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Eagles vs. Cowboys Monday Night Football Showdown Game Breakdown & NFL DFS Picks

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Welcome to the NFL Showdown Matchups Showdown Highlights for Week 3 Monday Night Football. Here we will provide a quick overview of the game’s key storylines and highlight some of the key insights from Awesemo’s world-class suite of tools to find the best NFL DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel showdown lineups. Let’s dive into the NFL DFS picks today for the Week 3 Eagles vs. Cowboys Monday Night Football matchup.

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Week 3 Monday Night Football NFL DFS Showdown Picks

The Eagles head to Dallas for their first NFC East matchup, a week after losing their first game of the season. In that game the Philadelphia offense looked to be in complete disarray for much of the afternoon. Meanwhile, the Cowboys escaped Los Angeles with a surprise last-second win, evening their record at 1-1 and holding the potent Chargers offense to just 14 points. Tonight Jalen Hurts and Dak Prescott face off for the first time in a battle of highly capable offenses. There should be plenty of points on the board in this one, especially since the Awesemo sports betting model is in line with this game’s Vegas total of 51.5.

Jalen Hurts and Dak Prescott Are the Bedrock of Cash Lineups

Hurts and Prescott, unsurprisingly, have the two highest projections on this slate, but the margin at which they separate themselves from the rest of the field is notable in this matchup. On DraftKings the margin is not quite as pronounced, but on FanDuel the quarterbacks have a projection nearly 45% higher than any other skill player on this slate. And this makes sense intuitively; both quarterbacks have immense upside as passers, especially Prescott, but equally high floors due to their rushing abilities. Hurts ranks second among quarterbacks in rushing attempt share and second behind only Lamar Jackson in total quarterback rushes through two weeks. Prescott has not been as willing to take off in 2021 but has a history of adding production with his legs. Both players are no-brainer cash game options.

Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb Are the Entire Cowboys Offense

With plenty of drama surrounding the Cowboys running back opportunities, and tight ends Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz splitting time at tight end, the safest bets on the Dallas side of the ball are by far CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper. The duo has combined to receive nearly 54% of the team’s targets and over 77% of the team’s air yards. Cooper is not 100% and is expected to get a full snap share. The Awesemo projections see Lamb as the slightly safer play, even though he is priced below Cooper on FanDuel and above him on DraftKings. Both make for ideal Captains in small-field tournaments.

Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard Share the Dallas Backfield

Elliott has not been nearly as productive as in years past, and that mostly has to do with Tony Pollard’s surprisingly high number of opportunities through two weeks. Elliott has played on 78% of Dallas snaps, compared to just 28% for Pollard, and Elliott still leads the team in average opportunities per game, but Pollard ranks third in that same metric, averaging 11.5 looks per game. Elliott has a decently high floor but has middling value, especially considering his salary is fifth highest on the slate.

DeVonta Smith, Alpha Receiver

Smith has had an immediate positive impact on the Philadelphia passing attack, providing an outside weapon the offense has been sorely lacking for years. Smith followed an extremely promising eight-target debut with another seven-target game in Week 2, though he was much less productive with his looks, catching just two passes for a total of 16 yards. Still, Smith is the clear leader in weighted opportunity share, is tied for second on the team in red-zone targets and is tied for first on the team in end-zone targets. Smith should see plenty of Dallas cornerback Anthony Brown, who ranks outside the top 50 cornerbacks on PFF.

Philadelphia Lacks a Clear Secondary Receiver

In Week 2 Jalen Reagor saw the second-most targets and air yards on the team, but speedster Quez Watkins was the most productive, exploding for 117 yards receiving, 93 more than any other player on the team. In Week 1 the tight ends were the second-most heavily targeted, with Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz combining for six catches for 76 yards. Reagor is the only other Eagles player besides Smith to earn at least 18% of the team’s targets in both games. Reagor looks like a slightly better value on DraftKings than FanDuel, but due to the volatility of the passing game, the only cash-viable Eagles player besides Smith is running back Miles Sanders.

Zach Ertz and Cedrick Wilson Look Like Solid Low-Salary Plays

Ertz missed practice time due to spending time on the COVID 19 list but has been activated for the matchup against the Cowboys and has an extremely enticing salary of just $2,200 on DraftKings. Of all players projected for 5 points or more, Awesemo ranks Ertz No. 1 in projected points per $1,000 in salary, ahead of the kickers, who usually grade out quite nicely in that same metric. Ertz ranks second on the team in end-zone targets and third on the team in average depth of target. He is being utilized downfield more often than is typical for a tight end, boosting his ceiling projection. For the Cowboys, Cedrick Wilson appears to be the main beneficiary of Michael Gallup’s absence. Wilson was the clear third receiver, playing on 58% of team snaps in Week 2, and he has earned a total of seven targets already this season. That is more than enough expected volume for a $4,400 player on DraftKings, making him the best low-salary play on the Dallas side of the ball.

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The Bottom Line

After passing all over the Buccaneers in Week 1, the Dallas passing attack came back down to earth in Week 2 and fell completely flat against the Chargers improved defensive front. And while it may have resulted in a victory last week, the path to success for Dallas going forward will be their offense, and its ability to keep pace with opponents when their defense falters. For Philadelphia, the Eagles go as Hurts goes. If he plays mistake-free football, then Philadelphia should have no problem scoring on a Dallas defense that ranks bottom 12 in yards per carry allowed and yards per pass attempt allowed. Hurts is expected to be the most rostered player, but for good reason; he has the best combination of floor and ceiling in this matchup and should only be faded in the largest of large-field tournaments. Hurts’ rushing upside is the most important aspect of this entire showdown slate.

Week 3 Monday Night Football Prediction

Eagles 21, Cowboys 20


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If you’re interested in other top NFL DFS plays today for multiple game slates, head over to NFL ownership projections, Awesemo's NFL Data Central, NFL daily fantasy football rankings, and NFL stacks. Take a look at our inactive players, NFL line-ups and NFL depth charts.

A middling athlete who was offered his first sports analytics position at age 14, I've been working on NFL and fantasy football data science since 2017. With a particular passion for data visualization and dashboard building, I love to make data accessible by using graphs and charts to communicate ideas that are difficult to explain with words alone. You can contact me by e-mailing [email protected]

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