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Week Nine: Fantasy Focus on the Cowboys

 

It's Saturday, so it's time to talk some fantasy football! Let's preview and predict which Cowboys can help you achieve victory as they fly to Philly to take on the Eagles.

Make the jump for the Week 9 Fantasy Focus

QB Tony Romo - If the last two seasons suggest anything about the Cowboys/Eagles matchups, it's that the trend is the first game results in a shootout and the second game is a defensive struggle. In '07, Romo threw for 324 yards in a 38-17 thumping of the Eagles, and then in the season finale, he was limited to 214 yards in a 6-10 loss. Last season, he threw for 312 yards in a 41-37 victory, and then 183 in a 6-44 loss. With this being the first game between these two division foes, expect a shootout.

WRs Miles Austin and DeSean Jackson are the two of the biggest deep threats in the NFC. Because of this, both Romo and Donovan McNabb will look to outduel each other under the big lights on Sunday Night Football.

The Eagles will get after Romo, as they always do, with various blitz packages. Fortunately, the Cowboys' offensive line is coming off a stellar game against the Seahawks. Dallas has relied on its passing game much more lately; and as a result, the running backs have each grown into good blockers on the blitz pickup. That has definitely helped Romo in his quest to take better care of the football. Through three games he has yet to throw an interception. It's a tall order to expect him to extend that streak to four games against an Eagles secondary that ranks 10th against the pass (193.7 YPG), but the Dallas offense (ranked 2nd in the league averaging 411.1 YPG) is too hot right now for fantasy owners to justify sitting Romo.

RBs Marion Barber, Felix Jones, Tashard Choice - With all three backs healthy enough to play, the wrinkles have been ironed out in regards to how the Cowboys use them. Barber is a good start this week, as the Cowboys will rely on his physical-style of running to move the chains. In goalline situations, he's been the man.

Felix Jones is getting his own series sprinkled in earlier in games and he even started the second half last week against the Seahawks. Dallas is really beginning to find mismatches for him out of the backfield, so he could be a nice start in PPR leagues. The dominating manner in which the punt return unit has been blocking for Patrick Crayton may also find its way on the kick return unit, which could spring him for a score real soon. He returned one for a TD last season against the Eagles. This game could be a productive one for Jones. Consider starting him as a flex option.

Choice remains the third-down back, but that does not warrant a fantasy start because Barber and Jones are being featured by the Dallas offense right now.

WRs Miles Austin - Keep starting him if you have him. The Eagles will look to take him out of the passing game, but they can't double him on every play. When not doubled, he will be going up against two 5'10" CBs in Asante Samuel and Sheldon Brown. At 6'3", Austin has a favorable size advantage in one-on-one matchups.

Roy Williams - As a Lion, he's had some fine days at Lincoln Financial Field. Williams has also been staying after practice to get in some extra work with Romo. Until that extra work shows up in a game situation, you should probably go with a more consistent player at WR.

Patrick Crayton -Crayton's recent success as a punt returner (2 TDs in the last two games) has inflated his fantasy value. He could be a decent bye-week fill in if Philly tries to take away Austin on the outside. With Williams remaining as the X receiver, Crayton is at home in the slot. He's not going to put up huge numbers, but the Cowboys will find a way to get him a few catches.

TEs Jason Witten - Before last week's game, the Eagles were giving up the second-most fantasy points to TEs. Then, the Giants' Kevin Boss caught 3 passes for 70 yards and a TD on them. Witten still has only one TD on the year. If he is going to get himself another, Philly would be an ideal team for him to get one on.

Cowboys D/ST - This game could easily be a shootout. In terms of points scored, the Eagles rank 3rd in the league with an average of 29 PPG. On a positive note, the Dallas defense has been improving. Pair that up with the exceptional job special teams coach Joe DeCamillis is doing, and together these units have been consistent in maximizing the amount of field opposing offenses have to go to score. Last week's game against Seattle was more lopsided than the 38-17 score suggested because the offense gave up a garbage-time fumble deep in enemy territory, which led to a quick Seahawks TD.

Fantasy owners have a coin to flip here. While the Philadelphia offense can put up a lot of points to reduce Dallas' D/ST fantasy points, the Dallas defenders have greatly improved their pass rush and are forcing turnovers on a regular basis.

After eight weeks of fantasy footballing on FleaFlicker, one team still remains undefeated in the BTB and BTB Part Deux fantasy leagues. This week, there is a huge division matchup between the undefeated, kill everbody, and the 6-2 Maui Paniolo Boyz. With Favre and A.P. on their bye this week, the mighty has a good chance of falling for the first time this year.

Here's how both leagues are shaping up:

 

The Mighty Has Yet to Fall! (8-0)

kill everbody

Where the Cowboys are Headed (6-2)

Maui Paniolo Boyz
WheresWare?

Where the Eagles are Headed (5-3)

StarBoys
Paper Cranes
BigRigga31's Team
Static
Quincyyyyy
The Speed of Dark

.500  (4-4)

Official Spoiler
Apes
Flashlights
BTBfantasyCHAMPS
Doomsday Redux
Dillababies
Felix Jones At Every Position
No Doubter
Dallas Destroyers
Reykjavik Roughnecks

Triple H (3-5)

The Doomsday Defense Reborn
Second Chance

Twosies (2-6)

high505

My Team Sucks
Brady's a b!tch
NameBrandj

One is the Loneliest Number (1-5)

Damage,Inc.

If you've got a fantasy dilemma, feel free to post it here for your BTB brethren to analyze. Let's help each other out!

And, for all your fantasy football needs, SBNation's fantasy webpage is chock full of informational updates to help you set up your team from week-to-week.

For your convenience, here's the link: sbnation.com/fantasy.