In the history of fantasy football, there may be no scarier situation than spending a high draft pick on a second-year quarterback who broke out big in his rookie season. Think Robert Griffin III as being the prime example of this. Figuring out what to expect from a quarterback going into year No. 2 can be a brutal task, and it can be a decision that may wind up ruining your draft.
This is why looking at 2017 and attempting to figure out the best way to grade out Dak Prescott isn’t the slightest bit easy. Prescott is fresh off one of the most impressive rookie seasons since Griffin back in 2012. Last season, the Dallas Cowboys signal caller completed 67.8 percent of his passes for 3,667 yards, 29 combined touchdowns (23 passing, six rushing) and just four interceptions. His quarterback rating of 104.9 was superb and now expectations are sky high entering the coming season.
While it’s fortunate that times have changed and very few quarterbacks are selected in rounds one or two, even taking a signal caller in the third or fourth round can put you squarely behind the eight-ball. While every other team is likely filling out their roster with a superb running back or wide receiver, spending an early roster spot on a QB is risky.
*Before we jump into what round to draft Prescott, it’s worth noting that this is based on a 12-team league, with standard rosters.
When to Draft Dak Prescott
Consensus: Mid-seventh round
Heading into the seventh round of your fantasy draft, if you have two strong running backs, two excellent receivers, and either a solid tight end or No. 3 wideout, then you’re sitting pretty. At this point, drafting a quarterback is more than fine, and landing a dual-threat option like Prescott is almost ideal.
Realistically, hoping to land Prescott here may or may not happen, and it’ll all depend on your league and the players you’re up against. This is an area where names like New Orleans Saints WR Willie Snead or Detroit Lions RB Ameer Abdullah may wind up going. Both are good players with solid upside, but if you’re already sitting nicely at those positions, then jump at the chance for Prescott.
Statistical Expectations for Prescott in 2017
While some project a sophomore slump for Prescott, I’m going to dive the other way. There’s something about the demeanor that the former Mississippi State star shows, and he simply has that “it” factor that’s so hard to find in quarterbacks.
In 2017, we may see Prescott’s completion percentage drop just a bit as he gets more comfortable and throws more long balls, but it’ll still wind up around 65-66 percent. Also, expect his total touchdowns to increase up to around 32-35 and for him to toss 6-8 interceptions. He’s smart with the ball so the turnovers won’t become an issue.
These numbers should place him in the upper echelon of fantasy football quarterbacks, and may very well put him in contention for the Most Valuable Player award. For what it’s worth if you’re actually able to land Prescott in the mid-seventh round, that’s a move which has steal written all over it.