NFL Splits Tool, Week 2: How Will Dallas Fare Without Dak Prescott?


After seven-plus months of preparation and analysis, we finally got our first taste of live NFL action lats week. It’s important not to overreact to a one-game sample, but Week 1 gave us critical data to dissect moving forward. Over the offseason, I did an “NFL Splits” series, looking at historical trends to help predict the outlook of the 2022 season. I will be continuing the series during the season by using the FTN Bets Splits Tool and looking at actionable takeaways from the previous week.


The Splits Tool allows me to experiment with different situations, such as active/inactive players, spreads, locations, and more, to get a better understanding of the rest of the season. Users can sign up for an FTN Fantasy subscription and gain access to all the tools needed to dominate their fantasy leagues.

Dak Prescott Injury

The Dallas Cowboys entered the 2022 NFL season with Super Bowl aspirations after a disappointing ending to their 2021 campaign. They were one of just six teams with at least 12 wins and finished first in NFC East, but they were quickly eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, losing 23-17 at home to the 49ers. Coincidentally, the Cowboys opened the 2022 season with the same Week 1 opponent as a season ago, in a prime-time matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They came out looking sluggish, seemingly outmatched in every facet of the game. After a Buccaneers defender hit franchise quarterback Dak Prescott on his throwing hand, things only got worse for America’s team, as he exited the game immediately and would not return.

The Cowboys would fall 19-3 in their season opener, completely shut out of the end zone. Owner Jerry Jones came out in the postgame press conference and told reporters that Prescott would need surgery on a joint above the thumb and quote “will be out for a while.” The Cowboys’ medical staff stated Prescott suffered a clean break with an unclear timeframe to return. After undergoing surgery, the following day, ESPN’s Todd Archer reported Prescott would miss approximately 6-8 weeks.

It is worth noting that Jones said this week that Prescott might not land on IR in hopes he can return sooner, but either way, the team will be without its star quarterback for a bit. This will be the second time Prescott would miss significant time with an injury after being sidelined for 11 games due to an ankle injury in 2020. Pending a free agent acquisition or a midseason trade, Cooper Rush is set to take the reins for the next two months. Rush filled in admirably for Prescott in one game last season, throwing for 325 passing yards and two touchdowns in his lone career start. The Cowboys have played 12 games without Prescott in the previous two seasons, creating a meaningful sample size. In this article, I will be looking at how Prescott’s absence has impacted the Cowboys’ offense, dating back to 2020. For fantasy managers looking to replace Prescott, check out Nick Makowitz’ “Streaming QBs for Week 2.”

CeeDee Lamb, WR

CeeDee Lamb Week 2 Fantasy Football NFL Splits

The expectations were high this season for CeeDee Lamb entering his first season without Amari Cooper. After the team traded Cooper to the Cleveland Browns and let Cedrick Wilson walk in free agency, Lamb stood to benefit on a Cowboys team with 205 targets up for grabs and a 32.1% vacated target share. On top of that, Michael Gallup is still recovering from a torn ACL late in 2021. In Week 1, it was clear that Lamb was going to be a target hog, earning 11 targets on a 26.8% target share. However, he did little with his opportunity, catching just two passes for 26 yards. Lamb’s splits without Prescott took a hit across the board. Although the quarterback play undoubtedly hurts Lamb, he should still lead the Cowboys in targets and should be started in most leagues. Also helping Lamb, Gallup is set to miss the second game of the season, still recovering from ACL surgery.


Ezekiel Elliott, RB

Ezekiel Elliott Week 2 Fantasy Football NFL Splits

Even in a down year, Ezekiel Elliott finished just outside the top five among running backs in 2021. He saw a career-low in carries (237) but managed to rush for 1,002 yards and 10 touchdowns. Elliott also caught 47 passes for 287 yards and two touchdowns. On the season, Elliott finished as the RB6 in half PPR but was the RB13 per game. Elliot’s year-end finish was bolstered by 12 total touchdowns and his ability to stay on the field for all 17 games. After the Cowboys’ season ended, Elliott revealed that he had been playing through a partially torn PCL since Week 4. Elliott looked healthy in Week 1, carrying the ball 10 times for 52 yards. Despite offseason buzz suggesting Tony Pollard would carve into Elliott’s workload, Elliott was the much better back in the season opener, averaging 5.2 yards per carry compared to Pollard’s 1.3. Since entering the league, Elliott’s opportunities and touches have increased with Prescott off the field. Although he has been less efficient with those opportunities, the Cowboys tend to lean on their three-time pro bowl running back while Prescott is sidelined. Elliott’s volume provides a safe floor and can still be started as an RB2 or flex.

Dalton Schultz, TE

Dalton Schultz Week 2 Fantasy Football NFL Splits

Dalton Schultz burst onto the scene in 2020 after Cowboys starting tight end Blake Jarwin suffered a season-ending ACL tear in Week 1. Despite playing 11 games without Prescott that year, Schultz finished as the TE14, catching 63 passes for 615 yards and four touchdowns. He was even better the following year, setting career highs in targets (104), receptions (78), yards (808) and touchdowns (8). Schultz finished as the TE3 in 2021 and was one of just three tight ends to catch at least 75 balls. He was also top six in targets and receiving yards at the position. In Week 1, Schultz picked up where he left off, catching seven passes for 62 receiving yards. He was second on the team in targets (9) and receiving yards and finished as a top-10 tight end on the week. Although Schultz has been more productive with Prescott as the starter, he’s still the No. 2 option in the Cowboys’ pass game and be started as a TE1.

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