Kickoff Sunday, Oct 20th 8:20pm Eastern

Eagles (
23.5) at

Cowboys (
26.5)

Over/Under 50.0

Tweet
Notes

Key Matchups
Eagles Run D
4th DVOA/7th Yards allowed per carry
Cowboys Run O
22nd DVOA/23rd Yards per carry
Eagles Pass D
18th DVOA/18th Yards allowed per pass
Cowboys Pass O
13th DVOA/23rd Yards per pass
Cowboys Run D
1st DVOA/16th Yards allowed per carry
Eagles Run O
3rd DVOA/5th Yards per carry
Cowboys Pass D
1st DVOA/2nd Yards allowed per pass
Eagles Pass O
23rd DVOA/27th Yards per pass

Showdown Slant ::

Presented by top Showdown mind Xandamere!

The Eagles go to Dallas on Sunday night for a fun showdown with a nice 49.5 point total. The Cowboys are home favorites, though it’s slight, and while Dallas’ defense is above-average overall the Eagles’ offense is quite competent and should be able to put up points. It feels like we’ve had a lot of Showdowns that have been low scoring or one-sided, and this one should be a decent back and forth game.

Dallas is the easier team to break down so we’ll start there. The run game begins and ends with Ezekiel Elliott (backup Tony Pollard has not seen more than 9% of the snaps since Week 3). This is a strength on strength matchup as the Cowboys’ run offense and their 4th-best offensive line by adjusted line yards takes on Philly’s 4th best in DVOA run defense that has, incredibly, given up under 3.0 yards per carry this year. It’s worth noting here that the Eagles are giving up six catches per game to running backs, 8th most in the NFL. Some of Zeke’s appeal is going to center on the availability of Amari Cooper, as Elliott saw 6 targets last week after Amari got hurt, and another absence would narrow Dallas’ target tree and could well lead to more work for their star running back. If Cooper is in, I view Zeke as a decent-floor, solid-ceiling play but one who is overpriced for his median expectation. If Cooper is out, I think Zeke becomes much stronger and something closer to a core play. 

In the pass game, I’m going to assume that both Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb are in — they’re both listed questionable, but the most recent reports (as of Friday afternoon) indicate that they should both play. Assuming they do, they get a swiss cheese matchup against a pass funnel Eagles defense that has given up six different 100 yard receiver games so far this year. Both Cooper and Michael Gallup are premium plays, though Gallup’s price in Showdown is only $600 less than Cooper and despite having a great start to the season I would have a hard time playing him over Amari. Both are very strong tournament plays with enormous ceilings in this matchup. Randall Cobb is massively overpriced at $7,400 for a slot receiver who has only hit double-digit Draftkings points once this season, but I imagine he’ll be low owned, so if you’re hunting for something contrarian, Cobb should be. Tavon Austin and Cedric Wilson are the backups for Cooper and Cobb, respectively, and would become very attractively priced plays if either of the two starters does end up missing the game. I’m not really the kind of player who uses Jason Witten, as he’s overpriced for his role and absolutely needs a touchdown to pay off. Blake Jarwin is down to playing only about a third of the snaps and is seeing two to four short-area, low-upside targets per game. 

The Eagles’ run game has started to become interesting with Darren Sproles being ruled out the last couple of games. Miles Sanders and Jordan Howard had a somewhat-surprisingly nearly even split of snaps in Week 5 against the Jets in a blowout (when I would have expected Howard to lead the way with a huge Eagles lead), while Howard outsnapped Sanders almost 2 to 1 last week as the Vikings crushed Philadelphia. The snaps in these two weeks are basically the inverse of what I would have expected, but past that, while Sanders only has 12 carries in the last two weeks, he has eight targets and seems to have taken over for Sproles in the pass game. Howard has 26 carries and zero targets in the last two weeks (which is telling as that usage came right after his Week 4 explosion against Green Bay); he’s a low-floor play who needs to get into the end zone to pay off, and his price isn’t especially favorable.

The Eagles’ pass game is, as always, very spread out. The most consistent volume goes to Alshon Jeffery and Zach Ertz, with 29 and 24 targets, respectively, over the past three weeks. Both have strong matchups, though I would give the edge to Ertz here, both due to ownership since Alshon had a big game last week and due to Jeffery’s inability to rack up any yardage (Alshon has only three regular season games of 100+ yards in the past three and a half seasons). Past those two, Nelson Agholor has retreated back into barely-there relevance after some injury-driven blowups earlier in the year. He’s out there almost every snap, but just isn’t seeing targets with much upside. Mack Hollins has stepped into the DeSean Jackson role and has averaged just over half the snaps over the past three weeks…but with just five targets in that span. He’s on the field a lot, and at just $400 you could do worse as a tournament flier. Finally, Dallas Goedert has benefited massively from the Eagles’ heavy use of 12 personnel lately — Goedert has been on the field for around 70% of the snaps in the last three weeks and has seen consistent volume (including a whopping eight targets last week!), but is priced at just $1,400. Goedert is, in my mind, egregiously mispriced here and is a building block value play. 

The way this game is most likely to play out is in the air. Dallas will certainly try to get Zeke going, but is unlikely to be successful — the quicker they realize that, the better chance they’ll have of winning. I’d expect Dallas to try to keep things more active on the ground as long as the game is tied or they have a lead, and to turn to the air otherwise. So, if you’re using Zeke in the captain spot, I would assume that’s a game flow in which Dallas has a lead for the entire game. If the Eagles score fairly quickly, we could have a good old-fashioned aerial shootout on our hands.

Some other ways the game could play out:

  • Dallas does have a very, very good offensive line, so it’s not completely implausible that they could force their way to a successful ground attack. It would be unusual, but possible, to see Zeke being the highest scoring player in the game and since DFS players have been trained for years to avoid using running backs against the Eagles, you could likely get him at low ownership in the captain spot.
  • There’s a thing about high-scoring games in showdown: everyone expects them to be high-scoring and builds for that outcome. But, not every projected shootout materializes. Dallas has a good defense, while the Cowboys receiving corps is pretty banged up. A lower-scoring game in which the QBs don’t do a ton is a reasonable outcome here.

My overall favorite captains for this game are Cooper (assuming we see positive news about his health) and Ertz, though I think most of the main receivers are viable options. I will probably shy away from having much captain exposure to either of the running games personally.

Some groups to consider:

  • At most 1 kicker
  • At most 1 defenser
  • Pair captain QBs with at least 2 receivers (consider 1 in the case of Dak as he could more plausibly rush for a touchdown)
  • Pair captain receivers with their QB
  • At most 1 of Sanders and Howard (they succeed in opposite game scripts)
  • At most 1 of Witten and Jarwin
  • At least 1 of Cooper and Gallup (this is a bold group but if you believe the Cowboys score through the air, it’s a near-certainty that leads to one of these two having a strong game)

Advanced Showdowns

Xandamere’s Advanced Showdown Course is now available through OWS :: Marketplace! This is his tournament course for Showdowns; and given the tangible edge in this contest type, it should pay itself off pretty quickly(!).

JM’s Original Notes for Thursday-to-Monday Players ::

  • The Eagles will be fun for tourney play in Showdowns this week because they have so many different weapons they can lean on; but in the scope of the full slate, I wouldn’t be going here unless building around this game as part of an MME approach. Too much guessing, and too many ways for things to go wrong across the board on the road vs a should-still-be-solid Cowboys defense.
  • On the Cowboys’ side, you have Zeke in one of the toughest running back matchups in football, with plenty to like elsewhere at the high end of the running back price range on the full slate; he would be a large-field-only piece.
  • With Amari Cooper expected to miss, it will be Michael Gallup against the Eagles secondary. There were a couple times last year in which the Eagles were able to isolate and slow down a wide receiver on a team that just had one weapon to worry about, so Gallup becomes tourney-only for the slim concern that Philly is able to replicate what the Jets did last week; but the upside is obviously tremendous here for tourneys if you want to chase. Dak Prescott can be considered in tourneys as well.