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Going Deep

Cowboys vs. Bucs Sunday Night Football DFS Preview

by Kyle Dvorchak
Updated On: September 16, 2022, 10:22 am ET

It’s NFL season and that means you’ve got a chance at $100,000 with Sunday Night 7. Predict what will happen on Sunday Night Football and watch along to see if you’ll be the next big winner. Click here to get started with the NBC Sports Predictor app.


Captain

Tom Brady

Brady appeared in 19 games last year including the playoffs and outscored all of his receivers nine times. For a quarterback who is not a threat on the ground, that's a shockingly high number. With a receiving room that runs four deep and strong pass-catching backs, a similar trend could emerge this year. If playing Brady at captain, I'd play no fewer than two of his receivers or tight ends.

Dak Prescott

Prescott survived an ankle injury scare in practice and should be fine for this game. However, the issue could keep him from running as often as we're used to. Given how lofty CeeDee Lamb's target share should be, it will also be difficult for him to out-score all of his receivers. Prescott makes sense as a FLEX option, though I would lean toward Lamb for the captain slot. 

CeeDee Lamb

With no second receiver of note on the roster, Lamb will be given all of the targets he can handle. He ranked 13th in yards per route run at 2.1 last year, and that was a strong improvement over his rookie campaign. If he takes the next step, Lamb could be a weekly threat to lead his position in fantasy points.

Leonard Fournette

Fournette got all of the high-value touches for the Bucs in 2021. He ranked second in red zone targets and third in total targets among running backs. He also finished ninth in red zone carries. Fournette is a strong pivot off the chalky Tampa passing attack options.

Mike Evans

Evans' projection depends entirely on the health of Chris Godwin. If Godwin is active, Evans, who is the most expensive player on DraftKings and the most expensive non-quarterback on Fanduel, will be an easy fade.

Evans Godwin Splits

Flex

Chris Godwin

Through 14 weeks, Godwin ranked ninth in targets and second in red zone targets. He was the WR5 in PPR and had the fewest receiving touchdowns of any top-10 receiver at the time. Godwin is Brady's favorite target at all parts of the field. If he's active, I'll be gambling on the upside he brings.

Dalton Schultz

The Cowboys have no reliable options at receiver after CeeDee Lamb. Schultz topped out at 82 yards in a game last year, but that was with Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper on the roster. His yardage share could skyrocket in their absence and he was already a strong touchdown scorer, posting two multi-score games in 2021. 

Julio Jones vs. Russell Gage

Gage had a quiet summer and enters Week 1 with a minor hamstring injury. He joined Tampa Bay on a three-year, $30 million contract. Gage had been a role player in Atlanta until he was thrust into the WR1 seat in 2021. He handled the role well, posting a 66/770/4 receiving line. With a massive increase in surrounding talent, I expect his production to drop off in favor of other receivers on this roster.

Jones flopped in Tennessee but was still an elite producer in his final season with the Falcons. He ranked seventh in receiving yards per game. Though it's been a minute since we've seen that version of Julio, betting on him in single-game formats is the perfect way to shoot for the moon.

Ezekiel Elliott

Elliott's 35 red zone carries were 20 more than any other Dallas player. Zeke also averaged nearly four targets per game. His usage was great, but the production wasn't there. It's possible that the torn PCL he suffered early in the season was the cause of his weak showing. If that's the case, there's a strong argument to be made to buy the dip this year.

Per usual, there were plenty of quotes about Tony Pollard getting slot snaps and reps out wide this summer. It's rare for those types of statements to ever manifest on the field. However, the Cowboys' receiver woes could make this the exception to the rule. 

Value

Rachaad White

White's role is unclear, but that uncertainty should keep his ownership in check. All reports from camp have said the Bucs love White, so it's possible he has an immediate role as a pass-catcher.

Other Cowboys Receivers

A report from earlier in the week said rookie Jalen Tolbert could be scratched for Week 1. If that's the case, Noah Brown will draw the start with Simi Fehoko taking the field for three-receiver sets. USFL standout KaVontae Turpin could also get in the mix. This is a situation to take shots on based on middling ownership. Turpin is elite with the ball in his hands, making him the ideal roster differentiator.

Bucs Tight Ends

The Bucs tight end room is murky, but incumbent Cameron Brate should draw the start. Brate finished 11th in red zone targets last year and could play a larger role this season. Kyle Rudolph will also be a popular punt option on DraftKings because of his $2,600, making Brate a good leverage point off the field. 

Cowboys Defense

The Cowboys ranked fourth in pressure rate last year. Tom Brady was rarely pressured in 2021, but when it happened, he averaged just 5.6 yards per attempt. The Bucs lost three starting linemen in the offseason, giving the Dallas defense some life as a contrarian showdown play.