Kickoff: Thursday, November 24 at 4:30 PM ET
Location: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Betting Odds: DAL -9.5, 44.5 Total on Oddshark
Writer: Drew DeLuca (@DrewDeLaware on Twitter)
New York Giants
Daniel Jones (Sit, QB2)
Mere months ago, the NFC East was the laughingstock of the NFL. Now, as we approach Thanksgiving Day, every single team in the division boasts a winning record. Here’s where it really gets weird: after 11 weeks of the 2022 NFL season, Giants quarterback Daniel Jones has outdueled a largely healthy Dak Prescott. Even more strange: Jones is currently the QB10 this season in fantasy points per game.
That’s right, Daniel Jones. A fantasy football QB1. Just like we all drew it up.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Jones’ emergence as a respectable fantasy option is the subpar collection of skill position players, outside of Saquon Barkley, of course. Eight different wide receivers have played at least 59 percent of the Giants’ offensive snaps in at least one game this season, so a lack of continuity could easily have led to the downfall of the former Round 1 pick from Duke. Instead, Jones has risen to the challenge under first-year head coach Brian Daboll.
After an embarrassing loss to the Lions last week, expect the Giants to come to Dallas hungry, bitter, and angry. Jones, who has compiled 20 or more rushing yards in nine of ten games this season, offers a high floor as a result. He’s on pace for an astonishing 743 rushing yards this season, and only four quarterbacks have outgained him on the ground thus far: Justin Fields, Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, and Jalen Hurts.
The Cowboys’ defense is formidable, but only six teams have allowed a worse yards-per-carry average to quarterbacks this season. With Jones poised to outproduce his average of 43.7 rushing yards per game, he can be counted on as a low-risk, high-end QB2 in Week 12. We just can’t see him putting up enough in the passing department to justify QB1 numbers in our projections this time around.
Saquon Barkley (Start, RB1), Matt Breida (Sit), Gary Brightwell (Sit)
Saquon Barkley is a stud. Don’t overreact to a one-week dud. He should take on a larger role in the passing game this week, given yet another injury to a key member of the Giants’ wide receiver corps and the complete lack of options at the tight end position. Expect at least six to eight targets and a healthy diet of carries. Few players will do more with volume than Saquon, so he remains a set-it-and-forget-it RB1, despite a tough matchup. Matt Breida scored a rare touchdown, which was nice to see, but he still belongs on waivers with fellow backfield mate Gary Brightwell.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Darius Slayton (Start, Flex), Richie James (Sit), Isaiah Hodgins (Sit), Kenny Golladay (Sit), Marcus Johnson (Sit), David Sills (Sit), Chris Myarick (Sit), Tanner Hudson (Sit)
RIP Wan’Dale Robinson season. The diminutive rookie from Kentucky loomed as the potential heir to the team’s revolving WR1 throne, but in the middle of his much-anticipated breakout performance, he suffered a season-ending knee injury. This is a serious blow to a Giants’ wide receiver room that’s been looking for a bona fide producer at the position ever since Odell Beckham, Jr. left New York for Cleveland after the 2018 season.
Robinson drew 13 targets last week, the most by any Giants receiver in any game this season. His nine catches and 100 receiving yards were likewise single-game highs among Giants wide receivers. Richie James stepped into the slot to fill his shoes, but the 27-year-old sustained a knee injury of his own, though comparatively minor. At the moment, he seems like a longshot to play on a short week, given that he was sidelined at practice on Monday.
While we’re not overly optimistic, if James is well enough to suit up and play, he could be a sneaky low-end flex option for an injury-stricken team that’s thin at wide receiver. James scored his first touchdown of the season last week, and in the two games in which he’s logged 70 percent or more of the Giants’ snaps, James has drawn an average of 5.5 targets for 4.5 receptions and 47.5 yards. That said, we like his long-term prospects better than his odds of hitting in Week 12.
If James sits, can we trust Kenny Golladay to step up and contribute? No. No, we can’t. Until last week, the former Pro Bowl wide receiver had been targeted only eight times on 125 snaps (6.4%). Last week, he actually went under that number despite a negative game script (6.1%). If Daboll and Jones can’t trust him enough to look his way more often on a team in desperate need of answers, then neither can we.
So with Sterling Shepard and Robinson out, James a question mark at best, and Golladay a non-factor, who does that leave as the starting wide receivers? Darius Slayton and Isaiah Hodgins. Hodgins has logged over 60 percent of the Giants’ offensive snaps over the past two weeks, yet he’s drawn only five total targets in those games. Color us unimpressed. However, Slayton has quietly been reasonably productive of late, finishing as the overall WR25 or better three times in the Giants’ past four games. However, we expect Slayton to have his hands full with Cowboys CB Treyvon Diggs, so we can only recommend him as a FLEX option, given the poor matchup.
Marcus Johnson and David Sills belong on waivers. Leave them there, along with Chris Myarick, Tanner Hudson, or whoever the Giants decide to trot out as a tight end this week. You can do better elsewhere.
Dak Prescott (Start, QB1)
Prescott turned in a disappointing Week 7 performance with a QB18 finish in his first game back from a five-game injury-related absence. Since then, he has finished as QB9 or better in three straight games, most recently during a high-profile drubbing of the Minnesota Vikings, a formidable opponent who had previously lost only one game.
Prescott has only eclipsed the 275 passing yard mark once so far this season and has only thrown for more than two touchdowns once so far. He has averaged only 13.4 rushing yards per game, so his floor isn’t quite as high as we’d like to believe. Multiple teams have been on bye weeks during Prescott’s most recent run as a QB10 or better, but all 32 teams are in action this week. Couple that with the fact that Giants are allowing only 14.7 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, and the odds of Prescott posting his best week of the season to date are relatively low.
Given how well the Cowboys are running the ball of late, Prescott may be hard-pressed to finish as a Top 12 option. Despite a reasonably productive run over his last four games, the two-time Pro Bowler attempted 27 or fewer passes in three of those contests. Nevertheless, Prescott’s ceiling is high, so we’d be remiss if we didn’t recommend him as at least a low-end QB1 this week.
Tony Pollard (Start, RB2), Ezekiel Elliott (Start, Flex), Malik Davis (Sit)
Tony Pollard is absolutely playing out of his mind right now. You can’t sit him. You just can’t, even against a Giants defense that ranks in the Top 10 against opposing fantasy running backs. Ezekiel Elliott was productive despite playing with a brace in his first game back from injury, but he played fewer than 30 percent of the team’s snaps. Interestingly, however, he was used almost exclusively in goal-line situations, so we should lower our expectations for Pollard in terms of his touchdown total this coming week as Elliott is eased into a larger role. Meanwhile, Malik Davis won’t see enough playing time to be fantasy relevant, but he’s a name to watch in the event anything happens to Pollard or Elliott.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
CeeDee Lamb (Start, WR1), Michael Gallup (Start, Flex), Noah Brown (Sit), Jalen Tolbert (Sit), KaVontae Turpin (Sit), Dalton Schultz (Start, TE1), Jake Ferguson (Sit)
CeeDee Lamb has hauled in five or more receptions in eight of his last nine games and is the WR7 on the season in PPR leagues. If you need us to tell you to start him, we’re a bit worried about you. Take it easy this week. Relax, kick back, and enjoy some great food and cold beverages while you take in the games…and enjoy watching Lamb slaughter the Giants secondary.
Michael Gallup has yet to break out in his first season back from a major knee injury, and we don’t think this is the game in which he finally eclipses the 50-yard mark. Likewise, we don’t expect much from Noah Brown, Jalen Tolbert, KaVonte Turpin, or second tight end Jake Ferguson (Sit). However, we see Dalton Schultz having himself a day.
Schultz is a slam-dunk Top 10 tight end this week, and we think he’s well-positioned for a Top 5 finish. The volume should be there, and a touchdown or two wouldn’t surprise us. We expect Giants defenders to jump all over themselves to shut down a Dallas running game that obliterated the Minnesota Vikings last week, presenting Schultz with several mismatch opportunities, including a few favorable red zone looks.