Kickoff: Monday, September 27th at 8:15 PM ET
Location: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
Betting Odds: -4 DAL, 51.5 total via Oddsshark
Writer: Marc Salazar (@oldsnake77 on Twitter and Reddit)
Jalen Hurts (Start, QB1)
After a hot start in Week 1, Jalen Hurts struggled in Week 2, completing just 12 of 23 passes for 190 yards, and zero passing touchdowns. Here’s the thing though, Hurts finished the week as the QB10 because of his 82 yards and a touchdown rushing. This rushing floor is the reason why fantasy managers should consider Hurts a starter this week, and moving forward. This week Hurts gets Dallas and a team defense that looks much improved but could still struggle with the dual-threat that Hurts presents. Start him without hesitation.
Miles Sanders (Start, RB2), Kenneth Gainwell (Start, Low-end Flex)
Week 2 followed the same trend that Week 1 did for this Eagles backfield. Miles Sanders and Kenneth Gainwell were both involved, with Sanders playing in 67% of the snaps and running routes on nearly 60% of his snaps. While Sanders was only able to manage 55 yards on 13 carries, his usage was encouraging although his ceiling will be in the low-end RB2 range with touchdown potential. Gainwell is the exact type of player managers should be looking for in a handcuff, a player who has a role independent of the depth chart with injury upside. Sanders has only played one game against Dallas in his career, so there is not much history to go on in this matchup. Sanders could have a big role in the passing game this week, against a Dallas defense that allowed nine catches to Austin Ekeler last week. Gainwell will again see plenty of time, but managers should only start him if they are in a pinch at the Flex.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
DeVonta Smith (Start, WR3), Jalen Reagor (Sit), Quez Watkins (Sit), Dallas Goedert (Start, TE1), Zach Ertz (Sit, Covid/IR)
Rookie receiver DeVonta Smith had a quiet Week 2 but there was some encouraging usage despite the lack of production. Smith only ran nine routes, after running 33 in Week 1. Only just seven targets he was targetted for 168 air yards but finished with just two catches for 16 yards. Smith is leading the team in snap share and there might not be another week where he runs less than 20 routes. Hurts favors his new target and the Eagles will need to get him involved should they want to score with Dallas. He is a solid WR3 this week with plenty of upside.
Jalen Reagor had a quiet day last week but he did have a long touchdown that was overturned when he stepped out of bounds before catching the deep ball. Reagor has earned plenty of playing time and the team is making an effort to get him involved. Managers should give Reagor one more week to see what his usage and production look like in Week 3.
Zach Ertz is currently on the Covid/IR list and is doubtful to play on Monday. However, things could change towards the end of the week. If Ertz misses the game, Dallas Goedert is an excellent TE1 play. Dallas linebackers have struggled in coverage and have allowed three touchdowns so far.
Dak Prescott (Start, Low-end QB1)
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was held in check last week, finishing with just 8.5 fantasy points in Week 2. It was Prescott’s lowest fantasy scoring game since Week 12 of 2019. Expect a bounceback game, on prime time on Monday Night Football. The Eagles have lost Brandon Graham for the season, and the offensive line is playing great to start the season. This should effectively slow down the Eagles’ strong defensive line. However, here are two areas managers should monitor moving forward with Prescott. First, Dak has not run the ball much at all this year, and that could become a trend as he works his way back from a season recovering from an ankle injury. Second, of Dak’s 66 passes, just seven have traveled more than 15 yards in the air, one of the lower rates in the league.
Ezekiel Elliott (Start, RB2), Tony Pollard (Start, Flex)
No storyline has sparked as much debate in the fantasy community this week as the Cowboys backfield of Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard. Pollard was explosive last week and is the fantasy RB9 after two weeks. Pollard has managed this production while seeing just 30% of the team’s snaps. Elliott had a productive day in Week 2, after a disappointing opening week but the clear winner here is Pollard, and many are calling for an increase in playing time. However, don’t expect the Cowboys to send Zeke to the bench anytime soon. The Chargers like to play two high safety, which leaves them open to stretch runs that Pollard thrives on. Dallas exploited the matchup and took advantaged all day. The Cowboys have operated with a Thunder & Lightning backfield for years, it just so happens that Pollard is better than Julius Jones, Joseph Randall, and Lance Dunbar.
This week expect Zeke to continue to operate as the lead back, with high-value touches in the red zone. He is a solid RB2 play this week. Don’t sit Zeke if you can help it. As for Pollard, he’s earned an every-week Flex start until someone slows him down. The Cowboys will continue to get the ball in his hands, in hope that he will break off some explosive plays. Don’t leave him on your bench.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
CeeDee Lamb (Start, WR1), Amari Cooper (Start, WR2), Blake Jarwin (Sit), Dalton Schultz (Sit)
In Week 2 CeeDee Lamb finally was a full-time player, playing 97% of the team’s snaps, after hovering around the 70% mark for his career. Despite the presence of Amari Cooper, Lamb is the clear alpha of this receiver corps. Cooper followed his monster Week 1 performance with a quiet day, and his up and down performances have been a common theme throughout his career. Lamb is demanding targets and caught eight balls on nine targets in Week 2. While both players are dynamic and will have big weeks, fantasy managers should consider Lamb the WR1 with Cooper remaining a WR2 with upside.
Dalton Shultz (73%) and Blake Jarwin (47%) are both playing significant snaps, but because of the split in timeshare, neither player can be considered a consistent fantasy option. Bearing injury, this tight end split will make decisions hard on fantasy managers. Both are touchdown dependant but cannot be considered weekly fantasy options until bye weeks start later in the season.
-Marc Salazar (@oldsnake77)