Evan Silva’s Fantasy Football Matchups Breakdown for Cowboys vs. Giants
Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Amari Cooper
Below is a breakdown of Monday night’s matchup by Evan Silva of Establish The Run. The goal is to help fantasy players and bettors alike understand the game at the deepest level. For all of Silva’s breakdowns and more fantasy analysis, visit EstablishTheRun.com.
Team Totals: Cowboys 27.5, Giants 20.5
Having last played on October 20th, the rested Cowboys visit The Meadowlands for a smash spot against the Giants with LT Tyron Smith (ankle), RT La’El Collins (knee), WR Amari Cooper (quad), Michael Gallup (knee), and Randall Cobb (back) all back near 100% following pre-bye injuries. Especially with both of his star offensive tackles in the lineup, Dak Prescott’s Monday night pocket should be squeaky clean against a New York defense that has permitted top-ten fantasy quarterback results in 6-of-8 weeks. In Dak’s last two meetings with Giants DC James Bettcher, Prescott’s fantasy finishes are QB2 and QB1 on 52-of-76 passing (68.4%) for 792 yards (10.4 YPA), eight touchdowns, and no picks. … Fresh legged off extended rest, Ezekiel Elliott should also truck the G-Men; Bettcher’s front yielded an unimposing 176/791/6 (4.49 YPC) rushing line to enemy backs over its last seven games while giving up the NFL’s 12th-most receiving per game (48.5) to Zeke’s position. Especially promisingly, his receiving usage rose before last week’s bye with 5.8 targets per game in Weeks 4-7 after Elliott drew just five combined targets in Weeks 1-3.
Dak’s 2019 target distribution: Cooper 50; Gallup 40; Jason Witten 31; Zeke and Cobb 30; Blake Jarwin 15; Tavon Austin 10; Devin Smith 9; Cedrick Wilson 7; Tony Pollard 4. … Amari’s stat line is 91/1,346/11 through 16 regular season games with Dallas. (His final 16-game stat line with the Raiders was 58/850/7. Let’s call it the Derek Carr effect.) Rinsed by fellow outside WRs Mike Evans (8/190/3), Gallup (7/158/0), Adam Thielen (7/130/2), Kenny Golladay (6/123/2), Amari himself (6/106/1), and John Brown (7/72/0), the Giants offer an ideal opponent for Cooper to stay hot. … Gallup has uncharacteristically dropped seven of 40 targets (17.5%) after dropping just 3-of-83 including playoffs last year (3.6%) and showing consistently reliable hands at Colorado State. Expect positive regression for Gallup’s efficiency starting Monday night against struggling Giants rookie CB DeAndre Baker. Bettcher’s secondary has coughed up a league-high 36 completions of 20-plus yards. Whereas Cooper is an obvious every-week WR1, Gallup is a high-ceiling WR2 play in this plum draw. … Witten has exceeded four targets in just one game all season but has played at least 75% of Dallas’ offensive snaps in four straight and can be streamed as a touchdown-or-bust TE1. Witten and Jarwin combined for 6/54/2 receiving against this same New York defense in Week 1, and the Giants haven’t faced a noteworthy tight end since. … Held under 70 yards in 14 straight games dating back to last year in Green Bay, Cobb is a one-game DFS-slate consideration only, albeit in a juicy spot. Fellow slot WRs Julian Edelman (9/113/0), Danny Amendola (8/95/0), Cole Beasley (4/83/0), and Cobb himself (4/69/1) have all had their way with the G-Men’s interior coverage.
Daniel Jones busted his four-game funk with a four-touchdown eruption in last Sunday’s road loss to Detroit, capitalizing on the Lions’ pass-rush deficiency for Jones’ best game of the year. In a six-start sample, Jones did commit his 12th turnover and is up to 21 sacks absorbed, keeping Dallas’ D/ST quite playable after supplementing an already-talented defensive front of DeMarcus Lawrence, Robert Quinn, Maliek Collins, Dorance Armstrong, and Kerry Hyder with trade acquisition Michael Bennett. After the bye, top CB Byron Jones should also be close to 100% after a hamstring-hobbled start to the year. Much as Danny Dimes has been a volatile producer with a low floor but high ceiling, quarterback results against the Cowboys are similarly uneven; Dallas shut down Teddy Bridgewater/Taysom Hill (QB24) and Aaron Rodgers (QB23) in Weeks 4-5, only to give up consecutive top-12 finishes to Sam Darnold (QB11) and Carson Wentz (QB8) ahead of last week’s bye. Jones is a locked-in two-QB-league starter and boom-bust QB1 streamer. … Finally looking fully over his high ankle sprain, Saquon Barkley ripped up the Lions for his first 100-total-yard game since Week 2, tied for the team lead in targets (10), and now draws a Dallas defense yielding the NFL’s fourth-most running back catches per game (6.7). With 22 receptions in three career Cowboys meetings, Barkley should have a big PPR night. Dallas is also beatable on the ground, having given up a combined 133/589/7 (4.43 YPC) rushing line to enemy backs. … The more time I put into analyzing this game, the more I liked the over on this game’s total from a sports-betting angle, especially with Sterling Shepard (concussion) looking likely to be back.
Jones’ Weeks 7-8 target distribution: Golden Tate 21; Barkley 15; Evan Engram 12; Cody Latimer 8; Darius Slayton and Bennie Fowler 7; Rhett Ellison 4; Wayne Gallman 1. … On stat lines of 6/102/1 > 6/80/0 > 8/85/0, Tate has led New York in receiving in three straight games on corresponding target counts of 9 > 11 > 10. Tate runs 88% of his routes inside, where Dallas has yielded a 74% completion rate on slot targets. Tate has earned every-week WR3 treatment with WR2 upside in PPR. … Tight ends facing the Cowboys have caught 37-of-50 targets (74%) for 418 yards (8.4 YPA) and three TDs, while Engram’s last three receiving lines against Dallas are 11/116/1 > 5/81/1 > 7/67/1. … Just three individual wideouts have cleared 75 yards against the Cowboys’ big-play-preventing zone; Sterling Shepard (6/42/0) was among those stifled. If Shepard (concussions) isn’t cleared for Monday night, Slayton will be a boom-bust one-game DFS-tournament play in this difficult draw. While Slayton got loose for two scores in last week’s loss to Detroit, he has topped five targets in just 1-of-6 appearances and hasn’t exceeded 50 yards since Week 1. He’s too unreliable for season-long usage outside of deep-league punt scenarios. … For one-game DFS-tournament purposes, this is how routes run were distributed amongst Giants wide receivers sans Shepard in last Sunday’s loss to the Lions: Tate 43; Slayton 39; Latimer 26; Fowler 13. … If Shepard is cleared — and early-week practice reports suggested he’s on track — he’ll be a low-end WR3/flex option whose return will cut into Tate, Engram, and Slayton’s usage expectations a bit.
Score Prediction: Cowboys 27, Giants 24