Can Cowboys’ Dak Prescott be a top-five fantasy football QB?

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - JANUARY 02: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys reacts before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at AT&T Stadium on January 02, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - JANUARY 02: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys reacts before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at AT&T Stadium on January 02, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

With Dallas Cowboys training camp just beginning, the NFL season is right around the corner and excitement is at a high point. People are once again craving football and who can blame them? Among those excited for the start of the season are those who play fantasy football. Members of the fantasy football community grow more and more each year; after all, it is an $18 billion industry.

Those who play fantasy are gearing up and scouting players to put on their draft boards, looking for the next sleeper or league winner. Some are also looking for players they can take later in the draft who could possibly be top five at their position.

It’s often a wise draft strategy in standard formatted leagues to take a quarterback later in the draft that has fallen but could still end up top ten. However, sometimes those QBs can hold superb value and can end up in the top five. Could that player be Dak Prescott?

The case for Cowboys’ Dak Prescott being a top-five fantasy football quarterback in 2022

Prescott certainly has a chance to rank this high by the end of this year, as he has done it in the past. As recently as 2019, the Cowboys’ QB ranked second in the league in fantasy points with 338.

To go with that, he has finished a full season lower than 11th and finished seventh in points among QBs last year with 321 points. That happened during a year in which he battled a shoulder strain and a calf injury after coming back from the devastating ankle injury which ended his 2020 season early.

In 2021, Prescott put up career highs in completion percentage, touchdowns, and touchdown rate, so why didn’t he finish higher than seventh? It’s because he stopped running. While we know the injury to Prescott’s ankle and calf likely had a lot to do with the lack of running, it’s likely the sole reason for his dip in fantasy points. That, and a few really poor stat-lines he put up down the stretch.

Losing his No. 1 receiver over the past few seasons in Amari Cooper can’t help his outlook this year either. With a weaker receiving corps, he’s going to have to make up for the lost points somewhere, so why not the run game?

Run Dak, Run:

While Dak has never been Lamar Jackson-like with running the football, what he has done in the past is run effectively whenever he did decide to run. Even in 2019 (when he finished second), he still only ran for 277 yards and 3 touchdowns — a step down from the average of six rushing touchdowns a year his first three years. According to the numbers, if Prescott could’ve matched his 2019 output, he would’ve likely ended up in the top five fantasy QBs this past season. Instead, Prescott only ran for 146 yards and one touchdown.

The question truly shouldn’t be can he be a top-five fantasy QB, it really should be, can he run effectively again? Because, if he can do that and replicate the passing numbers, then he should be a shoo-in and well worth a flyer for your fantasy team. The good news about this is that the Cowboys QB is saying he’s healthy and in incredible shape:

"“I definitely do [feel leaner and more mobile]. I go into each offseason trying to be a better player and person than I was the year before. So, at this stage, at this point, I definitely feel like I’ve accomplished that. I think I’m so much further along than I was last year at this time."

To go along with that, the Cowboys have said they want to get No. 4 running more often this year. Maybe we can see some Mississippi State magic come to fruition. In college, he ran for 986 yards in 13 games in 2014. While that’s not likely, it should be exciting to see him take off some more.

Prescott’s 2022 Projection:

ESPN currently has Dak as the No. 8 fantasy quarterback, behind Burrow and ahead of Brady. The projected stat-line looks as follows:

C/A: 390/599
Yards: 4416
TD: 32
INT: 11
CAR: 54
Yards: 202
TD: 3
FPTS: 318.26

Why he may not make the top five:

Unfortunately, the loss of Cooper and Wilson results in a weaker receiving corps for the 28-year-old to sling the ball to. Even if he starts running more, I’m not sure if it’ll be enough to counteract the losses unless he starts feeding CeeDee Lamb in a big way. With Kellen Moore’s offensive philosophy of spreading the ball around, I don’t think that is a possibility. Just last week, Amari Cooper took shots at Kellen Moore’s inability to feature the star receivers at a high rate in the offense.

It will take many of these elements going right to vault Prescott back into the top five.

At the end of the day, you shouldn’t be discouraged from drafting the Cowboys quarterback. Even if he isn’t top five, he will certainly be a top 10 fantasy quarterback and is well worth a roster spot if you lose out on a Patrick Mahomes or a Josh Allen-type of QB. You will not be disappointed.

Next. Our 2022 Stat Predictions for Dak Prescott. dark