Wide receiver Jalen Tolbert enters his rookie season as a rising fantasy football sleeper. The Dallas Cowboys drafted Tolbert in the third round of the 2022 NFL draft. After trading receiver Amari Cooper in the offseason, the Cowboys needed help at the position. Michael Gallup’s recovery from an ACL surgery also enhanced the need for a new wide receiver in Dallas. The Cowboys finished first in yards and points per game in 2021. Tolbert has a positive fantasy outlook in 2022 but it will depend on how fast he can adjust to the speed of the NFL.
2022 Fantasy Football Outlook: Jalen Tolbert
In Tolbert’s final college season he won the conference player of the year. He finished the season with 82 catches 1,474 yards and eight touchdowns. He led South Alabama in receiving yards in every game last season and was a constant mismatch in single coverage.
Highest graded FBS Wide Receivers against single coverage last season
🥇 Nathaniel Dell: 94.5
🥈 Jalen Tolbert: 94.4
🥉 Drake London: 93.7 pic.twitter.com/O9ESo1hIdr
— PFF College (@PFF_College) May 15, 2022
With Tolbert being from a non-power five school many had questions about him entering the draft process. He needed a good off-season entering the draft and he had just that by competing in the senior bowl and NFL draft combine. He showed himself well at the senior bowl by competing against other seniors in the country.
The question people will have is if Jalen Tolbert can do what he did at South Alabama against high level completion.
These senior bowl reps highlight his strengths
-top level tracking
– Route running crisp pic.twitter.com/bdBSgWhzGT
— (Foots The King) (@FootsDaKing) April 30, 2022
At the combine, Tolbert ran a 4.49 40-yard dash and had a 36-inch vertical. He was projected as a versatile receiver with no weaknesses entering the NFL.
2022 Fantasy Outlook
Tolbert was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys with the 88th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Tolbert is the third receiver the Cowboys have drafted in the top 100 in the last five seasons. The other two rookie receivers played immediately and both averaged out as top 50 receivers in fantasy. Tolbert is expected to start the season as the Cowboys number two receiver behind CeeDee Lamb and the third option behind Dalton Schultz. With injuries to Michael Gallup and James Washington Tolbert will see immediate targets to start the season and should stay as a starter in three receiver sets when Gallup returns. The Cowboys are opting to run with their young receivers instead of bringing in a veteran at this point in time.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on urgency level to acquire external help at wide receiver after James Washington foot fracture: “Not at all. Let’s get these guys the incentive, these young receivers.” Sees big opportunity ahead. “There’s no urgency looking for a veteran receiver.” pic.twitter.com/ejMhTrURpx
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) August 2, 2022
The Cowboys have run a pass-heavy offense under offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. In his three years as coordinator, the Cowboys have finished sixth and ninth in pass attempts in Dak Prescott‘s two healthy seasons in 2019 and 2021. During Prescott’s injured season in 2020, the Cowboys were number one in pass attempts up until he suffered his injury. In the three years Moore has been offensive coordinator, the number two receiver in Dallas has finished as WR 22, 22, and 27. That bodes well for Tolbert entering the season as the number two receiver behind CeeDee Lamb. Lamb is expected to see more double coverage this season and that will take pressure off of Tolbert. Also, franchise-tagged tight end Dalton Schultz is expecting an increased target share with departures to Cooper so that should help Tolbert see single coverage this season.
Jalen Tolbert is currently going as WR69 and 193 overall in ppr drafts. This puts him as a late pick or an undrafted player. If you draft CeeDee Lamb or Michael Gallup, taking Tolbert late in drafts as a handcuff is the best way to go about taking him. If an injury occurs to one of them, Tolbert’s value could rise very quickly. With Tolbert being a rookie, his dynasty ADP is just as important to mention. In startups, Tolbert is going as WR60 and WR11 in rookie receiver ADP.