Buccaneers-Cowboys DFS Showdown: Injury and Depth Analysis

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QUARTERBACK:

Dak Prescott and Tom Brady will be starting at quarterback tonight. There was some buzz about Prescott’s name on the injury report throughout the week with an ankle injury, but the QB repeated that he is fine for Week 1. While a lot has been made about Brady’s absence during part of training camp, there shouldn’t be anything to worry about with his on-field play as he enters his 23rd season. 

RUNNING BACK:

Ezekiel Elliott looks to remain the RB1 for the Cowboys, as he should see most of the carries tonight and is always a factor in the passing game. Tony Pollard will undoubtedly be a factor in this offense as the RB2, who will probably be a candidate for several carries with his high potential ceiling coming in the passing game. Rico Dowdle is the RB3, but he won’t have a serious role unless there is an injury.

Leonard Fournette is positioned to be the workhorse tonight as the RB1, and we also know how often Brady looks to him in the passing game. Behind him, rookie Rachaad White and Ke’Shawn Vaughn will see some touches out of the backfield and some potential looks in the passing game, with White getting the edge. Down the depth chart, we find Giovanni Bernard, who could see a few opportunities, especially in the passing game.

WIDE RECEIVER:

CeeDee Lamb looks to take the reigns as the WR1 for Dallas and has the highest projected target share of anyone on the slate at 26%. Michael Gallup isn’t ready to return yet, and Jalen Tolbert hasn’t emerged, so the WR2 spot is up for the taking. We’re expecting Noah Brown to get that boost, with Simi Fehoko looking to step up as the WR3. Both guys should be on the field a ton tonight and could have some great opportunities. Jalen Tolbert could still get some targets as the WR4, but we aren’t expecting to see too much of him as there are whispers of him potentially being inactivated. KaVontae Turbin will be the fifth wide receiver, but his primary role will be as Dallas’ returner.

Chris Godwin appears to be gearing up to play tonight so that Brady will have all his toys at his disposal. Mike Evans will be the WR1 as usual and could be a more significant factor in the red zone with Gronk’s retirement. There is some chatter about a potential snap count for Godwin, but he’ll undoubtedly see plenty of routes and will remain Brady’s strong WR2 option. Julio Jones and Russell Gage enter the mix as more options for Brady, with Julio looking to cement himself as the WR3. Gage is listed as questionable tonight but looks on track to play. Breshad Perriman is the WR5 who would benefit the most from a potential Gage absence. Otherwise, he’ll see minimal looks.

TIGHT END:

Dalton Schultz is shaping to be the second read as he is without a commanding WR2. We look for Schultz to see a near 20% target share with upside in the red zone especially, filling in the red zone void that Amari Cooper leaves behind. Jake Ferguson and Sean McKeon should both be active as depth guys, with Ferguson having a slight edge if you decide between the two.

Cameron Brate is tasked with filling Gronk’s shoes as Brady’s top tight end. He will likely only be Brady’s fourth or fifth option but offers red zone upside. Kyle Rudolph and Cade Otton will be depth guys here who could see a target or two.