Dez Bryant could remain a top-20 fantasy producer in 2018

Wide receiver Dez Bryant can be a fantasy producer in 2018, but he needs the right landing spot. Yahoo fanalyst Liz Loza expains. (AFP Photo/Kevin C. Cox)

In a surprisingly unemotional move, the Cowboys released Dez Bryant on Friday morning, signaling the end of an era. Where the 29-year-old receiver lands is anyone’s guess, though he seemed to suggest he’d be staying in the NFC East. If that were the case, Washington feels like a front-runner to land Bryant. The team is in need of a possession receiver with a sturdy red zone presence, which is what Dez has become at his point in his career.

The vet’s ability to separate has declined, as evidenced by his target separation score of 1.17 (#90). That means he’d benefit greatly from a quarterback that’s able to throw the ball into tight windows. While Alex Smith was hyper-efficient in 2017, he managed the highest average receiver target separation score (1.95) among signal callers. Ironically, Carson Wentz (do it, Howie!) had the lowest (1.10), illustrating his ability and desire to fit the ball into narrow spaces.

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The second lowest target separation score (1.13) belongs to… Jimmy Garoppolo. That’s just one of many reasons San Francisco would be a prime destination for the former Cowboy. A massive upgrade on Pierre Garcon (who before getting hurt in Week 8, averaged 8.4 targets per outing), the three-time Pro Bowl talent could realistically see upwards of 120 looks and over 1,000 yards with the 49ers, remaining a WR2 option for fantasy purposes. According to former Raiders CEO Amy Trask, it’s not impossible to see Bryant close out his career in California. There’s room for optimism fantasy fans!

One thing is for sure… all eyes will be on Dallas later this month, as the city hosts the 2018 NFL Draft and its team selects Bryant’s successor. Yahoo Fanalyst Brad Evans believes the Cowboys should nab WR Michael Gallup. I think Calvin Ridley makes more sense. What do you think?

Join the conversation and Tweet me @LizLoza_FF.