NFL DFS Picks and Analysis - Week 12: The Grind Down - Cowboys vs. Giants

Welcome to the RotoGrinders NFL Grind Down, a fantasy football advice article for DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo. This DFS breakdown is a FAST and EFFICIENT preview of the week ahead in the NFL from a daily fantasy sports perspective. We’ll provide all the projections, projected ownership, picks, targets, and analysis you need to set your lineups for this week’s contests.

Every game will be broken down with a DFS AND DFS Prop Site mentality. Betting lines are shown with projected team totals, spreads, and moneyline to give you an idea of the game environment. At the end of each section, we’ll deliver a DFS and Prop cheat sheet of props to bet, stacks to build, players to target, and low projected ownership plays that can make an impact on your weekly success.

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Projected Ownership: Expected draft percentage for each player.
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Expert Rankings: Consensus best plays.
Top Stacks: based on our simulations.

Sports Betting Lines and Overview

Dallas Cowboys DFS Breakdown

Team Projections

QB Team DKSal FDSal Proj Rank ProjAtt ProjYds
Dak Prescott DAL $6,200 $8,000 19.35 QB8 31.97 240.43
RB Team DKSal FDSal Proj Rank ProjRu% ProjTar%
Tony Pollard DAL $6,600 $8,500 15.84 RB19 43.24% 9.64%
Ezekiel Elliott DAL $5,800 $7,000 9.99 RB36 37.77% 4.24%
Malik Davis DAL $4,200 $4,800 1.11 RB78 3.21% 0.94%
WR/TE Team DKSal FDSal Proj Rank ProjTar% ProjTar
CeeDee Lamb DAL $7,100 $7,900 19.44 WR7 29.92% 9.57
Michael Gallup DAL $4,600 $5,700 9.17 WR55 17.40% 5.56
Noah Brown DAL $3,500 $5,200 4.81 WR87 8.28% 2.65
Jalen Tolbert DAL $3,100 $4,700 2.3 WR115 4.62% 1.48
KaVontae Turpin DAL $3,000 $4,600 0.45 WR139 1.15% 0.37
Dalton Schultz DAL $3,800 $5,800 9.87 TE10 16.83% 5.38
Jake Ferguson DAL $2,500 $4,400 2.04 TE56 4.02% 1.29

New York Giants Projections Breakdown

Team Projections

QB Team DKSal FDSal Proj Rank ProjAtt ProjYds
Daniel Jones NYG $5,500 $7,500 16.04 QB21 28.26 198.13
RB Team DKSal FDSal Proj Rank ProjRu% ProjTar%
Saquon Barkley NYG $8,000 $8,800 19.25 RB6 63% 15%
Matt Breida NYG $4,300 $5,100 3.94 RB58 12% 4%
Gary Brightwell NYG $4,000 $4,600 0.23 RB97 1% 0%
WR/TE Team DKSal FDSal Proj Rank ProjTar% ProjTar
Darius Slayton NYG $5,000 $6,400 10.05 WR50 22% 6.22
Isaiah Hodgins NYG $3,000 $5,100 7.34 WR62 15% 4.32
Kenny Golladay NYG $3,700 $5,300 4.51 WR92 11% 3.09
Richie James NYG $3,400 $5,400 6.03 WR70 12% 3.30
Marcus Johnson NYG $3,000 $4,700 0.41 WR143 1% 0.30
Lawrence Cager NYG $2,700 $4,800 4.08 TE39 10% 2.70
Tanner Hudson NYG $2,500 $4,300 3.3 TE41 7% 1.97
NFL DFS and Prop Site Analysis

— This game should kick off right as the turkey settles and the tryptophan starts to kick in. The Cowboys suffered one of their worst losses of the season in Week 10 against the Packers, but then put together their best performance of the season in Week 11 against the Vikings. They have a lot of work to do to catch the Eagles in the NFC East, but are firmly in the mix for a playoff spot with a record of 7-3. The Giants share the exact same record, although most refuse to believe this is a good football team. They have won a lot of close games and are 21st in total DVOA this season. This game features a 9-point spread and a 45.5-point total.

Dak Prescott can make football look so easy. He can also underwhelm as much as any quarterback in the league, at least compared to our expectations. He’s coming off of his best three-game stretch of the season, but hasn’t been asked to do as much this year. This is the best defense we’ve seen from the Cowboys in a very long time and they have an effective one-two punch at running back. While volume is a concern in a game where the Cowboys are 9-point favorites, Prescott should be efficient against a team that is 24th in pass defensive DVOA this season.

CeeDee Lamb has struggled with consistency on a week-to-week basis, but he’s played with two different quarterbacks and game script often dictates how many targets he’s going to get each week. We’ve seen the type of upside he possesses (11/150/2 against the Packers) and he’s considerably cheaper than both Stefon Diggs and Justin Jefferson. He pairs easily with Prescott and gets to face a beatable secondary. Michael Gallup and Noah Brown will be heavily involved as well and really only need a touchdown to pay off their respective salaries on this three-game slate. You can certainly do worse if you are in need of salary savings at wide receiver. Dalton Schultz has great splits with Prescott under center and is facing a team that has allowed the eighth most fantasy points to tight ends this season. Based on salaries and positional scarcity, he’s my favorite wideout to target from the Cowboys.

— We heard Tony Pollard was going to work ahead of Ezekiel Elliott heading into last week’s game, but it looked like it was all coach speak after watching the first drive. However, Pollard ended up playing on 54% of the snaps and was able to turn 21 opportunities into 189 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. He has now scored six touchdowns over the last three games. Elliott played on 29% of the snaps and parlayed 16 opportunities into 47 yards and two touchdowns. There is a path for one or both running backs to succeed against the Giants, who are ranked 28th in rush defense DVOA and 28th in defensive adjusted line yards. I prefer Pollard on the three-game slate, but will be mixing in Zeke for showdown contests.

Daniel Jones has been a top 10 fantasy quarterback this season and he essentially has nobody to throw the ball to on offense. The Giants traded away Kadarius Toney and now Wan’Dale Robinson has been placed on injured reserve. The key to the production of Jones hasn’t been through the air, it’s been on the ground. In 10 games, he has rushed for 437 yards and four touchdowns. With that said, this is one of his toughest tests to date. The Cowboys have an excellent pass rush and Jones has struggled mightily in this matchup throughout his career (has never scored more than 16 fantasy points in six meetings with Dallas).

— With Robinson out, the Giants will now have to lean on the likes of Darius Slayton, Kenny Golladay, Richie James, and Isaiah Hodgins at receiver. Slayton should be the clear WR1, but it’s anyone’s guess as to who will see the most snaps and targets after that. Golladay has to be considered one of the worst signings over the last few years, while James and Hodgins are secondary pieces on a team that wants to run the ball. This would usually be a situation to ignore, but they are all viable in large-field tournaments thanks to the size of the slate. Lawrence Cager appears to have the edge over Tanner Hudson as the primary pass-catcher at tight end and is worth a look on DraftKings ($2,700).

Saquon Barkley was easily the biggest mistake in my rosters last week. Well, perhaps it was a case of good process, bad result, but it stung nonetheless. He was only able to gain 27 yards from scrimmage on 16 touches. To make matters worse, Matt Breida came in and vultured a touchdown. It’s good and bad news for Barkley this week — the Giants want to run the ball and the matchup sets up better for the run than it does the pass. However, the game script could easily get out of hand and the Giants have had one of the worst run-blocking units in football this season. Barkley is a strong option, but far from a lock on this three-game slate.

Strong Projections: Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb, Dalton Schultz, Saquon Barkley

Strong Stack Options: Dak Prescott + one or two wideouts

Strong GPP Differentiators: Tony Pollard, Daniel Jones, Darius Slayton

Roster Construction Punts/Values: Michael Gallup, Lawrence Cager (DK)

Favorite Prop Site Bet: Dalton Schultz over 37.5 receiving yards (PrizePicks)

About the Author

  • Derek Farnsworth (Notorious)

  • Derek Farnsworth, aka Notorious, is one of the most recognizable names and faces in all of DFS, thanks in large part to the great advice he gives on a daily basis in’s Grind Down for NBA and MLB as well as the First Look column that gives a preview of the day’s games from a DFS perspective. Before joining the RotoGrinders team, Derek received a Masters Degree from the University of Utah. When he’s not busy providing content, he’s dominating the industry as evidenced by his consistent top rankings in multiple sports. Farnsworth provides expert analysis for RotoGrinders Premium members on a daily basis during the NBA season and has also been nominated for five different Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA) awards.

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