As you rigorously prepare and research leading into each season and week of DFS, different factors are always going to change the landscape. “Next Man Up” is a series that examines players who are now being propelled into the starting role (thus creating a larger opportunity for that player), whether it be via injury, suspension or simply a change to the depth chart.

DAK PRESCOTT — QB, DALLAS COWBOYS

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Well, that didn’t take long. One hit to the fragile back of Tony Romo and Dak Prescott has gone from a feel good preseason story to the starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys.

Romo’s injury is likely going to keep him out of action for at least half of the regular season, so Prescott isn’t just holding the fort down for a week or two. After experiencing overwhelming preseason success, the rookie from Mississippi State is going to have to try and replicate it on the big stage.

With what we’ve seen so far from Prescott, he doesn’t just have to skills to be a capable backup, this kid could steal Romo’s job.

Through three preseason games (and now unlikely to play in the fourth game since he’s the team’s starter) Prescott’s posted some insane numbers — completing 39 of 50 passes for 454 yards and five touchdowns. On top of that, he’s gained another 53 yards on the ground and scampered into the end zone on two of his seven rushing attempts. The cherry on top? Zero turnovers.

Will we see numbers like that in the regular season? At times. Is it sustainable? Absolutely not. But my eyes tell me Prescott can make big time plays.

Not that passing the eye test will get you any fantasy points, but Dak looks the part. He’s comfortable as a leader, has the ability to stand in the pocket and read the defense, but also isn’t afraid to use his athleticism to escape when his reads breakdown.

We’ll see if Prescott can win some games for Dallas, but when it comes to fantasy, we’ve already seen plenty of encouraging signs.

For starters, with a DK salary of just $5,000 in Week 1 it’s hard not to like Prescott as one of the best value plays on the slate at any position. But can we trust him playing with the first team? Yes, because we’ve already seen it.

Prescott has hooked up with Jason Witten, Terrance Williams and Brice Butler for one touchdown apiece, and even more importantly, for a pair of touchdowns with Dez Bryant. That’s a pretty good track record for the rookie already.

When it comes to the ground game, Prescott only improves his teammate’s value. His dual threat ability will not only help himself, but open up more room for Ezekiel Elliott to operate. In Zeke’s debut, he gained 48 yards on seven touches (6.9 YPC)… so we’re all set there.

If you haven’t caught on yet, this injury may suck for Romo, but I think it might actually makes the Dallas offense more appealing fantasy-wise. Not to fuel the hype train too much, but Prescott may never look back from this opportunity.

Find me on Twitter @julianedlow


I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.