What the 2018 class of rookie wide receivers lacked in top-end talent, it made up for in depth, with 11 different wideouts scoring at least 96 fantasy points in their maiden year.
We begin with the Cowboys and historical comparables for Michael Gallup, who became a volume-based buy in dynasty rookie drafts after landing in an opportune spot in Dallas.
11th in Rookie WR Points
The 11th-place rookie finish is an inauspicious start to the career, but Gallup’s was certainly trending up as the season wore on.
While it may not have translated to the stat sheet, Gallup’s involvement in the Cowboys offense down the stretch is encouraging.
- He had a 31 percent share of team Air Yards from Week 9 on, second only to Amari Cooper’s 32 percent share
- He was also second in raw Air Yards (628) to Cooper (732)
Gallup could’ve easily lost what little volume he had in following the Cooper trade, so it was encouraging to see him emerge as the Cowboys No. 2.
Using inputs of target volume, production, efficiency, age, weight, and draft stock, I used the RotoViz Screener to come up with the most similar rookie seasons to Gallup’s.
Gallup had better hope that the volume keeps coming his way and he can turn the efficiency around. The latter was the main concern as a rookie, as only Corey Coleman was less efficient (reFPOE) as a rookie among this cohort.
Davante Adams represents the ceiling on Gallup, who actually stacks up well across the board with this year’s fantasy WR4. While Gallup was drafted a round later, he boasts similar size and age, and he put up more yards on fewer targets as a rookie.
Coleman is the worst-case scenario, although as a former 15th overall pick, he may not be the best comparable here anyway.
What’d They Do in Year 2?
All of the rookies took a step backwards or sideways in Year 2, except for one.
- Nate Burleson broke out with the only 1,000-yard campaign of his career as a sophomore. Though he’d never replicate those numbers, he did go on to 5,630 career receiving yards and had at least 80 targets in four of his 11 seasons.
- Adams’ targets increased by some 50 percent in his second year, but he was woefully inefficient, leading to a disappointing 105.5 PPR points on 94 targets.
- Coleman and Aaron Dobson flamed out quickly, while David Terrell peaked in year four with 699 yards before retiring two seasons later.
You drafted Gallup on the promise of volume, and that’s what you got. An offensive overhaul is underway in Dallas, and while that could mean more pace and overall pass attempts, my concern with Gallup is that the lack of draft capital the Cowboys invested him makes him easily replaceable if he doesn’t take a step forward in terms of efficiency.