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Countdown to 2021 fantasy football drafts: Dak Prescott No. 31

Dak Prescott comes in at 31 in our fantasy football rankings countdown to the 2021 NFL season.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) during training camp at the Marriott Residence Inn. Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

Dak Prescott was on a torrid fantasy football pace when he was injured in Week 5 of the 2020 season. Before his injury he averaged 422.5 yards, 2.3 touchdowns, .8 interceptions, 21.5 yards rushing and .8 rushing touchdowns per game. If you extrapolate to the whole season he would have had 6,760 passing yards, 36 TD, 12 interceptions, 344 yards rushing and 12 rushing touchdowns. Yes, that’s crazy and wouldn’t have happened, but there is no doubt there would have been plenty of fantasy points for Prescott in a full season.

To commemorate the 2021 NFL season, we’ll be counting down the 75 best fantasy football players in the league. Picking a Top 75 is subjective, especially when you are projecting a whole season of accumulated fantasy points, but that’s part of the fun. We’ll assume what I see as an average league, which is 12 teams, .5 PPR scoring and a roster of 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, & 1RB/WR/TE. Kickers and defenses need not apply.

Change is the nature of the NFL beast, so trades and injuries will likely impact this list as we go along, but hey, this isn’t rocket science. We’re here to have a little fun and build up some much needed anticipation for a league cast in the shadow by baseball, soccer, hockey, etc. Sarcasm aside, the NFL is addictive and we’re here to give your daily fix as we close in on the season.

The official fantasy football drafting tiers can be found here.

No. 31, Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys, QB

Prescott finished as the No. 2 fantasy quarterback in 2019 and was well on his way to a good fantasy season in 2020. He has a top receiver in Amari Cooper and a second-year soon to be star in CeeDee Lamb to throw to. Michael Gallup is an upside receiver and tight end Blake Jarwin will return this year from a season ending injury. Things are looking up for Prescott.

Competition for touches

The Cowboys defense was bad last season and pushed the offense to throw more than they would have liked. Prescott averaged 50 attempts in those four full games. But we know that the offense will go through Prescott even with Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard making up a strong running back core. The Cowboys aren’t going to be come a run-first offense with the studs they have in the passing game and even with an improved defense, they still won’t shut teams down.

Team offensive expectations

Expectations will be and should be high for the Cowboys offense. Yes, they have had trouble living up to expectations in the past, but there is no doubt they are stacked at key positions and should have no trouble putting up points.

What’s his upside?

Prescott’s upside is the No. 1 fantasy quarterback in the league. Besides his great group of receivers to help his passing numbers, he’s rushed for 24 touchdowns in 69 games played, with three in just over four games last year. Give him a top season in passing stats and add in 6-8 rushing touchdowns and you have a huge fantasy season on your hands.

What’s his downside?

As long as he’s healthy, Prescott should safely be a Top 10 fantasy quarterback, but maybe they reduce his rushing attempts to keep him healthy. That would take away a big rushing touchdown advantage he has on the field. But I don’t think they paid him this offseason to not use all of his abilities when helping the team.

Projection

400/610, 5,150 yards, 38 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 60 rushing attempts, 300 yards, 6 touchdowns