Dak Prescott 2023 Fantasy Preview
In many Cowboys fans eyes, this is a make-or-break season for quarterback Dak Prescott. The former fourth-round pick missed five of the first six games of the 2022 campaign with a broken thumb, yet there were only 12 QBs with more passing touchdowns than him at season’s end. However, he paced the NFL in interceptions last year and failed to lead Dallas past the divisional round, bringing his career postseason record to a mere 2-4 since he entered the league in 2016.
However, while he hasn’t been able to deliver in the playoffs over the course of his career, he seems to always turn in productive regular season stat lines year in and year out. In turn, he shouldn’t be catching any slack from fantasy managers come draft time. In the five fully healthy seasons he’s played in his career, he’s finished as a top seven quarterback in fantasy football three times and never finished outside of the top 10. Moreover, in the two healthy seasons he’s played since 2019, he’s finished inside the top 10 in passing yards, passing yards per game, and passing touchdowns. When working with a full year of football, there are very few quarterbacks better than Dak Prescott. This season, we could be in for another fantastic fantasy season from the Dallas Cowboys signal caller.
What are the Odds?
As of early August, if you wanted to bet on the Super Bowl, you’d be looking at the Dallas Cowboys at +1400 to win it all, which is actually the 7th highest in available odds.
Underdog Fantasy has Prescott’s over/under on passing yards for the season at 4,025.5 while his passing touchdowns are set at 26.5. He smashed these lines in the two seasons since 2019 in which he was fully healthy, and I would argue that he has even more talent around him this upcoming season than he did in either of those two years. I believe there is some real value in taking the over on both of these season-long props for the Cowboys quarterback.
In redraft leagues, I’m taking a hard look at holding out on the high-priced quarterbacks and grabbing Prescott later where I can get some real value. Currently, his overall ADP is at 81 according to Fantasy Pros with nine quarterbacks being drafted ahead of him. This means that the two-time Pro Bowler is going in rounds seven and eight of fantasy drafts. To me, this is an absolute steal. Last year, Prescott was being drafted around the same spot, but he didn’t have the same upside as he does in 2023. I see a lot of value in drafting the 30-year-old QB in the later rounds after snagging some stud running backs and wide receivers early on.
One important aspect to consider when looking at Prescott’s fantasy outlook this season is that pass-heavy head coach Mike McCarthy is now calling the plays on offense following the departure of Kellen Moore. In the 12 seasons McCarthy served as the play-caller in Green Bay, the Packers finished outside of the top 10 in passing yards just one time, ranked inside the top 10 in pass attempts six times (including three top-three finishes) and finished 11 seasons inside the top 10 in passing touchdowns. Needless to say, McCarthy loves to throw the football. In the three seasons he’s coached in Dallas so far, the Cowboys have two top-10 finishes in both pass attempts and passing yards. And while some might argue that Kellen Moore had a lot to do with that, let me point out that following the one season during that span in which Dallas failed to crack the top 10 in either of those categories, he was fired. Passing is the focal point for McCarthy-led teams, and Moore didn’t do it enough last year. I think it’s fair to assume that the 2023 Dallas Cowboys will get back to leaning on the passing attack.
What should fuel McCarthy’s desire to throw even more is the upgraded weapons on offense. As previously mentioned, Prescott’s upside is higher than it was last season. The receiving core looks a lot better than it did a year ago after the Cowboys traded for Brandin Cooks this off-season. This should allow star receiver CeeDee Lamb to see more single coverage, as well as give last season’s WR2 of the team in Michael Gallup the opportunity to operate as the team’s WR3. Also, even with a possible holdout situation with Zack Martin, Dallas will once again feature a more than solid group at the offensive line. The pieces are there for Prescott to finish as a top-10 fantasy option or better at quarterback for the sixth time in his career.
In terms of a dynasty option at quarterback, Prescott should be viewed as a win-now QB for contending teams in fantasy football. Considering the star trajectory of CeeDee Lamb, the addition of Brandin Cooks and the situational value of being the signal caller for one of the most productive offenses in the NFL over the last few seasons, there aren’t too many quarterbacks more suited to lead a fantasy team that’s built to compete for a championship than Dak Prescott. The veteran QB just turned 30 years old in July and is entering a contract year. If this isn’t a season in which he should be motivated to prove his worth, then I don’t know what is. If you’re managing a team that might be a year or two away, I would look to offload Prescott at some point this season. He is sure to provide some explosive fantasy performances this year, giving managers the opportunity to sell high and rebuild for the future with picks and young prospects with potential.
I’m excited about what this season could hold for Prescott; probably more than most. With the way things are shaping up ahead of the new campaign, I’m going to go as far as to say I think Dak Prescott will finish as the QB6 or higher in 2023. It’s now or never for the now 30-year-old quarterback, and I think he proves himself to be one of the best QBs in the NFL this season and moving forward.
Will Holtz is a graduate of the University of North Texas with a degree in journalism. He has been playing fantasy football for 15 years and hopes to help fantasy managers become fantasy champions. When he is not writing about fantasy football, he writes about the NBA and spends time with his family and girlfriend.