The Dallas Cowboys made short work of the New England Patriots, 38-3, to hand Bill Belichick his worst loss as a head coach. This week, old rivalries reignite as the Cowboys travel to the Bay area to face the San Francisco 49ers. The Cowboys have struggled to take down the 49ers in their last two meetings, and beating them would be sweet. Yet, even sweeter would take home the win in Santa Clara and the win with your fantasy team. Here is your fantasy advice for your Dallas Cowboys this week.
Dak Prescott- SIT ‘EM
Until the Dallas Cowboys can resolve their issues in the red zone, Dak Prescott will be an iffy start in fantasy. The lack of running attempts in that area is puzzling and keeps his output at the low ceiling that it is. Prescott hasn’t been driving the ball downfield all that much and didn’t attempt a single pass more than 25 yards last week against the New England Patriots.
In the last two meetings against the 49ers, both in the postseason, Prescott has thrown two touchdowns against three interceptions for a QB rating of 66.7. This season, Prescott has yet to produce a 300-yard passing and likely won’t Sunday against the 49ers defense if Tyron Smith cannot play. The 49ers are among the top 10 for the fewest points allowed to fantasy QBs this season. If available in your league, consider Matt Stafford against the Eagles or Zach Wilson against a generous Broncos defense.
Tony Pollard- START ‘EM (with caution)
Tony Pollard and the Dallas Cowboys offensive line have the unenviable task of trying to find traction against the 49ers front seven. The Cowboys’ offensive line is at less than full strength, with Zack Martin and Tyler Biadasz also hobbled somewhat by injury. The 49ers only allow 3.9 yards per carry this season.
While Pollard has been getting a sizeable number of touches, the 49ers aren’t going to allow much space. A concerning aspect for Pollard is his lack of targets in the passing game. He has topped more than three targets just once this season. Also, the Cowboys tinkered in the red zone with different runners, such as Deuce Vaughn and Hunter Leupke, making Pollard a question mark after being the primary red zone runner to start the year.
If you have more attractive flex options this week, at the very least, consider it.
CeeDee Lamb- START ‘EM
You should undoubtedly start CeeDee Lamb this week, but as with Tony Pollard, proceed with caution. Lamb’s fantasy ceiling might be lower with recent events in the last few weeks. The once-forgotten Michael Gallup has started to come on as of late, recapturing some of his old form and demanding an equal target share with Lamb against New England.
That said, Lamb still has more scoring potential, considering all the different ways he’ll get the ball, but it’s noteworthy when you think of the volume Lamb had in week two against the Jets. The silver lining is that the 49ers are at the cusp of the top 10 most yards allowed to fantasy wide receivers. Lamb is projected to have 14 fantasy points in Yahoo leagues, which seems fitting. I don’t expect a monstrous week from Lamb here in the second week of October, but he may have an adequate output this week.
Jake Ferguson-START ‘EM
Jake Ferguson is a start this week. When he’s on the field, he’s going to command opportunities.
He finished with an even snap count (56) with Luke Schoonmaker last week and still led the team in the targets with seven. His seven receptions for 77 yards were good for a TE4 finish last week. As the TE1 for a productive offense, Ferguson finds consistent work and production. He’s not just being schemed open; he’s finding his own space to work with. He averaged 3.24 yards of separation against the Patriots and has some YAC upside. Put Ferguson in your lineups.
DEF/ST- SIT ‘EM
This will sound ridiculous after the week they had last week, but I’d implore you to sit the Dallas defense unless you don’t have any other options. The 49ers are averaging 31 PPG on offense and are far more explosive than we’ve seen in years past. Christian McCaffrey has been unleashed over the past weeks and is turning out a terrific season in fantasy.
Trusting this Dallas defense that surrendered 28 points to Arizona two weeks ago against the 49ers doesn’t feel like a wise proposition. The question is, what Cowboys defense will show up? The one we saw last week or the one we saw in Arizona. The 49ers average 6.3 yards per play, and their red zone efficiency is in the upper percentile. They score a touchdown on 66.7% of their trips to the red area.
By the numbers, this defense will have to feast or starve on turnovers. San Francisco is tied with the Cowboys for the fewest giveaways per game. I don’t see a scenario where you confidently start the Dallas defense. I fully expect them to play significantly below the standard they played at last week. There are better choices available. I suggest starting Miami’s defense against the New York Giants or Detroit Lions against the Carolina Panthers if you can.
Brandon Aubrey- START ‘EM
Don’t look now, but the Cowboys have found themselves a kicker. Since missing his first extra-point attempt, Brandon Aubrey has been perfect. He is a 13 for 13 this season and has accounted for 48 points. Aubrey has demonstrated he’s got a sizeable leg and earned the coaching staff’s trust.
Head coach Mike McCarthy was willing to allow Aubrey to try a 66-yard kick at the end of the half against New England until a penalty took away his chance. The Dallas Cowboys are moving the ball almost at will between the 20s. Still, their constant troubles in the red zone are setting up Aubrey with scoring opportunities frequently. It’s an imperfect storm for the Cowboys offense but helpful for Aubrey in your fantasy lineups. Until the red zone issues of the Cowboys are resolved, Aubrey is an attractive fantasy option weekly.