The great members of the PFN Dynasty staff were posed the following question: “what is your bold prediction for the upcoming season?” Five brave souls stepped up, and I will analyze these five 2020 fantasy football bold predictions individually in a series — each successive article will escalate in boldness. The first of these bold predictions is that Dak Prescott will finish 2020 as fantasy football’s QB1.
Dak Prescott will finish 2020 as fantasy’s QB1
Prediction made by Eric Frosbutter (@efrosbutterPFN)
Why it’s a bold prediction
Who is fantasy football’s QB1? We typically look no further than Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson, and rightfully so. Both players are in a tier all on their own. Mahomes has been electric ever since he hit the field, and Jackson is coming off of his stellar 2019 season as the QB1.
Dak finished 2019 as the QB2 and is going into 2020 with an ADP of QB3, so at first glance, it doesn’t seem to be a bold take per se. However, given the fact that he is a distant third from Mahomes and Jackson, it is. In addition, some believe that Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson are better options than Dak, but I disagree.
Why it will happen
The Dallas Cowboys already had a great offense in 2019, but they got even better this offseason when CeeDee Lamb fell right into their laps at pick #17 in the 2020 NFL Draft. Lamb is, arguably, the best wide receiver to come out of the draft and to play alongside Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup with Ezekiel Elliott out of the backfield, Dak has a plethora of weapons at his disposal.
The Cowboys aren’t exactly in a division with great defenses either, meaning nearly every matchup could be a juicy one. Let’s not forget that Dak is playing for the contract he feels he deserves. No one should expect to see him get the kind of deal that Mahomes just received, but he wants to make the case that it should be closer than most people think. A stellar 2020 season with stats that help him finish as the QB1 would help his case.
Prescott was terrific last season, passing for a career-high 4,902 yards and 30 touchdowns and a 65.1 percent completion rate. He is coming off career highs in attempts, touchdowns, and yards per attempt.
On the ground, Prescott contributed 277 rushing yards and three touchdowns. In his first three seasons in the league, the former Mississippi State Bulldog rushed for an average of 315 yards per season and produced six rushing touchdowns in each season. Prescott has been in the top ten for quarterback rushing attempts and touchdowns in every one of his three seasons.
The Cowboys’ offense displayed some substantial firepower in the 2019 season. Both Cooper and Gallup reached the 1,000-yard receiving milestone last season. His receiving corps allowed Prescott to push the ball downfield, resulting in a 9.30 aDOT (Average Depth of Target), which ranked fifth in the league. Out of the backfield, Elliott amassed 1,777 yards from scrimmage and 14 total touchdowns.
As Eric mentioned, the Cowboys improved their offensive arsenal by adding Lamb in the first round of the draft. Lamb is projected to take over the slot receiver role, replacing the departed Randall Cobb, who had 55 receptions for 828 yards and three touchdowns last season with the Cowboys.
Lamb is an impressive playmaker who brings elite yards after catch ability and will combine with Cooper and Gallup to form one of the best wide receiver groups in the league. Additionally, Dallas will have the developing Blake Jarwin replacing the Cowboys stalwart at the position for more than a decade, Jason Witten. Dak and the Cowboys can rival any offensive team talent in the NFL.
Unfortunately, the drama will continue with the contract talks with Prescott. He’ll maintain talking with the Cowboys on a potential long-term deal, but that will not derail his fantasy success in 2020.
The combination of elite playmakers throughout the Cowboys’ passing game and a new head coach who loves to throw will make Prescott a contender to repeat as a top-three finish next season, and the opportunity to jump to the top of the quarterback rankings.
However, it will be quite challenging to bet against the likes of Jackson and Mahomes to be the QB1 overall. Did the Tennessee Titans lay out the blueprint in corraling Lamar Jackson? Yeah, probably not.
Jackson should have an improved supporting cast in 2020. Wide receiver Marquise Brown was never completely healthy last season and looks to be recovered and ready for a breakout this season. Additionally, the Baltimore Ravens drafted running back J.K. Dobbins, who should open up the field and create big plays in this offense.
Mahomes finished as fantasy football’s QB8 last season, mostly due to missing two games with a knee injury. He has fully recovered, and the Kansas City Chiefs added another playmaker in the 2020 NFL Draft by selecting running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Mahomes has a high floor and a high ceiling and will be a contender for the QB1 overall every season due to his ability, creative play calling, and the Kansas City Chiefs’ weapons.