Let’s look at this game from a DraftKings NFL Showdown perspective.
Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.5M Sunday Night Showdown [$500K to 1st] (DAL vs PHI)
Jalen Hurts (CP $17,700)
Nick Chubb leads all running backs with 10 carries inside the 5-yard line. Jalen Hurts leads all players with 12. Touchdowns are not necessary, they’re mandatory on Showdown slates. Play the odds and play Hurts.
Both defenses are great. Philadelphia is fifth in DVOA and Dallas is sixth. Both offensive lines are beaten up and running at half strength. It does not bode well for the offenses in this game, but that’s who DFS players have to roster. If the matchup is tough for every player, the best plan is to pick the player that has the ball in his hands the most. The Cowboys are not allowing many yards through the air, but they did surrender 79 yards on the ground to QB Daniel Jones in Week 3. Hurts should easily accomplish a similar feat. Throw in another 200 through the air and possibly a passing TD (the Cowboys on average are allowing one passing TD per game), and Hurts has a solid floor with tremendous potential.
Dallas Goedert ($6,800)
The Cowboys have two of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. Trevon Diggs is an established top-tier CB. The second-round pick out of Alabama is not elite, but he has been very dependable in his third professional season. On the other side, former sixth-round pick, Anthony Brown, has been solid. He struggled in Week 1 with Julio Jones, but has since rebounded, allowing a 55% catch rate for 39 yards per game. The Eagles WR corps will not be shut out, but it’s tough sledding on Sunday night. Add in the combination of an elite pass rush (the Dallas defensive line is second in Adjusted Sack Rate), and targets will funnel to shorter routes away from the defensive backs.
Goedert’s average depth of target over his career is 3.3 yards. This season, it’s 3.7. Last week, against a blitz-heavy defense (Cardinals), Goedert was targeted nine times (eight catches for 95 yards). The receivers will be blanketed and the pocket will collapse. At that moment, Hurts will go to his safety valve. The volume will be there for Dallas against Dallas.
Ezekiel Elliott ($8,200)
It’s not a secret that the Cowboys want to run the ball. Dallas has won four in a row with Cooper Rush at quarterback by asking him to not really be a quarterback. Rush passes some, but Dallas passes on passing and chooses to rush and not Rush.
Here’s another poorly kept secret: Tony Pollard is a better rusher than Zeke. The problem is that rushing is just one part of a running back’s responsibilities. Running backs need to catch passes and pass block. Elliott is better at the latter, so he gets more snaps. Many DFS players lament that the aging RB gets so many touches, and every week they expect Pollard to wrestle away the workload. That’s not happening. Elliott isn’t great but his numbers are fine and the Cowboys are winning. Philadelphia ranks 20th in rush-defense DVOA and Elliott receives most of the volume in a run-heavy offense.
Cooper Rush ($9,400)
It’s tempting to roster a low-owned, cheap quarterback. The game theory angle can be debated on YouTube channels but realistically Rush is not in play. He’s a game manager facing one of the best defenses in the NFL. Not only that, he’s due for some regression. Rush has not thrown an interception this season. That is quite an anomaly. Obviously, careful game managers will throw fewer picks than a gunslinger, but still, even God turns the ball over from time to time. Darius Slay, the Greek God of interceptions, has built his career around intercepting passes. Besides the impending pick, Rush likely wouldn’t score enough points against an average defense. There is no way he is in the winning lineup in a Sunday night game on the road.
Halloween is still two weeks away, but there will be a Great Pumpkin on Sunday night. The Cooper Rush Cinderella story has run its course. The clock will strike midnight and he will turn into a pumpkin. A mistake-free game manager can’t beat the Eagles. The Cowboys will have to turn up the volume and push Rush, and that’s when bad things happen.
Final Score: Philadelphia 27, Dallas 13
Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.5M Sunday Night Showdown [$500K to 1st] (PHI vs DAL)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is greenflagradio2) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.