Drew Brees, NO @ DAL (FD – $17,000, DK – $10,600/15,900-MVP)
Brees has been on fire over the past four weeks, albeit against the Falcons, Bengals, Eagles, and Rams secondaries. The two games before this stretch started he put up 7 and 16 FP against the Vikings and Ravens, respectively. The Dallas Cowboys pose another tough test for the veteran. They have allowed 16.09 FPPG over their last five contests, and boast the seventh highest Sack% and 6th best Pass TD% this season. The highest FP total from a QB they’ve allowed recently was Carson Wentz in the Zach Ertz monster game (we’ll talk TEs later) and that was just 21.4 points. The secondary has done a great job at limiting big plays, and the D-Line has played great, both of which I believe limit the ceiling of Brees tonight. I don’t want anything to do with Brees on FanDuel with the 17K price tag, but am willing to FLEX him on DraftKings at a very reasonable price.
Dak Prescott, DAL vs NO (FD – $15,500, DK – $9,000/13,500-MVP)
The Saints have shown improvement against QBs recently, allowing just 16.28 FPPG opposed to 22.0 on the season. However, two of the last five included 3 and 8 point duds from Carson Wentz and Andy Dalton. The other three all scored over 21 FP. Dak has scored over 20 FP in four of his last six, impressively scoring rushing TD in five of those contests. I don’t mind the price tag on FanDuel considering the ceiling against this secondary, but will probably fade both signal callers on that site to be able to play both stud RB. But on DraftKings, Prescott is my top choice for the MVP (1.5x Points) slot.
Ezekiel Elliott, DAL vs NO (FD – $16,500, DK – $11,200/16,800-MVP)
Both of these defenses have been suffocating against the ground game. New Orleans is allowing the 2nd lowest Yards per Carry (3.6) and the lowest Rushing Yards per game this season. Over the last five games, RB1 have scored 13.78 FPPG (0.5 PPR). Todd Gurley scored just 16.9 in a shootout. Zeke on the other hand has scored 22,29, and 33 FP in his last three, but against some soft rush defenses in Washington, Atlanta, and Philadelphia. But the thing I like most is Zeke’s continued involvement in the pass game as he saw 6, 8, and 7 targets, respectively. I see him getting right at 10 tonight as the ground game is unable to get rolling and the Cowboys have to play a little second half catch/keep up, and he undoubtedly finds pay dirt tonight. He’s the safest bet for points on either side of the ball tonight due to his role in the Dallas offense, and for that reason I have him slotted in the MVP (1.5x Points) slot on FanDuel.
Alvin Kamara, NO @ DAL (FD – $14,500, DK – $11,800/17,700-MVP)
As good as the Saints have been against RB lately, the Cowboys have been slightly better. Over their last five games they are allowing just 10.3 FPPG (0.5 PPR) to RB1. The only back to crack 20 FP over that stretch was Dion Lewis, who managed just 62 yards on the ground, but went 4/60/1 receiving. This is exactly why I love Alvin Kamara tonight, well ahead of teammate Mark Ingram. Dallas has allowed the third lowest Yards per Carry (3.7) and fourth lowest Rushing Yards per game this season. I don’t see Mark Ingram getting anything going tonight. Kamara has been fading over the last three weeks, losing exactly seven FP each week. But when you consider how awful Atlanta and Philadelphia have been against the run, its not surprising the Saints didn’t rely on Kamara like they did against the Rams or the Vikings. Like Zeke, Kamara should see plenty of work in the pass game today, creating a very nice fantasy floor. But the fact that he will still split snaps with Ingram puts him behind Zeke tonight. He’s a shoo-in on FanDuel, but a tough fade for me on DraftKings at 11,800.
Amari Cooper, DAL vs NO (FD – $12,500, DK – $8,200/12,300-MVP)
Cole Beasley, DAL vs NO (FD – $8,500, DK – $4,000/6,000-MVP)
This is where we make our money tonight. Cooper and Beasley are locks on both sites facing a secondary that has been thrashed all season. The Saints are allowing 15.36 FPPG (0.5 PPR) to WR1 and 15.95 out of the slot over their last five games. For the season, they have allowed 30.5 to opposing WR corps. Julio Jones, Brandin Cooks, and Stefon Diggs all scored over 20, and Amari Cooper is coming off a monster 34 FP performance on Thanksgiving – averaging 8 targets per game since being acquired by the Cowboys. Beasley on the other hand has just two double-digit performances all year, but I’ll gladly take his route running over P.J. Williams coverage ability tonight. Calvin Ridley, Cooper Kupp, and Adam Thielen all feasted against the Saints from the slot, plus Beasley is dirt cheap and acts as a low risk-high reward salary relief. The duo is far from Jones/Ridley, Diggs/Thielen, or Cooks/Kupp, but on a one game slate – that dog will hunt.
Michael Thomas, NO @ DAL (FD – $14,000, DK – $11,600/17,400-MVP)
Tre’Quan Smith, NO @ DAL (FD – $10,500, DK – $6,800/10,200-MVP)
As I previously stated, the Cowboys have been fantastic at limiting damage via the air. Byron Jones has played great after his transition to CB, and Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis are holding their own with over-the-top help from Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods. Collectively they are allowing the 5th highest Cmp% in the league this season, but also the seventh lowest Yards per Catch. As I said, limiting the damage. Over the last five games they have allowed just 10.3 FPPG (0.5 PPR) to WR1 and 6.26 to WR2. Over that stretch only Julio Jones has bested 20 FP. Over the entire season they are only allowing 19.1 FPPG to opposing WR corps. Thanks to the difficulty in beating this secondary deep, and me still not fully trusting his role in this offense on a week-to-week basis, I am fading Tre’Quan Smith on both sites. I can see MT catching a ton of short/intermediate passes today, but think in the end the price tags won’t be worth the production.
Dan Arnold, NO @ DAL (FD – $7,500, DK – $1,800/2,700-MVP)
Ben Watson, NO @ DAL (FD – $7,000, DK – $2,600/3,900-MVP)
I’m not touching any Dallas TEs tonight, nor for the rest of the season for that matter. 1. They aren’t good, and 2. New Orleans has been shutting down opposing TEs all season. But I do love the position the Saints TEs are in tonight, especially the Dan Arnold. His questionable tag has been removed, and he will look to build upon his breakout performance last week against Atlanta. Dallas is allowing 12.86 FPPG (0.5 PPR) to TE1 over the last five games, and both Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis scored double digits on Thanksgiving. Jaylen Smith and Lander Vander Esch are playing at a high level right now, but are still young and inexperienced and can be beat in coverage by an athletic TE. Zach Ertz dropped 33.5 FP on them in Week 10. This is where I see Dan Arnold taking advantage tonight, as the former WR has plenty of athleticism. Drew Brees loves his freaky athletic TEs, playing with both Jimmy Graham and Antonio Gates in his career, but he also loves to F with our minds and throw to the one guy you weren’t thinking about on the goal line. Which is why I don’t even mind taking a flyer on old-man Ben Watson tonight. Bottom line: Brees is tossing at least one TD to a TE this game.
Not today, DraftKings. Not today.
Wil Lutz, NO @ DAL (FD – $10,000, DK – $3,600/5,400)
Brett Maher, DAL vs NO (FD – $9,000, DK – $3,200/4,800-MVP)
It’s a big hell no from me on FanDuel tonight, and a tough pass on DraftKings. New Orleans is allowing just 3.8, THREE POINT EIGHT, FPPG to Kickers over their last five. Dallas is allowing a respectable 7.6 over the same stretch. For 3,600 I wouldn’t argue against Lutz on DraftKings, but over than that, nothing to see here.
Picks Against the Spread
Saints (-8.0) @ Cowboys: O/U 53.5
I see this game starting out slow for most the first half as both offenses feel out the stout opposing defenses looking for the vulnerabilities to attack after halftime.
I see both teams succeeding in their offensive adjustments and the scores to start piling in after the half. Sean Peyton obviously > Jason Garrett, so the Saints pull away in 3rd, with Dallas making a valiant 4th comeback that falls short on Prescotts only TO of the game.
Final Score: Saints 31-24
Bets: Dallas (+8.0), Over 53.5
*Photo by Keith Allison