FANTASY FOOTBALL OUTLOOK: Dallas QB Dak Prescott trending upward

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) celebrates scoring a rushing touchdown against the Washington Redskins during the second quarter at AT&T Stadium.Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper are proving their high-pick value.

The Cowboys host New Orleans in a meaningful and star-studded Thursday Night Football game this week. It's packed with fantasy football starters. Here's the scoop on Dallas's best bets:

QB Dak Prescott – Somewhere out there (possibly the editor of this site) a fantasy football owner hastily picked up Prescott when he or she realized that Tom Brady had a bye in Week 11. Then he or she forgot to switch Brady back to the starting spot before Thanksgiving. But guess what? Prescott’s 289 passing yards and 2 TDs, plus an additional rushing touchdown, meant that he outscored Brady in Week 12. Does that mean Prescott has turned into Patrick Mahomes? Probably not. But the Dallas offense is trending upward and that means Prescott is a better fantasy football bet these days.

RB Ezekiel Elliott – With three straight games of better than 140 combined rushing and receiving yards, Elliott has found his rhythm. He not only has taken over the NFL rushing lead, but he’s established himself as a fantasy football MVP. Elliott is clearly a no-brainer as a starter.

WR Amari Cooper – Fantasy football owners who drafted Cooper this season were obviously planning on him getting back to his excellent pace from his first two seasons in the NFL. Cooper had more than 1,000 receiving yards in 2015 and 2016 before dipping last year. But he had more than 100 receiving yards just twice in his first nine games with the Raiders and Cowboys this season. That changed on Thanksgiving Day when Cooper hauled in 8 passes for 180 yards and 2 TDs. Owners who still have Cooper on their roster are suddenly looking very good with the playoffs approaching.

WR Cole Beasley – There was a moment this season when Beasley seemed like a legitimate WR1. He caught 11 passes for 101 yards and 2 TDs in the Cowboys’ 40-7 victory over Jacksonville. But even before Dallas acquired Cooper, Beasley was a risky player to start and now the former Raider is hogging receptions. Beasley has just 13 catches for 109 yards and no TDs since Cooper came on board.