Week 3 MNF Showdown: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys

by Aaron Stewart · Matchups Start/Sit
jalen-hurts-fantasy-football

This week, the Philadelphia Eagles travel to play their hated divisional rival Dallas Cowboys for Week 3’s MNF game. The game will be a measuring stick for how good the Eagles offense is this season. For the Cowboys, they need to prove that their road victory over the Chargers and near upset of the Buccaneers was not a façade.

Like last week, the layout for this article will be broken into multiple parts. First, I’ll go over relevant Vegas Trends. Then, I’ll cover each team’s trends and matchups. Next, I’ll share a Cliff Notes version of my article. And finally, I’ll conclude with the Cap-tain’s Conclusion and prediction.

Vegas Trends

  • The total has gone UNDER in 9 of PHI’s last 12 games.
  • PHI is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games against DAL.
  • PHI is 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games on the road.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 6 of DAL’s last 9 games against PHI.
  • The total has gone OVER in 8 of DAL’s last 10 games.
  • DAL is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games.

Philadelphia Eagles

Jalen Hurts finished as a top-10 QB last week despite throwing zero touchdowns. Gotta love Konami Code quarterbacks. Last week, Hurts had 335 Air Yards, but finished with only 190 passing yards. Insert Dallas, who’s allowed 373 Completed Air Yards. That’s the fifth-highest allowed by a defense in 2021 according to Pro-Football-Reference.

Through two weeks, running backs have rushed 27 times against Dallas. That’s the fewest RB carries against a defense. The Cowboys defense does funnel targets to RBs (21, No. 3). Kenny Gainwell is sapping multiple targets from Miles Sanders. Despite this, Sanders is averaging 27.8 (No. 17 among qualified running backs) Weighted Opportunities and has a 12.5-percent (No. 16) Target Share. Keep Sanders in your fantasy lineups and smash him in DFS Showdown.

The abysmal Tennessee Titans pass defense has nearly a 100-yard lead in receiving yards allowed, but the Cowboys are second with 483 yards. As mentioned earlier, the Cowboys allow 373 Completed Air Yards. They also allow 311 YAC, the fourth-most in the NFL according to Pro-Football-Reference.

Are you ready for Devonta Smith week? The rookie has 237 (No. 11) Air Yards, a 51.2-percent (No. 6) Air Yards Share, and a 26.8-percent (No. 16) Target Share. Dallas is going to allow Air Yards. It’s a guarantee that a large portion will go to Smith.

The Cowboys defense is susceptible to allowing passes to the tight end position. On 15 targets, they’ve allowed 13 receptions and are one of six defenses to allow multiple touchdowns to tight ends. Dallas Goedert is a disappointment in fantasy football this season, but has secured a 42.9-percent Red Zone Target Share and caught all three of his Red Zone Targets.

Dallas Cowboys

After a thrilling Week 1 duel with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dak Prescott came down to earth against the Los Angeles Chargers last week. Which Prescott will we get in Week 3?

Prescott’s latissimus dorsi injury in the offseason is the probable cause, but his Air Yards Per Attempt are down over a full yard (6.2, No. 27). The Philadelphia Eagles pass defense allows the fourth-fewest Completed Air Yards (176) per Pro-Football-Reference.

The Eagles defense has two notable weaknesses against running backs. One, they allow 10.5 targets per game to the position, third-most in the NFL. Second, explosive running backs have been efficient on the ground. Cordarrelle Patterson (7-54-0) and JaMycal Hasty (5-38-0) averaged over 7.0 YPC on the ground. Both RBs have 85th-plus-percentile Burst Scores.

Tony Pollard has been a massive thorn in the side of fantasy players that drafted Ezekiel Elliott, who still dominates Snap Share (78.8-percent, No. 4). However, Pollard’s 8.3-percent (No. 34) Target Share nearly doubles Elliott’s 4.8-percent. I see Pollard and his 18.8-percent Breakaway Run Rate and 47.8-percent (No. 4) Juke Rate scoring more fantasy points than Elliott on MNF.

Don’t bother with Dallas tight ends. On the season, the Eagles have allowed 12 catches for 76 yards to TEs, while facing George Kittle and Kyle Pitts. Led by Darius Slay (PlyerProfiler’s No. 10-ranked cornerback), the Eagles have allowed the fewest receiving yards to wide receivers (176) according to Pro-Football-Reference.

Even Calvin Ridley (5-51-0 on 8 targets) underperformed against the Eagles. It’s unlikely that both CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper finish as top-24 options in Week 3. Cooper is playing through a painful cracked ribs injury, making him the less likely option of the two to perform up to expectations.

Cliff Notes

Cap-tain’s Conclusion

The Cowboys are a 3.5-point favorite at home against their division rival, and the total is set at 51.5 points. The Dallas offense is hindered by Dak Prescott‘s latissimus dorsi injury and Amari Cooper‘s cracked ribs. I don’t see Dallas reaching their 27.75 Implied Vegas Points this week.

Something that the Cowboys do well and Philadelphia does not is cover the spread. I don’t want to take the UNDER, but if Dallas is going to cover the spread, it will only be in a lower scoring game than predicted. They did hold Justin Herbert and the Chargers to 17 points on the road. At home, they can hold the Eagles under their 23.75 Implied Vegas Points.

Prediction: Cowboys 24-20