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Fantasy Football Picks: Colts vs. Cowboys DraftKings NFL DFS SNF Showdown Strategy

Pearce Dietrich gives his top DraftKings NFL Showdown picks for Sunday Night Football.

New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

The Week 13 Sunday Night Football contest features a matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and Dallas Cowboys.

Let’s look at this game from a DraftKings NFL Showdown perspective.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.25M Sunday Night Showdown [$300K to 1st] (IND vs DAL)


Captain’s Pick

Ezekiel Elliott (CP $11,700)

The DFS industry loves Tony Pollard. The YouTubers and fans in the chat love the guy, and rightfully so. Pollard looks great. He’s dynamic and explosive. He’s the future, but the keyword is future. The running back of present is Ezekiel Elliott. This is the moment where you make a choice. You either realize that you are not the coach of the Cowboys and no matter how much film you have watched and insight you possess, you’re not the making calls. The Cowboys will continue to call Elliott’s number, especially at the goal line. Deal with it. Or you can continue to know better than the Cowboys. This is arguably the best team in football. They won with Cooper Rush. The coaches might just know what they are doing. Leaning on Elliott has worked thus far, why would they change gears now? Why would they upset the apple cart? It might not be wise to take work away from a veteran leader. Elliott isn’t as explosive as Pollard, but don’t fool yourself into thinking sports is a meritocracy and only the best players play. Politics and emotions are everywhere and the NFL isn’t any different. For the good of the team, Elliott will continue to get work he doesn’t deserve. And for the good of the team, Pollard will deal with it. If you can’t deal, then cover your bases and play them both.

FLEX Plays

Cowboys DST ($6,200)

The Cowboys’ pass rush is the best in the NFL. This is not news. The Colts offensive line is struggling and Matt Ryan looks old in the pocket. This is not news either. That’s enough to justify this play, but two lines of text are not visually appealing. Here are a bunch of stats to drive home the point. The Cowboys rank first in Passing Yards, sixth in Passing TDs, second in Air Yards, sixth in Hurry%, sixth in QB Knockdown%, first in Sacks, first in Pressure% and sixth in Missed Tackles. The Colts are 31st in Adjusted Sack Rate. Matt Ryan’s 2.0 seconds of pocket time is the lowest in the NFL.

CeeDee Lamb ($10,800)

The Colts have an elite cornerback in Stephon Gilmore. Lamb will draw some unfavorable matchups with Gilmore, but most of the time Gilmore will likely match up with Michael Gallup because Gallup and Gilmore exclusively line up on the outside. They do not go into the slot — Lamb does (40% slot). The Colts’ slot CB is Kenny Moore. He is a top-10 CB against the run. Against the pass, Moore ranks 108 out of 126. He is surrendering a 71% catch rate and a 125.9 QB Rating to opposing quarterbacks.

Noah Brown ($4,800)

As mentioned above, sometimes Lamb lines up on the outside. This allows Noah Brown to slide into the slot and receive the favorable matchup. The elite outside cornerbacks, Gilmore and Isaiah Rodgers, make the Brown matchup even more appealing. It’s very possible that tight outside coverage funnels looks towards Noah Brown. Although his routes run are down over the last two weeks, he’s averaging a 77% snap rate. The decrease in routes is due to game script, and that’s a concern again this week with the Cowboys likely to blow out the Colts. Brown does not correlate with the Dallas defense, but there are scenarios where he scores modest fantasy points and provides maximal savings.


Matt Ryan ($9,200)

Don’t be fooled. The Colts’ offense looked capable in the second half of the Monday Night Football game, but that was against the Steelers. The Colts came out flat, but were still in the game at the beginning of the third quarter. They got the run game going and Ryan looked like a competent QB in the second half. That will not be the case on Sunday Night. The Cowboys are relentless. They bury teams early and don’t stop shoveling dirt on their opponent’s corpse until late in the fourth quarter. Picking a Colt is required by Showdown rules, but this is not the Colt to pick. Who will that Colt be? Good luck with that.


It’s been a while since a Cowboys team had this kind of buzz. The Cowboys are not led by a flashy offense. The star in Dallas is their defense. They rush the passer better than anyone and they’re good in coverage. In a passing league, sometimes that’s all that matters. The Colts should lean on Jonathan Taylor, but that’s the story every week and they still don’t. Even if the Colts do try to run, the Cowboys have a top-10 run defense (DVOA).

Final Score: Dallas 31, Indianapolis 13

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.25M Sunday Night Showdown [$300K to 1st] (IND 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.