As a New York Giants fan, I never thought I’d be typing the following words: A Dallas Cowboys quarterback is underrated.
Over the past three seasons through 16 weeks, Prescott has finished as the fantasy QB6, QB11, and QB14. If you look at our site’s latest Superflex ADP, you may be inclined to disagree with me that he is undervalued. Currently, Prescott is the QB12. However, if you dare to suggest that he should be treated as a low-end QB1 on Twitter, you get laughed out of the room.
Let’s see what we can do about that before I make myself sick by heaping too much praise on a Cowboy.
One of the biggest criticisms you hear about Prescott and his fantasy value is that it all comes from his rushing totals. While it is true that over the last three seasons he has the sixth-most rushing yards and most rushing touchdowns among quarterbacks, it’s overly simplistic to suggest that all his fantasy value comes from those totals. Don’t believe me?
Prescott has the tenth most passing yards all time of any quarterback three seasons into their career while being tied for the second-fewest attempts of players to make this list with Cam Newton.
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I recognize that names like Andy Dalton, Ryan Tannehill, Blake Bortles, and Derek Carr may not be impressing you. Additionally, this seems heavy slanted towards the modern era. That’s why we’re going to examine the adjusted net yards per pass attempts to get better historical context.
This list goes much deeper than 32 quarterbacks, but I figured that was deep enough to give appropriate context for Prescott. You may think placing 16th isn’t that high, but being only behind Russell Wilson, Jared Goff, and Ben Roethlisberger among active quarterbacks is never a bad place to be.
Great. So, Prescott has a high adjusted net yard per pass attempt but he still has among the lowest pass attempts in the league right? Not so fast, young grasshopper. Over the last three seasons, the Cowboys quarterback ranks 13th in pass attempts and seventh in completion percentage.
In case I haven’t convinced you yet that he is underrated as a passer, can you name the top target for the Cowboys over the last three seasons? If you named Cole Beasley, Dez Bryant, and Ezekiel Elliot you win. Not even one of them broke 100 targets in that season since early in his career, Prescott has tended to spread the ball.
You can hate Cooper all you want, but you can’t argue against the huge impact he had on Prescott and the Cowboys offense in general. For those curious, that full-season pace with Cooper would have made Prescott the QB3 for fantasy purposes in 2018. No one is arguing that is exactly what would have happened, but it certainly paints a hopeful picture.
We should also keep in mind that players traditionally struggle in their first year in a new offense as I researched in a previous article looking receivers who have been traded. As Cooper and Prescott get more comfortable with each other, we could see true magic happen this year. Additionally, while he hasn’t had a huge fantasy impact for years, we can’t discount what Randall Cobb will bring to the offense, or the fact that Michael Gallup will likely grow into his role as a sophomore. Finally, Allen Hurns may be able to produce more than the 295 yards he gave the Cowboys last season but even if he can’t, this offense is in better shape than it was last year.
We also can’t forget that the Cowboys fired previous offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. Instead, Kellen Moore who was the quarterbacks coach last season will take over as the offensive coordinator. We don’t have much data to work with regarding Moore, but statistically speaking, Prescott had the best season of his career outside of his interception percentage.
To illustrate my point further about Prescott being undervalued, I used the DLF trade finder to find some recent Superflex trades involving the quarterback as the only asset on one side. Some recent trades include:
- Prescott for the 2019 2.03
- Prescott for 2019 second, 2020 second, 2020 second, and 2020 third
- Prescott for Wentz
- Prescott for 2019 2020 and 2021 first
Besides the trade for Wentz, which is amazing for the owner who got Wentz, these trades are all much lower than what I believe the price should be a 26-year-old who has performed the way Prescott has. Having one of your two superflex spots occupied by someone like Prescott allows you to focus your draft picks on running backs or wide receivers, positions that are generally easier to hit on than the quarterback position.
I hope at this point that I have convinced you we as a community are undervaluing a quarterback who is only going into his age-26 season. If you’re in a superflex league, try to use some of this bias to your advantage to obtain Prescott before it’s too late. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go take a long shower to rinse off the Cowboys hype I just unleashed.
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