Giants @ Cowboys
By now, if you’re reading this you’re aware that the biggest story to come from this game was the season-ending ankle injury to Cowboys’ QB Dak Prescott. Prescott suffered a compound fracture/dislocation of his right ankle in the 3rd quarter on a seemingly routine rush in Giants’ territory. Prescott was required to have surgery on Sunday night and a 4-6 month timetable has been estimated for his recovery – ending his 2020 campaign at the very least. We here at QB List always hate to see any player suffer a serious injury, and we wish Prescott a full and speedy recovery. While an eerie feeling lingered after Prescott’s injury through the end of the game, it was a strange feeling game in itself. We saw two defensive TDs, two Giants’ TDs negated by offensive penalties, and for you managers out there who still employ kickers in your leagues, we saw Giants’ K Graham Gano boot 3 50+ yard FGs on the day. Cowboys’ backup QB Andy Dalton was able to come in and lead Dallas to a 37-34 victory over the Giants, but there are certainly more questions than answers about their offense going forward. What else did we see? Let’s dive right in.
New York Giants
Daniel Jones: 20/33, 222 yards | 2 carries, -7 yards
In a matchup with a seemingly-soft Cowboys’ secondary, Giants’ QB Daniel Jones yet again failed to deliver a viable fantasy performance on Sunday. Jones failed to throw a TD pass for the fourth consecutive week – and while he didn’t throw any interceptions for the first time this season, he did lose a fumble that was scooped up and scored by the Cowboys’ defense. Jones hasn’t done enough this season to prove that he is even worthy of a roster spot in redraft formats, let alone a starting spot. It’s safe to expect Jones’ woes to continue next week against Washington.
Devonta Freeman: 17 carries, 60 yards, 1 TD | 3 targets, 2 receptions, 27 yards
Wayne Gallman: 5 carries, 24 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions
Dion Lewis: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 1 yard
Giants’ RB Devonta Freeman had a breakout day of sorts against an injury-plagued Cowboys’ defense, accumulating 80+ total yards and his first TD of the season. Freeman has improved in each outing since being signed by New York to help fill in for injured RB Saquon Barkley, and Freeman seems to have cemented his role as the Giants’ RB1 – at least for now. Freeman earned twice as many touches as backup RBs Wayne Gallman and Dion Lewis on Sunday, even with only 54% of the offensive snaps. Freeman’s 4th quarter TD run wasn’t pretty, but it gave the Giants a lead that they ultimately weren’t able to hold. It seems like Freeman is the only back to roster in this backfield for now, but he’ll have a tough matchup next week against Washington.
— QB List (@TheQBlist) October 11, 2020
Wide Receiver/Tight Ends
Darius Slayton: 11 targets, 8 receptions, 129 yards
Golden Tate: 5 targets, 4 receptions, 42 yards
Evan Engram: 2 targets, 1 reception, 16 yards
As Giants’ QB Daniel Jones continues to disappoint, so does the fantasy output from Giants’ pass-catchers – with one exception. WR Darius Slayton had a huge game against the Cowboys on Sunday that would have been even bigger had a TD of his not been called back due to a penalty. Slayton found ways to get open all over the Cowboys’ secondary, lining up from multiple spots on the field. Slayton’s managers hoped he could deliver a bounceback performance against Dallas after posting three straight duds, and he delivered. It is still tough to trust Slayton week-to-week with New York’s offense struggling as a whole, and it will be even tougher to trust him once fellow WR Sterling Shepard returns from injury. But when matched up with lesser defenses, Slayton is trustworthy as a WR2/Flex play.
WR Golden Tate had a quiet afternoon with only 4 grabs, which must have been disappointing for managers who hoped for more against a struggling Cowboys’ defense. Tate saw only 5 targets and was on the field for only 59% of New York’s offensive snaps – both his lowest of the season thus far. Yet arguably an even larger disappointment than Tate’s performance was that of Giants’ TE Evan Engram. Engram saw just 2 targets on the day and secured only one of them for 16 yards. Engram also had a TD reversed on an attempted fake FG near the end of the first half, after a flag was thrown for an illegal shift. While a rushing TD did salvage at least a manageable fantasy output for Engram, he seems to be amongst the most negatively affected by Jones’ poor play. It would be wise to look for receiving options elsewhere in Week 6. Washington’s defense has looked beatable at points this year, but mostly by more competent offensive units.
Dak Prescott: 14/21, 166 yards, 1 INT | 2 carries, 7 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 11 yards, 1 TD
Andy Dalton: 9/11, 111 yards
It was truly an awful sight to witness Cowboys’ QB Dak Prescott being carted off against the Giants on Sunday afternoon, especially considering how dynamic Prescott has been thus far this season. This game had a classic 2020 Cowboys feeling to it – struggling in the first half and falling behind, only to have Prescott end up throwing for 400+ yards and multiple scores to get Dallas back into the game. Except for the latter part of that never happened. Prescott threw a pick-6 in the first quarter that bounced off the hands of RB Ezekiel Elliott. Prescott also caught a TD pass from WR Cedrick Wilson on a play that was reminiscent of the “Philly Special” play used by QB Nick Foles to beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 52.
Cedrick Wilson THROWS a TD to Dak Prescott.
— QB List (@TheQBlist) October 11, 2020
After Prescott was injured, we got to take a look at QB Andy Dalton. Dalton was rusty at first – losing a fumble that led to the Giants’ go-ahead TD in the 4th quarter. But once he was settled in, he was able to connect with WR Michael Gallup on two big plays that would ultimately lead Dallas to a game-winning FG. If you had Prescott rostered or are otherwise thin at QB, it’s definitely worth considering using a waiver claim on Dalton. Obviously, it shouldn’t be expected that Dalton will produce at the same level that Prescott has. But Dalton has been a valuable fantasy QB in years past without as many offensive weapons as he currently has in Dallas. Once Dalton takes some time to develop more chemistry with Dallas’ first-team offense, there’s no reason to think he can’t ultimately be a viable fantasy starting QB.
Ezekiel Elliott: 19 carries, 91 yards, 2 TD | 2 targets, 1 reception, 14 yards
Tony Pollard: 6 carries, 30 yards | 3 targets, 2 receptions, 2 yards
It was another strong performance for Cowboys’ RB Ezekiel Elliott and with Dak Prescott out for the season, it’s safe to assume that Zeke’s workload won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. While Zeke had a solid rushing performance, his 2 targets and 1 reception were both his lowest marks on the season so far. Either way, Elliott is more than productive enough on the ground to make up for his shortcomings through the air. RB Tony Pollard looked decent in his limited work, but without Elliott missing work he doesn’t have much of a path to fantasy viability. Look for Andy Dalton and the Cowboys’ offense to lean on Elliott and the rushing attack next week against the Cardinals.
Wide Receiver/Tight Ends
Amari Cooper: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 23 yards | 1 carry, -2 yards
Michael Gallup: 4 targets, 4 receptions, 73 yards
CeeDee Lamb: 11 targets, 8 receptions, 124 yards
Cedrick Wilson: 4 targets, 4 receptions, 22 yards | 1/1, 11 yards, 1 TD
Dalton Schultz: 3 targets, 1 reception, 6 yards
Just as we thought we had the Cowboys’ pass-catchers’ tendencies figured out, everything got flipped on its head upside-down with the injury to Dak Prescott. On Sunday, however, it was rookie WR CeeDee Lamb who paced the group in targets, receptions, and yardage. I found it interesting that Lamb also set season-high marks in all of the previously mentioned categories while logging his lowest snap share of the season so far (55%). WR Amari Cooper‘s performance was surely disappointing for his managers, as he seemed to be a focal point of New York’s defense. WR Michael Gallup made very little noise as well, but his two late catches on the Cowboys’ final drive put them in FG position to win the game. It was an especially disappointing performance from Cowboys’ TE Dalton Schultz after a solid outing last week against Cleveland. Schultz was nowhere to be found on Sunday, finishing with only one catch for 6 yards. It will certainly be worth keeping an eye on this pass-catching group with Dalton at the helm, but it’s safe to assume that the pecking order will shake out with Cooper as the WR1, Lamb as the WR2, and Gallup as the WR3. They will have a tough matchup next week against Arizona’s secondary.
— Corey Saucier
Deputy_Commish on Twitter
LightsKamaraAction on Reddit