Here are Dalton Schultz’s full NFL stats.
|Year||Games||Targets||Receptions||Yards||TDs||Fantasy Finish||Fantasy PPG||PPG Rank|
The Cowboys selected Schultz in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Schultz wasn’t much of a pass-catcher during his college career at Stanford. He served as a blocker for star running backs Christian McCaffrey and Bryce Love. Through three years, Schultz totaled 55 receptions for 555 yards and five touchdowns.
While those were decent numbers, he certainly didn’t impress as a receiver. However, Schultz did enough as a blocker to declare early for the 2018 NFL Draft. Considering that he was first-team All-Pac 12, it wasn’t a shocking decision.
In 2018, Schultz helped fill the void left by Jason Witten’s retirement. He suffered an injury in Week 1, missing the next five games. However, once Schultz returned, he split time with Blake Jarwin and Geoff Swaim. Schultz managed to play around 50% of the offensive snaps over the final six weeks, although he didn’t produce in the receiving game. Schultz seemed to be a valuable part of the Cowboys, even if he wasn’t relevant for fantasy owners.
Unfortunately, Schultz lost his role in 2019 once Witten came out of retirement. He never played more than 23% of offensive snaps all season as Jarwin and Witten dominated the snaps at tight end. The Cowboys also employed far more base 11 personnel, centered around the WR trio of Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Randall Cobb. Therefore, the tight ends as a whole saw reduced playing time.
2020 Performance and Outlook
After 2019, the Cowboys let Witten leave in free agency, and they signed Jarwin to a contract extension to be the starting tight end. Everything came crashing down in Week 1, though. Jarwin suffered a devastating torn ACL, forcing him out for the entire 2020 season.
Schultz then immediately stepped in and filled the starting tight end role. He’s averaged 69.3 yards/game from Weeks 2-4, and he’s playing an every-down role in Jarwin’s place. Essentially, the Cowboys gave Jarwin’s featured role directly to Schultz, and Schultz has excelled in that position.
At this point, you have to consider Schultz a borderline TE1 for the rest of 2020. The Cowboys are a high-flying passing offense under Dak Prescott, although they spread the ball around between Cooper, Gallup, rookie CeeDee Lamb, and Ezekiel Elliott. Schultz will undoubtedly have some down games, but the upside is there.
In dynasty leagues, it’s tough to determine Schultz’s long-term value. The Cowboys retain his rights on his rookie contract through 2021, so he will be on the Cowboys next season. They owe Jarwin $5.25 million in 2021, although they would only save $2.25 million by releasing him. Therefore, both Schultz and Jarwin will likely remain on the team in 2021.
However, after 2021, the Cowboys will probably need to choose between re-signing Schultz or sticking with Jarwin. Schultz is two years younger than Jarwin, and he’s not coming off an ACL tear. Right now, I would prefer to have Schultz over Jarwin in dynasty leagues, as he’s healthy and currently producing fantasy points.
I also haven’t seen enough from Jarwin to say that the Cowboys will hand Jarwin his job back if Schultz continues to perform. The most likely outcome is that the Cowboys split the featured tight end role between Schultz and Jarwin in 2021, so I consider both players strong sell candidates. You probably can’t move Jarwin right now, but if you can acquire a future second-round pick for Schultz, I’d sell him pretty quickly.
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