Some of the larger tournaments will pit players from just six NFL teams in more than 3,000 fantasy lineups. The gravy will rise to the top!
Let’s take a look at the game Vegas says will be the most lopsided on Thursday, Oakland at Dallas, 4:30 p.m.
The early over/under has the teams combining for 46 points, making it one of the higher scoring games of the week. The more important part is that Dallas is favored by almost 10 points in the early going, meaning they are projected to be the highest scoring team this week.
Oakland and Dallas are sixth and seventh in the overall matchups rankings this week, making them a potential fantasy gold mine.
It’s tough to start this one. Tony Romo is one of the five best fantasy quarterbacks in the game, but the Cowboys have allowed more points to opposing fantasy quarterbacks in the last five weeks and they are in a tier by themselves in that regard. Let’s stick with Romo for now. Oakland has allowed 25.1 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in the last five weeks, seventh-most in the NFL. They were also the team Nick Foles pasted for seven touchdowns a few weeks ago and who gave up 26.6 fantasy points to Ryan Fitzpatrick last week. If I did weekly rankings, I would probably make Stafford and Romo 1A and 1B this week. … The only thing that will slow down Matt McGloin — who is expected to start despite Terrelle Pryor‘s return from injury — is is own ability and the health of his receivers. The Cowboys have been equal opportunity providers of fantasy points. They’ve made Christian Ponder and Eli Manning look good — no small feat in 2013 — and allowed Peyton Manning, Matthew Stafford and Drew Brees to have some of their best weeks of the year. If you’re putting together a team with a low-priced QB option, McGloin has to be in the conversation.
This one should be a slam dunk. The Cowboys have allowed an average of 42.7 fantasy points to opposing running backs in the last five weeks. The next closest team, Tennessee has allowed 32.4. That’s 12.3 fantasy points per game difference. Huge. However, Darren McFadden‘s return makes the water muddy here. Rashad Jennings has earned opportunities in McFadden’s absence. Maybe he’s earned the starting role. Maybe McFadden is back. He rushed for 129 yards on 19 carries and caught four passes for 28 yards against Jacksonville in Week 2. Meanwhile, Jennings has no less than 120 total yards in the last four weeks and is averaging 5.1 yards per carry this season. I wish I could answer this one, but I just don’t know. I’ll probably roll both of them out there in at least one lineup. If I have to pick one, Jennings feels safer until we know how healthy McFadden is. … On paper, Oakland looks surprisingly stingy against opposing running backs, but those numbers are a little misleading. They’ve allowed at least 14.8 points to eight different running backs this season, including huge games to Jamaal Charles and Danny Woodhead and excellent games to Andre Brown and LeSean McCoy. And if the Cowboys passing game goes off as expected, DeMarco Murray may be called on to finish the game.
As if you needed another reason to start Romo, Oakland trails only Detroit in the most-susceptible-to-wide-receivers category. Since Week 8, they’ve allowed five receivers to accumulate 100 or more yards and nine to catch at least 6 passes. Last week, they allowed a combined 12 catches for 212 yards and two touchdowns to Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter. Dez Bryant and Terrence Williams will rival the Calvin Johnson–Nate Burleson pairing in the early game. … It should come as no surprise that the Cowboys are a good matchup for opposing wide receivers, considering the chatter about McGloin above. Dallas allowed Megatron’s 52.9-point game and in Week 1 allowed 34.9 points to Victor Cruz. If Denarius Moore was healthy, I would recommend starting him as a low-priced option. That said, Rod Streater is a strong play. But he’ll be stronger if Moore, even at 50%, is on the other side to steal away some coverage.
Jason Witten has a top-3 overall matchup this week according to fantasy points against. He’s the top TE option in the Thursday-only format. It’s going to be difficult to pay for him, considering the other guys I’m recommending starting. He’s also been a bit up and down. In the last four Cowboys games he’s had a 2-touchdown game and a 100-yard receiving game. He’s also had two 2-catch games for a combined 42 yards. … It’s not a great matchup for Mychal Rivera on paper, but considering predicted good fortune for McGloin and the banged up receiver corps, it wouldn’t surprise me if he scores a TD.
This is a bad matchup for Oakland’s Sebastian Janikowski. The Cowboys are one of the stingiest teams against kickers. … I’ve rostered Dan Bailey on many a team this year. The on-paper diagnosis is middle-of-the-road. However, Bailey is the No. 2 kicker at Fantasy Pros and has the lowest standard deviation in the top-five, meaning experts agree pretty strongly on his ranking.
Dallas is a terrible matchup for opposing defenses, so it come as no surprise that Oakland isn’t getting much love in the rankings this week. … Oakland isn’t a great matchup, but the experts are looking at McGloin, thinking he still could turn into a pumpkin. Although I think McGloin has shown the potential to be Oakland’s starter, you have to agree with them and agree the Cowboys defense is a strong start.