QB Tony Romo (Dallas)
In his career, Romo has completed 64.7% of his passes for an average of 7.9 YPA and 177 touchdowns to 91 interceptions, good for a career QB rating of 95.6, 5th highest all-time behind Aaron Rodgers, Steve Young, Tom Brady, and Peyton Manning. The 19 interceptions he threw last season, which led the league, tied a career high and was the same amount he threw in his last two full seasons combined. The Cowboys might not throw 658 times in 2012, which was 3rd most in the NFL and 90 more attempts than any Cowboy team in the Tony Romo era. However, this is more and more becoming a passing league and while they’d probably prefer not to have to pass that many times in 2013, they’ll still be a pass heavy team that should throw the ball at least 600 times.
Projection: 4450 passing yards for 29 touchdowns 15 interceptions 50 rushing yards 1 touchdown (275 pts standard, 333 pts 6 pt td leagues)
RB DeMarco Murray (Dallas)
DeMarco Murray might be a little overrated off of the 25 carry/253 yard performance against St. Louis in his first NFL start as a 3rd round rookie in 2011. That was a completely hapless Rams defense at the time and if you take out that game, he’s averaged just 4.4 yards per carry in his career. Last season, he averaged 4.1 yards per carry and since his first 4 starts, he’s managed just 866 yards on 225 carries, a 3.8 YPC clip. He’s not as proven as people think. He’s also been hampered by numerous injuries, missing the end of his rookie season in 2011 and being limited to 161 carries in 2012. Injuries can not only keep a running back off the field, but also sap his explosiveness and Murray has injury issues dating back to his collegiate days at Oklahoma. There’s a reason he fell to the 3rd round.
Projection: 200 carries for 840 rushing yards and 7 total touchdowns 37 catches for 290 yards (155 pts, 192 pts PPR)
WR Dez Bryant (Dallas)
Bryant has always had all the talent in the world and, as is often the case with wide receivers, he finally put everything together in his 3rd year in the league in 2012, catching 92 passes for 1382 yards and 12 touchdowns and playing in all 16 games for the first time. He also closed 2012 incredibly well, catching 50 passes for 879 yards and 10 touchdowns in his final 8 games. This off-season has actually been his first without any sort of off the field distraction so he could be even better in 2013. He finally seems to have turned a corner.
Projection: 94 catches for 1440 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns (216 pts, 310 pts PPR)
WR Miles Austin (Dallas)
Miles Austin caught 66 passes for 943 yards and 6 touchdowns last season, rebounding from an injury plagued 2011 season. He might never produce the kind of numbers he had in 2009 and 2010, when he averaged 75 catches for 1181 yards and 9 touchdowns per season, because of Dez Bryant’s emergence and Jason Witten’s presence, and his final 8 game production from 2012 is concerning (25 catches for 306 yards and 2 touchdowns), but he’s only 29 and you can do a lot worse.
Projection: 55 catches for 840 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns (120 pts, 175 pts PPR)
TE Jason Witten (Dallas)
Witten is one of the most dependable players in the NFL regardless of position. He hasn’t missed a game since his rookie year in 2003, signing a waiver to play through a ruptured spleen week 1 of last season and his worst season since his rookie year was 2006, when he still caught 64 passes for 754 yards and 1 touchdowns. Since 2004, his 2nd season in the league, he’s averaged 86 catches for 956 yards and 5 touchdowns per season and only going into his age 31 season coming off a career high in catches, I see no reason why that wouldn’t continue.
Projection: 88 catches for 980 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns (128 pts, 216 pts PPR)