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Determining what is real, sustainable production instead of unreliable production is critical for your fantasy team. Players with sustainable production should anchor your team and the type of players you seek to acquire in the trade market. Players with unsustainable production are the types of players that you should not depend on in your lineup and sell trades.
Dak Prescott’s heater?
Since being dismantled in prime time in week 5 by the 49ers, Dak Prescott has been the best quarterback in fantasy scoring.
At the time, we wrote:
[Presott] has struggled to date. He has a new offensive play-caller in the form of head coach Mike McCarthy, but Prescott's profile is durable. Prescott has multiple top-six seasonal finishes, is locked into a multiple-year contract, and is performing well below his touchdown expectation. Prescott has 10.4 expected touchdowns (3rd in the league) but only 5 actual touchdowns (17th in the league).
Since week 6, Prescott has thrown for 14 touchdowns, run for 2 more, averaged 8.7 yards per attempt, and scored 27.1 fantasy points per game, a full 3.2 points per game more than Jalen Hurts, the QB2 during the stretch.
Is this sustainable?
In the first 5 weeks of the season, the Dallas Cowboys dropped back to pass at their expected rate given the game situation. This took a drastic step up in the past five games surrounding their week 7 bye. Specifically, the team has dropped back to pass 6% over expectation, and their early-down pass rate in neutral game scripts of 61.9% ranks fourth in the league.
Since that week 5 game, Dallas has had a passing rate of 8% over expectation, exactly in line with the 6% over expectation that Mike McCarthy operated the Green Bay offense during his tenure as the Green Bay head coach.
The narrative that Dallas would be a run-first team was wrong, and Prescott is the beneficiary. While the volume has been there, there are still opportunities for Prescott to maximize his efficiency. Specifically, Prescott leads the league in expected touchdown rate (7.2%) but has only thrown touchdowns on 5.6% of his attempts. His touchdown performance is 23% below expectation, a sign there is still more room for more touchdown scoring. On the season, Prescott has 24.2 expected touchdowns, 2.1 more than the next-highest quarterback (Justin Herbert).
Verdict: Prescott is set up in a highly lucrative offense, which is capable of producing MVP-caliber play, and Prescott is rising to the occasion. There will be blips along the way, but Prescott is capable of playing as the QB1 from this point forward in 2023.
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