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NFL DFS Showdown Spotlight: Sunday Night Football DraftKings & FanDuel | Washington vs. Cowboys

Eric MacPherson



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For each of the featured games, typically Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football slates, this column will provide 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 16 Sunday Night Football slate featuring the Dallas Cowboys hosting the Washington Football Team.

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NFL DFS Showdown Picks: Week 16 Sunday Night Football

Dallas is mostly healthy missing only starting left tackle Tyron Smith, all of their usual starters on both sides of the ball are currently available. Washington will be without defensive backs Landon Collins, Deshazor Everett and William Jackson III. Curtis Samuel (hamstring) and Antonio Gibson (toe) are both game time decisions. J.D. McKissic (concussion)and defensive tackle Daniel Wise (knee) are both on the injured reserve. Finally the following players are on the COVID-reserve: LB Cole Holcomb, DE Nate Orchard, C Tyler Larsen, G Brandon Scherff.

Washington Football Team: 18.75 Points


Taylor Heinicke is back from the COVID reserve which is a boost for Washington who turned to Garrett Gilbert last week after having just 72 hours with the team. Dallas currently has the top pass DVOA while ranking 19th against the rush. When these teams squared off in Week 14, they held Heinicke in check to the tune of 11 or 25 accompanied by 122 yards with one touchdown and one interception while sacking him four times. In his last four games the Washington signal-caller has failed to surpass 225 yards.

Running Back

Antonio Gibson is questionable with a toe injury and J.D. McKissic is out with a concussion. In his last two games, Gibson has 25 carries for 62 yards and a score. On the bright side, he has been active in the passing game over the last month with at least six targets in three of his last four appearances. Last week Jaret Patterson had the lone rushing touchdown with four carries for 20 yards and journeyman Jonathan Williams has five carries in the last two games for 21 yards and he had a rushing touchdown against Dallas in Week 14. This duo is in play for tournaments and gamers are likely to stay away from them if Gibson is able to start.

Wide Receiver

Terry McLaurin has been a fringe top ten wide receiver most of the season when we give him a slight discount for weak quarterback play. The target share has been massive with 111 and that is 19 more than Adam Humphries (52) and DeAndre Carter (40) put together. This is the trio to focus on and Cam Sims is a wild card at $2,000 on DraftKings.

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Tight End

In the last game Ricky Seals-Jones and John Bates each played just over 60% of the snaps, though it was the former with seven targets and the latter with just one. Seals-Jones has performed well replacing Logan Thomas through a couple different injuries and he does have some red zone equity.

Defense/Special Teams

Two weeks ago, Washington rolled up four sacks and a pair of interceptions. They are missing several defensive players and are hard to recommend against a mostly healthy Cowboys squad.

Dallas Cowboys: 27.75 Points


This is a solid spot for Dak Prescott to turn things around. Despite leading Dallas to three consecutive victories he is averaging a dismal 25.3 completions and 38.7 attempts with 222.0 yards along with a trio of touchdowns and interceptions. Literally everyone is healthy at all of the skill positions, and he should be able to generate some solid fantasy production against Washington.

Running Back

Ezekiel Elliott has a healthy 27 targets in the last five games, but he has been horrible on the ground with an average of 11.8 carries for 39.8 yards and two touchdowns. Last week he 52 rushing yards which was his highest output in eight games. Tony Pollard missed the game against Washington, but in his two adjacent outings he had just over 70 rushing yards in each appearance. Corey Clement is a deep cut who has only seen carries in one of the last five games and that was when Pollard was out.

Wide Receiver

CeeDee Lamb is the clear top option for fantasy purposes, but he has been hampered by poor quarterback play and his upside is curbed with both Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper healthy. Cooper has not surpassed 52 yards in his last five games with a grand total of 23 targets for 15 receptions and 188 yards. If his popularity maintains because of his name recognition, Gallup is the perfect direct pivot.

Tight End

Dalton Schultz has been quietly consistent and in his last seven games he has at least 43 yards or a touchdown five times. Over the last five games the rest of the tight ends have four total targets.

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Defense/Special Teams

Dallas has multiple sacks in six of their last seven games including a season high five against Washington. In this stretch they also have 14 interceptions and five fumble recoveries with a whopping four return touchdowns. This is a nice matchup for the Cowboys against a decimated offensive line.

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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 16 Sunday Night Football NFL DFS Rankings

Top 10 NFL DFS Showdown Picks

  1. CeeDee Lamb: No touchdowns in his last four games, but he has outscored his quarterback over the last three in full-PPR. Also returns punts.
  2. Tony Pollard: Take the discount compared to the other Cowboys offensive options along with a projected 12-15 opportunities. Also returns kickoffs.
  3. Dak Prescott: He has to turn it around at some point.
  4. Taylor Heinicke: Perfectly average but projects well in the player pool tonight.
  5. Terry McLaurin: Can make his backers happy with one play, four straight single digit fantasy point performances underscore the downside risk.
  6. Antonio Gibson: If starting he should be the focal point of the offense as long as his toe holds up.
  7. Dalton Schultz: Reasonable salary for recent results and he usually gets two or three designed plays each game.
  8. Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper: Let your personal preference dictate your choice, but know that Gallup will have half the popularity of Cooper.
  9. Ezekiel Elliott: Meh.
  10. Dallas D/ST: Should have a field day against the backup center and guard.

Secondary NFL DFS Showdown Picks

  1. Adam Humphries: Borderline core option on DraftKings with the full-PPR scoring format.
  2. Greg Zuerlein: Turns 34-years old tomorrow, 26 of 28 inside 50 yards, 2 for 5 beyond.
  3. Ricky Seals-Jones: Touchdown or bust.
  4. Joey Slye: This is his third game with Washington, he also played three for San Francisco and three for Houston this season.
  5. Washington D/ST: At least they will be on the field a lot.

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  1. Jarret Patterson: Undrafted rookie is in play, move him to the top of the next section if Gibson is out.
  2. Cam Sims: DraftKings only, $2,000 salary provides flexibility even if he only gets a couple targets.
  3. DeAndre Carter: Fourth team in four seasons, known more as a returner, he has been a starting receiver several times this season for Washington. Returns punts and kickoffs.
  4. Jonathan Williams: Tonight will be his 31st career game in six seasons while playing for five teams, if Gibson is out, he goes to the top of this section.
  5. John Bates: Troll touchdown potential, held down the fort when both Thomas and Seals-Jones were out.
  6. Dyami Brown and Corey Clement: Just enough long shot potential to stay out of the next group.
  7. Malik Turner, Dax Milne, Cedrick Wilson, Sean McKeon and Malik Turner: My what a motley crew.

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View our DraftKings NFL DFS ownership rankings and our FanDuel DFS NFL rankings. Take a look at our NFL depth charts, NFL inactives and starting line-ups. We also have NFL DFS single-game projections and NFL showdown ownership projections. If you’re interested in other NFL DFS advice for multiple game slates, head over to DFS NFL projected ownership, Awesemo's NFL Data Central, DFS NFL rankings, and NFL DFS stacks.

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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