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Ogling

Going into the season opener between the Giants and Cowboys, there was a lot of talk in dynasty circles about the health of Hakeem Nicks and Miles Austin. There was discussion about Dez Bryant and his off-season handling. There was controversy over the idea of Jason Witten suiting up. There was talk about Tony Romo and his ability to handle the defensive pressure of the Giants and their massive defensive line.

Today, none of those players are the topic of discussion in dynasty leagues and in forums everywhere.

The player everyone is talking about at the water cooler today is none other than Kevin Ogletree after he posted eight catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Cowboys to a victory on opening night. Before you run to your computer to pick him up (actually you’re already there, but that doesn’t seem nearly as dramatic), let’s stop for a second and put things into perspective.

First, it’s easy to get excited over a player who breaks out on opening day. We’ve seen relatively obscure players rise up and become very relevant on opening weekend and carry that through an entire season. We’ve also seen an even larger group flame out and not be heard from again. Before you go out and blow all your waiver wire dollars on Ogletree, it’s important to look back at his history.

Prior to his explosion on Wednesday night, Ogletree’s three year career in Dallas had produced a total of 25 catches for 294 yards and no touchdowns in 31 games played. To put that into perspective, about 1/3 of his career fantasy points came in last night’s game alone.

For long-time dynasty owners, we know Ogletree very well. After all, he’s been a constant tease as a player who continuously gets hyped up and fails to produce. He entered the league back in 2008 as a rookie free agent after being left undrafted, despite leaving the University of Virginia early after posting 58 catches for 723 yards and five touchdowns in his Junior year. His tenure in Dallas has been filled with camp hype followed by virtually no production until Wednesday night.

After his latest disappointing season in 2011, the Cowboys even non-tendered Ogletree back in February, making him an unrestricted free agent. It was telling they did that because they knew they could lose him along with last year’s breakout receiver, Laurent Robinson, who was subsequently signed by Jacksonville. After Ogletree ironically flirted with the Giants in free agency, the Cowboys brought him back on a one year deal to compete to be the third receiver yet again.

All camp long, the battle for that spot on the Dallas depth chart raged on between Cole Beasley, Dwayne Harris, Andre Holmes and Ogletree among others. Each of them had some highlights, but none of them emerged. If anything, it looked like Harris had a leg up on everyone going into the regular season after he posted three catches for 118 yards and two touchdowns in week three of the preseason.

So, now what?

It’s easy to be enamored with Ogletree after his Nationally televised performance and that’s just fine. However, if you’re out there penciling in the 854 yards and 11 touchdowns that Robinson posted last year as the third receiver in Dallas, you’re really playing with fire. While Ogletree had a great game, it’s hard to justify blowing all your regular season bidding dollars on him after just one week, especially since he’s nowhere near the red zone target that Robinson was. The Giants also focused all their coverage on Bryant and Austin this week, after realizing Jason Witten was being used as a decoy more than anything else.

It’s safe to say Ogletree has a firm grasp on the third wide receiver job after last night. However, he’s going to be no better than the fourth option in the passing game behind Bryant, Austin and Witten – that’s not exactly a recipe for consistency, regardless of what happened with Robinson last season.

If you’re in a league with a waiver system that moves you from top to bottom each week or if you want to spend a small portion of your money on him, it’s a safe bet – just don’t ogle too much for Ogletree after just one mighty performance.

Ken Kelly
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BAM Nation
10 years ago

I agree with what you ahve written, but at the same time L Rob received his numbers due to one and/or the other of Bryant and Austin being injured.

So if you really believe you have both Bryant and Auston for 16 games then 100% on point, but if you don’t beleive they will be healthy, then taking a flyer on Ogle couldn’t hurt either.

Chris R.
10 years ago

As I posted on the forums, Ogletree has likely won the 3rd WR job, but expectations should be tempered as we remember who the Giants were trotting out at CB this game, it was set up for the 2nd and 3rd WR’s to have ridiculous mis-matches and the Cowboys exploited that.

Giants went into the game in terrible shape at CB, and it got worse halfway through, they were lining up Special Teams players out there, so it just turned into sandlot football. He’s definately worth a flier as we all know the 3rd WR in Dallas is a productive spot, but we won’t see many games like this again.

Brian
10 years ago

I think the biggest argument for picking him up is the play of the cowboys line. It seems that the short, quick targets will be their for Ogletree and in a PPR that will be pretty nice.

invisibulman
10 years ago

This is a guy I would pick up and leave on my bench all season. I don’t think I would ever trust him enough to start him, but I don’t want anyone else to have him either.

Alan Bauerle
10 years ago

Plus let’s not forget that Terrell Thomas and Prince Amukamara were both out and you had Micheal Coe and Jayron Hosley filling in.

10 years ago

Big thing to keep in mind is that the Giants had two of their top 3 CBs out before the game started and had their 4th corner go down part way into the game. That means that at best, Ogletree was going against their 5th CB for most of the game. Sometimes they tried covering him with linebackers or safeties. It obviously didn’t work. Any top 3 WR on an NFL team should be able to post big when being single covered by the opponents 5th best CB, a linebacker, or a safety.

Biggest thing I learned from last night wasn’t to start Ogletree but to start all WRs I have that are playing the Giants!

JBlake
10 years ago

Ken, I agree that we should not overreact to one game, but I must say that this shakes my faith in the lower half of the DLF rankings where many of us go to find those deep sleepers. Danny Coale is there at #102, but none of the other Cowboys receivers make the Top 180. You say Dwayne Harris was the favorite to be the #3 in Dallas, but he’s not on the Dynasty WR Rankings either, even though we know how productive the Cowboys WR3 can be.

Six JAX WRs are in the Top 180, but only 3 Cowboys…really?

Eric MacKenzie
10 years ago

Ogletree is still a bum. I watched most of the game and he lucked into completely blown coverages. Chase Blackburn got caught sleeping on the first touchdown. I’m not even sure he was covering Ogletree on that one because he sure didn’t seem aware of it if he was. On the second touchdown, the cornerback just gave up on the play after stumbling. It blows the mind that it took Dallas so long to score.

Further, once Witten gets healthy, those targets will end up back with him. This was a one time deal, but he’s worth picking up if you can find some receiver needy team to deal him to.

Ken Dogson
Reply to  Eric MacKenzie
10 years ago

I think it depends on roster size. At > 27 players Ogletree is a good 6th or 7th WR pick up, if he has earned the #3 spot there in Dallas. At 12 teams with 28 players each, the WR position will have been pretty picked over.

Jake
10 years ago

While I agree there’s no reason to overreact, most of the argument made against Ogletree here could have been used on Robinson last year. Tease, lack of career production, etc. Similar to Robinson Ogletree will be the fourth option but what made Robinson useful last year was Romo looking his way when he improvised. Considering this is what Romo does best that’s pretty valuable in my opinion. Romo looking to him on third and long to seal the game Wednesday night was a telling play. Then again, he may have just been looking at the Giants 5th cornerback.

Reply to  Jake
10 years ago

I think that a lot of Robinson’s production was due to the lack of health of Miles Austin last year than it was him carving out a role on his own. Austin missed 6 full games last year and was largely ineffective in several others due to the lingering effects. That left an opening in the pecking order that Robinson filled. I think that was also partially the case for Ogletree, but the biggest was who was covering him.

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