Once again Dallas Cowboys starting DT David Irving has been suspended for four games due to a failed test for PEDs. His latest such suspension was handed down just days ago from league officials. What does this mean for Dallas and fantasy owners? Let’s dig into this and see who all this will impact.
The violator is David Irving who I mentioned will be suspended for the second year in a row. There is no doubt about this talent. He recorded a career-high seven sacks in 2017 despite his suspension. He is one of the few interior d-lineman in the league that provides a pass rush for NFL teams and fantasy owners. As for when he returns, I expect we will the level of play that we’ve become accustomed to. I don’t think his productivity was ever in question, but the bad decision making off the field or behind the scenes and ruin careers. Luckily, for him, it hasn’t gotten to that point yet. He will become a free agent after this season and if the Cowboys opt to resign or any team in signing him will surely use these suspensions to drive down his value.
The biggest beneficiary of this suspension will be the third-year tackle, Maliek Collins. He had an outstanding rookie season, as he was just one of five rookies since 2010 to record five or more sacks in a year. You can read more on that in an article I wrote last year. I was expecting a big year from him, but opposing offenses were as well and devoted more attention to him. So, as many players do, he regressed in his second season. Now he will get the opportunity to show he’s made the adjustments in his game and terrorize offenses again. With Irving suspended for the first four games, this gives a good boost to Collins’ value. Fantasy owners would be smart to grab him with hopes that he dominates while Irving is out. If this happens you can either keep him as quality depth or trade him to a DT needy team while his stock is high.
The outsider on the team that could benefit from this suspension is the newly acquired Jahid Ward. Ward came over from the Raiders in a trade for WR Ryan Switzer. He’s a promising talent coming out of college who just couldn’t ever get it going in Oakland’s defense. I think he’ll be a better fit for the Cowboys. With Collins stepping into Irving’s spot along the d-line, his spot will be open for the first four weeks and will be a prime opportunity for Ward to show his stuff. Hopefully, coach Rod Marinelli can get the best out of him. Ward should provide solid run stopping and hopefully give them some pass rush