Cowboys-Buccaneers DFS Showdown: Injury and Depth Analysis

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QUARTERBACK:

Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys will travel to face Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night Football, giving us a DFS showdown matchup. Dak hasn’t been great at all, with the interceptions being the storyline, but last week might have been the worst game he’s had as a professional. Completely uninspiring heading into the playoffs, he completed 38% of his passes, but that will be quickly forgotten if he comes out on top tonight. Tom Brady’s fantasy value doesn’t need to be elaborated on too much, as over his last five games (where he’s played the entire game), he’s passed for at least 280 yards in four of them.

RUNNING BACK:

The Cowboys’ two-headed monster will be led by Ezekiel Elliott tonight. Before last week, he found the endzone in nine consecutive games. Over that nine-game stretch, he rushed 15+ times in eight of them. Tony Pollard’s health appears to be at full strength, so he’ll warrant potentially double-digit carries and roughly four-five targets to play it safe.

Tampa has the league’s worst rushing attack, only creating 76 yards per game on the ground. In Week 1, Leonard Fournette dominated the Cowboys, rushing for 127 yards off of 21 carries. He won’t see the same volume with Rachaad White’s presence, as the two backs should split the volume with the slight edge in favor of Fournette. Both will be receiving backs out of the backfield, combining for around eight targets.

WIDE RECEIVER:

CeeDee Lamb has a double-digit target upside and had 11 targets in Week 1. Michael Gallup has averaged nearly six targets per game over the last three games but has not broken 40 yards in each of the previous six. Noah Brown has had a single reception in each of the last three weeks but has combined for 12 targets during that stretch as the WR3. The potential is there for an under-the-radar performance. T.Y. Hilton has been an excellent addition to the Cowboys’ receiving corps, averaging 40 yards per in his three games donning the star. He’s been more than a vertical threat, combining for nine targets over the last two weeks. 

Mike Evans’s last game was the best we’ve seen from a receiver this season, hauling in ten receptions for over 200 yards and three touchdowns. Unfortunately, we won’t expect a repeat, but he’ll account for several targets. He’ll have the higher yardage ceiling, but Chris Godwin is the PPR monster who has averaged nearly eight receptions per game over his last four. Russell Gage has supplanted Julio Jones as the WR3, with Gage looking to be targeted about five times. He’s found the end zone four times over the last five weeks, the most of the Bucs’ receivers during that stretch. Jones only has combined for four targets in his two games as the WR4, and despite his stature, we haven’t seen anything to suggest that changing.

TIGHT END:

Dalton Schultz averaged about 7.5 targets per game over his last five and was the Cowboys’ best offensive player in Week 1, where he picked up 62 yards and a score off seven receptions. Tampa’s defense is not great at defending tight ends, allowing the fifth most touchdowns in the league to the position. Cade Otton has totaled 20 yards or less in four straight weeks as the TE1. We shouldn’t expect Brady to look to this position group much tonight, with Dallas’ defense surrendering the sixth-fewest yards per game to opposing tight ends.