After a paltry performance against the Arizona Cardinals, the Dallas Cowboys seek to reverse their fortunes against the New England Patriots. The Cowboys’ offense took a downturn last week and squandered several chances in close. Also, the defense could have been more helpful. They played out of character, allowing several explosive plays to a then-winless team.
Hopefully, the team can return to their winning ways on the field and help you win your fantasy matchup. Here is your fantasy advice for your Dallas Cowboys this week.
QB Dak Prescott - Sit ‘em
Everything about this matchup screams low ceiling/low floor. The Patriots are allowing the eighth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. Bill Belichick is a master of identifying what teams do best and taking it away. Right now, the Cowboys operate off of a quick passing game. If that changes, Dak Prescott has to hold the ball longer behind a beat-up offensive line and that spells trouble.
New England plays a slow pace to drain the clock and are top-ten in rushing attempts this season. Plus, until Prescott is more active as a runner in the red zone, he’s hard to trust in tough matchups like this. Consider a waiver wire add like Jordan Love against Detroit (Thurs.) or Jimmy Garoppolo (if healthy), who is available in over 85% of Yahoo Leagues.
RB Tony Pollard - Start ‘em
Pollard checks all the boxes for a desirable fantasy RB1. He’s getting plenty of volume in the Cowboys’ offense, having had 23 carries last week. He’s also getting a lot of red zone touches for the team and has big-play potential as evidenced by his 31-yard run last week. The Patriots provide Pollard with an ideal matchup.
Through the season’s first two games, New England allowed 19 fantasy points per game to running backs. Suppose you’re in a PPR format; even better. The Patriots have allowed running backs five receptions a game. Start Pollard weekly, especially in this matchup, for an almost guaranteed double-digit fantasy output.
WR CeeDee Lamb - Start ‘em
WR Brandin Cooks & Michael Gallup - Sit ‘em
Bank on the squeaky wheel getting the grease this week. This week’s talk is about the red zone troubles of the Cowboys. Whatever they have been doing isn’t working. Instead of banging their heads against a brick wall as they were metaphorically doing in the red zone against the Cardinals, they can’t keep doing that this week.
Lamb and Prescott were asked about their issues in the red zone, and both maintained that settling for field goals is not enough for this team. Expect Prescott to seek out Lamb in the red zone almost exclusively to resolve their troubles. New England’s corner Jonathan Jones’ status is unknown for Sunday’s game, but without him, it makes life much easier for Lamb.
Regarding Michael Gallup and Brandin Cooks, only start them with confidence once there’s more consistency. Cooks has been sparingly targeted down the field despite his speed. Gallup did perform well last week, but that performance feels more like an anomaly than the start of a resurgence. Take the wait-and-see approach with these veteran receivers for now.
TE Cowboys (all) - Sit ‘em
So far this season, Jake Ferguson has led the tight end group in targets with a target share of 81% amongst the Cowboys tight ends. However, what makes Ferguson a sit is how tough New England is on the tight end position in fantasy. The Patriots completely took away Dallas Goedert in week one against the Philadelphia Eagles and last week limited New York Jets lead tight end Tyler Conklin to just three receptions on five targets for 26 yards.
The Cowboys will likely try more 13 personnel in the red zone with one receiver (Lamb), one running back, and three of their tight ends. This makes starting any of them on your fantasy team a dice roll. Case in point: Prescott missed Jake Ferguson in the red zone in week two, only to find Luke Schoonmaker later for a TD pass. This matchup for tight ends has too much volatility to trust either of them this week. If he’s available in your league, pick up Luke Musgrave against Detroit.
Def/ST - Start ‘em
The Patriots have struggled to protect Mac Jones, who has been sacked six times this season. He is not likely to drive the ball downfield, as he only averages six yards per attempt. Rhamondre Stevenson was billed as a breakout star in fantasy and has not lived up to those expectations. He is averaging under three yards per carry. Former Cowboy Ezekiel Elliott is also in the fold as a complementary runner. New England’s offense doesn’t have the high-end weapons to threaten the Cowboys defense.
The Dallas defense has something to prove and needs to cleanse last week’s poor performance in a favorable matchup with New England. Also, consider the special teams upside offered by KaVaontae Turpin. He broke a huge return last week that was nullified by penalty. According to Yahoo, the Dallas defense is projected to score 20 points this week. This defense may have an eruption on Sunday.