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I was fascinated with the way the football media covered this game the day after. It tells us all we need to know about how to value Dak Prescott (11-22 for 102 yards, 2 TD/0 INT) for fantasy for the next few years. All I heard today was…well, they finally got the running game going and Dak had terrible numbers if not for the two TD passes. The entire football intelligentsia is lined up against Dak. There’s nothing he can do…not even win a Super Bowl to earn back an ounce of respect. Dak will have to win multiple Super Bowls and maybe a decade from now he’ll get some begrudging credit.
He’ll never be a highly rated fantasy QB going into a season. He’ll always be acquirable at a discount of some kind to his real performance. If you want Dak, you’ll likely get him when you want him. The media is so hyper-focused on this story and already chosen their side of it…there will never be ‘another side’. I hope to not argue it much of the upcoming years because I will be wasting my time.
I don’t propose Dak is an ‘A+’ QB talent on the level of Brady-Rodgers. I do say that when all the pieces were locked in (O-Line healthy, running game rolling) Dak was a top 3-5 fantasy QB for most of his young career…and that’s with utter garbage at WR and a slow, stiff tight end. Dak works. I don’t care how he works, I just know he works. We’ve all seen the numbers.
Perhaps Dak was given too much credit for the ‘good times’ but he’s getting too much criticism for the ‘bad times’. 102 yards passing in a game you win is ridiculous…but he also had his hand swollen like a he had an MMA glove on his throwing hand, and the team got up big and ran to victory, plus had short fields to work with due to Washington turnovers. It wasn’t a game set up for Dak to throw for 300+ yards. He did what he had to do…throw TD passes and win.
Dallas winning, a clutch win after the three weeks of duress, pushes them to 6-6 and still likely needing to win out to make the playoffs. They can do it, on paper…at NYG and at OAK the next two weeks…wins/they’ll be favored. Week 16 at dying Seattle with Ezekiel, etc., back…win. Week 17 at Philly is the big question. What if the Eagles are resting starters?
9-7 is well within hand, but that’s a problem for Dallas because Atlanta is also likely to be 9-7 (worst case) and the Falcons have a win over Dallas. PHI-MIN-LAR are in. Seattle is about to fall off the face of the earth due to their schedule + injuries. NO-CAR-ATL are in a cluster with NO-CAR very likely to hit 10+ wins. It leaves DAL-DET-ATL chasing the final spot with Green Bay lurking if they win their next two and get Aaron Rodgers back after that (and DAL lost to GB already). Dallas still has a chance but the odds are against them as of now.
Poor Washington. Both the Redskins and Cowboys could’ve been title contenders if they were at reasonably full health but it was not to be. Washington losing here pretty much cuts off all the roads to the playoffs. They’d need a miracle to make the playoffs now.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Can I add one more thing about Dak? Does it bother anyone that a guy was performing at the top of his profession for efficiency…but then loses a running back, and literally cannot complete a forward pass? Does that even make sense on any level? I get a strong running game helps a passer as teams want to stuff the box against the run…but come on – if a great RB was all it took, Carson Palmer would have been a top QB in 2016. Big Ben wouldn’t have died off 2nd-half of last season as Le’Veon rose. All of Rex Ryan’s QBs should’ve been stars.
There has to be more to this. It cannot just be a running back takes a QB from an 8-9 out of 10 scale to a 1-2. It doesn’t make any sense.
-- Alfred Morris (27-127-1) took a huge step separating himself as the main RB for Dallas while Elliott is out. Some people played Morris this week, some people benched him. The next two weeks – at NYG and at OAK is a pretty favorable two-game stretch for Morris. The Giants will probably be the #32 run defense in the league after this week.
Rod Smith (10-27-1) is droppable now. We’ve seen enough. Lacks the confidence Morris has, and the games are too critical to go heavy Smith. He may work in garbage time but he’s not the plan for Dallas right off the bat.
-- Samaje Perine (12-38-0, 3-31-0/3) had a few nice runs early in this game, and then the Redskins started turning the ball over and got down by two scores and were constantly playing from behind.
I see no reason to doubt Perine in upcoming weeks unless the game flow changes the game plan too radically.
-- Josh Doctson (3-26-1/5) bailed out another low target week with a late TD. That’s how you have to play him now…as more a non-PPR threat until things change. Actually, you can probably move on from him in redraft – LAC, ARI, DEN the next three weeks. Assuming Patrick Peterson on him Week 15…he’s done.
Jamison Crowder (5-67-0/7), yikes. He is a ‘bad’ #3 WR/slot guy for an NFL team. He works OK enough, but he’s not a budding star…just a guy who’s an option for Kirk Cousins at this point, and he uses it sometimes.
-- One of the reasons why the passing game struggled for Washington, when it mattered, is the full return of rookie Chidobe Awuzie (3 tackles, 3 PDs) – he broke up three passes in this game.
In another year, this young defensive backfield for Dallas is going to be something.
Dallas benched CB Anthony Brown…a guy who was on fire/playing great early in the season and late last season as well. I don’t know what has happened, but I’ll bet he has some kind of minor injury slowing him down and hurting his cover skills because he was terrific until the recent crisis hit.
You know who else had some nice moments in this game – 2nd-year SS Kavon Frazier (6 tackles, 1 TFL). Watching the game live, it seemed every time a great tackle/stop happened – there was Frazier. He played 21 snaps and had 6 tackles, and they weren’t cheap ones either.
Snap Counts of Interest…
36 = Morris
27 = Smith
53 = Awuzie
24 = Jourdan Lewis
08 = Anthony Brown
34 = Perine
26 = Marshall