Cowboys vs Eagles: Showdown Strategy, Target Projections, Captain's Picks

After featuring some of the highest projected scoring games of the season on SNF, we’ve got more of a NFC East grinder here. Per the DraftKings Sportsbook, the Cowboys find themselves as 7.5-point underdogs with an O/U of just 43 in Philly. Let’s go over some potential targets.

Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices


PAT MAYO’S ‘HOT PICKS’


ADAM LEVITAN’S TARGET PROJECTION

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Amari Cooper, $12,300 Captain’s Pick, $8,200 Flex — Cooper wasn’t eased into his Cowboys debut last week, playing on 85 percent of the snaps and leading the team with a hefty 26 percent target share. The best place to attack the Eagles defense is through wide receivers.
Projection — 7 Targets


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

If the Cowboys win…

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If Dallas is going to pull off the victory here, it’s highly unlikely it’ll be due to an offensive outburst. The Boys have scored more than 20 points just twice this season, both occasions coming on their home field. On the road? Well, this team is winless and yet to score more than 17 points in a game (13.5 PPG in road games).

Dak Prescott’s ($9,200) game log has been decent lately for the down-type of season he’s having, posting his only two 20-plus DKFP games of the year in his past three games. Dak’s only averaging 14.1 DKFP on the road this season, but his production has gone up in each game, going for 22.22 DKFP in Washington in his last game away from home. His rushing abilities help keep a safer floor, and the addition of Cooper should help the passing game in theory. Prescott is a risky play on the road, but if you think Dallas can pull this one off, you’ll need to roster the QB. Philly ranks just 25th in DKFP allowed to signal callers this year, so the matchup suggests some upside.

The Cowboys wasted no time getting Cooper involved, putting him on the field for 85 percent of the snaps on Monday and targeting him eight times. Cooper produced a 5-58-1 line, good for 16.8 DKFP. The Eagles rank just 28th against WR through half the season, so stacking Cooper with Dak or rostering him alone makes sense.

After Cooper, it’s mostly dicey plays at WR for the Cowboys, but that’s how their offense has been all season. Cole Beasley ($6,200) has a sense of security to him, and while he’s flashed 30-plus DKFP upside this season, he’s also scored single-digit DKFP in five games. With just four targets in Cooper’s debut and a rising salary, it’s tougher to roster him than usual.

Your long shot darts here at WR are Allen Hurns ($2,800) and Michael Gallup ($2,200). Hurns is averaging almost 11 DKFP in his last two games, but the production last week was a bit flukey — he caught his only target for a 23-yard touchdown. The rookie Gallup has 11 total targets in his last two games and is averaging 66 yards in those outings. Both are punt play considerations at these salaries, but Gallup should be the more involved player.

I’ll keep it short and sweet at TE — it’s been about as close to unproductive as a position could be in the Cowboys offense. Geoff Swaim ($2,000) is questionable to play with a knee injury, last playing in Week 7. If he suits up then he’s a target worth considering, otherwise look to cheap WR plays and forget about TE.

Of course, last but not least, we have the largest piece of the puzzle. Ezekiel Elliott ($9,800) is extremely cheap for a Showdown slate by his standards — this is the first time he’s been less than $11,400, and he checked in at $13,000 on his last Showdown. There are reasons for this, as you’d expect — Zeke’s been held to just 94 rushing yards and six receptions in his last two games combined, while Philly ranks eighth against RB this season. That doesn’t concern me in this spot, though. Zeke is must-roster if you’re on the Cowboys in this game, and you can make the argument he’s must-play regardless of game script given his upside at this discount.


If the Eagles win…

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After getting a dud out of the way in his first game back from the ACL tear, Carson Wentz ($12,800) has been extremely consistent in five games — scoring between 22.7-25.7 DKFP in each game. Dallas ranks just about average against QB, allowing the 17th-most DKFP to the position. Wentz should be on track for another solid game, and is a much safer option than Prescott if you can find the extra salary.

Wentz will have a new weapon coming out of the bye in Golden Tate ($7,800). It’ll be a new wrinkle in the offense, leaving the rest of the targets in the passing game a little less certain. It feels like Jordan Matthews ($1,800) will be the odd man out, but at his price tag you can afford to take a risk. Tate’s had some time to learn his new offense, but his price tag is a little scary. I’d still consider rostering him, though, as his slot role won’t be as difficult to get on the same page with his QB as an outside receiver.

Nelson Agholor ($5,800) has really struggled to get on the same page with Wentz this season with just one game scoring in double-digit DKFP (his two best games of the season came in Weeks 1 and 2 before Wentz was healthy). He could see more open looks with Tate getting attention from the defense, while Alshon Jeffery ($8,800) will remain the team’s WR1. Tate might steal some looks from Jeffery too, but they play completely different roles, hopefully leading to extra production for both of them for the Eagles’ sake. Jeffery’s topped 20 DKFP in three of his six games this season and saw double-digit targets in two of his last three. The deep ball keeps him relevant, but it’ll be a test against this defense that ranks second against WR.

All these talented pass-catchers and we haven’t even gotten to Zach Ertz ($11,000) yet. Ertz never makes for a bad target, but it’s getting crowded in Philly. Ertz only scored less than 10 DKFP in Week 1 — and he managed 9.8 — so he’s been as consistent as you could imagine. While I think the big TE is a good target, his high salary makes it really tough to roster him with other strong pieces. I’d prefer paying down for the WR options here, but Ertz isn’t someone you need to fade.

The Eagles will likely continue to use a three back rotation, leaving fantasy value thin, or at least unpredictable. Wendell Smallwood ($5,000), Josh Adams ($3,400) and Corey Clement ($3,200) all played roles in a Week 8 victory over the Jaguars. I’ll leave you with the some info on how the backfield broke down last time around and let you decide who the top play is. Here’s the production from Week 8: Smallwood — 31 snaps/10 touches. Adams — 18 snaps/10 touches. Clement — 13 snaps/five touches.

Eagles kicker Jake Elliott ($4,400) is also worth mentioning in a game that could be low scoring. A few deep field goals can make a big difference on a slate like this. Both defenses are also in consideration.


THE OUTCOME

The Cowboys are 0-4 on the road and coming off perhaps their worst loss of the season at home to the Titans by 14 points on Monday night — leaving them on short rest this week. Meanwhile, the Eagles are coming off a bye, and while they’ve lost their last two at home, this screams bounce-back spot against an opponent that struggles to score. I think the Birds can pull this one out by multiple scores, but don’t expect any fireworks on offense from either side.

Final Score: Dallas 13, Philadelphia 24


I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is adamlevitan) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is ThePME) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.