.
Credit: AP
Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills, left, tries to stop Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup (13) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Amari Cooper is the Dallas Cowboys' No. 1 receiver in Mike McCarthy's offense. However, he may not be the top Cowboys wideout in some fantasy football lineups in 2020.

Third-year receiver Michael Gallup is coming into his own after catching 66 passes for 1,107 yards and six touchdowns in 14 games last season. Cooper bested the former 2018 third-round pick by 13 more catches for 82 more yards and two more scores, but it took him two more games to do so.

The selection of receiver CeeDee Lamb with the No. 17 overall pick in the NFL Draft creates more division of targets in the receiving corps. The former Oklahoma Sooner will absorb the targets slot receiver Randall Cobb had in 2019 while also cutting into a share of Cooper and Gallup's respective targets.

Receiving corps that boast diverse options are tricky to evaluate in fantasy. It isn't a risk to take Michael Thomas, as the New Orleans Saints receiver led the NFL in receptions last year. Similarly, DeAndre Hopkins, even with the pairing of All-Pro Larry Fitzgerald, is going to be the No. 1 fantasy receiver for the Arizona Cardinals. It is a risk when the receiving options are all going to get the same opportunities, good or bad.

In 2019, Gallup actually tied with the Green Bay Packers' Davante Adams for the 22nd-most fantasy points by a receiver with 212.70, according to ESPN. Cooper had the 10th-most fantasy points for a receiver with 246.5. When going by per game, Cooper's 15.4 points per game was 0.2 higher than Gallup.

Each wideout comes with their own risk. Gallup missed two games with injuries last season, which were admittedly the only two games he has missed in his short career. Cooper's downside is just as detrimental as an injury: going missing. Last year, Cooper had three games with one catch or fewer. There is no injury report or game day inactives report to guard against that type of hit to the fantasy lineup.

The two receivers had four games over 100 yards receiving, and Cooper was the only one of the duo to post a 200-plus receiving yards game. However, both of them had five games within the 60-99 receiving yards range. Between the two, Cooper was the only one who had more eight-plus catch games with three; Gallup recorded only one. Gallup did manage a 16.77 yards per reception while Cooper had a 15.05 for 2019.

Cooper and Gallup aren't exactly going to be waiver wire pickups, at least early in the season. As fantasy players try to suss out who is going to be Prescott's favorite target between Cooper, Gallup, and Lamb, Dallas receivers will be drafted, albeit in the later rounds.

No Cowboys receiver is going to be regarded highly over Thomas, Hopkins, Julio Jones, or even tight ends such as Travis Kelce and George Kittle. If there are only Cowboys receivers left on the board, consider Gallup. 

Even in his complementary role to Cooper, Gallup was able to produce 15.2 fantasy points on average when on the field. As he enters his third year and takes another step in his development, expect more production, even with the competitive receiving corps the Cowboys will be fielding.

Will you be picking up Michael Gallup for your fantasy team? Share your fantasy football strategies with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.  

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