We’re getting to that point in the NFL season where a lot of these games don’t necessarily matter. Tonight, for example, features the Cowboys and Titans – two teams that have already secured a playoff spot. You might argue that these teams have nothing to play for, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take advantage of game scripts that support this idea. The remainder of this article will discuss how to approach tonight’s NFL DFS showdown slate on DraftKings.
Titans RB Derrick Henry is doubtful for tonight, so that means one less stud to worry about rostering. On the other side of things, Tony Pollard is questionable to play, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they held him out prior to the playoffs. All things considered, we have two high-ceiling players unlikely to play tonight, so that helps us narrow down the captain pool.
Tonight’s game will be played in Tennessee, but there appear to be no weather concerns at the time of writing this article. The Cowboys are nearly two-touchdown favorites, yet the game total currently sits under 40 points. Vegas lines are indicating that the Cowboys will control the pace of the game and score a majority of the points despite the Titans having a home-field advantage.
Putting Prescott in the captain spot could be interesting tonight if you believe in the Cowboys blowout script. He’s cheaper than CeeDee Lamb, and it’s possible to build a full Cowboys stack with Dak being the captain. It’s important to note that Prescott has been good over his last two games, but he can easily regress in this spot considering the Cowboys aren’t playing for a win.
Prescott has a good chance of being optimal tonight simply because his floor is about 15 fantasy points. This doesn’t mean he’ll be the optimal captain, but he’s worth considering due to a lack of other options. If you do play him in this spot, you’ll want to have several Dallas receivers in the flex.
Lamb is clearly the alpha wide receiver in Dallas. He has over 20 DK points in 7 games this season, and he seems to be heating up at the perfect time. He comes at a premium on Draftkings, and there’s a good chance he won’t see crazy high ownership tonight given the expected nature of the game. This is a tricky spot for Lamb because he has slate-breaking potential, but Dallas might be hesitant to use him to his full potential with the playoffs rapidly approaching.
If you decide to play CeeDee Lamb in the captain spot, you’re automatically assuming he sees his normal target volume. Again, tonight’s game is one that both teams might want to end as quickly as possible. If this does end up being the case, expect a run-heavy game with toned-down usage for Lamb.
Willis is worth a look only because of his cheap price tag as a starting quarterback. By looking at his game log, you’ll notice he hasn’t really paid off his value all season. This is concerning for DFS purposes, but it also means he’ll go drastically overlooked tonight. He’s arguably the riskiest play on the slate, but he has a rushing upside and touches the ball on every offensive possession.
We’re not saying to get a bunch of exposure to Willis tonight; quite frankly, that would be a terrible idea. It’s important to note, however, that he hasn’t flashed his upside at all yet. If he does happen to have a breakout game tonight and you play him as your captain, you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.
Zeke’s been getting fed lately, mostly because Jerry Jones loves this guy. Elliott isn’t the most productive back anymore, but the Cowboys have an affinity for giving him the ball whenever they’re on the goal line. Tonight’s game is expected to be run-heavy, and with Tony Pollard questionable, Elliott could see an increased work-load.
Contrarian, cheap captain piece that allows you to jam the studs in your lineups. You’re hoping for a dramatically increased workload with Derrick Henry being out. Haskins has operated as a pass-catching back in the past which makes him stand out on DraftKings. He could work his way into the optimal lineup by scoring a touchdown or two, assuming no studs drastically overperform.
Filling the Flex Spots
We’ll likely see plenty of kickers and defenses in the flex spots tonight because of the low game total. It should not be a surprise if the Cowboys’ defense comes in as one of the highest-owned plays of the slate. I’m not saying to fade these plays, but you’ll automatically have leverage by opting for a different build path.
Filling the flex spots should align with whatever game script you see happening. For example, if you expect a pass-heavy Cowboys blowout, you’ll probably want several Dallas receivers filling these spots with Dak somewhere in the mix. If you’re building for a shootout script, you’ll likely have both quarterbacks and receivers from both teams.
- Dalton Schultz
- Noah Brown
- Ezekiel Elliott
- Brett Maher
- Austin Hooper
- Chigoziem Okonkwo
- Cowboys D
- CeeDee Lamb
- Both quarterbacks
This is the type of slate where the optimal lineup could be less positively correlated than usual. There are a plethora of volatile plays tonight, but the considerations above are unlikely to give you zero points.
It’s always beneficial to think about how a game might play out before you build any lineups. You can do this by looking at Vegas odds and considering situational narratives. Below are some examples of game scripts that could apply to tonight’s game.
- Dallas defensive script – Cowboys take the lead early and proceed to stop Tennessee’s offense for the remainder of the game. In this case, Dallas likely takes their foot off the gas and runs the ball heavily to take time off the clock.
- Dallas blowout script – Dak Prescott and the Dallas offense decide to take advantage of a mediocre Titans defense. We’ve seen a balanced attack in previous Dallas blowouts, so all key offensive pieces would be viable.
- Shootout script – Highly unlikely but always possible in the NFL. Malik Willis and the Titans’ offense would need to be productive for this to happen. A shootout implies a close game that will be back and forth in scoring,
- Slow-paced or sloppy game – This is probably the most likely scenario tonight. Both teams are already in the playoffs, so there’s really nothing to play for other than pride. We’re now in week 17 which used to mark the end of the regular season, so many playoff teams are looking ahead. Kickers, defenses, RBs, are all worth playing in this situation.
Thank you for checking out our thoughts on tonight’s NFL DFS showdown between the Cowboys and Titans! It seems like all Thursday games this year have been unexciting, and it wouldn’t be surprising if tonight’s game shakes out the same way. This is a slate, however, where drafting several Tennessee players could put you in a position to win a lot of money. Regardless of what you decide to do, we wish you good luck!