Greetings, Gamers! Welcome to the Awesemo NFL DFS Single-Game Prime Time series for FanDuel and DraftKings showdown slates. For each of the featured games, typically Sunday, Monday and Thursday nights, we will be providing a free analysis for the single-slate action on DraftKings and FanDuel. This will include team capsules as well as player rankings and comments for all your daily fantasy needs. We have loads to get into on this Thursday Night slate between the Cowboys and Bears, with thoughts on Dak Prescott, Mitchell Trubisky and more for your NFL DFS lineups!
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Check out the Thursday Night Showdown Picks with Alex “Awesemo” Baker and Ben “Jazzraz” Rasa as they break down tonight’s matchup for Single Game contests.
NFL DFS Picks: Dallas Cowboys at Chicago Bears +3.0 / 43.5
We are looking at another uninspiring Thursday Night Football matchup with a low total. Both squads are reeling with their respective coaches on the hot seat. So if you love cold outdoor football or want to get in on some schadenfreude against Jerry Jones, this is for you.
Keep in mind that both teams are coming in on regular rest having played in Thanksgiving games.
Dallas Cowboys NFL DFS Picks
23.25 implied points
The Bears have the eighth-best overall DVOA and are eight against the pass and 12th against the run. This week, Dak Prescott is just inside the top-10 quarterbacks with all 32 teams in action and he is in the mix as the top overall play for the night. Last week, Chicago allowed rookie David Blough to drop 280 yards and two touchdowns in his NFL debut. That was the most passing yards they have allowed since Week 3 outside of Teddy Bridgewater going for 281 in Week 7. Most prop betting lines have Prescott’s passing yardage set between 268-273 which feels about right. The defense has to respect Ezekiel Elliott and the ground game and the Cowboys boast a solid trio of receivers in Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Randall Cobb.
Latavius Murray in Week 7 and Josh Jacobs in Week 6 are the only running backs to top 100 yards against the Bears. On the season, they have allowed the 14th-most fantasy points to opposing running backs, but that drops to 24th over the last month. Ezekiel Elliott is a fringe RB5 in both full and half-PPR scoring formats in most projection systems. It has been tough sledding over the last four games for Elliott who is averaging 17.3 carries for 62.3 yards along with five targets for 3.8 receptions and 37.5 receiving yards. While that is right at 100 combined yards per game, he has reached pay dirt only twice in that time frame.
Our best bet is that there is a Salvation Army kettle behind the end zone and he can continue his trend of scoring a touchdown then hopping into one. Tony Pollard is averaging just 10 snaps per game over the last five contests and he is a dart throw at best.
Of the 36 wide receivers who have caught passes against the Bears, only six have topped 15 fantasy points in full-PPR formats and four of them caught a touchdown. Five of those receivers were also among the six who had more than five receptions in a game. The point being that Chicago has done a good job against receivers this year, though the best signal-callers they have faced are Aaron Rodgers, Carson Wentz, Kirk Cousins and Jared Goff.
The Bears have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this season, but they have slipped nine spots over the last month.
Over the last four weeks, Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup have each had 35 targets with Randall Cobb seeing 25 and then it drops all the way down to seven for Tavon Austin. We know where the volume will be headed along with the Bears, but at least Prescott will have options.
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Jason Witten has essentially doubled the production of Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz. On Thanksgiving, he broke his nine-game touchdown drought and while he is not exciting to roster or watch, he is a viable option on the single-game slate.
Mitchell Trubisky is under a lot of pressure from both the fans and the opposing team. He has been sacked multiple times in nine of twelve games this season with nine interceptions. The Cowboys are middle of the pack with 32 sacks and in the bottom four of the league with only a dozen takeaways. Dallas is in play as long as you are a Trubisky-hater.
Chicago Bears NFL DFS Picks
20.5 implied total
Get ready to shake your head with this next stat. Eli Manning in Week 2 and Sam Darnold in Week 6 are the only quarterbacks to throw for 250 yards or more against the Cowboys. Now for the rest of the list: Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Carson Wentz, Kirk Cousins, Josh Allen and then it gets sketchy with Daniel Jones, Case Keenum, Josh Rosen, Teddy Bridgewater and Jeff Driskel.
As much as we all loathe counting on Mitchell Trubisky, he is closer to the first group than the second for fantasy purposes. The beleaguered Bears signal-caller has a projected passing yardage total between 230-235 and 15-19 rushing yards. Dallas has the 23rd passing DVOA according to Football Outsiders.
Tarik Cohen has generally been my preferred Chicago running back for the whole season. While he has not topped 50 rushing or receiving yards in any game and combined he has topped that metric just twice, he is still very active in the passing game. The same cannot be said for rookie David Montgomery. From a fantasy perspective, the Cowboys have been a middle-of-the-road team against opposing running backs this season. Montgomery has topped 70 combined yards in just three of his last nine games. The one bonus is that this duo is going to be involved in all of the workload for this position. Ryan Nall is the only other player to see offensive snaps and he has just three in the five games since Mike Davis moved on.
Cole Beasley had a solid “remember me” game last Thursday, becoming just the second wide receiver to surpass 100 receiving yards and the fourth with more than five receptions against them. Who is a more accurate passer, Josh Allen or Mitchell Trubisky? Trick question, it is still Bears head coach Matt Nagy who completed 65.5% of his passes in the Arena League (RIP).
Both Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller are capable receivers, it just does not help their cause that they have an inconsistent quarterback on the other end of the passing game. With Taylor Gabriel still in the concussion protocol, it will be Javon Wims acting as the third receiver. He played 20 snaps last week and saw six targets, taking one to the house.
Robinson is the most talented, but he also gets the most defensive attention, which gives Miller more target opportunities and Wims is the salary relief option.
Quick, name a Chicago tight end who is healthy. Trey Burton (calf) and Adam Shaheen (foot) are on injured reserve and Ben Braunecker is in the concussion protocol. On Thanksgiving, J.P. Holtz played 29 snaps and Jesper Horsted was in for seven. It was Horsted who saw the only target and he made it count for an 18-yard score.
Heading into Thanksgiving, Dak Prescott had been sacked just twice in the preceding four games. Buffalo got to him four times, but they are a good defense, particularly at home. That was just the third time this season that Prescott has suffered multiple sacks in a game. Odds are he will throw at least one interception as he has thrown the fifth-most in the league with 11. We always have to consider any incarnation of the Monsters of the Midway on their home turf.
MNF NFL DFS Showdown Strategy
For the first time, I do not have a recommended core build for your NFL DFS lineups. The sites have done a nice job of pricing the stars in this game, so we are going to be leaning on personal preference and risk tolerance.
Single Game Ranking (taking into account projected production, pricing and popularity)
NFL DFS Top 10
- Dak Prescott: the most talented player in the game, we are paying a premium price.
- Ezekiel Elliott: I was only half joking in the hopes that a Salvation Army kettle will be behind the end zone.
- Mitchell Trubisky: maybe we will get lucky and he can run one in with a couple through the air.
- Tarik Cohen: take the savings compared to David Montgomery on both sites.
- Anthony Miller: there is no guarantee the target volume continues, but if it does this is a stellar play.
- Brett Maher and Eddie Pineiro: Maher was so bad on Thanksgiving that the Cowboys brought in kickers to try out this week. We need savings and it could be a low scoring game.
- Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup: the discount to Gallup is not enough to give him the total edge over the more proven Cooper.
- David Montgomery: the Bears will still give him 15-20 carries if the game is remotely close.
- Allen Robinson: he is on par with Cooper, but with a worse quarterback.
- Both D/STs: Chicago is a little cheaper and at home, but Dallas gets to face Trubisky.
NFL DFS Showdown Picks: Secondary Plays
- Randall Cobb: too far down the red zone pecking order to make the top tier of my NFL DFS picks.
- Jason Witten: will see a handful of targets like clockwork, may not get much yardage after the catch though.
- Javon Wims: with all of the injuries, he stays out of the lottery section.
- Blake Jarwin: should see a couple of targets and double that if anything happens to Witten.
- Tavon Austin: seven targets in the last three games including five on Thankgiving move him out of the lottery section… barely. May return kickoffs if Tony Pollard is out.
NFL DFS Showdown Picks: Lottery Ticket
- Cordarrelle Patterson: returns kicks, but has not had a target since Week 8.
- Tony Pollard: did not practice Wednesday with an ankle injury, may be inactive.
- Jamize Olawale: mega discount on DraftKings and very much in play if Pollard is inactive. Expect a zero, but any production would be glorious.
- Jesper Horsted: could lightening strike twice?
- J.P. Holtz: he is the play over Horsted on DraftKings for 10% of the cost.
- Dalton Schultz: one target this season despite playing in every game, time to go buy some lottery tickets.
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Good Luck in tonight’s Showdown Slate NFL DFS Gamers! ~ EMac