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Cowboys fantasy football: Dak Prescott ranked just outside of top 10 at his position

SB Nation has the reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year just outside of the top ten for QBs going into the 2017 fantasy football season.

NFL: Pro Football Hall of Fame Game-Arizona Cardinals vs Dallas Cowboys Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

SB Nation’s full guide to fantasy football can he be found here. If you’re playing in a league this year, you will want to take a look.

Football season is approaching rapidly, which means fantasy football players everywhere are anxious to draft their team for the upcoming season.

SB Nation recently released their fantasy rankings heading into the 2017 NFL season, from overall rankings to positional rankings. We have already taken a look at Ezekiel Elliott, who the SB Nation team has going in the top five selections.

What about the other superstar in the Cowboys backfield?

SB Nation released their quarterback rankings, one through fifteen. This isn’t necessarily their top quarterbacks in order in reality, rather who they expect to put up big fantasy numbers this year. The top two are no surprise at all: Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.

(SBNation’s fantasy QB rankings)

Here what was said about the Packers’ gunslinger:

Aaron Rodgers remains the top quarterback overall. The Green Bay passing offense remains elite. The Packers continue to rebuild their running game, which gives Rodgers’ numbers a bump. He could improve his passing yardage, but he more than makes up for it with his rushing points.

On Brady:

Tom Brady seems to be the second quarterback being taken in fantasy drafts. The Patriots went out and grabbed Brandin Cooks to add another weapon. Cooks and Rob Gronkowski should give Brady his finest supporting cast since 2007. With LeGarrette Blount moving on, Brady's red-zone passing touchdown numbers should increase.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees, ColtsAndrew Luck, and Seahawks’ dual threat Russell Wilson round out the team of writer’s top five fantasy quarterbacks heading into 2017.

The first quarterback from the NFC East doesn’t appear until no. 7. Kirk Cousins of the Washington Redskins is known for his gaudy passing numbers, which is the main point of fantasy football. While he may not be one of the seven best quarterbacks in reality, Cousins’ gunslinger mentality leads to big numbers in the fantasy world. In fact, Cousins recorded 300.3 fantasy points last season per ESPN’s Standard PPR Scoring. That was good for fifth overall at the quarterback position last season.

Just behind him, though, was none other than Dak Prescott. The reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year finished the 2016 regular season with 286.9 fantasy points in 2016, which was sixth among quarterbacks and 15th overall.

Dak’s name first comes off of the board at no. 12. The SB Nation team doesn’t provide any reasoning on Dak’s slot, but it may be because they are hesitant about drafting a quarterback who relies heavily on a strong running game. Nonetheless, Dak was selected the second most times out of any quarterback in the stacked division. Eli Manning’s name only appears twice, and Carson Wentz doesn’t land anywhere in the top 15.

ESPN’s projections have Dak finishing with 272.9 points in 2017, just shy of reaching his 2016 mark. Here is what his fantasy outlook looks like this season, per ESPN:

Say what you want about the Cowboys' offensive line, the quarterback still has to make throws. And Prescott did that at the highest level imaginable for a rookie last season. The fourth-round gem ranked 23rd in pass attempts, but posted a 23-to-4 TD/INT mark and ran for 282 yards and a position-high six touchdowns. Prescott ranked fourth in the league in completion percentage (68 percent) and yards per attempt (8.0). The rookie was fantasy's sixth-highest-scoring quarterback, but that's likely his ceiling unless 2016's run-heaviest offense is forced to throw the ball more often. Regardless, Prescott's efficiency and rushing ability keeps him in the top 10 at the position.

Precott’s ability to run the ball gives him an advantage over other quarterbacks in the fantasy world. Dak found the end zone six times on the ground last season, which only adds to his fantasy impact. While ESPN believes last season was his ceiling in fantasy world, there are areas he can improve. The Cowboys will likely open the playbook more for Dak in 2017. Plus, Prescott mostly ran an offense that was originally designed for veteran quarterback Tony Romo. Scott Linehan and Jason Garrett will likely want to add some wrinkles in the offense that puts their young franchise quarterback in even better situations on the football field.

Dak’s ability to hurt defenses on the ground combined with his familiarity with the Cowboys’ system and year of experience on the NFL level makes him a valuable commodity in the fantasy football world.

Where would you rank him among fantasy quarterbacks?

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