Dynasty Outlook: Michael Gallup

Take a close look at the following information and try to answer this question: does this sound like an offense that can effectively support a second relevant fantasy wide receiver?

-A QB who has failed to eclipse 4,000 passing yards in a season during his career
-A team that has averaged 26th in the league in pass attempts during the last three seasons
-An RB who is averaging 100+ rushing yards and 130+ yards from scrimmage per game in his career
-A team that has averaged fifth in the league in rushing attempts during the last three seasons
-A recent addition at WR that has posted 1,000+ yards in three of his last four seasons

In answer to my previous question, probably not.

However, I am here to tell you that this offense has the potential to support a second relevant fantasy wide receiver, even in a Dallas Cowboys offense dominated by Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliot, and Amari Cooper. That receiver is a second-year wideout, Michael Gallup.

Impact of Draft Capital & College Metrics

Whenever I spend time looking at wide receivers and their potential value in dynasty leagues, the first variable I check out is their draft capital. I am a big draft capital truther simply because there is so much concrete data to back it up. Let me briefly explain.

Since 2010, of all drafted wide receivers, 38.5% have been drafted in Rounds 1-3. Those wide receivers have accounted for 74.5% of all touchdowns scored by any wideout drafted since then. Michael Gallup snuck into the group with third-round draft capital. Just using that metric, he’s got a bright future ahead of him.

That’s the short version, but that demonstrates that even if you just use draft capital as your basis for evaluating and drafting wide receivers, you have a pretty decent chance of hitting on a productive player. For the record, if you’re curious to see the more in-depth version of my wide receiver/draft capital analysis, feel free to hit me up on Twitter.

Looking at his incoming metrics, Michael Gallup produced a Dominator Rating (37.4) and Breakout Age (20.5 yrs) that were considered solid, but not elite. If you take those two metrics and include his rookie receiving yards, his closest comparison since 2010 is Sterling Shepard. The biggest difference is Shepard was drafted a full round earlier. When I see that name and that comp, I immediately think of a guy who can excel opposite an elite wide receiver in an effective offense. Now, unfortunately for Shepard, he will no longer have a stud wide receiver to take the pressure of opposing defenses off of him. Also, his thumb injury will require some added attention as well.

Speaking of elite wide receivers, in my mind, there is a clear benefit for wide receivers who have elite studs on their team. I have found myself targeting and rostering guys who are a WR2 on their team. These include Calvin Ridley (Julio Jones), Chris Godwin (Mike Evans), and now Michael Gallup (Amari Cooper). There’s certainly value to be had when opposing defenses are forced to acknowledge and account for an elite wideout, leaving the “secondary” wideouts with one on one coverage.


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Rookie Review & Future Outlook

Michael Gallup, coming in with prototypical wide receiver size at 6’1” / 205 lbs., appeared in all 16 games and finished with a stat line of 33 receptions/68 targets/507 yds/2 TDs. That’s the general overview, but it’s more interesting to identify some trends. Let’s dig a little deeper.

Let’s start with some “bad” news. He finished 76th at the position in PPR scoring formats (yikes!) and caught less than 50% of his targets (oof!). However, some “good” news and a closer look at the analytics tell us that, per EPSN, 31% of his targets were considered “off-target” which was sixth highest in the league.

One would think, and hopefully assume, that there will be some positive regression at least in the area of “on-target” throws. Besides, Gallup greatly increased his level of involvement in the offense during the later portion of the season. From Weeks 1-5, he averaged 14.2 routes per game but increased that to 30.9 from Week 6 on. During that same period (Week 6 on), he played 77% of the team’s snaps. Simply being on the field is the first step to achieving fantasy relevance, and as this past season progressed, Gallup was able to integrate himself into the offense much more.

Taking a closer look at Michael Gallup’s unique play style and his potential role in the Dallas Cowboys offense, he may never garner the sheer target volume to offset a sub-par catch rate or inaccurate targets. However, where I believe he will thrive is in being efficient in one on one matchups down the field. Dak Prescott was not afraid to sling it when targeting Gallup. His average depth of target (aDOT), among wideouts with a minimum of 50 targets, was 13.9 which put him 14th at the position. Here’s an example of that exact type of play. Gallup’s route off the line was simple enough, but he used his speed and his body to track the ball very well, even with one defender on him and another closing in.

NFL Draft Analyst Lance Zierlein listed “Uses body control and timing to win contested catches downfield” as one of his identified strengths coming out of college and he portrayed that skill on several occasions this past season. Here’s an example of him using that premier body control in the red zone.

Again, the route off the line of scrimmage was nothing spectacular, but Michael Gallup simply uses his superior athleticism and body control to create ample separation even while working in a short field situation. While high volume targets will be tough to come by, he is showing the necessary abilities to make chunk plays and be efficient with the opportunities that he is given.

Final Thoughts

The Dallas Cowboys have shown in the last three years that they are committed to being a run-first team in the NFL. The data points I listed at the beginning demonstrate that pretty clearly. Ezekiel Elliot is one of the young, premier running backs in the league who has started to add sizable receiving work to his already outstanding player profile. He has been and will continue to be the primary focus of opposing defenses. If his pending holdout wasn’t looming, many were making the case for him to be the 1.01 in drafts this year.

Speaking of his holdout, as of August 6th, a source close to ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported that Zeke and his representatives have informed the Dallas Cowboys that he will not play this coming season without a new deal in place.

If his holdout does continue on into the regular season, the Cowboys will have no choice but to fill their backfield with touches from Alfred Morris, Tony Pollard, and Mike Weber. In addition, more pressure will be put on Dak Prescott to help carry the team. All of this bodes well for a potential boost in target volume for Michael Gallup.

In addition, the hiring of new Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore will almost certainly help the offense reach newer heights this season. In a recent article published on the Dallas Cowboys website, Vinnie Iyer highlighted the following:

“Dallas finished No. 17 and No. 22 in points scored over the last two seasons, respectively. In 2019, the team should be closer to a top-five unit. That’s what it was in 2014 and 2016, seasons in which the Cowboys went a combined 25-7.”

A Quarterback Coach turned OC will now have the task of bringing out the best in his stable of playmakers. Michael Gallup will benefit from a fresh look on the offensive coaching staff who will prioritize getting the Dallas offense back to a higher scoring plane.

Outside of Amari Cooper, I do not believe the other pass catchers on the Dallas Cowboys will pose much of a threat to Michael Gallup moving forward. The veteran additions of Jason Witten and Randall Cobb will likely be more beneficial to Dak Prescott from a pure football perspective than they will be as a potential negative to Gallup from a fantasy football perspective. As mentioned above, I truly believe there is value for a WR2 on his team who benefits from the presence of an elite WR.

In addition to the presence of Zeke and Cooper on the offense, as also mentioned earlier, Dak Prescott has yet to break 4,000 passing yards in any of his three seasons in the league. While he has managed to finish as a top 12 quarterback each year, he has done so by being efficient with the ball while also providing a solid rushing floor. However, 4,000 yards passing has become a sort of “benchmark” for quarterbacks in recent years. It used to be more significant when that plateau was reached, but now it’s almost expected with how pass-happy the league has become combined with the new rules designed to keep players, especially quarterbacks, safer.

While I do think it will be important for Dak to keep pushing that 4,000-yard mark as often as he can, I do firmly believe that Michael Gallup will have fantasy value moving forward. He finished his rookie season strong in a playoff loss where he posted a line of 6 receptions (9 targets) for 119 yards. Ending on a high note always gives a player, and fantasy owners, more confidence heading into the offseason. I would encourage you to go out and buy him while you can, as I believe his value in dynasty leagues will only continue to rise.

Thanks for checking out my article! For more fantasy football content, follow me on Twitter @Samuel_DFF.


If you haven’t already become a Factory Sports member, we hope you will consider doing so. If you’re looking for a site that covers Dynasty, Redraft, IDP, Devy, and DFS you have found it. Sign up today for just $29.99 for a full year, and we’ll also give you the 2019 Factory Fantasy Redraft Guide, the Rookie and the 2019 IDP Rookie Guides (this special is ending very, very soon!).

If you don’t want the guides, you can become a member for a year for just $19.99. Become a Factory Sports subscriber today! If you want to try us out for a month, you can do that too, right here. Each of these memberships also gets you instant access to our Factory Conveyor Belt Slack community, our Video Mailbag series, and much more to come!

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