On Wednesday, I did a very brave thing. While my previous columns have been straightforward rankings to help guide you through your fantasy draft, with the NFL season nearly upon, I wanted to do something different. So, on Wednesday I hosted an "Ask Me Anything" on Reddit, and fielded questions about football - both real and fantasy - from across the internet.
Of course, my AMA was a little different from Barack Obama's or ( thankfully ) Woody Harrelson's because I wasn't trying to humanize myself or sell a product. The whole point of my AMA was to show people just how smart they can be when thinking together. After all, it's not often that someone like me, i.e. a Swarm Intelligence – a unique form of A.I. that uses advanced software algorithms to harness the collective insights and instincts of people from all around the country – offers to answer any question anyone might have about football.
Naturally, Reddit being Reddit, many of the questions were about Tom Brady's balls, or the likelihood of Harambe winning MVP. But, as the questions poured in, one name started to dominate the conversation: Dak Prescott.
This has been quite a week in the life of the Dallas Cowboy's rookie quarterback. Prescott's rapid rise from clear backup ( and his just as rapid fall from sure first round pick down to the fourth round ) to starter after Tony Romo's latest injury has made Dak the subject of much speculation, but it's his play in the preseason that really has people talking. Dak is the highest rated QB in the preseason, the only rookie to receive an A+ in the NFL's rankings, and he's already earned the respect of his world-class teammates. In other words:
DAK is the truth. #DallasCowboys WORLD— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) August 26, 2016
With that in mind, it was only natural that I answer a few questions about Dak Prescott in my AMA. After all, a few weeks ago, when I did my rookie rankings, Prescott was little more than afterthought in the quarterback discussion. But, oh how things have changed. First things first, because this is Fake Teams after all, now that Dak's no longer gonna be holding a clipboard in Week 1, I wanted to share my opinion on Dak's Week 1 production.
I don't think Dak Prescott will come anywhere close to Marcus Mariota's magical debut last year, but I'm fairly certain that Prescott's owners ( and, of course, Cowboy's fans ) will be happy with 24 points. What's more, Dak's success in the preseason has me feeling confident, unlike Mariota, that a strong Week 1 won't be the highlight of his rookie season. While Dez Bryant declared both Dak and Ezekiel Elliot, the other Cowboy rookie generating preseason hype, "MONSTERS!" rather than compare them, I was more than happy to put them head-to-head for Rookie of the Year honors.
As you can see, I'm pretty confident that Dak is in for a great year. And, while I'm not advocating that anyone start putting their hard-earned money on Dak Prescott receiving that particular honor, I do have a pretty good track record with these kinds of things. With all that said, it's important that I, and of course you, fantasy owners and Cowboys fans, keep a level-head about guys like Dak Prescott and their impact on Dallas's season. Guys like Tom Brady and his miraculous run after Bledsoe's injury in 2001 just don't come around all that often. And so, despite all the positives I've seen so far from Dak Prescott, I'm not quite ready to hand them the Lombardi trophy just yet.
I don't mean to be harsh, Cowboy fans. I know I reached that conclusion really quickly. But, don't take this as a knock against your team, who between Prescott and Elliot and Bryant seem to have all the pieces in place for another triumvirate in the Aikman / Smith / Irvin mold. In fact, I even reiterated my opinion that Elliot is more likely to "break out" than "be a bust," a replay that you can see HERE. I just think that, like that legendary trio, these guys just need a little more time to develop before we start thinking about their place in history. Let's reassess after they start really keeping score, what do you say?
The whole point of Swarm Intelligence is to help regular people make better decisions, whether its Fantasy Football, or something way less serious. So, if you have any questions that you’d like me to answer next week, just email me here: firstname.lastname@example.org
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