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Should you start Malik Davis in DFS in Week 17?

The Cowboys might need Malik Davis on Thursday Night Football

Tony Pollard #20, Malik Davis #34, and CeeDee Lamb #88 of the Dallas Cowboys enter the field before the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on December 18, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images

Game-day update: Tony Pollard will not play and NFLNetwork’s Mike Garafolo gave a shout out to Davis and his chances for work tonight. Of course Ezekiel Elliott will play, but as we talked about in the article, Elliott may not be needed for a big workload and the team should get a lead and be able to run the ball a bunch.


The NFL regular season has two games remaining and playoff scenarios are beginning to come into play when thinking about which players will see playing time. For tonight’s Thursday Night Football matchup, we get the Cowboys and Titans in a weird situation, as the Titans have nothing to play for, while the Cowboys still have an outside shot at winning the NFC East and the home field advantage and seeding that comes with that.

Now, add in Tony Pollard’s thigh injury and the Cowboys as 12.5 point favorites against a team that is sitting Derrick Henry and a host of defensive players and you have for a weird situation.

When assessing the Cowboys backfield for fantasy purposes tonight, the first question you have to ask is — Will Tony Pollard play? Right now the best informed opinion would lean toward him not playing due to his thigh injury, per Tom Pelissero. That doesn’t mean he won’t play, but in this assessment, we’re going to go with him being out tonight.

With Pollard out in this scenario, we’d have Ezekiel Elliott take over as the lead back. Elliott would be a must start, but there is a question as to his workload and how much he would play if the Cowboys got up quick.

That brings in backup Malik Davis, who will be Elliott’s backup and could see a healthy workload if things fall his way. But, as 12.6 favorites in a game the Titans will have extreme difficulty scoring with Malik Willis and no Derrick Henry, it isn’t hard to believe Davis could easily see 10-15 touches.

That’s enough for a start in the Showdown slate for sure and could be a desperation flex play for those that lost Pollard in their fantasy leagues. At just $200 on DraftKings, he could be rostered at a high percentage, but there is no real need for that savings on the slate, so people won’t be forced into playing him.