Kickoff: Sunday, October 2nd, 1:00 PM ET
Location: AT&T Stadium, Arlington Texas
Betting Odds: CHI -3, 42.5 total via PFF.com
Writer: Chuck Steele (@ChuckSteele_T2T on Twitter)
Carson Wentz (Sit)
Carson Wentz is the new Commander of the Washington offense. After a first two fantastic weeks, tossing at least three touchdowns in each of his first two games, people riding Wentz to the moon came in for a crash landing this past week against the team that drafted him, the Philadelphia Eagles, with a lousy 8.64 points. I don’t expect it to fair much better this week vs the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas allows the 11th fewest fantasy points per game, 10th among fantasy quarterbacks at 13.56 points per game, and has had a defensive front with a nose to sniff out quarterbacks. Last week, Wentz was sacked nine times by the Philly front, and now he has to worry about a formidable pass rush from Dallas who leads the league in sacks. Wentz could be in for another long night of pressure, and the Dallas Cowboys are no stranger to Carson Wentz. In what could be a similar game script as last week, Wentz is best left benched.
Antonio Gibson (Start-Flex), J. D. McKissic (Start, Flex), Jonathan Williams (Sit)
With Brian Robinson still recovering from the injuries he suffered earlier in the year, Antonio Gibson leads the rushing attack for the Commanders this season and hasn’t done himself any favors in keeping his role. Averaging only 3.1 yards-per-carry on 13.3 attempts per game, Gibson has been dependent on his rushing touchdowns to supply his managers any meaningful fantasy points. Facing a pass-rush happy defense in the Cowboys, Gibson may be able to find some sort of success against the defense that ranks middle of the road at 15th in points allowed to opposing running backs. Handling the bulk of the carries and the goalline work, Gibson should be a safe play as your FLEX with the upside of RB2 on the week.
J.D McKissic can also be served up as a FLEX play. On passing downs, J.D is the man whose number gets called in the backfield. With 6.3 targets per game and 5.3 receptions per game, it’s easy to see how and why McKissic finished as a FLEX play every week so far this year. Wentz is a top-10 quarterback across the stat line so far this year, and another showdown versus the pass rush of the Cowboys may result in a lot of screens and quick check-downs. McKissic will look to continue his consistency this week in the passing game.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Terry McLaurin (Start WR3/Flex), Curtis Samuel (Start, WR2/WR3) Jahan Dotson (Sit), Cam Sims (Sit), Logan Thomas (Sit)
Facing a Dallas defense that only allows 19.83 points per game to the wide receiver position, Washington rolls into town with a trio of skilled wideouts to put them to the test. Curtis Samuel, so far this year, has done what Washington originally signed him to do before he suffered a season-ending injury in 2021. He has yet to record a 100+ yard game but has seen an average of ten targets per game with a successful catch rate of 73.3, finding the endzone twice this season. Samuel has also seen minimal work in the rushing attack. Through three games, Samuel has taken eight handoffs for 51 yards. Set to be a safe flex play vs Dallas, he can easily take that to a WR2 if he’s able to find the endzone Sunday afternoon.
Terry McLaurin hasn’t made too much of a splash yet this season but has been rather consistent as a weekly WR3. McLaurin has seen fewer targets than Samuel has receptions, only getting the ball tossed his way 21 times this season. However, it’s McLaurins speed and big play ability that has him leading the team in receiving yards with 235, notching one 100-yard game on the year. If Wentz can find a way to get Scary Terry more targets, he’d be on the line of WR1/WR2, until then he’s a comfortable flex play with the upside of WR3.
Last week was the first week rookie Jahan Dotson went without scoring a touchdown. Though he was targeted five times versus the Eagles, he was only able to secure two for ten yards. Being third in the pecking order of the trio, you will find a wide range of Dotsons outcomes. This week, consider him an SIT versus the Dallas Defense that has held the offenses of both Tampa Bay and Cinncinati in check. Logan Thomas is a sit this week as he faces the defense that is 2nd best at points allowed to the tight end position at 2.33 points per game.
Cooper Rush (Start/QB2)
Since Dak has been out the last two weeks Cooper Rush has stepped right in and has helped the Cowboys go 2-0 without Prescott, but he hasn’t helped your fantasy team win anything yet. Rush has been a game manager, taking only what the defense gives him and not forcing anything that isn’t there for the Cowboys. Rush is averaging only 10.9 yards per completion, while only attempting 25 passes per game. With Washington getting torched by Jalen Hurts and the Eagles and giving up the second most fantasy points to quarterbacks, Dallas should still stand by their defensive tempo and let Cooper Rush play game manager. This time, it’s a much more favorable matchup for the offense who may just get Michael Gallup back this week. Rush is a QB2 this week versus the Commanders.
Ezekiel Elliot (Start, Flex/RB2), Tony Pollard (Flex)
The Dallas Cowboys will still ‘Feed Zeke’ but the buffet is closed for their starting running back, it’s no longer all you can eat for Ezekiel Elliot. After having his best game on the season this past Monday night against the Giants, finding the endzone and tallying 73 yards on 15 carries, Elliot this week is a start as a Flex with the upside of RB2. The Commanders allow 18 points to backs this year, but gone are the days where Zeke is going to consistently get the 20+ carries per game taking the bulk of the points. Elliot has been very touchdown dependent of late for his success. Having trouble tapping into the RB1 range, his last game of 18+ points came last season in Week 10 versus Atlanta where he only had 41 rushing yards but had two touchdowns on the day. It comes as no fault of his own because there is another running back in town worth a start on your roster.
Tony Pollard brings the lightning to Elliot’s Thunder. Pollard has the ability to make magic happen anytime he touches the ball, seeming to rip off a big gain weekly, either through the air or on the ground. Pollard comes in as a Flex this week. He has benefited this season so far lining up in more formations on the outside. Both of the Dallas running backs are at least deserving of a flex start in your lineups this week.
Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends
CeeDee Lamb (Start, WR1/WR2), Micheal Gallup (Sit), Noah Brown (Flex/WR2), Kevontae Turpin (Sit), Dennis Williams (Sit), Dalton Schultz, Jake Ferguson (Sit)
Monday night was the first game Ceedee Lamb displayed a WR1 performance for the fantasy managers who invested early round capital in him. After a Week 1 letdown from the star receiver, Lamb should continue his success and connection with Cooper Rush. Lock him in as your WR2 with an upside of WR1. Lamb has drawn a target share of 32% this season, seeing at least 11 targets in each of his first three games. The downside so far is his catch percentage. We’d like to see our WR1 bring in more than just 50% of his targets. Failing to reach the century mark yet in 2022, he has a good chance to just that against the Commander’s defense who was just torn apart by the talons of Jalen Hurts to a tune of 340 yards and three touchdowns.
Dallas could see the return of Micheal Gallup. Having logged a full participant in practice Wednesday, he has a shot to suit up Sunday afternoon. Even if he does, you should keep Gallup on the bench until we see something out of the wideout who is coming off an ACL injury last season. There’s no need to rush Gallup back with Noah Brown continuing to answer the call when Dallas needs a wideout to step up besides Ceedee Lamb and provide for the offense. Brown is another who can also provide for your fantasy team as flex play on Sunday, being one touchdown away from WR2 territory. Rush and Brown clicked right off the bat, having an already built chemistry running in the scout team offense together. Brown has brought in 10 of 12 targets in Cooper Rush’s first two starts, adding on one score. With Washington giving up the second most points to fantasy wideouts, Brown has a chance for a breakout game this week.
Dalton Schultz was a limited participant on Wednesday. He’s someone to monitor going into Sunday. Even if Schultz suits up, Dallas may not give the tight end his usual workload. Schultz can remain on your bench for Week 4.