Monday Night Showdown Week 9: Cowboys v Giants. Draft Kings Picks and Strategy

By: Sean Weymouth

TW @delrayboston

Tonight’s NFC matchup between the Cowboys and the Giants has some very cool storylines behind it – well at least one. Who’s better: Zeke or Saquon? Probably depending on your side of the Mason Dixon will lie you’re gut answer. But with these two titans of the turf set to square off, allow me to give my take on what to do with your lineup – why? Cuz I’ll be playing too and I love fantasy football – especially showdowns.

But first a lesson learned. Last Thursday aka Halloween Night, I pushed out an article and then walked the neighborhood kids around the block trick or treating. Had I seen that Matt Brieda was in fact active, I wold have edited. So lesson learned for everyone – always make sure you are paying attention to the actives/inactives. One strategy I employ is to set dummy lineups in the contests I want to play in, editing them down before lock with the most up to date info. Just keep in mind, what I say here is opinion and an educated opinion yes, but I don’t have all the answers. That being said I have most of ’em. Use it wisely. (PS – I am a very sarcastic person in real life, it just doesn’t come out well in print – so keep that in mind with that last statement)

I’m going to do this one slightly differently, because I think with this high profile matchup it may be better to state who is in my player pool and then talk my strategy with those players, than it would be to go player by player.

The Cowboys

– Ezekiel Elliot: $17,400 Captain, $11,600 Flex

– Dak Prescott: $15,600 Captain, $10,400 Flex

– Amari Cooper: $15,000 Captain, $10,000 Flex

– Michael Gallup: $11,100 Captain, $7,400 Flex

– Cowboys D: $8,100 Captain, $5,400 Flex

– Jason Witten: $7,800 Captain, $5,200 Flex

– Randall Cobb: $7,200 Captain, $4,800 Flex

– Brett Maher (Kicker): $6,000 Captain, $4,000 Flex

– Tony Pollard: $5,400 Captain, $3,600 Flex

– Tavon Austin: $4,800 Captain, $3,200 Flex

– Blake Jarwin: $3,000 Captain, $2000 Flex

You probably think I am nuts for bothering with Pollard, Austin and Jarwin but let me explain/remind that in Austin and Jarwin’s case they both scored Touchdowns on the Cowboy’s last venture onto the grid iron. Austin ran one in from 20 yards out and Jarwin caught one in the redzone. You will need some savings if you are going to grab Zeke, Prescott, Cooper & Gallup plus a Giant and including either Jarwin or Austin in your stack may not only pay off with a score, but could also set you apart against the competition. I mention Pollard because there is a real scenario here that the Cowboys go up so big that he gets some runs in the 4th quarter and again – not the craziest thing if he falls in the end zone for ya too. I do not starting any of these guys over any of the big 4 on the team – and I certainly don’t reccomend using Jarwin or Austin without pairing with Dak either, but I just want to mention them.

Dak. Honestly I think Dak is probably the best dollar value of the entire night. First I think he will have a great night. His receivers have great matchups (more on that later) he can scramble and gain yards on the ground, he’s been known to call his own number in the red zone – the upside on Dak is kinda off the charts. The Giants do have a decent pass rush but the Cowboys offensive line is damn near legendary. I think Dak will be very popular but worth it. With the prices as they are it will be tough to fit Dak, Zeke, Cooper all together. A contrarian thought would be to leave Zeke off and stack both Cooper and Gallup with Dak and build from there. But leave Zeke out? Well…

It will be very difficult to fit Zeke in your Captains spot and fitting in Dak with Cooper or Gallup and having anything left to fill out your lineups. However I think due to this it would be a contrarian move.

That all being said my target for Captain tonight on the Cowboys side is Amari Cooper. Of your top 3, he has a little bit of savings you. Plus you can pair with both Dak and Gallup and Witten and still have enough for a couple more competent flex’s. However that would be leaving Zeke off your lineup and I don’t recommend that entirely. With Cooper though it is a guarantee he will see plenty of targets, most of them worthwhile ones too and I feel good about his floor and ceiling in relation to the 1.5 value it holds.

The Giants believe it or not are the 10th best against the run, allowing an average of 96.4 yards per game to the running back – but this is Zeke here and with the offense running through him (pun intended) I could see this stat being as dead as the Patriots undefeated record is, after tonight.

Another consideration for tonight in Captains chair is Michael Gallup who according to the consensus has the second best corner back to receiver matchup of the entire week 9 slate of games. Number 1 on that list is Amari Cooper though but I digress. Gallup has been an absolute stud for Dak this season and should see a healthy share of targets particularly along the sidelines where the Giants are even weaker than anywhere else in the secondary. The Giants are averaging 228 air yards allowed so far this season and if Zeke is slowed on the ground, Dak will be looking to air it out. I don’t think it will hurt you to stack both Cooper and Gallup with Dak but I also think that with the discount that Gallup provides he will be the more popular Captain pick of the two. That being said stacking Gallup with Dak and leaving Cooper off and using the savings for a higher priced Giants player may be a contrarian play tonight.

I don’t love Randall Cobb tonight because I don’t see a scenario outside of a handful of plays where Dak will need to look his way on the field. Witten I like slightly more for his red zone upside but both of these guys may only be useful to round out an otherwise high priced Cowboys stack. I wouldn’t use either without pairing with Dak.

The Cowboys Defense is a decent play but due to the narrative, I see them being a very popular option and I don’t see them bringing double digit value back. I wouldn’t use them as a Captain either. Too many weapons on the other side of the ball that could do damage.

I do think it may be slightly contrarian to use Dallas’ kicker Brett Maher. I think he may be overlooked versus the Giants Kicker Rosas who I think will be very popular, since the narrative I think people will gravitate too is that the Giants will be kicking a lot of field goals after stalling in the red zone etc. but it’s not like the Cowboys aren’t going to want to put points up if their own red zone offense stalls. The biggest issue though is he isn’t cheap, but I think I’d still rather play him than Cobb or Witten to be different. 

The Giants

Saquon Barkley: Captain $17,100, Flex $11,400

Evan Engram: Captain $11,700, Flex $7,800

Golden Tate: Captain $10,200, Flex $6,800

Daniel Jones: $12,000 Captain, $8,000 Flex

Darrius Slayton: $7,500 Captain, $5,000 Flex

Aldrick Rosas (Kicker): $5,700 Captain, $3,800 Flex

Rhett Ellison: $1,800 Captain, $1,200 Flex

Giants D: $3,900 Captain, $2,600 Flex

Cody Latimore: $1,200 Captain, $800 Flex

Bennie Fowler: $2,400 Captain, $1,600 Flex

Wayne Gallman: $2,700 Captain, $1,800 Flex

Ellijhah Penny: $900 Captain, $600 Flex

Much like Zeke it is going to be hard to leave Saquon out of your lineup, but unlike Zeke due to the discounts on the Giants skill position players, it’s not impossible to make a Giants stack with the best pieces of the offense. I like Saquon tonight actually. I don’t see a way he is game scripted out and I also think he may have a nice night via the air. He’s my favorite Giant play.

I also like Darrius Slayton. Call me crazy but I think he gets a touchdown or two tonight. The thing is, he will he very touchdown dependent and the Cowboys have a great secondary. Due to that I don’t think Slayton will be highly owned. He has been very good with contested catches, particularly in the red zone. A fairly affordable play with two touchdown upside when I’m paying up everywhere else? Sign me up!

Daniel Jones is an interesting play. I’m not thrilled to plug Mr Dimes in but if you are playing any Giants receiver tonight outside of Engram or Barkley, you have to stack Jones with them. I mean doubling up on the upside you are hoping to achieve with the dart throw receiver with Jones will need to be a must. The issue I have with Jones is he doesn’t feel safe. Too much worry for turnovers and with a fearsome Cowboys Defense led by Demarcus Lawrence and Leighton Vander Esch coming at him, it just doesn’t feel safe. It’s a risky thought but playing Jones as Captain in an otherwise stacked Cowboys lineup could be very Contrarian.

As they say in the business, my cash game play for the Giants is Golden Tate who looks to have a safe floor in the offense and always comes with a touchdown upside. Tate is a fine play tonight and I expect him to be a busy target in the slot with the fearsome pass rush that Dallas will Gabe coming for Senor Dimes. I think Tate will be a sneaky Captains play because I think people will be looking for more TD upside, but for the savings he gets you his near guaranteed target share may be nice at 1.5x value/return.

I think the most popular Giant tonight will be Evan Engram. Coming in at a nice discount off of Barkley, I think people will prefer Engram in the Captains chair. The stats are there too, despite the big guy coming back down to earth recently versus the start of the season. But now Daniel Jones has a near full depth of weapons where then he didn’t. But still the Cowboys rank 29th versus the tight end and have shown to be a funnel type defense. This favors Golden Tate but more so favors Engram who is also well over due for a multi score game. I like Engram and with him being cheaper than Daniel Jones himself, I don’t feel like you have to pair the two. He isn’t as set it and forget it as he was earlier this year or late last year, but I feel good about Engrams chances – particularly if the Giants are playing from behind – tonight.

I think the sneakiest I’d sneaky plays this week is the Giants Defense. Call me crazy but I feel like there is something in the air this week. We’ve seen the Niners have a tough go with the Cardinals. The Chargers literally just shut down Aaron Rogers and the “we’re good now” Green Bay Defense. Tom Brady and the Boogeyman Defense also has their undefeated streak broken last night in a rather glorious way – is it too crazy to think the Giants couldn’t get off 2 or 3 sacks and maybe a pick or a fumble recovery? That’s your scoring measure right there. They may be a very cheap and different way to go with your Saquon, Engram, Jones stack (c’mon you know everyone will be on that one right?). Just saying…

Aldrick Rosas should be in your lineup. He is a good kicker on an offense that more likely than not will he kicking a lot. I don’t see the Cowboys shutting the Giants out and if there isn’t touchdowns to be had, the Giants will opt for 3 points when they get it. I predict he will have at least 3 field goals and two extra points. That’s 10 points … don’t sleep on it.

The rest of the cast of characters I listed unfortunately are all in play. All of them have been involved over the last two weeks collecting targets and yards and any of them could be a red zone hit. Well maybe not Gallman and Penny, but the recievers sure. I will not tell you not to play a dirt cheap Bennie Fowler or Cody Latimore so you can put both Zeke and Saquon in the same lineup. The one cheap guy that I do have interest in though above the others is Rhett Ellison. He got a red zone look last week and I think there is a little bit of a connection between Ellison and Jones. If I was going to use any of the Giants second or third options, Ellison is my guy. But no matter how tempting it is to put Eli Penny in your Captains seat for only 900 clams, know that it is going to be a very – very – very risky proposition. I wouldn’t do it! But that’s just me.

Hope this helps, good luck in your contests!!

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