New York Giants
Odell Beckham, Jr. was surprisingly held in check by the Cowboys in 2015, totaling just 79 yards over two games after running all over them in his rookie season. No, fantasy owners should not interpret this as a reason to bench their stud, but more of a footnote to keep in mind when these teams square off.
The Giants’ backfield was a wasteland in 2015, but some clarity has emerged in the early downs with Andre Williams being cut. Rashad Jennings is in line for the bulk of goal-line work, and garners worthy flex consideration.
Against the Cowboys’ weak secondary, rookie Sterling Shepard would also be a shrewd upside-flex play in PPR leagues after drawing rave reviews throughout the summer. However, time of possession could favor the run-heavy Cowboys and dip into his targets, which would likely be necessary for the rookie to produce in the early goings of his career. This could also make Eli Manning less viable, but his upside remains as a fringe QB1/QB2.
The tandem approach at tight end with Will Tye and Larry Donnell makes it difficult to trust either with standalone value in leagues of any format.
Ezekiel Elliott was drafted at No. 4 overall for a reason, and looked every bit the part over the summer despite dealing with a hamstring injury. Now that the games count, fantasy owners will finally get to see what he truly looks like behind one of the NFL’s best offensive lines. He is a high-upside RB1 for his NFL debut.
Dez Bryant will surely miss Tony Romo, so while his volume will be down, it doesn’t mean owners should shy away from him altogether. Bryant remains an elite talent at the position who can put up worthy fantasy numbers even with fewer opportunities. Even against a revamped Giants defense, Bryant can still wreak havoc at the intermediate levels of the field and can be considered a fringe WR1/WR2 even with Dak Prescott at the helm.
Though Jason Witten fell from fantasy relevance with a disastrous quarterback situation in 2015, he remains a bounce-back candidate with more competent quarterbacking set to take place. Yes, Prescott is unproven, but it’s hard to imagine worse under center than Kellen Moore, Matt Cassel or Brandon Weeden.
For all the hype Prescott has received, he is nowhere close to being a top-12 quarterback for Week 1 and should remain safely stashed in leagues across the board.