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NFL DFS Showdown Spotlight: Week 3 Monday Night Football DraftKings & FanDuel Cowboys vs. Eagles

Eric MacPherson

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For each of the featured games, typically Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football slates, we will be providing free analysis for the single-slate action on DraftKings and FanDuel. This will include team capsules, player rankings, comments and NFL DFS picks for today. There are loads of information and NFL DFS showdown picks to get into for both DraftKings and FanDuel on this Week 3 Monday Night Football slate featuring the Dallas Cowboys vs. the Philadelphia Eagles.

NFL DFS Showdown Picks: Week 3 Monday Night Football

Tonight the Eagles will be without tackle Jordan Mailata and safety Rodney McLeod, and Boston Scott is questionable with an illness, though he has yet to take the field. Dallas is missing Michael Gallup and lineman La’el Collins on offense and their defense is pretty banged up as well with safety Donovan Wilson doubtful and Keanu Neal, Carlos Watkins, Bradlee Anae, and Dorance Armstrong all missing from the front seven.

Philadelphia Eagles: 24.0

Quarterback

While Jalen Hurts has been an excellent fantasy option, he still has a long way to go as a starting quarterback in the National Football League. To be fair, tonight is just his seventh start, and he has appeared in 17 total games. Fantasy gamers love his rushing upside, and he has done little to disappoint in that regard, with 144 yards and a touchdown on just 17 carries this season. The passing needs some work, but he is seeing improvements every game, and going against the bottom-10 defense of the Cowboys is a promising situation.

Running Back

The backfield has been a two-man show, with Miles Sanders doubling the snap count of rookie Kenneth Gainwell. However, the workload distribution has not been nearly as pronounced, with Sanders getting 28 carries for 129 yards compared to Gainwell’s 15 carries for 51 yards and a touchdown. It has been even closer in the passing game, with Sanders getting seven targets, which is only one more than Gainwell. Scott has yet to get an offensive snap, and he is dealing with an illness and may not be active tonight.

Wide Receiver

Only three receivers have seen targets through the first two games, with rookie DeVonta Smith leading the way with 15 for 87 yards. Jalen Reagor is close behind with 11 for 54 yards and a touchdown, though Quez Watkins has made the most of his limited opportunities, bringing in all five targets for a team-leading 140 yards. Greg Ward and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside are on the field 20 to 30% of the time, though neither has seen a ball come their way.

Tight End

Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz are sharing the field on around 20 to 25% of the snaps in two-tight-end formations. Goedert still has the overall edge, and the early results are indicative of the workload split, as he has seven targets for 66 yards and a touchdown, while Ertz has four targets for 40.

Defense/Special Teams

Opportunities for turnovers and sacks run high with the Cowboys, so the absence of La’el Collins only will help the Eagles cause.

Dallas Cowboys: 27.5

Quarterback

Dak Prescott has had one great game against Tampa Bay — 403 yards and three touchdowns — and one poor game versus the Chargers — 237 yards — with one interception in each. The loss of Michael Gallup is not great, but the Cowboys are so loaded at the skill positions that they should be able to move on without missing a beat.

Running Back

Ezekiel Elliott has played on 84% and 71% of the snaps in the first two games. Tony Pollard has been in on 24% and 34%, and they rarely overlap. Though Elliott has been dominating the snaps, he has been completely outproduced by Pollard. This only adds fuel to the argument that running backs are fungible and should not be given huge contracts. Elliott has 27 carries for 104 yards, while Pollard has 16 for 123. In the receiving game Pollard has caught all seven of his targets for 60 yards, and Elliott has four for 32. Corey Clement has appeared for one snap in each of the first two games.

Wide Receiver

Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb each were on the field for 97% of the snaps, and they likely will see 90%-plus with Gallup on the sidelines. Both are fine options, and while fantasy gamers tend to have strong opinions about this duo, they really are co-WR1’s. Cedric Wilson saw an increase in snaps from 41% to 58% without Gallup, but he is also splitting the third wide receiver duties with Noah Brown, who played 19% last week. Dallas runs a fair number of two-tight-end sets, so it is hard to get excited for anyone other than Cooper and Lamb.

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Tight End

Dalton Schultz and Blake Jarwin have each seen eight targets on the season. Schultz is on the field around 20% more of the snaps, but there does not seem to be a true preference in the play calling after just two games. Jeremy Sprinkle will get a couple snaps per game in jumbo packages for short-yardage pushes.

Defense/Special Teams

The Dallas defense is far from inspiring, but they will be facing an inexperienced quarterback who tends to force the ball into tight situations. While they are likely to give up a few touchdowns, their offense should put enough pressure on the Eagles to take to the air which provides opportunities for sacks and turnovers.

Monday Night Football Single-Game NFL DFS Strategy

The rankings below are best utilized for building out single-entry and three-max lineups and for head-to-head and three-man formats. They provide a nice barometer for player value, but for those taking the MME approach, remember that correlation is key. This means matching a receiver or two with a quarterback in the Captain/MVP slot. This also works conversely with pairing a Captain/MVP pass catcher with their quarterback.

Week 3 Monday Night Football NFL DFS Rankings

Top 10 NFL DFS Showdown Picks

  1. Jalen Hurts: The rushing upside gives him the easy designation as the top option tonight.
  2. Dak Prescott: Likely to have a hand in most of the scoring for his team in a game shaping up to be a score fest.
  3. Amari Cooper: Gets the slight nod for the 10% discount on DraftKings over Lamb.
  4. CeeDee Lamb: Currently both Cowboy receivers are seeing similar levels of popularity; if one surges ahead, take the other in tournaments.
  5. Greg Zuerlein: Though kickers tend to lose value in a game with a lot of touchdowns, even one field goal with a couple of extra points will outproduce the cheaper dart-throw pass catchers.
  6. Jake Elliott: Use Zuerlein as the home field kicker if there is available salary for it. In a game like tonight it is best to use only one kicker per lineup because, if all they are getting is extra points, it puts the kibosh on fantasy upside.
  7. DeVonta Smith: Looks to be the lead man in Philadelphia.
  8. Kenneth Gainwell: Gets an appropriate discount compared to Sanders, but the workload is intriguing and outpacing the snap count.
  9. Ezekiel Elliott: Still the lead back and dominating snaps for the Cowboys.
  10. Miles Sanders: Clear role and a lot more certainty than anyone else not yet listed.

Secondary NFL DFS Showdown Picks

  1. Tony Pollard: Yes, he has been more productive than Elliott on far fewer snaps, but with only a $800 discount on DraftKings and $2,000 on FanDuel, it still makes sense to keep him in a tier below the other running backs.
  2. Cedric Wilson: Even as a part-timer he is more appealing than the tight ends.
  3. Jalen Reagor: Hurts having so many options and not being afraid to call his own number means Reagor needs to score to be a factor.
  4. Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert: This is touchdown hunting, and Ertz gets a nice discount for being on the short end of the snap share.
  5. Dalton Schultz and Blake Jarwin: Schultz is the play on FanDuel for $500 more; on DraftKings take the $1,800 discount for Jarwin.

Lottery Ticket NFL DFS Showdown Picks

  1. Philadelphia D/ST: With Prescott still a little rusty and the offensive line in flux, there could be a few sacks tonight.
  2. Quez Watkins: Not much of a discount at all, but he does deserve his own line.
  3. Greg Ward and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside: On the field enough that they are worth a flier on DraftKings, even though they have not been targeted yet.
  4. Dallas D/ST: Dealing with too many injuries to be taken seriously, but it just takes a pick-six or scoop and score to pay off.
  5. Noah Brown: In play for the DraftKings Milly Maker at the minimum $200 salary.
  6. Corey Clement: DFS Twitter would love a Clement touchdown against his former team.

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

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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