Thursday Night Football DFS Breakdown: Seahawks at Cowboys

Thursday Night Football DFS Breakdown: Seahawks at Cowboys

This article is part of our DFS NFL series.

We kick off Week 13 with a pair of teams that have playoff aspirations in the Cowboys and Seahawks. The Seahawks lost three of their last four games, yet they still own the sixth seed in the NFC. Meanwhile, the 8-3 Cowboys are trying to keep pace with the Eagles for the top seed in the conference and the best record in the NFL. Dallas is a fairly significant favorite, laying 8.5-9.5 points depending on the sportsbook. The game total is 47.5, giving the Cowboys about a 28.25 implied total and the Seahawks around 19.25.

Quarterback

Dak Prescott ($11,000 DK/$17,500 FD) is the most expensive player on FD but is surpassed by teammate CeeDee Lamb on DK. He carries a hefty price on both sites, but he's earned that by topping 30 DK points in four of his last five games. Even on FD, without the yardage bonus, he's topped 30 points in two his last three matchups. If the Cowboys somehow catch the Eagles for the division title, Prescott could take home the MVP award. The downside is the Seahawks have played quarterbacks tough across the second half of the season, but with the game in Dallas, it should amount to an average matchup.   

Geno Smith ($9,200 DK/$14,000 FD) has had a dismal season from a fantasy perspective. He's managed to top 20 DK points twice (26.12 in Week 2, 27.06 in Week 10) and has put up single-digit points in two of his last four games. Last week could be excused by playing on a short week in a tough matchup while clearly not at full health, but even doing so, it's been a disappointing season for Smith from a statistical perspective. The Cowboys are a negative matchup, allowing the seventh-fewest points to quarterbacks on DK and the ninth fewest on FD.

Running Back

Tony Pollard ($9,800 DK/$14,500 FD) has also had some well-publicized struggles this season. However, he's turned up the big-play ability the last couple weeks, totaling two touchdowns and three rushes of at least 20 yards. Before the uptick, Pollard had only two touchdowns and two runs of 20-plus yards in his first 10 games. Unlike the Seattle pass defense, the unit has struggled to stop the run, allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs, so Pollard should be in a decent position to keep his good run going. There was some hype surrounding Rico Dowdle ($4,200 DK/$7,500 FD) a few weeks ago, but he had just three carries in Week 12. He topped out at 12 in a blowout win in Week 10, and has since seen his opportunity dwindle. The case for him as a punt play is that the Cowboys will recognize the best way to attack the Seattle defense is on the ground, so he'll naturally see more volume when Pollard gets rest.

The Seahawks are expected to be without Kenneth Walker again, leaving Zach Charbonnet ($6,800 DK/$11,500 FD) as the projected lead back. In the same role last week, he had 14 carries and four receptions, so the role is solid. Unfortunately, the matchup is extremely difficult, as the Cowboys have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game to RBs. DeeJay Dallas ($1,200 DK, $7,000 FD) had only two carries against the 49ers, so his shift up the depth chart doesn't project to significantly change his fantasy outlook.

Wide Receiver/Tight End

CeeDee Lamb ($11,400 DK/$16,000 FD) is the most expensive player on the slate on DK and the second-most expensive on FD. His run of games with double-digit targets ended, but he has at least 15 FD points in five of his last six games and 13.5 in the other. He's the best wide receiver option available for either team without much question. After him, Brandin Cooks ($8,000 DK/$10,500 FD) and Michael Gallup ($3,800 DK/$7,500 FD) look similar in terms of routes run, targets per route and even yards per route run. Their week-to-week floor is also very low, but Cooks has had by far the better spike weeks and is intriguing for that reason. He could be the "had to have him" player of this showdown slate. Jake Ferguson ($6,200 DK/$9,000 FD) is the final key piece of the passing attack, but his role has fluctuated quite a bit lately. The primary draw to playing him is his involvement near the end zone, as he is tied for the league lead with seven targets inside the five. I'd be more inclined to play him on FD due to the relative lack of volume elsewhere on the field. Jalen Tolbert ($3,000 DK/ $7,000 FD) serves as the fourth wide receiver but has been inefficient (1.15 YPRR). His viability is as a punt play on the hopes that he makes a few deep grabs.

In Seattle, things are pretty straightforward. Tyler Lockett ($7,200 DK/$11,000 FD) is on the field the most and runs the most routes. The good news ends there, as he's been targeted less and has been less efficient than DK Metcalf ($9,600 DK/$12,000 FD) on a per-route basis. The per-game production is remarkably similar, however. On FD, I'd stick with Metcalf due to his big-play ability, but on DK the discount is likely worth it to pivot to Lockett. Jaxon Smith-Njigba ($5,200 DK/$8,000 FD) has been on the field plenty, but lags behind in targets per route run (17.5 percent) and yards per route run (1.25). He's priced down enough that he's worth a flier, particularly because there aren't obvious punt options. No other Seattle receiver has been consistently productive.

Kicker

We can expect a lot of points from Dallas, so Brandon Aubrey ($4,800 DK/$9,500 FD) could be a viable choice. However, his recent history suggests otherwise, as he has made one or fewer field goals in three of his last four games. On the other hand, Jason Myers ($4,400 DK, $8,500 FD) has made multiple field goals in three consecutive games, indicative of Seattle's struggles to find the end zone.

Defense/Special Teams

The Cowboys ($5,600 DK, $10,000 FD) are a strong defense but have been surprisingly unable to force turnovers at a prolific rate. However, they also have seven defensive touchdowns this season — the reason for their inflated price tag and likely popularity. The warning is that they've scored those seven touchdowns on only 17 forced turnovers, an unsustainable rate. Seattle ($3,400 DK, $8,000 FD) is in a tough spot and has failed to reach double-digit fantasy points in four consecutive games.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Dan Marcus plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: marcusd91 DraftKings: dmarcus87.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dan Marcus
Dan started covering fantasy sports in 2015, joining Rotowire in 2018. In addition to Rotowire, Dan has written for Baseball HQ and Rotoballer.
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