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Dynasty Watch

The purpose of this column is to spotlight deeper roster moves that could pay off big over the course of the season. Unless stated in a player's write up, we're not looking for one-week wonders here, but shark moves that could really strengthen your team down the road.

Dynasty Watch focuses on low risk, huge payoff roster moves that you might be able make before the guys in your league think about it. This aim of this column is to make you look like a genius to the other owners in your league. When news breaks and the other owners are scrambling to make a waiver wire move, we want them to be upset time and time again that the player is already on your squad.

Patrick Crayton: WR Dallas Cowboys

What has he done so far
Crayton was 7th round draft pick last season for the Cowboys out of Northwestern Oklahoma State. He was inactive for much of the 2004 season but came on strong with 7 catches for 112 yards and a TD over the last two games of the season. Crayton opened the 2005 season for the Cowboys with 6 receptions for 89 yards and a TD against San Diego. He's played in every game since then and recorded at least 1 reception in every game for 2005.

Current Situation
Crayton is still the #3 WR on the team and the #5 option for catching the ball behind Keyshawn Johnson, Terry Glenn, Jason Witten and Julius Jones. Peerless Price was also signed before the beginning of the season, but he has not really been active in the Cowboys' game plan. He's more of a possession receiver for he Cowboys with 9 of his 14 receptions this season (7 of 12 in 2004) coming for a first down. He also returns punts for Dallas, with 14 returns for 123 yards this season already.

Spotlight ETA
The key for Crayton is that his contract is up at the end of the 2005 season. If he stays with the Cowboys, Crayton may be a backup for another season or two. Glenn and Johnson are both entering their 10th seasons, but have several years left on their contracts. Price is only signed for this season and will probably be moving on. Crayton could have a nice future with the Cowboys down the line.

However, Crayton's success this season guarantees that he'll want a lot more than the $300K he's making now. Free agency can get crazy at times and its possible Crayton could be moving on to another team for 2006. If that happens, expect to see him in a much larger role.

Dynasty Upside
Crayton has good physical talents. He has good all around size, speed and hands. As a feature receiver he could be an excellent #2 for any NFL team. While his current output won't give him much value for a fantasy team this season because he won't consistently put up solid numbers, Crayton has the potential to turn into a top 30 fantasy WR if given the right opportunity. His role with the Cowboys could increase in 2005 if Glenn or Johnson go down to injury.

Final Thoughts
Crayton is a low-risk WR option at this point. He should continue on with his one or two catch performance per game the rest of the season, with a few surprise 4-5 catch games mixed in. If Glenn or Johnson were to go down, Crayton would see an expanded roll. What makes Crayton so attractive now is that he's a free agent at the end of this season and could end up as a #2 WR on another team for 2006. Given his physical skills and athleticism, if that happens, Crayton could be a top 30 fantasy WR.

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