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Countdown to 2021 fantasy football drafts: CeeDee Lamb No. 42

CeeDee Lamb comes in at 42 in our fantasy football rankings countdown to the 2021 NFL season.

 Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Ceedee Lamb (88) during training camp at the Marriott Residence Inn Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb had a strong rookie campaign in 2020, but it could have been even better. The Cowboys lost their starting quarterback early in the season. Expectations will be high for his sophomore season with a healthy Dak Prescott back under center.

To commemorate the 2021 NFL season, we’ll be counting down the 75 best fantasy football players in the league. Picking a Top 75 is subjective, especially when you are projecting a whole season of accumulated fantasy points, but that’s part of the fun. We’ll assume what I see as an average league, which is 12 teams, .5 PPR scoring and a roster of 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, & 1RB/WR/TE. Kickers and defenses need not apply.

Change is the nature of the NFL beast, so trades and injuries will likely impact this list as we go along, but hey, this isn’t rocket science. We’re here to have a little fun and build up some much needed anticipation for a league cast in the shadow by baseball, soccer, hockey, etc. Sarcasm aside, the NFL is addictive and we’re here to give your daily fix as we close in on the season.

The official and often updated fantasy football drafting tiers can be found here.

No. 42, CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys, WR

Lamb saw 111 targets in 2020, catching 74 for 935 yards and five touchdowns. That placed him 22nd in PPR fantasy leagues at his position. With Amari Cooper showing some health concerns of late, Lamb does appear in the running to lead the Cowboys in receiving in 2020.

Competition for touches

Cooper is Lamb’s top competitor for targets this season. Last year Cooper led the team with 130 targets and 92 receptions, while Lamb caught 74-of-111. Michael Gallup wasn’t far behind with 106 targets. Each receiver brought in five touchdown receptions. Of the three, Lamb is the most obvious choice to see an uptick in work due to ability in 2021.

Team offensive expectations

In the four full games that Dak Prescott played last season, gaining yards was not a problem. Getting Prescott back means the offense will be much more productive. Add in Lamb with a NFL year and offseason under his belt, and expectations should be high.

What’s his upside?

Lamb has the talent to be a No. 1 receiver this season. The question is, will he be able to beat Cooper out for more targets? If he does, Lamb’s upside is huge with Prescott back in the fold.

What’s his downside?

Lamb may need Cooper to continue to be slowed by his ankle, which he had surgery on this offseason. If Cooper is back to 100 percent, Lamb could continue to be the second read. That doesn’t mean the two can’t both have big fantasy seasons, but it would limit just how high Lamb can go.

Projection

85 receptions, 130 targets, 1250 yards, 8 touchdowns