POSTED ON THURSDAY AT 8 PM EST
COVID UPDATES COMING THROUGHOUT THE WEEKEND ON OWS
Game Overview ::
- The Cowboys stand as one of the league’s least impacted teams this week, as notable injuries/COVID news is restricted to Tony Pollard (foot), Cedrick Wilson (COVID), and Tyron Smith (ankle).
- The Giants are not as lucky, as Kadarius Toney (COVID, IR), John Ross III (COVID), Adoree’ Jackson (COVID), Xavier McKinney (COVID), Oshane Ximines (COVID), and Saquon Barkley (ankle management) all have statuses in doubt this weekend. Daniel Jones has also been limited in every practice since straining his neck three weeks ago, and it is not yet known whether or not he will play here.
- After getting through half of my write-ups for this week, I feel it necessary to highlight the fact that there are an immense number of injuries and COVID issues around the league this week so make sure to study the base information, which will give you the best chances of reacting in the most optimal way once it comes to crunch time later this week.
How dallas Will Try To Win ::
The Cowboys currently sit in the middle of the pack in overall pass rates this season, but the underlying metrics tell a more cohesive tale. Dallas holds a top-ten pass rate when trailing, balanced rush-pass rate when leading (50%), and top-ten situation-neutral pass rate this season. This data shows that the team has remained relatively pass-biased this season, altering their offensive game plan in a more reactionary manner as opposed to a game planning manner (basically, rush-pass rates are more heavily influenced by game flow than matchup). This is important information to keep in mind as we break down this team for the remainder of the season. To highlight this fact, Dak Prescott has 39 or more pass attempts in six of his previous eight starts, with the two “outliers” checking in at 31 and 32 attempts in large victories (43-3 against Atlanta in Week 10 and 44-20 against these Giants in Week 5). Dallas has also continued its uptempo ways, ranking second in overall pace of play and third in situation-neutral pace of play this year.
The ground game appears set for a “1A/1B” situation regardless of the game-day status of Tony Pollard after Corey Clement played a solid 36% of the offensive snaps in his absence in Week 14 (which is right in line with Pollard’s typical snap rate). It is very clear that the Cowboys are attempting to allow Ezekiel Elliott to heal up and stay fresh for the playoff push, managing his snaps and workload in the process on a weekly basis. If there were any doubt, it was removed with Clement’s snap rate last week. The matchup on the ground yields an absolutely elite 4.79 net-adjusted line yards metric and is one of the greater mismatches we’ll see all season. The Giants have allowed 26.4 fantasy points per game to the position, all while only ceding 10 total touchdowns to opposing backfields (the Giants actually rank near the top of league in red zone touchdown rate allowed this season). Expect Zeke to handle his standard-for-2021 16-18 running back opportunity workload, with either Pollard or Clement filling in for the rest of the ground work. Of note, the game script is highly unlikely to increase Zeke’s workload, and we should instead expect either Pollard or Clement to take on the additional backfield work should the Cowboys go up big here.
With all of Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup now healthy, and Blake Jarwin on IR, we’ve seen increased 11-personnel rates from the Cowboys, with Amari and Gallup playing primarily on the perimeter and Lamb playing primarily from the slot. This has been a big boost to CeeDee’s team target market share, and he has received a look on 29.1% of Dak’s passes over the past two weeks. Even more impressive is the fact that he saw 10 targets last week on a modest 67% snap rate, which I expect to grow here. Expect a floor of 32ish pass attempts from Dak with a ceiling far exceeding 40 pass attempts, depending primarily on game flow. The Giants have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers while holding opposing tight ends to league-average marks. Keep an eye on Adoree’ Jackson’s status for this weekend as he is currently on the league’s COVID list. His absence would be a fairly significant boost to the perimeter wide receivers here, functioning as the Giants top-rated member of the secondary (the perimeter duo of Jackson and James Bradberry has allowed less than 50% of the passes thrown their way to be completed this season). While on the subject of James Bradberry, he has played an ultra-aggressive style this season, allowing seven touchdowns in his primary coverage but also responsible for three picks.
How new york Will Try To Win ::
The Giants rank ninth in the league in situation-neutral pass rate and ninth in overall pass rate, primarily due to the relative inability to run the ball behind the league’s 30th-ranked run-blocking offensive line. Quarterback Daniel Jones’ status is also not yet known for this weekend, as his participation has been limited in every practice since suffering his neck strain, as well as missing the last two contests. In his stead, Mike Glennon has pass attempts of 36 and 44 and I’d expect another pass-heavy approach against the Cowboys primarily due to necessity and likeliest game flow. It hasn’t been all roses for the Giants when forced to pass this season, who check into Week 15 with a 25th-ranked yards per completion value, 20th-ranked pass yards per game value, and have scored only 17.8 points per game (27th).
Saquon Barkley’s game day reps and level of practice participation continue to be monitored and managed due to his ankle, and he saw his lowest snap rate since returning in Week 11 last week, playing only 55% of the offensive snaps in a lopsided defeat against the Chargers. Expect a rather wide range of potential snaps for Barkley this week, but we can be fairly certain he won’t see more than 18-20 running back opportunities as the team continues to manage his load. Behind Barkley, expect Devontae Booker to fill the change of pace role, with a likeliest range of opportunities of 10-12. The matchup on the ground yields a paltry 4.02 net-adjusted line yards metric against an opponent allowing just 20.5 fantasy points per game to opposing backfields.
With John Ross III and Kadarius Toney on the COVID list, expect Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, and Darius Slayton to start at wide receiver and play the majority of snaps here. Collin Johnson and Pharoh Cooper are likeliest to fill in as depth pieces for light packages, while Evan Engram and Kyle Rudolph should continue operating in an 80/40 role as far as expected snap rates go. Daniel Jones currently holds the 27th-ranked intended air yards per pass attempt, while Mike Glennon is unranked (does not qualify) but holds a low 7.4 intended air yards per pass attempt value. Expect heavy pass volume built around the short-to-intermediate areas of the field against a Dallas defense allowing the third-highest yards per completion in the league, which is somewhat misleading based on the underlying metrics. The Cowboys have forced a league-average defensive aDOT (7.9), but have surrendered the most yards after catch in the league. So, while the Giants are ill-equipped to take advantage of the hyper aggression exhibited by this Dallas defense, we should expect the relative “strength” of the Giants pass offense to line up well with the deficiencies of the Cowboys defense. The sad part is all three of the Giants primary wide receivers rank in the bottom 20% in average yards after catch, amongst qualified receivers. A whole bunch of “meh” here.
Likeliest Game Flow ::
The Cowboys are likely to control the tempo, flow, and environment of this one, likely forcing the Giants into increased aerial aggression as the game moves on. Since we know the Cowboys are likely to start the game with a pass-heavy approach, and since we know the Giants are likely to follow suit as the game evolves, consider this game environment ripe for additional plays run from scrimmage. In the same vein, we can’t expect Zeke to see an increased workload based on what the Cowboys have shown us over the previous month of play (typically capped in the 18-20 opportunity range, regardless of game flow). As such, expect solid volume from each pass offense here.
TOP PLAYS OF THE WEEKEND
SORTABLE GREEN ZONE TOUCHES
TEAM & PLAYER DK POINTS
DFS+ Interpretation ::
By LexMiraglia10 >>
- Brady, Herbert, Hurts, Darnold all threw for 300+ yds vs DAL in the opening month
- Carr is the only one of the 9 QBs since to pass for 300 yds vs DAL, and Mahomes (260) & Taysom (264) are the only others of those 9 above just 250 yds
- DAL has an INT in 11/13 games, with 20 total INT on season
- DAL ranks 1st in def pass DVOA
- Glennon starting: 187:0:1 // 191:2:1, rush TD
- Glennon went for 196:1:2 vs DAL the first time when he came in for injured Daniel Jones
- DAL has allowed the 7th most WR DK pts/g (38.5)
- WRs with 70+ yds vs DAL: AB (121), Godwin (105) // Allen (108), Williams (91) // Moore (113) // Toney (189) // Bourne (75) // Thielen (78) // Patrick (85) // Hill (77) // Renfrow (134), Djax (102) // Deonte (96)
- 9/13 scored at least one TD
- DAL has allowed the 2nd lowest success rate, but the 10th highest yds/att to WRs
- NYG WRs vs DAL: Toney (10:189) // Ross (1:13) // Shepard (DNP) // Slayton (DNP) // Golladay (DNP)
- Toney’s 11 DK pts in W11 is the only Giants WR score of 10+ DK pts in the last six games, and Shepard’s 17.6 DK pts in W6 is the most a Giants WR has scored since that Toney game vs DAL in W5
- Targets in Glennon starts: Golladay (5, 8) // Slayton (7, 3) // Shepard (–, 4)
- Engram with Shepard: 3:24 // 3:15:1 // 1:8
- Engram career yds vs DAL: 44 // 54 // 67:1 // 81:1 // 116:1 // 48 // 16 // 17 // 55
- DAL has allowed 9 TEs of 30+ rec yds
- RBs with 70+ yds vs DAL: Ekeler (115) // Hubbard (71) // Harris (108:1) // Cook (78) // Gordon (95:1), Williams (111) // Gallman (76) // CEH (76:1) // Jacobs (112:1)
- Gordon & Jacobs are the only two with 20+ rush att vs DAL
- DAL ranks 19th in def rush DVOA
- DAL has allowed just 8 RB TDs
- Saquon touches:yds since return: 12:56 // 18:53 // 20:74 // 19:95:1
- DAL has allowed the 11th lowest success rate & 6th lowest yds/att on RB targets
- Dak 6-games pre-injury: 302.2 yds, 2.7 TD, 0.7 INT
- Dak 6-games post-injury: 261.3 yds, 1.3 TD, 1 INT
- Dak scored 25+ DK pts in 4/6 to start, with 21 & 8 in the others
- Dak has scored 25+ DK pts in 2/6 since, with 3 of the other 4 under 13 DK pts
- Dak first game vs NYG: 302:3:1
- NYG rank 10th in def pass DVOA
- 8 QB have passed for 250+ yds vs NYG
- Gallup with Dak, McCarthy, & 1+ of Lamb/Cooper: 3:50 // 2:58 // 6:138:1 // 2:29 // 4:36 // 3:42 // 5:44 // 5:36:1 // 5:60
- DAL WR tg high by game in 2021: 16 // 9 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 11 // 13 // 9 // 7 // 10 // 10 // 13 // 10
- DAL WR yds high by game in 2021: 139 // 81 // 66 // 69 // 84 // 149 // 122 // 33 // 94 // 44 // 106 // 122 // 61
- At least one DAL WR has finished with 100+ yds in just 5 games
- DAL tg in last two with all playing: Lamb (13, 10) // Gallup (9, 9) // Cooper (2, 7)
- Lamb has 80+ yds in 7/11 full games
- Cooper has just two games of 70+ yds all season: 139 in W1 vs TB and 122 vs MIN with Cooper Rush at QB
- WRs with 7+ tg vs NYG: Jeudy (72) // McLaurin (107:1), Humphries (44) // Ridley (61) // Harris (52) // Kupp (130:2) // Moore (73), Robby (14) // Hill (94:1) // Renfrow (49:1) // Evans (73:1) // Reagor (31) // Waddle (90), Wilson (26) // Palmer (66:1)
- 17 WRs have 60+ yds vs NYG
- 16 WR TDs allowed by NYG
- Schultz targets: 6, 2, 7, 8, 8, 6, 7, 5, 2, 8, 7, 5, 3
- That’s eight games with 6+ tg in 2021, and just three below 5 tg
- Schultz has 40+ yds with Dak in 9/12 games: 45, 18, 80, 58, 79, 79, 54, 14, 53, 46, 43, 4
- Schultz went for 6:79 in first NYG matchup
- Top TEs vs NYG: Fant (6:62) // Thomas (5:45) // Pitts (2:35) // Johnson (2:20:1) // Schultz (6:79) // Higbee (5:36) // Kelce (4:27) // Waller (7:92) // Gronk (6:71) // Goedert (1:0) // Gesicki (7:46) // Cook (2:8:1)
- The five TEs to score vs NYG (4/5 were backups at the time of scoring): Albert O, RSJ, Lee Smith, Juwan Johnson, Cook
- Elliott went for 112 yds & 2 TDs in W5 vs NYG
- Elliott since his 28.2 DK pts in W5: 18.9 // 11.3 // 12.6 // 21.8 // 12.8 // 16.9 // 6.7 // 9.0
- Elliott touches/g pre & post-W5: 17 att, 2.2 tg // 12.5 att, 5.5 tg
- Elliott scored 6 TDs in the first 5 weeks, and has scored just 3 TDs in the 8 weeks since
- Pollard’s touches: 7, 16, 12, 10, 18, 13, 8, 6, 18, 9, 14, 11, –
- Pollard’s total yds: 43, 140, 65, 67, 103, 63, 27, 43, 98, 70, 68, 74, –
- Pollard has just 5 games of 10+ DK pts (26, 14.3, 15.8, 10.8, 15.4)
- If Pollard plays, he’ll be playing through a painful foot injury
- NYG are 27th in def rush DVOA
- 15 RBs have 70+ yds vs NYG: Gordon (118) // McKissic (93), Gibson (73) // CPatt (102), Davis (70) // Kamara (120) // Zeke (112), Pollard (103) // Henderson (107) // Williams (110) // Drake (100), Jacobs (95) // Fournette (74) // Scott (72) // Ekeler (84)
- Giants have allowed just 8 RB rush TDs & 2 RB rec TDs