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

Garion Thorne preps you for Tuesday’s 8:05 p.m. ET contest between the Cowboys and the Ravens with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

With the Monday afternoon news that Lamar Jackson ($11,600) had been activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list, it appears that we’ll be seeing a far more functioning version of the Baltimore Ravens when they square off with the Dallas Cowboys on Tuesday. Still, that’s not to suggest that the Ravens have fully recovered from their team outbreak. Baltimore will remain without Mark Andrews and Willie Snead in Week 13, which should open up some value on this Showdown slate.

Without further ado, let’s break it all down.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.5M Tuesday Showdown Special [$500K to 1st] (DAL vs BAL)


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SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Captain’s Picks

Lamar Jackson ($17,400 CP) - Look, it’s obviously a little odd to say that Jackson’s a “cheap” asset on Tuesday’s slate. In fact, if you’re thinking about Captaining the QB, it’ll run you $2K more than any other player on the field. Yet, when you look at the scope of the last two seasons, I can’t remember ever seeing Jackson this inexpensive in a single-game setting. He hasn’t been nearly as good as he was in his MVP campaign and, well, he’s recovering from contracting COVID; however, I like Jackson’s chances of exploiting this poor Cowboys D/ST ($3,200). Yes, Dallas hasn’t bled DKFP to opposing QBs quite like they did back in September, though recent matchups with Kyle Allen, Carson Wentz and Alex Smith have helped pad those particular stats. At the end of the day, this is still the defensive unit allowing the most point per game in the NFL (32.6). Jackson’s also averaging the fourth-most fantasy points per drop back in the league (0.62) and has rushed for at least 50 yards in eight of his last nine starts. Maybe Jackson’s isn’t producing like it’s 2019, but he’s not being priced like that guy anymore, either. That’s important.

J.K. Dobbins ($12,900 CP) - Dobbins is another Ravens player recently activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list, which speaks to just how few assets on this slate are in undeniably great matchups. Still, the allure of Dobbins is pretty clear, even if his role is somewhat murky with Mark Ingram ($5,600) and Gus Edwards ($5,400) lurking. The rookie is simply a big play waiting to happen. Dobbins is averaging an impressive 5.3 yards per carry so far in 2020, while his 17 receptions lead all the running backs on Baltimore’s roster by a wide margin. Without question Dobbins has the highest ceiling of anyone in his positional group and a meeting with an opponent that ranks dead-last among NFC teams in rush defense DVOA is a tempting spot to unleash him. There’s risk — the Cowboys are surrendering the fewest targets per contest to opposing RBs — but Dobbins is truly one of the few non-Jackson pieces on Tuesday with enough upside to warrant 1.5x value.


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FLEX Plays

Dalton Schultz ($5,200) - To be blunt, I’m not anticipating much fight from Dallas’ offense in this one. The Ravens D/ST ($5,800) should be welcoming back both Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams from injury and the Cowboys’ implied team total is well below 20 points. That’s a pretty daunting combination, but, technically speaking, you have to play someone with a star on the side of their helmet and Schultz deserves consideration. Though you wouldn’t necessarily think of the 24-year-old as a high-volume option, Schultz is averaging 6.0 targets per game dating back to Week 8 — a span that’s seen the TE log at least a 90% snap share in three of Dallas’ four contests. Heck, Schultz is fifth among all tight ends in total routes run this season (369). In a script where the Cowboys will likely be trailing, I could see the former fourth-round pick do some damage against a team conceding the eighth-most targets per game to opposing TEs (7.7).

Ravens D/ST ($5,800) - Speaking of Baltimore’s defense, they’ll make for a fine DFS option on Tuesday evening. The Cowboys have struggled immensely to score since losing Dak Prescott (leg) to injury and one of the biggest reasons for that trend has been their inability to hold onto the football. Dallas came into Week 13 turning the ball over on a whopping 19.7% of its drives — the second-highest mark in the NFL. There’s also the slight matter of protecting Andy Dalton ($10,000). More specifically, who is left to protect Andy Dalton. The Cowboys are now down their top four tackles after losing Cameron Smith on Thanksgiving to a knee issue. On top of that, Zack Martin (calf) was placed on IR earlier this week, essentially leaving the team’s offensive line in shambles. A blitz-happy Ravens unit should have little trouble racking up some sacks and negative plays.

Devin Duvernay ($800) - I’m not quite sure why Duvernay’s price on this slate is a quarter of what it was against the Steelers in Week 12. Sure, the Ravens aren’t quite as depleted on offense, but with Snead still on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, I’d expect the rookie to see something similar to the career-best 77% snap share he saw last Wednesday. If that’s the case, Duvernay should be considered extremely viable, as Baltimore’s passing attack will be far more potent with Jackson at the helm instead of Robert Griffin III. The fact that the Cowboys have given up the second-most DKFP to opposing WRs doesn’t hurt, either. Luke Willson ($1,800) is in a similar situation with Andrews sidelined, yet he’s always been more of a blocker than a pass catcher.


Fades

Ezekiel Elliott ($10,200) - Just fading the Cowboys in general seems like a good call here, but let’s quickly focus on what’s stacked against Elliott. The Ohio State product is lining up behind an injury-ravaged offensive line, playing for a team with one of the lowest implied point totals of the week. Elliott’s snap count has fallen off since Week 6, he’s registered fewer than 9.0 DKFP in four of his last five games and the Ravens are the fourth-best defense in the league at stopping the run according to DVOA. Oh, Elliott should also be in an awful script with Dallas almost assuredly playing from behind. That enough of a deterrent?


THE OUTCOME

The NFC East has already pulled off two insane upsets in Week 13, I highly doubt the division musters a third. Baltimore has looked like a shell of itself at times in 2020, but Lamar Jackson is back and this is basically a must-win game if the Ravens want to be playing football in January. I think they get back on track in a big way against a hapless Cowboys squad.

Final Score: Baltimore 27, Dallas 10

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.5M Tuesday Showdown Special [$500K to 1st] (DAL vs BAL)


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) 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 I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.