Michael Gallup is entering his third professional season and seems primed for the traditional third-year breakout. Since being drafted out of Colorado State in the 3rd round of the 2018 NFL draft by the Cowboys, Gallup has produced 99 catches for 1,614 yards and eight touchdowns in 30 career games. In a Dallas offense that features Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper, as well as recent first-round pick CeeDee Lamb, will there be enough offensive touches to go around for Gallup to produce big numbers in 2020?
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In 2019, Michael Gallup earned a 19% share of Dak Prescott’s career-high pass attempts. He saw double-digit targets on five occasions in 2019 and went over 100 yards four times with another two games of 98 yards each. Gallup was on the field for 75% of Dallas’s offensive snaps in 2019, up from 2020, and he finished as the WR18 with his per-game fantasy average, just behind Cowboys teammate Amari Cooper.
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Seventy receptions would be a career-high for Gallup, although I don’t see a massive increase in targets for him with the addition of CeeDee Lamb to the offense. The Cowboys should be running a lot of 3-wide sets this year, though, so Gallup should see plenty of playing time in what figures to be one of the higher-octane offenses in football. I have him down for 118 targets, a slight increase from last season’s mark of 113.
My favorite Michael Gallup game of last season! pic.twitter.com/qykhnmQX9R
— ✭ ✭ (@IcyGallup) April 20, 2020
Average Draft Position
Auction Value: $10
Gallup’s current ADP places him in low-end WR3, high-end WR4 range, which I think is a tad lower than where he should be coming off the board. His baseline is likely as a high-end WR3, and he has the potential to be much better than that in 2020. After Dak Prescott signs his long-term contract, Gallup’s ADP could start to rise in the summer. However, Lamb’s introduction to the offense will likely keep it in a very manageable range.
Michael Gallup’s career numbers projected out to a 16-game pace would put him at about 53 catches for 860 yards and four touchdowns. Those numbers would have put him outside the top-36 receivers in 2019, but with the vacated targets in Dallas, his production should be higher than that. Gallup certainly benefitted from the Cowboys running the 7th-most offensive plays in 2019, which is a number that could decrease in 2020. Still, I have a bit of a dip in pass attempts from Prescott baked into those numbers above, and Gallup’s catch percentage figures to increase as he develops his receiving talent. Amari Cooper is the only clear-cut receiver on the team who will be more targeted than Gallup, and Cooper has a history of injuries that suggest he won’t be on the field for all 16 games this season.
The ceiling for Gallup is likely somewhere in the range of 80 catches, 1,200 yards, and eight touchdowns, which is nothing to scoff at. Jason Witten and Randall Cobb combined for seven receiving touchdowns in 2019 and are no longer on the team so that Gallup could have some intriguing red-zone potential, but Dallas should still be a run-first team in that regard with Zeke on the roster. Gallup’s career catch percentage is unimpressive at about 55%, but he showed improvement in that area toward the end of last season. He should benefit from Prescott’s accuracy at quarterback as well.
Serious question, if Amari Cooper had left the Cowboys after this year, how much would we have been raving about Michael Gallup?
• Just turned 24
• 66-1107-6 in 14 games
• Dak likely locked into a big deal
• Regardless of Cooper staying or leaving, Gallup is GREAT
— Dynasty Polls (@TheDynastyPolls) April 14, 2020
Dallas Cowboys Offense
The Cowboys ran on the 12th-highest percentage of plays in the NFL last year, which could increase next season with Mike McCarthy as the new head coach. Dallas had Football Outsider’s 2nd-best run-blocking line in 2019, and with Ezekiel Elliott at running back, this team would be wise to try to grind the clock out on the ground. Dak Prescott set a career-high in touchdowns with 30 last season, which could fall back to Earth this year as his previous three seasons he threw for 22 or 23 scores. The Cowboys are an excellent all-around team talent-wise, and figure to contend for the division title in the NFC East, so they may not need to air it out as frequently in 2020. The team certainly has a hole in terms of the middle-of-the-field targets that Cobb and Witten excelled at – Gallup has the opportunity to take on that role, although CeeDee Lamb will also be heavily involved. It’s unclear how much chemistry he’ll be able to develop with Prescott during a bizarre offseason, but Gallup won’t just fall off the map even with his addition. If anything, this trio of wide receivers will only help get easier targets for the other guys.
Strength Of Schedule
The NFC East should present some friendly matchups to opposing wide receivers this season as the Redskins, Eagles, and Giants all ranked among the teams with the ten-most fantasy points against by the receiver position. They also ranked among Football Outsider’s bottom-half pass defenses in 2019. The Cowboys will take on the AFC North, which features the Ravens and Steelers who both had top-five pass defenses last season per Football Outsiders. The Bengals had one of the worst pass defenses in 2019, though, and the Browns ranked middle-of-the-pack. The Cowboys will also have to play the NFC West this year. That division features the 49ers, who had the 2nd-best pass defense, and the Rams, with the 10th-best pass defense. The Seahawks and Cardinals were on the other end of the spectrum, though, ranking among the bottom half of the league in fantasy points against by wide receivers. The Cowboys will also play the Vikings, who saw their 3 top cornerbacks from last season leave this offseason and the Falcons who have a dreadful secondary. So it’s pretty much a mixed bag for the Cowboys, with their in-division foes doing plenty to provide soft spots on their schedule. The beautiful thing for Dallas is even the teams with tougher defenses that they will play feature elite offensive play, which could lead to shootout game scripts and garbage time points.
Michael Gallup is another player who is primed for a third-year breakout, and while he doesn’t have the talent of Courtland Sutton or the perfect situation of Calvin Ridley, he should be able to produce in an offense that will need his help. His baseline is as a high-end WR3, but he has the potential to be much better than that this season and if you can get him after the 6th round, you should be thrilled to put his upside on your fantasy roster.
Michael Gallup in 2019 per @PFF
•10th in Yards/Routes Run
•14th in Yards After Catch/Reception
•16th in ppg among WR (0.5PPR)
All on only 112 targets!!!!!
— Jorge Edwards (@JorgeBEdwards) April 1, 2020
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