QB Dak Prescott | Dallas Cowboys | 3rd Year
2017 Stats: 3,324 pass yds, 22 TD, 13 INT; 357 rush yds, 6 TD
For everyone involved with the Dallas Cowboys, 2017 was a drop-off from 2016. Quarterback Dak Prescott was of course not immune, after winning AP Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2016, with drop-offs in all his passing numbers.
With the departure of Dez Bryant, the Cowboys don’t have (at least in name and/or reputation) a No. 1 wide receiver. Prescott has dismissed criticism of his wide receivers, and his group of pass catchers has been further thinned by the retirement of tight end Jason Witten.
Over the last two seasons, over 43 percent of Prescott’s pass attempts when to either Bryant or Witten. That’s obviously a significant portion, left to be covered by the offseason additions of Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup, Tavon Austin and Deonte Thompson at wide receiver and a group of tight ends with a total of nine career regular season receptions. Incumbent wide receivers Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley also remain in the mix for targets.
The absence of running back Ezekiel Elliott during his six-game suspension hurt Prescott and the entire Dallas offense. But Prescott still finished as the No. 11 fantasy quarterback in ESPN leagues last year, with the help of more rushing yards (357) than he had as a rookie (282). In 12 of 16 games, he posted more than 13 fantasy points (ESPN scoring).
Prescott and Bryant clearly had no rapport, and Prescott openly hinted at Bryant’s shortcomings late last season. Not having a diva wide receiver, who is pretty clearly diminished, probably regularly come back to the huddle as well as talking publicly about a lack of targets could be a freeing thing for Prescott. He can go to whoever is open, rather than feel he has to force the ball to someone to appease their ego.
Prescott is very diminished in fantasy circles right now, as QB17 and pick 11.03 in recent Fantasy Football Calculator 12-team mock drafts. He’s in the same range on Fantasy Pros, with a one-pick difference (11.04) in early mocks. If that ADP holds up into July and August, Prescott will be a good value as a QB1 at a QB2 price.