This is it. It’s the final week of the fantasy football regular season for many. Think back to the hours of planning and preparation, the countless mock drafts during the summer, sniping your league mates, and winning the waiver wire lottery. It all culminates in a big week of fantasy football for the fortunate few who roster the Dallas Cowboys players, culminating in a significant NFC East showdown. If the Cowboys win Sunday, they lead the NFC East for now. If they lose, Philadelphia is virtually a lock to win the division. Good luck to all this week, and here is your Cowboys fantasy advice for this week’s game.
QB, Dak Prescott – Start ‘em
From a narrative perspective, everyone knows what this game means regarding the NFL playoffs and perhaps a league MVP award for Dak Prescott. From a fantasy angle, this matchup can deliver a crucial win in what might be the last week of the regular season for some fantasy managers. Prescott is playing the best football of his career and has been on fire since the Cowboys’ bye week. However, the Eagles defense has been trending in the opposite direction.
Over the last three games, the Eagles have allowed 118 points to fantasy quarterbacks for an average of 39 fantasy points per game. Regarding overall defense, the Eagles allow the second-most points to fantasy quarterbacks this season. That’s all the more fascinating considering they’ve played against the Arizona Cardinals, New York Giants, New York Jets, and the Cleveland Browns.
The San Francisco 49ers annihilated the Eagles’ defense in a 42-19 home defeat, where Brock Purdy threw for four touchdown passes and over 300 yards passing. The Cowboys will host Philadelphia at AT&T Stadium, where the Eagles have not beaten the Cowboys since 2017. Prescott, at home, has been sensational. Prescott has thrown 18 touchdown passes at home versus just two interceptions, with a completion percentage of 76.3 and a passer rating of 126.8. All the stars (pun intended) are aligning in this matchup. Start Prescott.
RB, Tony Pollard – Sit ‘em
The Eagles defense is very stout against fantasy running backs. This is partly due to their formidable interior defensive line but also because they are so susceptible to the pass. Pollard is in for a rough spot this week in a game that likely has both teams having to pass the ball to stay in the contest. Pollard could be a contributor in the passing game, but he has yet to be given meaningful targets downfield, as we saw last season.
He has not posted above 25 yards receiving since Week 6 against the Los Angeles Chargers. The upside is that Pollard will dominate the snap shares for the running backs, and it’s unlikely Rico Dowdle will play a prominent role in a game that has such importance in the NFC East. If you start Pollard, you’re banking on the red zone potential where he has remained steadfast as the primary running back for Dallas.
Unfortunately, Pollard has had several missed opportunities for touchdowns over the past few weeks, whether it be a lack of execution, officiating, or bad luck. If you’re considering other options in your lineup, I’d recommend Ezekiel Elliott against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Elliott is still available in just under half of Yahoo leagues or either of the Miami Dolphins running backs against the Tennessee Titans.
WR, CeeDee Lamb – Start ‘em
After a slow start to begin the season, CeeDee Lamb is now the third-highest scoring wide receiver in fantasy. The connection between Lamb and Dak Prescott has been unstoppable, and if you’re a fantasy manager who bought low on Lamb earlier in the season, you are reaping the rewards of a PPR superstar. Lamb is third in the NFL with 90 receptions and 1,182 yards. The Eagles defense is a matchup Lamb should dominate.
The last time Lamb faced the Eagles, he roasted them for 11 receptions and 191 yards. I expect much to stay the same, as the Eagles’ secondary hasn’t improved since their meeting on November 5th. The Eagles are 29th in passing yards allowed per game at 260 yards. Per lineups.com, the Eagles allow 196.9 yards and 1.8 touchdowns per game to fantasy receivers on 26 targets per contest.
Since Week 8 against the Los Angeles Rams, CeeDee Lamb has not posted a target share below 25%, having been targeted as much as 41% by Dak Prescott against the Rams. That trend will likely continue against the Eagles, and the Eagles don’t have anything to counter Lamb either. Eli Ricks was isolated in coverage against Lamb in their last game against the Cowboys, and Lamb had a field day. Ricks hasn’t been very good otherwise, either. He is yielding a passer rating of 108.2 when targeted in pass coverage. Plus, Lamb has scored a touchdown in each of the last four games. Expect big things from Lamb this week.
TE, Jake Ferguson – Start ‘em
After a few weeks of being a non-factor, Jake Ferguson has returned to fantasy relevance after getting the best of Jamal Adams and the Seattle Seahawks defense. Like his other offensive counterparts, Ferguson enters Week 14 in a favorable matchup against the Eagles. The Eagles are also in the lower third of defending fantasy tight ends. The Eagles allow 49 yards per game to tight ends per lineups.com. Ferguson has dominated the snap share over Luke Schoonmaker and even receivers Michael Gallup and Jalen Tolbert.
Per playerprofiler.com, Ferguson has the most red zone targets amongst fantasy tight ends. That’s perfect for the Cowboys since the Eagles are 29th red zone scoring defense. You can do a lot worse at tight end this week. The alternatives are risky. Cole Kmet against the Detroit Lions and Kyle Pitts versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are volatile matchups with limited touchdown upside.
Dallas DEF/ST – Sit ‘em
Sitting the Cowboys’ defense this week isn’t to be reactionary to last week’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. Their performance was alarming given how easily Geno Smith and the Seattle offense moved the ball against the Cowboys. This game has all the makings of a shootout, and both teams will play more aggressively to capitalize on points. The Cowboys could not get significant pressure on Geno Smith, mainly because Smith was resigned to getting the ball out quickly. Smith, on average, had 2.54 seconds between the snap and the time he threw a pass last Thursday. I expect the Eagles to do the same to protect Jalen Hurts and get the ball out to his receivers on time and in rhythm.
It’s a big week in fantasy, and there are so many favorable defensive streaming options. Streaming options include the Minnesota Vikings’ defense against the Las Vegas Raiders and rookie Aidan O’Connell. Another choice could be the New England Patriots on a short week against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday in a game where Pittsburgh could be without Kenny Picket and Najee Harris. Pittsburgh starting Mitchell Trubisky in primetime will likely yield some defensive fireworks for a New England Patriots team that held the Chargers to six points last week.