It's Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants on Sunday at 7:30 CT ...
Fish reports that Dallas does expect Tank Lawrence to go on Sunday. We will monitor. Meanwhile ... Fantasy Five!
1. RB Ezekiel Elliott. The defenses get tougher and Elliott manages to find ways to remain productive from a fantasy standpoint. He scored 15 points against Minnesota, despite only gaining 86 yards, which was his worst output since Week 2. Since the bye week the fewest points he’s scored in a given game is 12 and he’s hit at least 20 points three times. Consider 15 points to be his floor against a Giants team that just lost pass rusher Jason Pierre Paul to injury. The first time Elliott faced the Giants he wasn’t the patient runner he is now and the Cowboys offensive line was still working out its chemistry with Elliott. Neither are issues now. The Giants are ranked No. 13 in fantasy against running backs and they’ve allowed fewer than 100 yards in four of the past five weeks. But Pittsburgh back Le’Veon Bell exposed them a bit last week, rushing for 118 yards and catching another six passes for 64 yards. A good back with a great offensive line has proved then can gash these Giants.
2. QB Dak Prescott. No Jason Pierre-Paul is good news for Prescott, from both a real football and a fantasy football perspective. Prescott’s last two weeks haven’t been much to write home about in fantasy terms, as he scored 20 points against Washington and 10 points against Minnesota in standard leagues. In both cases he threw for less than 200 yards, though his rushing production buoyed his numbers vs. the Redskins. Even without JPP the Giants will be a difficult unit to pass on. They’re ranked No. 3 in fantasy against quarterbacks and boast solid players on their back seven. Remember that Prescott threw for 227 yards against the Giants in Week 1. I’m locked in on that as a floor for this weekend. Prescott is a different player and this is a different offense now, especially when it comes to the deep ball. But temper your expectations. The Giants have given up two 300-yard passing games this season.
3. WR Dez Bryant. Bryant outproduced Prescott last week, scoring 14 points despite being locked in coverage with Xavier Rhodes the entire game. But the previous week against Washington Bryant had just seven fantasy points in standard leagues. As we noted last week, given Prescott’s steady, but not stratospheric production, Bryant’s fantasy numbers are really dependent on his touchdown receptions. Fortunately he’s had five touchdowns in the last six weeks. The Giants statistically are a bit more vulnerable to wide receivers in fantasy terms (ranked No. 11). Whether he sees Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie or Janoris Jenkins in coverage, Bryant will have to work for what he gets. He’s a high-floor, low-ceiling WR1 this week. If he has 12 points in standard leagues, that’s a productive day, and that’s his average for the last six games.
4. TE Jason Witten. The last time the Cowboys played the Giants Witten caught 9 passes for 66 yards in what ended up being his second-best game of the season. The Giants have struggled against tight ends in fantasy terms, ranked No. 21 overall. Witten didn’t have a reception last week. That won’t happen again this week, and there’s a floor of 5-6 points there for Witten to snag in a standard league if the Giants’ defense gets too locked in on Bryant.
5. WR Cole Beasley. Beasley feels like a similar play to Witten this week. He has a solid floor of 4-5 points, but his ceiling isn’t that high because this could be a low-scoring game. It’s interesting to note that in his first meeting with the Giants he caught 8 passes for 65 yards. He hasn’t matched that reception total this season. Still since the bye he’s caught six passes once and five passes three times, so he should bounce back this week, but don’t expect it to be a huge bounceback.