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.
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