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Week 13 fantasy football start ‘em, sit ‘em: A look at the Cowboys roster

Which Cowboys are you going to start in fantasy football this week?

NFL: Washington Commanders at Dallas Cowboys Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Week 13 marks the penultimate week before the fantasy regular-season finale for many fantasy league formats. Fantasy managers could punch their tickets to the postseason, while others could lose their last hope. This week can be brutal if your team is on the fringe of the fantasy postseason.

Quarterbacks Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson are on bye weeks. At the same time, receivers Stefon Diggs, D.J. Moore, and Davante Adams are also on bye, along with tight end T.J. Hockenson and the emerging Dalton Kincaid. Thankfully, your Dallas Cowboys could carry you to victory this week.

The Cowboys host the Seattle Seahawks this week. The matchup favors the red-hot Cowboys’ offense in a few ways with some juicy matchups they can take advantage of and answer a few questions, such as can Dak Prescott cement his claim for fantasy supremacy and an NFL MVP bid in the national spotlight on Thursday? Here is your Cowboys fantasy advice for this week’s game.

QB – Dak Prescott, Start ‘em

Dak Prescott is on top of the fantasy world right now. Though the talk of week 12 will center around the Sunday afternoon quarterback duel of Jalen Hurts and Josh Allen, let’s remember Dak Prescott. Prescott torched the Washington Commanders for four touchdowns and another 300-yard passing game. Prescott has not finished worse than QB3 in five of his last six games.

This week, Prescott draws a talented but young Seattle Seahawks cornerback group. Per lineups.com, Seattle allows the fifth-most passing yards in fantasy and is 27th in third-down conversion rate allowed. Prescott and the Cowboys will likely sustain drives in this game, leading to points.

Unless you’re feeling brave and put what might be playoff hopes on the waiver wire, good luck. Streaming options include Matt Stafford (available in 51% of Yahoo leagues) against Myles Garrett and the Cleveland Browns’ defense, Gardner Minshew (available in 84% of Yahoo leagues), and Derek Carr (available in 56% of Yahoo leagues), possibly without his top two wideouts, Michael Thomas (IR) and Chris Olave. (concussion) Ride the hot hand and start Dak Prescott.

RB – Tony Pollard, Start ‘em

Tony Pollard is beginning to show flashes of his old self. Pollard has been disappointing this season in fantasy as he is ranked as RB #11, according to Sleeper. That said, Pollard is progressing. He has had double-digit points in consecutive weeks and found the end zone in as many weeks.

Pollard finds himself in another plus matchup. Seattle is allowing over four yards a carry this season and has been very generous to running backs. Again, per lineups.com, Seattle allows 97 rushing yards per game to running backs and just over one touchdown per game. Even better for Pollard, the matchup is equally favorable in the passing game.

Seattle is yielding six receptions per game to running backs for 46 yards on average per contest. Pollard should maintain his usual volume, he has been targeted eleven times in the last two weeks, which should continue this week. Expect Pollard to crush his point projection this week.

WR – CeeDee Lamb, Start ‘em & Brandin Cooks, Flex ‘em

CeeDee Lamb’s volume has taken a slight dip as his targets have decreased against Carolina and Washington in contrast to the torrid pace he was on earlier in the season. A reason may be that Lamb was slowed down from an ankle injury suffered against Carolina that had him on the injury report last week, but Lamb should be a full go this week and prepared to get a full workload on Thursday.

Lamb will still see prime opportunities in the red zone, as he has a 21% target share. In short, one out of every five red zone passes will be thrown to CeeDee Lamb, and considering how sharp Prescott has been, it raises the probability Lamb will find the end zone, giving him a much higher fantasy ceiling. Furthermore, Lamb is seventh in deep targets with 19, and Dallas should have connected on a few last week against the Commanders. Lamb could dominate again this week and easily have a top-10 finish.

As for Brandin Cooks, he would serve as a low-end WR2 or WR3 in your flex spot. Cooks feels like a touchdown-dependent start, which has been consistent but isn’t sustainable due to a lack of volume and targets that can be unpredictable from week to week. Cooks has seen double-digit targets once this season. With other receivers like Michael Gallup and Jalen Tolbert seeing the field, it raises the possibility of it lessening Cooks’ impact.

Strongly consider the streamers that are on the market this week. Green Bay’s Jayden Reed (available in 52% of Yahoo leagues), who has become a threat on the ground and in the air, has scored over 14 fantasy points in the last three weeks. Also, look at Washington’s Curtis Samuel (available in 71% of Yahoo leagues), who has emerged as the #2 receiver behind Terry McLaurin and had 100 yards receiving last week.

TE – Jake Ferguson, Sit ‘em

It’s recommended you sit Jake Ferguson this week because of his downward trend in the last month of the season. Over the previous four weeks, his targets have decreased to just three on Thanksgiving. The Seahawks are formidable against tight ends, and starting Ferguson would be chasing touchdowns instead of more consistent targets, especially if you’re in a full PPR format.

Though it may be scarce, hit the waiver wire for streaming options or check your bench for other tight ends that you have been hesitant to start this season that should get a lot more volume and present better fantasy upside than Ferguson may provide this week.

Pat Freiermuth should be snatched off waivers as he is 50% available in Yahoo leagues and is coming off a career-high 120 yards against the Cincinnati Bengals. If you’ve been hesitant to play former Dallas Cowboys Dalton Schultz for some reason, now is the time to insert the TE1 of Texas’ other high-flying offense or maybe David Njoku on a vertically-challenged Browns offense that could be without Amari Cooper. If you’re in a deep league and desperate, how about Tyler Conklin playing in a New York Jets offense, living off short passes to the wide receivers, tight ends, and check-downs to Breece Hall?

DEF/ST – Start ‘em

You shouldn’t hesitate to start the Dallas defense this week because it is predicated on their opponent. Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith has been less effective than his Pro Bowl season in 2022 and has thrown twelve touchdowns to eight interceptions. He has also sustained varying injuries, no doubt playing a factor in his performance. Protection has also been a problem as Smith has played with a rearranged offensive line and is now starting 41-year-old Jason Peters at right tackle.

Despite being sacked for nearly half the number of the league’s most sacked quarterback (Sam Howell, 55 sacks), Geno Smith has the fifth-most yards lost because of sacks with 210. Additionally, Seattle is 29th in conversion rate, converting a lowly 31% of their third-down tries. Things will get increasingly more difficult for Seattle if their running back, Kenneth Walker, is out. Walker missed last Thursday’s game with an oblique injury and was listed as a DNP on Monday’s injury report. The Cowboys’ defense could have a field if their offense makes Seattle one-dimensional.

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