Seahawks vs Cowboys Fantasy Start/Sit: Tony Pollard, Geno Smith, More

Seahawks vs Cowboys Fantasy Start/Sit: Tony Pollard, Geno Smith, More article feature image

Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images. Pictured: Tony Pollard.

The Dallas Cowboys host the Seattle Seahawks for NFL Week 13 Thursday Night Football.

Dak Prescott has firmly entered the MVP conversation and is leading an ascending offense for fantasy football managers. The Seahawks are going in the opposite direction, creating many difficult fantasy start/sit decisions heading into an extremely important fantasy football Week 13.

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Tony Pollard has been much maligned in fantasy football up to this point, but now is not the time to stop riding him. Pollard has more than doubled his explosive run rate over the past four weeks and is coming off the most touches he’s been given in a game since Week 6. Given that the Seahawks' rush defense has regressed tremendously throughout the season — surrendering 5.3 yards per carry to opposing backs over the past five games — Pollard should be locked into every starting lineup.

Let’s dive into the rest of the fantasy players involved in Seahawks vs. Cowboys Thursday Night Football below.

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Seahawks Week 13 Start/Sit

Geno Smith

With Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson on byes, desperate times could call for desperate measures. With that said, Smith is in a very difficult spot facing the defense that puts the most pressure on quarterbacks.

Smith is averaging only 5.1 yards per attempt under pressure. In addition to his well-documented struggles when faced with pressure, he may also be playing at less than 100% due to an elbow injury.

Smith has taken on the 49ers and Browns this season, two of the top pressure rate defenses behind Dallas. The best Smith could muster in those contests was a QB20 finish. I would avoid Smith as my quarterback in all 1-QB formats.

Zach Charbonnet

Kenneth Walker is listed as doubtful, so we are under the assumption he'll miss this game. Charbonnet played 87.5% of snaps last week in Walker’s absence — that is enough for me to comfortably rank him in the RB2 range in a week where six teams are on a bye.

The negative gamescript is the main factor in the lack of faith for Charbonnet in the fantasy community. Chances are slim that he'll get between 14-18 carries, but his receiving work makes him a stronger play in full-PPR leagues. He's caught 14 passes over the past three weeks since his role increased.

Even in a difficult matchup, Charbonnet is a top-20 play at the position given his projected workload.

DK Metcalf

One of the most impressive metrics of the Cowboys defense is their ability to defend all of the receiver positions. The Cowboys rank in the top 10 in DVOA in separate categories defending each of their opponents' top three receivers.

Metcalf isn't garnering much confidence over the past six weeks, but you’ll be hard pressed to find three receivers to replace him in your lineup.

The production hasn’t matched, but Metcalf has 58 targets in six games since Week 6 and is still top three in end-zone targets over the entirety of the season. Outside of the Giants’ receivers, various pass-catchers have delivered viable performances against the Cowboys, so it is not out of the question that one of Seattle’s trio will pop.

Ride with Metcalf in your lineup.

Tyler Lockett

Lockett’s production has dipped this season, and it is mostly due to his inability to beat man coverage. Lockett has the lowest yards per route run against man coverage among DK Metcalf, Jaxon Smith-Njigba and himself. With the Cowboys playing man coverage at the highest rate in the league, you have my permission to consider other options.

Lockett ranks as WR30 in my Week 13 rankings and I'd opt for George Pickens, Jayden Reed and Drake London over the veteran.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba

It’s difficult to recommend the rookie receiver as a weekly starter given his current role, but it feels like he is about to have a spike week at any moment.

Smith-Njigba has made several highlight-reel plays over the past month, but he is averaging only 5.2 targets per game over the past four games. However, he has played 40 or more snaps in all of those contests and at this point is right in line with Tyler Lockett as far as a middling WR3.

Smith-Njigba is still only a dart-throw flex, but you could do worse in a week with so much chaos.

Cowboys Week 13 Start/Sit

Brandin Cooks

Cooks feels touchdown or bust, although he has scored in four of his past six games. Seattle represents the most difficult matchup of those games, as the Seahawks defense is top five in yards per attempt against since Week 4.

You are playing with razor-thin margins if Cooks is in your lineup. He has had more than five targets only once in his past eight games. Plays are being schemed for him to potentially hit paydirt, which is more than can be said for a lot of the receivers in his ranking range — but just realize Cooks' floor is extremely low.

Cooks represents a low-floor flex play in Week 13.

Jake Ferguson

Ferguson played only 39 snaps last week, which was his lowest total since Week 5. It is concerning that the Cowboys have started to get other tight ends more involved as Ferguson has only eight total targets over the two contests. Prior to that, Ferguson had scored in three straight games and averaged eight targets per game over those three games.

The Seahawks are 13th in DVOA defending the tight end, but only one tight end has scored against them all season. Considering Ferguson is rather touchdown dependent, I believe there are better options this week.

Opt for the likes of Pat Freiermuth, Logan Thomas or Juwan Johnson over Ferguson.

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