The best fantasy football wide receivers, No. 7: Dez Bryant
Bryant lost most of 2015 after breaking his foot Week 1. By the time he returned, Tony Romo was all but done for the year and the Cowboys season was effectively at its end. I must admit, it feels wrong ranking Bryant this low. Before last season, he had three straight years with at least 1,200 yards and 12 scores. His average output across that span was 91 catches for 1,311.7 yards and 13.7 touchdowns, which comes out to 213.37 points in standard-scoring leagues. Even in last year’s historic year for receivers, that would have made Bryant the seventh-ranked player at the position. For fantasy purposes, though, we have to evaluate players based on their real-life context. The Cowboys have seemingly legitimate Super Bowl aspirations, but we saw what happened when Romo went down last year. They have no shot of winning anything without him, and he’s now a 36-year-old who has fractured his left collarbone three times. The Cowboys drafted Ezekiel Elliott with the fourth overall pick in part because they believe him capable of taking some pressure off of Romo and the passing game. Even when Bryant was at his best, he was never a yardage monster. His opportunities could be fewer this season than at any other point of his career.