Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
- Spread: Cowboys -3.5
- Total: 53
- Eagles implied points: 24.8
- Cowboys implied points: 28.3
Jalen Hurts: Is this a battle for the MVP? Jalen Hurts has been a top-six fantasy QB in eight of his past nine games (including a QB3 finish against Dallas in Week 9), and given his production on the ground, there are no real signs that point to regression.
Hurts has run for six scores in his past four games as the leader of the most unstoppable play in professional sports. He should continue to be aggressive, as Philadelphia looks to rebound from the debacle against the San Francisco 49ers last week.
I do have one minor concern, and it’s nothing new — accuracy. Here are Hurts’ completion percentages over his past five (end with the most recent): 76.3%, 73.9%, 63.6%, 58.1%, and 57.8%.
That’s not ideal for the Eagles in real life. For our purposes, his bread is buttered with the rushing production, and the low CMP% isn’t a deal breaker, as long as the completions continue to do damage.
Dak Prescott: This run of production is about as good as anything we’ve seen in recent memory. Prescott has rattled off six top-three finishes in a seven-game run, and with the Eagles allowing the second-highest percentage of opponent yardage to come through the air (74.2%), the good times should continue.
That is, as long as Dallas can prevent Philadelphia from holding the ball for 12-15 play drives and limiting the possession count.
I’m a numbers guy, and if I didn’t post this, you’d ask for it — so here you go. Prescott’s extrapolated season since the Week 7 bye:
- 5,386 passing yards (record: 5,477 by Peyton Manning in 2013)
- 57 TD passes (record: 55 by Peyton Manning in 2013)
D’Andre Swift: After a big hit late in the Week 13 blowout at the hands of the 49ers, Swift left the game. The severity of the injury is unknown, but he was losing some snaps to RB Kenneth Gainwell prior to the injury, making this very much a situation worth tracking.
When these teams first met, the Eagles ran the ball 33 times, and not a single one of those carries picked up more than 12 yards. Swift is likely going to need volume to return top-20 value in this tough spot. Dallas is averaging a league-low 3.3 missed tackles per game, and if he’s battling through an injury, that may not happen.
At the moment, I have Swift ranked as my RB19 — his exact average positional finish in the six games prior to the one-sided affair last week against the 49ers. If word of a timeshare emerges, he stands to fall 4-6 spots, thus making him more of a Flex option than someone I am confidently locking in.
Tony Pollard: “Better late than never, but never late is better.”
At this point, it’s pretty clear that Drake was way ahead of us in 2010 when he dropped those lyrics about Pollard’s 2023 fantasy value. After a disappointing two-plus months, he has run for a touchdown while catching at least three balls in three straight games, finishing each of those games as a top-13 performer at the position.
It took a while, but some of the explosion appears to be back. Pollard has ripped off a 15-plus yard run in five straight games — a stretch that includes the first meeting between these two. In that game, Pollard handled 85.7% of Dallas’ RB carries and a respectable 11.4% of the targets.
I’m not worried about RB Rico Dowdle eating into Pollard’s work, and with this matchup coming against the fourth-worst red-zone defense in the league, he’s an RB1 for me — even in a tough spot.
A.J. Brown: After a few down weeks in terms of yardage, Brown put up 114 against the 49ers — his seventh game this season reaching that mark. He didn’t get there in the first meeting with Dallas, but he did earn a 42.9% target share and scored, so it’s clear that he is capable of succeeding in this spot.
Brown is my WR8 this week, a 10-spot edge over his partner in crime.
DeVonta Smith: He was held scoreless for five straight games early in the year, but he has found the end zone in four of his past five, including in the Week 9 win against the Cowboys. The recent production is one thing, but the volume is what I’m comfortable betting on. He’s seen 27 targets in his past three games, which is up from 15 in his three games prior.
Smith has caught 86.5% of targets over his past five games — a level of efficiency that serves as a nice floor elevator. The touchdowns or efficiency may regress, but as long as both don’t, he’s a strong WR2 play in all formats.
CeeDee Lamb: With at least 11 grabs in four of his past six games, a touchdown in four straight, and at least nine targets in six straight, it’s safe to say that Lamb is operating at his peak.
Included in this run of elite production was a Week 9 performance in Philadelphia that saw Lamb garner 36.4% of the targets and rack up 191 yards. There is nothing that can slow him down at this point, and the fact that an aerial attack is how to properly attack the Eagles is simply a bonus.
Get your popcorn ready, this should be a good one.
Brandin Cooks: The veteran receiver is at it again. No team is overly interested in keeping him, and yet, all he does is produce. He has now scored in three of his past four games — five of his past seven — establishing himself as the WR2 in this high-powered offense.
He wasn’t used much in this offense when these teams first met (two targets, ranking him behind WRs Michael Gallup and Jalen Tolbert), but his elevation up this depth chart has him in a good spot to pick on Philadelphia’s weak pass defense.
Over those last four games, Cooks owns an 87% catch rate while averaging 16.6 yards per catch. Those are positive trends to take into a matchup against an Eagles defense that allows the fifth-highest opponent aDOT. Meanwhile, Cooks’ aDOT easily outpaces that of Lamb, Gallup, and Ferguson.
Cooks is a low-end WR2 for me this week — the highest I’ve had him ranked this season by at least half a dozen spots.
Dallas Goedert: In theory, a return this week makes sense, given that the team elected not to put him on IR and he has already missed three games. If he sits out this game, Philadelphia would have unnecessarily burned a roster spot for the past month.
He was injured during the first meeting between these two teams, and while his numbers prior weren’t overwhelming, his proven role in an offense that lives in the red zone is enough to earn your consideration.
We will see where his health status goes as we near game time, but Goedert’s average ranking in the four games prior to the injury was TE11, and that is where I currently have him penciled in.
Jake Ferguson: With six catches for 77 yards and a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks last Thursday night, Ferguson turned in his fourth top-10 performance since the Week 7 bye and his third top-five week in a five-game stretch.
One of those top-five outings was the first game against these Eagles, a game in which he saw 22.7% of the targets on his way to a 7-91-1 stat line. The recent ascension of Cooks has hurt Ferguson’s floor a bit, but he remains a strong target earner in a passing game that is currently clicking on all cylinders.
He’s a top Tier 2 tight end for me this week and will be for the remainder of this season. Lock him in.
Should You Start DeVonta Smith or Rashee Rice?
As much as I love Rashee Rice, Smith is ranked a tick higher for me this week, thanks to the recent target volume (27 over his past three games). I have both locked into lineups in all formats, but I do think the usage trends give Smith a slightly higher ceiling in what should be a fun game.
Should You Start Brandin Cooks or Gabe Davis?
This is Cooks, and it’s not close. I understand that Gabe Davis has had some big performances against the Chiefs in the past, but the fact of the matter is that his ceiling is too low to play him over a receiver like Cooks, who is on the rise as part of an offense that is clicking on all cylinders.
Cooks is a locked-in WR2 for me, while Davis is on the outside looking in at Flex value.
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