Dak Prescott is a better fantasy QB than you think

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has been one of the more consistent fantasy players at his position since entering the league three years ago.

Wait… what? That can’t be right. Well, it says “consistent” not “best” so this must be an article bashing him. Sounds about right… carry on.

Wrong.

Believe it or not, Prescott has been a more-than-serviceable fantasy QB since he first took the field after a series of unfortunate events for Dallas throwers in 2016. Let’s start with durability. Prescott has started every single game he’s been eligible to play in his NFL career. Anyone who spent high picks on Cam Newton or Carson Wentz or Jimmy Garoppolo knows how valuable that is.

“Just being on the field” seems to be the prevailing assessment of Prescott’s fantasy ability. It might seem that way at times, unless you’re paying very close attention. What if I said he’s been a borderline QB1 in 12-team leagues over the past three seasons? Do I have your attention now?

Let’s dive into per-game scoring, because that’s a more accurate reflection of talent than just total fantasy points. This ensures that star players that miss a couple games don’t get rated behind average, 16-game starters.

As a rookie, Prescott finished as the No. 10 QB in fantasy points per game (FPPG), above players like Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Matthew Stafford and Philip Rivers. He averaged 17.9 points that season. In 2017, Prescott was the No. 12 QB in FPPG among those who played at least half the season, ranking above Matt Ryan and nearly dead even with Drew Brees. He averaged 16.3 points that season. In his latest campaign, Prescott was the No. 13 QB in FFPG, above players like Kirk Cousins and Tom Brady. He once again averaged 17.9 points.

Prescott has been an elite QB2 and a serviceable QB1 each of the past three seasons. He’s starting to settle into that 18-point range as his average and never misses time. That’s the big picture look and it’s crazy to think that the QB for “America’s Team” could somehow be underrated in fantasy circles. But for future evaluation purposes, let’s look at this at a more micro level.

Dallas’ offense changed completely once it acquired wide receiver Amari Cooper from the Oakland Raiders. His presence gave Prescott a game-changing pass-catching talent and the QB’s numbers showed it.

Through the first half of the season, Prescott ranked outside of the top-20 in FPPG. But from Week 9 on, with Cooper in the fold, Prescott was the No. 9 QB. He was one total fantasy point away from jumping Drew Brees, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson to become the No. 6 QB on a per-game basis.

Looking forward to next season, Cooper will be in Dallas for all 16 games (health permitting) and there is still room for growth on the offensive side of the ball. If the Cowboys can add another impact pass-catcher — particularly at the tight end position — in the draft or free agency, Prescott may regain top-10 fantasy QB form.

TD Fantasy’s full rankings will be out in a few months, but right now I have Prescott as my No. 12 QB for 2019. That means he should be taken in the 9th round of fantasy drafts. The only reason he’s not higher is because his upside is limited. There’s almost no scenario where I can envision him finishing as a top-5 QB. Even the top 8 seems unattainable. He’ll likely settle somewhere in the range of QB 9-15 and fly under the radar once again. No one is going to be excited when you draft him but popularity doesn’t matter, production does.