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

Reid Fowler preps you for Sunday’s 8:20 p.m. ET contest between the Cowboys and the Vikings with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at New England Patriots Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday Night’s matchup features the Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings. Both teams are coming off their byes, which couldn’t have come at a better time for Vikings running back Dalvin Cook ($14,100 CP, $9,400) and Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (16,800 CP, $11,200). Speaking of Prescott, so much of this game hinges on his availability, so we may need to pivot accordingly and have a plan if he’s out.

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

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.2M Sunday Night Showdown [$300K to 1st] (DAL vs MIN)



SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Captain’s Picks

Ezekiel Elliott ($13,800 CP) - The reports on Prescott are murky at best, and if Prescott is out, Elliott should be the “safest” option. Elliott’s performance last season without Prescott wasn’t the greatest — Zeke averaged 15.5 att, 19.5 routes and 2.9 targets over a 10-game span. His numbers don’t jump off the page, but trusting in Cooper Rush ($9,000 CP, $6,000) to lead this offense could be a fool’s errand — Rush has only thrown three attempts in his NFL career ... back in 2017. Elliott is the red-zone option with 28 touches, which ranks fifth in the NFL and should be the focal point of the offense with Tony Pollard ($8,100 CP, $5,400) factoring in as well. The Cowboys were relying on the run more this season with Prescott; we can assume it will stay the same or, better yet, increase if Rush gets the start.

Kirk Cousins ($16,200 CP) - The implied game total is 51.5 as of the time of writing and that factors in Prescott’s questionable tag. The Vikings will operate as if he’s playing, which is why Cousins could be a viable option. Historically, the Vikings have been a run-heavy team under Mike Zimmer, but the offense is passing on 62% of their plays, which is more than the Dallas Cowboys this year. Cousins ranks first amongst QBs with 200-plus dropbacks in adjusted completion percentage (83.5) and has the sixth-highest TD rate (3.4). This season, the Cowboys defense has given up the third-most DKFP to opposing QBs (24.3), so this could be a spot to captain Kirk and shoot for the stars (all puns intended).



FLEX Plays

Adam Thielen ($8,400) - Stacking Thielen with Cousins could prove beneficial this week given how often Kirk looks his way in the red zone. Thielen’s amassed six targets in the scoring area this season and has five total touchdowns. Thielen has plus matchups against Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown this week, with both are giving up an average of 13.3 yards per reception when targeted.

Cedrick Wilson ($4,000) - Michael Gallup ($4,800) looks doubtful to play as of press time, and Wilson could be a punt play with either Prescott or Rush under center. Wilson ran 29 routes in Week 6 and saw two red-zone targets out of his seven total targets. In Week 2 of the preseason, Rush and Wilson linked up for three catches, 22 yards and one touchdown. Again, Wilson is a GPP punt play if Gallup is ruled out this week. Dalton Schultz ($6,600) should also get consideration operating as Prescott’s third option. Schultz averages around six targets per game, which should continue as long as No. 4 is playing.


Fades

Amari Cooper ($7,000) - He had the overall WR1 moniker in Week 1, scoring 41.9 DKFP but hasn’t had much success since then, totaling only 52.4 DKFP over the next five games. Cooper’s price is enticing, so he’s not a complete fade for me, but he’s playing second-fiddle right now to CeeDee Lamb ($9,800), who is 12th in DKFP per game (18.1).


THE OUTCOME

The availability of Prescott will dictate how this game plays out. In 11 games without Prescott last season, the Cowboys went 4-7 straight-up (SU), scoring just 21.1 points per game. If Cooper Rush is starting, watch out. The Vikings bring the most pressure (32.1%) in the NFL and should make it very difficult for the Cowboys’ offense to operate. Still, Minnesota is facing the No. 1 team in points per game (34.2), and they’re only putting up an average of 18.6 points in their three games at home this season. The Cowboys’ receiving corps has the highest grade on PFF.com, which should be the difference, assuming that Dak starts. If he doesn’t, play your Vikings.

Final Score:

With Dak Prescott: Dallas Cowboys 31, Minnesota Vikings 24

Without Dak Prescott: Minnesota Vikings 27, Dallas Cowboys 17

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.2M Sunday Night Showdown [$300K to 1st] (DAL vs MIN)


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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.


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