Week 15 Game Hub: DAL-NYG

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Week 15 Game Hub: DAL-NYG

Dallas Cowboys (9-4, 10-3 ATS) at New York Giants (4-9, 6-7), 1 p.m.

Brolley’s Cowboys Stats and Trends

  • The Cowboys are 10-3 ATS this season, and they’re 6-1 ATS in their last seven road games.

  • Dallas is 6-1 toward unders in its last seven games.

  • Dak Prescott had another shaky performance last week, completing 56.4% of his passes, averaging 5.4 YPA, and throwing two INTs, including a pick-six. He’s averaging 6.6 YPA with eight TDs and six INTs since returning from his calf injury six games ago after averaging 8.4 YPA with 16 TDs and four INTs in his first six games of 2021. Justin Herbert ripped the Giants for 275/3 passing for 24.9 FP last week.

  • CeeDee Lamb has emerged as the #1 option for Dak with 10+ targets and seven catches in each of his last two games since returning from his concussion. He’s now posted 14+ FP in six of his last seven full games, and he’s pacing the team with a 23% target share. Slot WR Josh Palmer posted 5/66/1 receiving in this matchup last week.

  • Amari Cooper returned to a full-time role last week with an 88% snap share, and he had his best fantasy performance since Week 8 with 5/51/1 receiving on seven targets. He missed two games for COVID and he fell below 10 FP in his other three games in Weeks 9-13. Jalen Guyton ripped the Giants for 3/87/1 receiving last week.

  • Michael Gallup has strung together four straight games with five catches, and he’s reached 11+ FP in his last three contests. He’s averaging just 12.0 YPR in his six games this season, which is a marked decline from his 15.6 YPR average from his first three seasons. Mike Williams posted 6/61 receiving in this matchup last week.

  • Dalton Schultz posted his second one-catch performance in the last five weeks, and he’s now fallen below 10+ FP in five of his last seven games. He owned an 18% target share with four games with 55+ yards in his first games of the season, but his target share has dipped to 14% and he hasn’t topped 55+ yards in his last seven games. The Giants had their seven-game run of keeping TEs out of the end zone snapped last week with Jared Cook posting 2/8/1 receiving.

  • Ezekiel Elliott’s role didn’t change with Tony Pollard (foot) out of the lineup last week. He played 64% of the snaps for a third straight week with Corey Clement stepping into Pollard’s spot with 13 touches. Zeke has fallen below eight FP in two consecutive games, and he hasn’t averaged more than 3.8 YPC in a game since he first showed up on the injury report with a knee injury in Week 10. The Cowboys are hoping to get Pollard back this week after he missed last week for his plantar fascia injury. At least the Cowboys’ RBs will get an easier matchup this week against the Giants, who are giving up 4.4 YPC and the eighth-most FPG (25.7) to RBs.

Brolley’s Giants Stats and Trends

  • The Giants are 8-4-1 toward unders this season.

  • New York hasn’t covered a spread in December in its last five tries.

  • The Giants needed some late garbage-time production against the Chargers in a 30-point game to snap their three-game run with 13 or fewer points.

  • Saquon Barkley is the only usable fantasy option for the Giants right now, and he’s just barely scraping by at this point. He caught an 18-yard touchdown with less than five minutes to go last week in a 30-point game, which propelled him to 18.5 FP with 16/64 rushing and 3/31 receiving. He played just 55% of the snaps because of the blowout nature of the game, which is a concern again this week with the Giants entering as double-digit home underdogs. Barkley’s receiving production is keeping him afloat right now with 3+ catches in each of his last six full games. The Cowboys are giving up the fourth-fewest FPG (20.0) to RBs after smothering Antonio Gibson (5.1 FP) last week.

  • Mike Glennon could be the quarterback for the Giants for the rest of the season with Daniel Jones’ future cloudy at best this season because of his neck injury. He did get to 20.3 FP last week with two late garbage-time touchdowns with the Giants trailing by 30 points, but he’s averaging just 4.7 YPA in his first two starts of the season in Weeks 13-14. The Cowboys ate Taylor Heinicke alive last week, limiting him to 9.7 FP with two turnovers.

  • The Giants are a complete mess at receiver, especially with Glennon leading the offense now. Kenny Golladay is leading the group with a 19% target share the last two weeks, but he’s managed just 5/52 receiving on 13 targets. Sterling Shepard returned to the lineup last week and he ran the second-most routes (31) behind Golladay (33), but he had 2/27 receiving on four targets in his first game back. Evan Engram had just an eight-yard catch on four targets last week, but he did have 4/61 receiving on five targets in Week 13. The Cowboys are giving up the 10th-most passing yards per game (250.8) to opposing offenses this season, but it’s difficult to feel confident about anyone in this passing attack right now.

Barfield’s Pace and Tendencies

Cowboys

Pace (seconds in between plays): 23.9 (1st)

Plays per game: 67.4 (4th)

Pass: 65.1% (8th) | Run: 34.9% (25th)

Giants

Pace: 28.4 (19th)

Plays per game: 59.7 (26th)

Pass: 62.4% (12th) | Run: 37.6% (21st)

All pace / play data is from the last eight weeks.

Pace Points

This Cowboys offense needs to get right soon before the playoffs and they certainly have a golden opportunity here against this Giants defense that was just bludgeoned for 37 points and 427 total yards of offense last week by the Chargers. New York has been shredded for 27+ points six times this year, including the 44 points Dallas put on them back in Week 5. Everyone is dealing with COVID issues and the Giants are no different, but being down starting FS Xavier McKinney and starting CB Adoree Jackson certainly doesn’t help their cause.

Meanwhile, the Giants scored a couple of garbage time TDs with 4-minutes and 1-minute left to go in the game to make their loss to the Chargers look better. The fact of the matter is that the Giants have gone three-and-out on 8 of their 24 possessions and scored one non-garbage time TD with Mike Glennon under center over the last two weeks. If this game is going to be a shootout, we need the Giants to show up and I have no confidence in that happening against this Dallas defense that is hitting its stride.

Huber’s Key Matchup Notes

Do not read into Corey Clement taking one more carry than Ezekiel Elliott last week. Dallas jumped out to an 18-0 lead by the end of the first quarter. At that point, Elliott outsnapped Clement 18-to-2, and took five carries vs. one for Clement. And it was the fact that the ‘Boys lightened his workload the rest of the game that aided Zeke in making the following declaration:

For Week 15, Elliott will face a Giants defense allowing the eight-most rushing YPG (125.0), 11th-most YPC (4.4), 12th-highest rushing first down rate (25.3%), seventh-most red zone (RZ) touches/game to RBs (4.77), and seventh-most FPG (26.2). It should also be noted that Zeke posted his best game of the season against New York in Week 5 (28.2 FPs).

Dolan’s Vantage Points

If you look at statistics and film, the fact of the matter is Cowboy QB Dak Prescott is in a slump. It’s factual. Of course, I would never expect him to come out and say “yeah, I’m playing like crap!” But he’s heard the talk.

But again, the numbers and the film definitely back it up. Our Greg Cosell wrote this week that “Prescott has been rushing his mechanics in recent weeks, Lower body has been too unsettled; You can see him playing too fast in the pocket, Overall Prescott has not been seeing things as clearly and that has resulted in everything speeded up without the consistently needed clarity.”

And statistically? Here’s Graham from Stat-Pack on it:

  • Since returning from injury in Week 9, Dak Prescott has completed 63.2% of his throws for 6.6 YPA and an 82.2 passer rating.

  • In Weeks 1-6 before he got injured and before the bye, Dak completed 73.2% of his passes for 8.4 YPA and a stellar 115 passer rating.

If Prescott is going to get back on track, this is a good week — the Giants are down multiple players due to COVID protocol, including CB Adoree’ Jackson (S Xavier McKinney is on the list but is testing negative as a close contact). I like him as a QB1 this week.

Here’s Scott Barrett from the XFP Report on the Cowboys’ receiving trio… which has a clear leader.

“CeeDee Lamb has led Dallas’ WRs in XFP in 9 of his 11 healthy games this year, averaging 17.5 XFP/G. That ranks 8th-most among WRs, sandwiched in between Keenan Allen (19.0) and Stefon Diggs (17.1). For perspective, Amari Cooper ranks 37th (12.9)… So, this doesn’t seem like a WR1A / WR1B situation. To me, Lamb is the team’s clear Alpha WR1… Look for Lamb to lead the team in XFP again this week. Lamb has run 82% of his routes from the slot over the last two weeks, up from 28% across his first 10 games. The Giants rank middle-of-the-pack against outside WRs (21.1 FPG, 19th-best), but 6th-worst against slot WRs (16.0). And they’ve given up 20.1 FPG to opposing slot WRs over the last two weeks.

Though Cooper isn’t Lamb’s only competition. Michael Gallup quietly ranks 8th among all slate-eligible WRs in XFP/G (16.3), but just 25th in salary on DraftKings this week ($5,500). Though, he’s also been far less productive than that, ranking only 32nd in FPG (10.9)… But in his defense, he’s also dealt with some brutal luck. Despite only playing in 6 games, he ranks 12th among all players in fantasy points lost on plays negated due to penalty (11.2). If we add those numbers back to his total, he’d be averaging 12.8 FPG (17th-best on the slate). And (due to injury) he played on only 57% of his team’s snaps in his first two games. So, adjusting for injury (and penalty luck), he’s actually averaging 14.6 fantasy points per four quarters (13th-best on the slate, just ahead of Cooper).”

In the backfield, Tony Pollard (foot) could return this week, and if he does, he’ll likely have a role. Despite the Cowboys saying Ezekiel Elliott is healthy, there is no chance in hell a healthy Zeke splits carries with Corey Clement last week. Zeke is a TD-dependent RB2 who has averaged a pitiful 3.3 YPC and 5.1 YPR over his last five games. But Elliott claims he’s now the healthiest he’s been in ages!

Anyway, how are things going for the Giants?

Yeah. Exciting!

The absence of QB Daniel Jones has hurt the Giants overall, but no player more than Sterling Shepard. Here’s Scott with just how good Shepard has been with Danny Dimes:

“Prior to last week, Shepard ranked 6th among all players in targets per route (0.27). He's hit at least 17.5 fantasy points in 5 of his last 5 healthy games with Jones under center, averaging 23.1 FPG over this span. Over his last 11 healthy games with Jones, he averages 9.1 targets and 17.4 FPG. Only Cooper Kupp is averaging over 23.1 FPG, and 17.4 FPG would rank 5th-most among all slate-eligible WRs. Of course, Jones is looking likelier to be shut down for the season than playing at any point the rest of the year.”

And since returning from injury, Kenny Golladay is averaging 2.2 receptions and 28.4 yards per game. And Kadarius Toney, who was already dealing with the world’s worst quad injury, now has landed on the COVID-19 list.

One thing I’d like to see the Giants do is use Saquon Barkley out wide and in the slot more.

This is especially true since Barkley has been nursing what seems to be a flare-up of the ankle injury that cost him about a month earlier this season. He ceded work to Devontae Booker last week — 12 touches, 41% snap share — which seems directly related to his health. Booker is a viable FLEX play for those who really need to dig deep, as he’s looked pretty good. Meanwhile, Barkley’s reduced role coincided with him posting 95 yards from scrimmage and a TD in Week 14, his second-best output in both departments.

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