Jury’s Out on Dak Prescott – Rob vs Lawrence

Rob’s Take – Pro Dak

You know that face you pull when you take that first sip of morning coffee but you forgot to put the sugar in? Well, after converting the masses into loving Austin Seferian-Jenkins this year for fantasy football three weeks ago (there is no statistical evidence for this claim, only assumption), I quickly found out that the face you pull for sugar-less coffee is remarkably similar to the face you pull when you have to eat humble pie. Cheers ASJ.

Nonetheless, I have a better feeling about this standoff with Lawrence, because this shouldn’t be a hard sell at all.

Dak’s Offense

It must be nice as a Quarterback in the National Football League when you know those 5 guys protecting you from getting decked by abnormally large and powerful humans are really good at their jobs. That’s the case for Dak. The Cowboys’ offensive line has been one of the best in the league for a few years now and with the recent news that Travis Frederick is participating in training camp, it may be getting back to full force.

frederick
Photo Credit: Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star Telegram

Centre Fredricks, Tackle Tyron Smith, and Guard Zach Martin are all top 5 players in their respective positions and with Left Guard Connor Williams looking to build on a solid rookie campaign, it should be routine for this line to keep Dak upright in the pocket and buy him plenty of time to find his targets or stretch his legs

The receiving corps is the best Dak’s had to work with so far in his 3-year career too. Amari Cooper showed that he is more than capable of being a productive WR1 with 725 yards and 6 touchdowns off 53 receptions in the 9 games as a Cowboy is 2018, and Michael Gallup proved he can be an effective field stretcher with a healthy 15.4 yards per reception in his rookie campaign. Add seasoned veterans Randall Cobb and the return of Jason Witten into the fold too and it’s fair to say Dak has a solid core of decent receivers to throw passes to.

Ezekiel Elliott’s workload in the passing game went up considerably last season as he became a pivotal piece in Prescott’s arsenal. He saw more targets and receptions in 2018 than his first two seasons in the league combined. It worked too as he finished the season contributing 3 touchdowns and 567 yards through the air. A fair reason to believe this trend is likely to continue in 2019.

Fantasy Outlook

In the three seasons Dak has been under centre for the Cowboys he’s somewhat flown under the radar in fantasy circles. He’s finished those three seasons as the QB6, 10 and 10 respectively.

Rushing Quarterbacks are the new trend in fantasy football. Players like Prescott, Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, and Cam Newton probably won’t be given Hall of Fame status at the end of their careers, but when rushing yards and touchdowns get you points in fantasy football, points win prizes.

dak
Photo Credit: Michael Ainsworth/AP

Dak is in the conversation of “rushing Quarterback”. He’s certainly undervalued as a rusher anyway. He’s scored 6 rushing touchdowns each season since entering the league and seems to camp around the 300-320 rushing yard mark, which he should be able to repeat this season too.

With the O-line potentially back at full strength and the quality of receivers improving heading into this season, I just don’t see how he finishes lower than his QB10 floor.

His current Average Draft Position is 12.06 in 12 team leagues which translates to be the 19th QB off the board. Yes, 19th. This goes to prove that if you play in 1QB leagues, don’t waste an early pick on a Mahomes, Luck or Rodgers, draft more valuable RB’s or WR’s in those spots instead and pick Dak up at the end of your drafts.

Mark my words, Dak Prescott will be on fantasy championship winning rosters in 2019, and he’s effectively free.

By Rob Grimwood – @FFBritBaller

***

Lawrence’s Take – Anti Prescott

Dak Prescott is a marketing agency’s dream ticket. A young, healthy, controversy-free quarterback who is the signal-caller for ‘America’s Team’. According to ESPN in 2017 Prescott earned five times his salary in endorsements, chomping down on tortilla chips, chugging on soup and washing it down with some well-known dark-brown fizzy beverages.

We can conclude from this commercial success that Dak is not shy. Being the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys is perhaps the single most scrutinised position in the NFL, with the exception of the pigskin passers in the Big Apple.

Prescott’s History

We all know Dak was a 2016 fourth-round pick who led his team to 13 regular season wins as a rookie, a feat that nobody predicted.

Where the win total abruptly ended in 2016 was the divisional playoffs where Dak was out-dueled by Aaron Rodgers in a 31-34 home loss. The Cowboys went 28-13 down before Dak tossed two fourth-quarter touchdowns.

In 2017 the Cowboys finished with a winning record but failed to make the playoffs. A major lull in November resulted in three consecutive losses and just one team touchdown in those games. The Dak-led Cowboys were outscored by 70 points in those games, effectively eliminating them from the playoffs.

Last season Dallas won the NFC East, winning seven of their last eight with victories by tiny margins (7, 3, 8, 3, 6, 7 and 1) laying a goose egg against the Colts in Week 15.

Dak did scrape past the Seahawks for his first (and only to date) playoff victory, but when they traveled to Los Angeles to face the Rams in the divisional round, Dak found himself down by 16 in the third quarter. The deficit was down to Dak’s failure to generate yardage after an early score. The Rams forced Dallas to punt on four consecutive drives, holding the Cowboys scoreless in the second quarter.

Dak 2
Photo Credit: Brad Loper/Fort Worth Star Telegram

In 2018 Dak did lead the NFL in one rather show-stopping statistics – most lost fumbles. His 12 butter-fingered blunders were admittedly tied with three other quarterbacks. He also threw a pedestrian 22 touchdowns, far less than two a game, ranking him 16th. Dak’s passing yards per game (242.8) was under studs like Case Keenum, Derek Carr and Eli Manning.

As a mobile quarterback, Dak is able to tuck and run if needed, but despite his rushing attempts in 2018 being his most ever, his y.p.c. was his career low (4.1). What cannot be denied is his consistency in rushing touchdowns, six a season now for three consecutive years.

2019 Fantasy Outlook

Dak is solid, in both body size and fantasy football, but he is not spectacular. He remains one of those third-tier quarterbacks that will be drafted, but anyone reaching for him anywhere before rounds 9-10 needs a serious talking to.

Prescott will have Jason Witten back after his Dennis Miller-like stint in the broadcasting booth, as well as a full season of Amari Cooper, but Dallas will still want to feed Zeke at every opportunity.

Dak is a fantasy ‘blah’, someone you will draft once you have seen the mega-studs go off the board, followed by the quarterbacks that will confidently rush for over 500 yards.

Prescott is a personal preference quarterback who will more likely be drafted to a fantasy bench than not.

If you hit round’s 9-10 and have still not drafted a quarterback then you likely have to pick from the likes of Roethlisberger, Rivers, Goff, Prescott and Winston. Personally I would grab Philip Rivers around this stage, or wait a round or two longer and pick up second-year breakout possibilities Josh Allen or Lamar Jackson (both complete with bonus rushing yardage).

Dak is a stand-up kinda guy, just don’t confuse all that smiling and eating yogurt as a sign you are drafting a fantasy stud.

By Lawrence Vos – (@NFLFanInEngland)

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