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2018 NFL Draft Reaction: Michael Gallup Goes to the Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys picked wide receiver Michael Gallup with the 81st-overall pick of the NFL Draft. Gallup began his career at the junior-college level, eventually transferring to Colorado State where he almost immediately became one of the most productive wide receivers at the FBS level.

Will Gallup become a useful fantasy asset for dynasty and redraft owners alike?


With just 26 games of major college action on his resume, it’s fair to raise questions about sample size, but there are few questions about how wildly accomplished Gallup is.


The drop in TD production in his final season is somewhat alarming, but he still managed a 0.32 Dominator Rating last season. This profiles nicely compared to the trendy second-tier WRs in last year’s draft class. And while it’s an entirely arbitrary threshold, Gallup was one of just two WRs to eclipse 80 yards receiving in a game against Alabama’s vaunted defense.

If nothing else, this is a potential indicator of his ability to play against tough competition.


Gallup performs well in Jon Moore’s 2018 Phenom Index, compared to his 2018 peers. His 1.89 Phenom Index score ranks ninth among the 44 prospects in Moore’s study, nestled between Cedrick Wilson and Christian Kirk.

He also ranks seventh in Anthony Amico’s WR Projection Model, due in large part to a relatively young breakout age (20.8). We know that WRs who record a season with a 0.30 Dominator Rating before age 21, and also end up as top-100 NFL draft picks, have scored at least 200 PPR points within their first three NFL years 35 percent of the time.


One area where Gallup lags behind is in terms of his Freak Score. This RotoViz metric uses height, weight, and speed to project the TD-scoring potential for WR prospects. Gallup’s score of 53 ranks 22nd among 40 WRs in this year’s class.

This highlights his lack of size and speed, and it’s certainly a concern. Based on a low final-season market share and poor yards per reception, Gallup also falls into an discouraging bucket on Kevin Cole’s WR Regression Tree.

Similar prospects have achieved a top-24 PPR season within their first three NFL years just four percent of the time.

Kevin Cole Regression Tree

Overall, Gallup’s statistical makeup is positive. He dominated at a young age and remained a consistent producer for the entirety of his college career. But to complete the picture, we need to take his landing spot and resulting opportunity into account.



This chart was put together by Cort Smith to show the most opportune landing spots for rookie WRs. However, since publication of his article, the Cowboys released Dez Bryant, and Jason Witten retired. This frees up 45 percent of Dallas’ targets and 54 percent of their air yards from last season. It shifts Dallas from 32nd to 10th in terms of air yard opportunity.

Vacated air yards aren’t the only reason to believe Gallup’s landing spot is prime. Looking at the remaining names on the WR depth chart, a case could be made for Gallup as the most talented of the bunch right now.

  • Allen Hurns
  • Terrance Williams
  • Cole Beasley
  • Deonte Thompson
  • Ryan Switzer
  • Noah Brown
  • KD Cannon

On a team with a WR corps in flux, Gallup steps into a promising situation in Dallas.

The departures of Bryant and Witten could easily push his ADP into uncomfortable territory in both redraft and dynasty formats. His cost in dynasty — the 2.04 in rookie ADP according to DLF — is certain to rise following the draft, so price-checking will be crucial.

That said, he represents an excellent combination of production and opportunity, and I’d be excited to acquire him in dynasty formats.

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