Kickoff: Sunday, December 20th at 1:00 PM ET
Location: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
Betting Odds: DAL -2.5, 45.5 total via Oddsshark
San Francisco 49ers
Nick Mullens (Sit)
Nick Mullens came back to earth last week with a to with 257 passing yards and just one touchdown. That’s the Nick Mullens we know. San Fran has battled injuries all season and Mullens will likely be missing a few key pieces on offense. Despite the great matchup against Dallas, Mullens isn’t someone we can trust in the fantasy playoffs.
Raheem Mostert (Start, Flex if active), Jeff Wilson Jr. (Start, Flex)
Raheem Mostert left last week’s game briefly with a concussion but quickly came back. However, he was scheduled for an MRI this week on his ankle and his status is in question. Jeff Wilson Jr. should serve as the primary ball carrier should Mostert be on the shelf and his matchup couldn’t get any better. Dallas is currently 27th worst against fantasy backs, and have allowed five different teams to rush for 175 or more yards. Head coach Kyle Shanahan will have a game plan ready that exploits the weaknesses in the run game and both players should perform well, with upside. If Mostert remains out, Wilson should see a bit of competition from Tevin Coleman but not enough to keep him on your bench.
Wide Receivers/Tight End
Brandon Aiyuk (Start, WR2), Jordan Reed (Start, TE2)
Deebo Samuel injured his hamstring last week and initial reports do not look good for his availability this week, or next. Regardless he was playing second fiddle to breakout rookie Brandon Aiyuk. In the last five games, Aiyuk has 100-yards receiving or a touchdown and he’s averaging 20 fantasy points per game. Dallas is third-worst against receivers and they could be without two of their starting corners. Start Aiyuk without hesitation. Tight end Jordan Reed is a touchdown-dependant TE2 again this week. With all of the injuries, it is possible that he could get more looks in the passing game but that is hard to predict. He should only be started if you are in a bind.
Andy Dalton (Sit)
Andy Dalton’s Week 14 matchup may have been the best he will see all season and he managed just 17 points. This week he draws the 49ers, who have been surprisingly solid defending the pass, allowing just 18.5 points per game. With a battered offensive line, Dalton is just not a quarterback we can trust at this critical time in the season.
Ezekiel Elliott (Start, Flex), Tony Pollard (Sit)
Ezekiel Elliott battled a calf injury last week leading up to the game and was noticeably hobbled. He saw just 12 carries and three targets and was generally ineffective in a plus matchup. News is scarce about his Week 15 status but you can expect him to get back to his full workload this week. Because of the expected volume, Zeke is a decent flex play this week but based on his second-half performance I would not blame you if you wanted to bench him. San Fran is strong defending fantasy running backs, allowing just 14 points per game. If you have better options you can feel ok with Zeke on your bench. Tony Pollard filled in for Zeke in the second half but wasn’t able to generate much outside of a nice 17-yard gain. With a tough matchup, and the volume heading back to Zeke, Pollard should be on your bench this week.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Amari Cooper (Start, Flex), CeeDee Lamb (Sit), Michael Gallup (Sit), Dalton Schultz (Sit)
The Cowboys vaunted trifecta of receivers, Amari Cooper, Ceedee Lamb, and Michael Gallup, are now a shadow of their pre-Dak injury weeks. Cooper has kept his head above water with touchdowns in each of his last three games but has just one 100-yard game in the last nine games. Still, Cooper keeps his flex status because he is being peppered with targets and red-zone looks. However, both Lamb and Gallup are players that have all but disappeared from the fantasy landscape. Both are incredibly talented but the quality of targets and overall ineptitude of this offense makes them both hard to trust in the playoffs.
At the tight end, Dalton Shultz has been a low-end TE1 for more weeks than not but this matchup against the 49ers will be his toughest of the season. San Fran has allowed just three touchdowns to the position on the year and tight ends average just 32 yards per game. He belongs on your bench this week.
-Marc Salazar (@dingwog on Twitter)