Andy Behrens and Scott Pianowski break down Andy Dalton's fantasy outlook with the Cowboys after Dak Prescott was lost for the season. Tune into the Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast 5 days a week for all your fantasy needs.
ANDY BEHRENS: There's just gonna be a dozen more head-scratching throws from Andy Dalton than you would normally see from Dak Prescott. That said, Andy Dalton has also been a 4,000-yard quarterback a couple of times. He's been in some great situations. He's had Marvin Jones and AJ Green at their best, and he's produced in those years. He has a 33-touchdown season on the resume.
He's not too old, right? He's in his early 30s. I think he's probably the priority for anybody who just lost Dak Prescott. I think he's probably a waiver priority.
And he's got a great stretch of games ahead, too, is the other thing. He's got Arizona coming up, then it's Washington, then it's Philly. These are all exploitable matchups. His team is gonna need them to get to 35 points if they're gonna ever win a game.
So I don't know. How aggressive are you gonna be with Andy Dalton? I feel like he's at least in a situation where in super flex leagues, I'm gonna place competitive bids on him just because I don't want somebody lucking into Andy Dalton for less than like $50.
SCOTT PIANOWSKI: I think it's important to recognize-- I mean, you started off with the obvious statement that Dalton is not Prescott. Nobody is foolish enough to believe that. But Dallas has a better backup situation than most teams. They're getting an experienced player but who's still young enough to have some upside. He's been to Pro Bowls before. You mentioned the 33-touchdown season.
I used to do something kind of half joking. I used to have a thing I used to call PBI, which was the Pianow Backup Index. And it was an unscientific number from one to 100-- or I guess 0 to 100-- that what percentage of an offense's efficiency would be retained if the backup quarterback had to play. So if the PBI was 100, that would be saying, OK, the backup is just as good as the starter. The offense won't miss a beat.
What would be the PBI for Dalton? 60, 55, 65, something like that sound right to you?
ANDY BEHRENS: Oh boy, that's--
SCOTT PIANOWSKI: 70?
ANDY BEHRENS: That's fair-- yeah, I was gonna say 65 seems fairly pessimistic. So 75? I don't know, somewhere between 75 and 80.
SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Maybe even 80. I could see that.
ANDY BEHRENS: Yeah, I mean, it ain't 90, right? He's not just a tick below Dak Prescott necessarily. And, obviously, we had this unprecedented offseason. He's still new to the team. I wouldn't expect him to be entirely comfortable.
It was a fun partial glimpse that we got of him on Sunday. Averaged better than 10 yards per attempt. I think he was nine for 11. Hooked up with Gallup a couple times, one a really fun improvisational catch. So everything that we saw against a bad team in the Giants was fairly positive.
It's a friendly schedule coming up. So can Andy Dalton give us 300 empty yards sometimes? Can he give us some games with 315, two touchdowns, one pick, and you can survive it in fantasy? Sure, I think he can do that a bunch of times.
SCOTT PIANOWSKI: I sense that I'm gonna be more optimistic on Dalton than maybe the average person might be. When it went bad for Dalton in Cincinnati, those were such untenable situations, I don't know how he could've possibly--
ANDY BEHRENS: True.
SCOTT PIANOWSKI: --been all that good in those spots. And now he's got, you could argue, the best skill talent in the league. Who else has receivers to match what Dallas has right now? And a tight end in Schultz, who has been a productive player.
Obviously, Elliott is still one of the best running backs in the league, whatever that means to you. And even Tony Pollard is a talented player. Can't get on the field that much. So every league is different. There's some leagues where everybody has a quarterback, and people will just roll their eyes at Dalton.
But in leagues where it's deep enough where you need a starter or the super flex format or even in DFS until Dalton's price gets normalized, I'm gonna be proactive. I guess that's what I'm gonna say. I'm prepared to be proactive with Dalton. I think they had a really good backup situation. I think some of his failings in Cincinnati weren't entirely his fault.
And although I think Dallas will try to scale back the offense and make it a little bit more simple, I don't know that the defense will fully allow it or the offensive line will allow it. So I think a lot of people are gonna be pleasantly surprised by how competent and maybe even good at times Andy Dalton is.
ANDY BEHRENS: Absolutely right that if you're in a super flex league and you have a desperate need-- either you were the guy who just lost Dak or you've got bye week hell coming up-- I think this is pretty close to an all-in situation. Because it is an absolutely ripe scenario for fantasy purposes, right?
You've got just a bunch of yards-after-catch specialists there too. Both of the backs are pretty talented receivers. CeeDee Lamb is a star. Obviously, Gallup and Cooper are great. So there's not a better situation in which a quarterback could possibly land.