Dak Prescott wants to return to the form he showed in his rookie season.
Fantasy football owners want the same thing.
As a rookie in 2016, the Cowboys’ quarterback threw for 23 touchdowns and ran for 6 more. Last season, Prescott put up almost identical numbers (22 passing touchdowns and 6 rushing).
But in that first year he ranked 6th amongst all quarterbacks (using CBS Sports standard scoring) . Last season, he totaled ranked tied for 12th amongst all quarterbacks in the same scoring format
The difference was his interception total. He threw just four picks in 2016 compared to 13 a season ago.
So, in a standard, 10-team league, is Prescott draftable?
CBS projects Prescott to finish 16th in terms of projected number points scored, behind the Rams Jared Goff, the 49ers Jimmy Garoppolo and even Chiefs rookie Patrick Mahomes.
ESPN ranks Prescott as the 18th best fantasy quarterback heading into the season.
So, why has Prescott’s stock dropped if the Cowboys are returning a deeper offensive line and suspension-free Ezekiel Elliott?
The number one answer is most likely the team’s lack of quality pass catchers. Last season, teams took away receiver Cole Beasley, who served as Prescott’s security blanket.
In addition, the team cut Dez Bryant and lost tight end Jason Witten to retirement.
Beasley has reportedly looked good in training camp. However, free-agent additions Deonte Thompson and Allen Hurns, as well as rookie Michael Gallup, need time to build a rapport with their starting quarterback.
Proven veterans such as Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisbergers, as well as up-and-commers such as Deshaun Watson and Carson Wentz, make the position the deepest in fantasy football.
Ultimately, Prescott isn’t worth drafting in 10-team leagues. But if his offensive line returns to full strength and his receiving corps steps up, his track record suggests he could be worth adding to your roster several weeks into the season.