Last week, Dallas fantasy managers were in for a pre-Halloween treat. Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb lit up the fantasy scoreboard like a Jack-O-Lantern and, if you had them in your lineup, likely carried you to victory. The Dallas defense also got in the end zone and wreaked havoc on the Los Angeles Rams’ offense. This week, the Dallas Cowboys are in for a high-stakes matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles that is sure to have playoff implications in terms of the NFL playoffs, but perhaps also for fantasy managers. Here is your Dallas Cowboys fantasy advice for Week 9.
QB Dak Prescott - Start ‘em
Having confidence in starting Dak Prescott this week involves believing the offensive line will be intact. Tyron Smith is expected to practice this week and, therefore, is trending toward playing against the Eagles. Regarding Prescott, he is finding his groove as of late, scoring six touchdowns over the last two games. Prescott has thrown for 9.4 yards an attempt in the previous two games and has a prime matchup against the Eagles, who allowed 397 passing yards to Sam Howell in Week 8. For the season, the Eagles are allowing 275 yards per game passing to quarterbacks. It’s also encouraging that the Cowboys drove the ball downfield more last week than in previous weeks. Start Prescott.
RB Tony Pollard - Start ‘em
Suppose you’ve heard the term a victim of circumstance that summarizes Tony Pollard’s outing against the Rams last week. Dallas’ pass-happy offensive approach, opportunistic defense, and special teams left Pollard with limited carries before the game got out of hand by halftime. His passing game usage of one target was a season-low and isn’t likely to happen again.
Plus, Pollard continues to have high red zone usage, as he has the second most red zone touches among running backs. The Eagles have allowed 65% of red zone trips against their defense to be converted into touchdowns. Against the Washington Commanders, the Eagles allowed both end zone trips to result in scores. Finally, the Eagles could be without or with a limited Jalen Carter, and are giving up 4.4 yards per carry over the last three games. Expect a double-digit point total from Pollard this week.
WR CeeDee Lamb, Brandin Cooks - Start ‘em
Don’t overthink either of these decisions. Yahoo fantasy football has the Eagles as the best matchup for fantasy wide receivers. CeeDee Lamb’s terrific performance last week against the Los Angeles Rams was predicated on using him in various ways and upping his volume in targets. The Cowboys need to carry the same approach on Sunday afternoon. The Eagles are allowing the sixth-most targets to wide receivers and also yield 1.7 touchdowns per game to wide receivers.
Brandin Cooks is rostered in 44% of Yahoo leagues and is still widely available. Cooks has scored a touchdown in the last two weeks and appears ready to be unleashed in the Cowboys offense. Cooks out-snapped Michael Gallup against the Rams and is WR2 for the team. Cooks still has great speed and faces an Eagles defense that can be exposed in the vertical passing game.
TE Jake Ferguson - Start ‘em
Not to insinuate that it will happen this week, but a Jake Ferguson breakout performance will happen soon. Ferguson has a high usage rate, playing on 70% of the offensive snaps, which is twice as many as TE2 Luke Schoonmaker. Ferguson also has prime opportunities to cash in on a suddenly efficient Cowboys offense. Per playerprofiler.com, Ferguson is getting nearly two yards of separation on each of his targets, an 89.7% catchable target rate thanks to Dak Prescott, and has the most red zone targets amongst tight ends. That said, some analysts may suggest another alluring tight end this week.
Arizona tight end Trey McBride was an attractive option on the waiver wire. (available in 47% of Yahoo leagues) Last week, against the Baltimore Ravens, McBride went off for ten catches, 95 yards, and a score. However, he has a tough matchup against the Cleveland Browns and has uncertainty at quarterback following the trade of Joshua Dobbs to the Minnesota Vikings.
Resist the idea of the grass being greener this week and go with Ferguson. Ferguson is projected to score eight fantasy points, which feels lower than it should be. Again, think of the Eagles red zone struggles. Start Ferguson. You won’t be disappointed.
K Brandon Aubrey - Sit ‘em
Brandon Aubrey makes his debut on Blogging The Boys’ rendition of start ‘em, sit ‘em and sadly, we’re suggesting that you sit Brandon Aubrey in your lineups. That’s not to say Aubrey will have a terrible performance at Philadelphia. Aubrey has been terrific this season. He has the fifth-most fantasy points among kickers as a rookie. Yet, the reason you should sit Aubrey is because of how the Cowboys will likely manage the game against the Eagles.
The last five times the Cowboys have played against the Eagles, at least one of the teams has scored over 35 points in four meetings. The game is shaping up to be a high-scoring affair, with both coaches taking an aggressive approach because of the game’s magnitude. Expect Mike McCarthy and Nick Sirianni to leave their offenses on the field instead of attempting long field goals. For added context, Philadelphia allows one field goal try against them per game.
If they are available in your leagues, consider Dustin Hopkins of the Cleveland Browns (second-most fantasy points among kickers) or starting Pittsburgh’s Chris Boswell (Thu.) against a stingy Tennessee Titans red zone defense. Sit Aubrey and prepare to be on edge for a risky coaching display on Sunday.
DEF/ST - Start ‘em
Last week, I was worried about starting the Dallas defense and special teams out of concern that the Los Angeles Rams’ weapons would find success, namely Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua. There is still some concern this week as A.J. Brown has been tearing up NFL secondaries for the last six games. The Eagles are adept at sustaining drives, converting short yardage, and the infamous “Brotherly Shove” at the goal line.
Yet, it would be best if you started the Cowboys’ defense for a few reasons. Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts has had issues with turnovers, having thrown eight interceptions in 2023. This Eagles matchup comes off the heels of the Cowboys scoring yet again on defense, this time coming from a DaRon Bland pick-six.
Additionally, the reason you should start the Cowboys’ defense and special teams is for the return yardage upside. Depending on if you’re in a league format that gives points for return yards, KaVontae Turpin is going to provide the defense and special teams a boost on the fantasy scoreboard.
The Pro Bowler returned a long punt return last week and is a threat to make a house call whenever he’s got space to work with. The Eagles have allowed 443 return yards this season, with 14.7 yards allowed per punt return. With both teams likely to score a lot, Turpin should have several chances to make a big play in the return game.