Dallas Cowboys fantasy: When to draft Dak Prescott?

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15: Dak Prescott
ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15: Dak Prescott /

With the value of quarterbacks in fantasy football continuing to rise in value, in what round should you consider drafting Cowboys QB Dak Prescott?

The numbers that quarterbacks are putting up in today’s NFL are mind-boggling.

Last year, sixteen quarterbacks threw for over 4,000 yards.  Thirteen threw for 25+ touchdowns and six had over 600 attempts.

The previous year, twelve quarterbacks threw for over 4,000 yards.  Fourteen threw for 25+ touchdowns and six had over 600 attempts.

The trend is not slowing any time soon either.

With an onus on the passing game, the value of a quarterback in fantasy football continues to rise.  Not so long ago, you could wait until the middle rounds to draft your quarterback.  Now?  Guys like Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady are bona fide first round selections.

Most leagues augment their rules as it pertains to the position to balance the power.  Some leagues only give four points for a touchdown instead of six.  The industry standard for yards per point is 25 but can be as high as 50.

Even with these measures in place, the best quarterbacks still go quickly in most drafts.

So, when should you pull the trigger on Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott?

Last year, Prescott amazed and exceeded everyone’s expectations both on and off the field.  Not only did he provide “hidden” points with his rushing ability, he also protected the ball masterfully.

With 3,667 yards passing and an additional 282 on the ground, Dak was able to be a dual threat.  An additional six touchdowns rushing left Prescott one shy of thirty in total.  Most impressively, Prescott was only responsible for eight total turnovers (four interceptions, four fumbles lost).

So, you know you can trust Dak to be solid.

The big question that looms, however, is whether or not he takes the next step towards being dynamic.

Last season, Prescott only produced two games with 300+ passing yards.  In five games of sixteen games, he produced three or more touchdowns.  Those numbers are nice, but in fantasy terms, they are merely average.

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As a comparison, Rodgers had six games with 300+ yards passing and eight games with three or more touchdowns.  Drew Brees had ten and eight.  Matt Ryan had six and six.  Brady had five and seven in just twelve games.

In order to spend one of your first five picks on a quarterback, you need production like those guys are providing.

Will the Cowboys signal caller improve on 2016?  It’s certainly possible.

I just don’t believe that the Cowboys are going to change their offensive philosophy to allow Prescott to be the key of the offense.  This team is built on running the ball, dominating the clock and allowing Prescott to pick apart tired defenses.

Even though he is certainly capable of big numbers, I wouldn’t expect them for him on a consistent basis.  The passing game in Dallas is meant to augment the running game, not vice versa.

In fact, of the top ten quarterbacks in passing yards last season, only Ryan had a top fifteen running game to go along with that.

I would expect Prescott to eclipse 4,000 yards this season with no problem.  When you factor in that last season was his rookie year, you realize that first month was a lot of game management.

Prescott also had four games throwing for less than 200 yards.  I don’t see that happening again in 2017.  He may increase the number of touchdowns he throws but I would also anticipate a slight bump in interceptions as well.

It would be incredibly unrealistic for him to duplicate five or less picks in back-to-back seasons.  No one currently playing the position has been able to do that.  I don’t think Dak will be the first.

My fantasy projections put Prescott at 4,125 yards with 25 touchdowns and 8 interceptions passing.  I have him with another 375 yards rushing and four touchdowns.

Using the model of one point per 25 yards passing, one point per 10 yards rushing and six points for every touchdown, that would put Dak at 360 fantasy points.

That number would be good enough for selecting Prescott somewhere in eighth round.  Can you ride with him as your starter?  Depending on how your draft goes, if you land a top five running back and wide receiver, he would be a strong option as a starter.

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Regardless, Prescott should be considered at the low end of options for starters in a ten or twelve team league.  Hopefully he exceeds expectations once again but I would keep a realistic attitude when it comes to the sophomore gunslinger.