Fantasy Football ADP Duel: Dak Prescott vs. Ben Roethlisberger

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Fantasy owners tend to use the strategy of waiting to select a quarterback until later in the draft as they fill in the skill positions while the value is on the board. This strategy has been easier to implement over the last couple of years as the depth at the position has gotten deeper with players worthy of starting potential in lineups.

As you get into the middle rounds of the draft, two names that will be jumping off the board will be Dak Prescott and Ben Roethlisberger. One, a second-year player who flashed great potential as a rookie, the other, an aging veteran in a potent offense. Both players are valued as QB1 (ADPs of 89 and 90 according to, but at the tail end of that tier, which should tell you that there will be both positive and negatives associated with either player. But if you construct your roster through the early rounds wisely, and avoid the bad weeks that each player will have, you should be able to overcome the negatives.

Which quarterback will be the better fit for your team? We take a look at the numbers and I give you the call on which player to select in this ADP Duel.

Dak Prescott: ADP 89

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Can Dak Prescott avoid a sophomore slump?

A broken back for Tony Romo led to one of the more surprising seasons from a QB since the days of Kurt Warner. Although he did not fill up the stat sheet in terms of passing yardage, his touchdown total of 29, while only throwing four interceptions, were big reasons why Dak Prescott finished as a Top 10 Fantasy QB.

Prescott was able to take advantage of timely throws to open receivers while Ezekiel Elliott ran all over opposing defenses. His average depth of target (8.6 yards) was just inside the Top 20, showing that this passing attack liked to keep things simple for him and close to the line of scrimmage. This limited the amount of big plays for the aerial game, but also helped Prescott manage the game even better as a rookie.

Coming into the 2017 season, many things will have to change if Prescott can succeed in not only the NFL, but also as a top-end Fantasy option. With Ezekiel Elliott appealing a six-game suspension, this offense should now be squarely on the shoulders of the second-year QB. Although the running game should be suitable with Darren McFadden, it does take a step down from Elliot’s game-breaking ability. The weapons on the outside, with the exception of Dez Bryant, do not offer much in terms of great Fantasy potential. Jason Witten is on the verge of retirement, Terrence Williams has yet to pan out, while Cole Beasley and rookie Ryan Switzer will be chain-moving slot receivers.

So, what Prescott will likely have to do again in 2017 is play to the matchups, and hit timely throws to the open receivers. Add in the fact that the Cowboys will have the toughest schedule based on last year. This could lead to many down weeks for the Dallas signal-caller. The opportunities will be there, though, with the Dallas defense likely to surrender many points while working in a new secondary. Prescott should finish the season as a QB1, but while the scores should hover around the same mark, expect the turnovers to rise in his sophomore season.

Ben Roethlisberger: ADP 90

How much does Ben Roethlisberger still have left in the tank?

When you think about Ben Roethlisberger, you typically think of an elite-level quarterback. Now, that may be true by NFL standards, but in the Fantasy world he has been a headache to own over the last couple of seasons. Last year, for example, he threw for 29 touchdowns over the course of the season. But more than half of those (16 to be exact) were thrown by Week 6 of the season.

That’s the bugaboo with Roethlisberger, up and down weeks. He can give you a five-touchdown game one week, then go missing for two. His completion percentage (67.4 percent) and ADOT (9.5 yards) were among the league’s best, so there is no doubt that the skill is there to provide you with top-notch scoring. One noticeable factor in 2016 was once Le’Veon Bell returned to action, this offense became more focused on Bell, which led to a decrease in opportunities for Roethlisberger.

As we enter the 2017 season, a year that could potentially be Roethlisberger’s last, one has to assume that much of what we saw down the stretch of 2016 just may unfold yet again. With a healthy Bell potentially playing 16 games, expect the Steelers offense to be centered around him. This leaves Roethlisberger in a spot in which he must capitalize on the opportunities to score when available. Playing in an easier division, and against a somewhat easier schedule, this Steelers team could be playing with a lead quite often, meaning the team could feasibly go more run-heavy in their offensive scheme. Even with the league’s best receiver in Antonio Brown, Roethlisberger has been susceptible to bad home and away splits in Fantasy, something that many owners are very aware of, giving them hesitation in making a selection.

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Will Big Ben play a full schedule in 2017? I highly doubt it, given his injury history. Taking all these things into account, and finishing 2016 as the 17th best Fantasy QB, expect for him to once again finish outside of the QB1 tier.


If forced to make this decision myself, I would lean towards Dak Prescott. Could he fall back to earth in a sophomore slump-type season? Definitely. But, with the competition they play, and the state of the defense, he could be trying to come from behind quite often, leading to many garbage points in the fourth quarter of games. Although Roethlisberger plays on the more well-rounded offense, he will likely take a step back to Bell and the running game. Take the QB playing on a team with the worse defense every time. Dak Prescott is your winner here.

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