Week 16 Sunday Night Football – Cowboys vs the Football Team – NFC Clash on Prime Time – Real Deal Fantasy HQ

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The biggest storyline going into tonight’s Sunday Night Football revolve around the Cowboys and the playoffs. First, this article is being written at the half time of the 1PM games. So it is possible that the Cowboys know that they are the NFC East Champions before the kick off of Sunday Night Football. The Eagles won their game which means Dallas needs to win tonight to be declared NFC East Champs … so a lot of what I had written I have striked through.

CAPTAIN PICKS:

If the Eagles lose to the Giants or Tie, the Cowboys are the NFC East Champions which would also be secured by the Niners loss to the Titans earlier this week.

Since the Eagles managed a win, there is another path to a Cowboys NFC East Title for the Cowboys in the even that they lose tonight. The Cowboys can still clinch with wins from any of two of these teams today: Falcons, Vikings, Chargers, Patriots, Raiders or Jaguars and a loss by the Jets. The Strength of Victory rule comes in the Cowboys favor here.

Let’s get into this game and I will highlight a few Cowboys that I think you will need to take focus on especially in the event that the Cowboys have already clinched too.

CeeDee Lamb: $15,000 Captain. Since week 8, only twice has Lamb seen under 6 targets in a game. Twice in the last 3 games he has seen double digit targets and even in the last game with both Cooper and Gallup both healthy, Lamb still saw 9 targets. The WFT is ranked 30th against Wide Receivers and allowing close to 270 yards through the air per game. Two weeks ago, Lamb only managed 61 yards on 7 catches. The Cowboys need to win this game, I expect Lamb to have a big piece of this game plan. 40% ownership at Captain.

Amari Cooper: $11,600 Captain. 2 weeks ago Cooper went 5 for 51 and 1. Cooper had been dealing with some injuries recently, but now with a full bill of health it’s really a toss up for me between he and Lamb on who I like better at Captain. Cooper, still the defacto #1 WR in the offense should have a big piece of this game plan, but I could see the Cowboys taking it easy with Cooper if they have already clenched, in preparation of the playoffs. Both Cooper and Lamb have 6 touchdowns on the season. If the Cowboys need the win, I favor Cooper slightly. If the Cowboys have already clinched, I favor Lamb slightly. Cooper is also coming in at 36% ownership at Captain.

Michael Gallup: $11,100 Captain. Going back 2 weeks ago, Gallup’s line was almost identical to Cooper’s, minus the touchdown. However when you go deeper this season, even given Cooper’s injury, it has been Gallup who has been a more consistent target for Dak Precott since his return in 10. So I mention him at Captain because I think of any of the 3, I think Gallup’s involvement tonight won’t change if the Cowboys have already clinched or not. I also like Gallup’s big play ability along the sidelines. I also love the ownership here – 6% at Captain.

Dak Prescott: $17,100 Captain. It’s tough for me to like all 3 Cowboy’s receivers already in my picks not to mention the guy who will be throwing them the ball. The worry I have with Dak is 3 straight weeks of fantasy scores that are less than desirable: 11.58 against the Giants (last week), 11.94 (2 weeks ago against WFT) and 12.2 (3 weeks ago against the Saints). So the long and the short of it is I like his Wide Receivers more at Captain than Dak.

Dalton Schultz: $9,300 Captain. 3% Owned at Captain and 2 weeks ago he was virtually invisible. However he has had 2 touchdowns over the last 4 weeks and last week saw 9 targets with all 3 Receivers healthy. Worth a mention here.

Terry McLaurin: $13,200 Captain. 6% Owned at Captain. Not that it matters too much that Curtis Samuel is likely not going to play today, since that has been the case most times this season but McLaurin did not play against the Cowboys two weeks ago. So I need to go back to week 11 2020 where McLuarin took 7 catches for 92 yards against the Cowboys with Alex Smith under center. Is Taylor Heinicke an upgrade? Arguable. However either way, McLaurin will be the main target for this offense and at low ownership at Captain he could surprise you.

Dart Throw Captains:

Ezekiel Elliot

Tony Pollard – especially if the Cowboys are NFC East Champs at kickoff

Antonio Gibson – if he plays

Jaret Patterson – if Gibson is out

Jonathan Williams

Ricky Seals-Jones

Cowboys Defense

Greg Zuerlein

Joey Slye

Washington Football Team Defense

Lineup Strategy & Dart Throws

First, I know what you are thinking – seriously Zeke and Gibson are dart throws at Captain? Here is the thing. I don’t love the running backs in this game. Both the Cowboys and the Football Team have been tough on running backs this season, that is the first thing. Plus even though Zeke himself is saying he is 100% the Cowboys haven’t really shown faith in that (especially the last 3 games) at least by their play calling. On top of that only 45 yards on the ground 2 weeks ago against this team and you never know when a 40 yard TD scramble is coming, so he makes a great dart throw Captain. Antonio Gibson is a Game Time decision. If he goes, he should be considered at Captain but keep in mind, 2 weeks ago Gibson’s final line looked a lot like Zeke’s. Now potentially hobbled, he is a risky dart throw at Captain. If Gibson is out, Jaret Peterson will be the next man up. I listed Jonathan Williams I listed because with JD McKissic on IR, I think Williams may step into the pass catching role.

I also listed both Kickers and Defenses as potential dart throws for Captain picks. Two weeks ago the game was won by the Cowboys by 1 touchdown. I can’t see either team wanting to give an inch on defense. So I wouldn’t be shocked if this game ends up a low scoring affair and coming down to a key kick or two.

If I am using either Lamb or Cooper at Captain, I am stacking with Dak of course but also double stacking with Michael Gallup or Dalton Schultz. I am running that back with at least two Washington Pass Catchers, starting with McLaurin or Seals-Jones and a dart throw like Cam Sims, Adam Humphries, Deandre Carter or deep dart like Dynami Brown or TE2 John Bates. Finishing a lineup off with a kicker on either side makes sense.

If I am using Gallup at Captain, I am doing virtually the same thing but I also would include secondary Cowboys receivers in my player pool like Cedrick Wilson or Malik Turner. The kinda story I would be telling is that the Football Team are keeping Lamb and Cooper in check and Dak is looking at other targets.

If I am using Dak at Captain, I am likely building a Cowboys domination stack with at least one of Lamb or Cooper + Gallup + Schultz. I would include a Cowboys Running back and either Zuerlein or the Defense. I would run this back most likely with the opposing kicker Slye, but if I can afford either backup running back Patterson or Jonathan Williams, if Gibson is out. By the way if Slye is ruled out, slip backup kicker Brian Johnson in to the mix.

If I am using Terry McLaurin at Captain I am stacking with Taylor Heinicke and another WFT receiver – most likely Seals-Jones or TE2 John Bates and then I am stacking the rest of the lineup with Cowboys. Zeke or Pollard, a receiver, kicker Zuerlein etc. This is also a build I would use if I had Seals-Jones at Captain.

If I am using Zeke at Captain, I am stacking with the Cowboys Defense and then filling my lineup with Washington skill position players – McLaurin, Heinicke, Gibson (or another running back) and the kicker Slye or if he is out Brian Johnson.

If I am using Pollard at Captain, I am stacking with Dak + a Cowboys Wide Receiver AND a Cowboys Tight End like Schultz or a deep dart throw in TE Jeremy Sprinkle. I’d run this back with McLaurin, a WFT Running Back and a kicker either Cowboys or WFT.

If I am using Antonio Gibson at Captain I am building similarly to Zeke lineups. WFT Defense and Cowboys skill position players not called Dak. Same if I am using Patterson here if Gibson is absent.

If I am using Jonathan Williams at Captain, I am building similarly to Pollard lineups. Stack with Heinicke + a WFT Receiver AND a Tight End like Seals-Jones or TE2 John Bates. I’d run this back with Lamb, Cooper or Gallup a Cowboys Running back and a kicker from either team.

If I am using a Defense at Captain, I am loading it up with players from the same team and running it back with the opposing kicker.

If I am using a Kicker at Captain, I am loading it up with players from the opposing team, saving one spot from the player on the Kicker’s team who I think will be the biggest difference maker. For instance if I am using Zuerlein at Captain I am plugging in McLaurin, Heineke, Gibson or a WFT Running Back, Seals-Jones and Dak or Lamb or Cooper or Zeke or Pollard or Gallup.

GOOD LUCK IN YOUR CONTESTS!

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