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Is a Secondary Breakout in Store for Michael Gallup?

If you drafted Michael Gallup as a rookie, you were admittedly disappointed. However, like everything in fantasy football, context matters. Gallup’s incoming measurables and draft capital were strong but not elite.

His landing spot in 2018 came with some question marks such as:

  • A quarterback who failed to eclipse 4,000 passing yards in a season during his career
  • A team that averaged 26th in the league in pass attempts during the last three seasons
  • A team that averaged fifth in the league in rushing attempts during the last three seasons

However, we’ve seen some incredible growth throughout his first two seasons in the league.

Let’s take a closer look at the data and find out why Gallup is primed for an even bigger 2020.

Gallup’s Two-Year Progression

Considering the context of his situation, Gallup produced modest numbers during his rookie season. A key stat to keep in mind is this: a whopping 31% of his rookie targets were considered to be “off target” which was good for sixth highest in the league.

An offseason of additional work with quarterback Dak Prescott helped stir the hype for Gallup heading into his sophomore campaign. However, the move that provided the greatest benefit to both Gallup and the entire Dallas Cowboys team was the hiring of Kellen Moore as offensive coordinator.

Impact of Kellen Moore

To say that Moore had a positive impact on the Cowboys offense would be a massive understatement. Take a look at how the Cowboys — and more specifically Prescott’s passing numbers — improved from 2018 to 2019.

More points per drive, more points per game, more passing yards, and more passing touchdowns.

By way of the Cowboys offense reaching new heights, Gallup nearly doubled almost every key receiving statistic in his second season.

Despite missing two early games in 2019, Gallup broke out in his sophomore season, with seven WR2-or-better weeks.

An Ascending QB-WR Tandem

Part of the reason for Gallup’s sophomore success, as mentioned above, was the developing connection with Dak Prescott. Only Amari Cooper was better in terms of AYA in 2019. Also worth noting, Gallup trailed Cooper by only six targets despite missing two games. While Cooper is the more athletically gifted wideout, Gallup has shown he can co-exist with Cooper and still provide significant fantasy value.

Looking Ahead

The hiring of Mike McCarthy as the head coach provides a different narrative heading into 2020. The Cowboys made the right call by keeping Kellen Moore on as their offensive coordinator, given the strides the offense took in 2019. Prescott has publically supported Moore several times and should continue to see growth as a QB1 moving forward.

As for Gallup, he’s in a prime spot to further improve upon an already strong showing from this past season. Depending on what happens between the Cowboys and Cooper this offseason, Gallup could be in line for even more targets, although he has shown he can produce even with Cooper on the field.

Cooper and Gallup have a sizeable price difference in early best ball drafts. Cooper slots in at WR10 whereas Gallup comes in at WR32 — he finished 2019 as the WR24, for reference. Based on current data, I prefer Gallup’s price, as there are other wideouts I prefer over Cooper in that range such as D.J. Moore (WR8) and Odell Beckham Jr. (WR11). Prescott has already shown he can support two top-24 WRs, so even if Cooper does finish as the WR10 overall, Gallup still looks like a value.

Gallup could be on the verge of a secondary breakout in 2020. His current ADP is a bargain for someone I believe has a mid-WR2 skillset with WR1 potential and the ability for week-winning performances. The talent is there and the offensive weapons are in place for him to outperform his 2019 finish and absolutely smash his current ADP.

If you’re looking for another 2020 breakout candidate at the wide receiver position, make sure to check out a recent piece from Jack Miller in which he talks about how Mecole Hardman checks almost every box.

If that’s still not enough for you, check out this Dynasty Trade Target piece from Curtis Patrick in which he hits on three wide receivers to target this offseason.

Image Credit: Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Michael Gallup.

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