Last updated: September 12th at 2:14pm ET.
Team Totals: Cowboys 26, Redskins 20.5
The Cowboys visit D.C. with a truly transformed offense under rookie OC Kellen Moore, who in Week 1 spiked Dallas’ usage of shifts and motions by an NFC-high 26% rate above last year’s average, adding pre-snap deception to a unit that grew painfully mundane under ex-OC Scott Linehan. Dak Prescott also capitalized on a squeaky-clean pocket – he was pressured on just 1-of-32 dropbacks by the Giants – en route to Week 1’s fantasy QB2 result. I expect more fireworks from Prescott against a Skins defense that conceded last week’s QB8 score to Carson Wentz and generated just four hits with one sack among Wentz’s 40 dropbacks. … Despite handling only 14 touches, Ezekiel Elliott indeed played more snaps (37, including penalties) than his expected 20-25 versus the G-Men and should be up for an increase after Tony Pollard struggled on the ground (13/24/0). Washington’s Week 1 run defense was unimposing – Eagles backs tagged it for 26/116/0 (4.46 YPC) rushing, not including Miles Sanders’ nullified 21-yard TD sprint – and is expected to be without critical run-stopping DE Jonathan Allen (MCL). Even if Elliott lacks his normal volume upside for another week, he should at very least be fired up as a low-end RB1.
Dak’s Week 1 target distribution: Amari Cooper 9; Michael Gallup 7; Randall Cobb 5; Jason Witten 4; Blake Jarwin 3; Zeke 2; Tavon Austin 1. … Despite preseason plantar fascia concerns, Cooper logged 75-plus yards and/or a touchdown for the eighth time in 12 games as a Cowboy in Week 1 and has been far more consistent than given credit for with Dallas. Turning 32 later this year, Skins top CB Josh Norman looked slow and downright old in last week’s meltdown in Philly, coughing up completions on 6-of-8 targets for 92 yards and a touchdown. Perhaps we should’ve been forewarned; Norman allowed the highest passer rating of his career when targeted in 2018. … Gallup’s camp hype spilled over into Week 1 with connections of 62, 36, and 23 yards from Dak. Cooper admitted to suffering a Week 1 “flareup” on his bothersome foot against the Giants. Although it’s not expected to cost Amari time, any small shift in usage would benefit Gallup, who warrants locked-in WR3 treatment at this point. … Cobb turned in a successful Cowboys debut (4/69/1) but produced at his ceiling relative to his target share. Even in another plus draw, Cobb is a low-upside WR4/flex as the fourth option in Dallas’ passing game. … Witten worked as the Cowboys’ primary Week 1 tight end on 66% of the snaps but was outproduced by Jarwin (3/39/1). Cooper and Gallup are the fantasy assets here; everyone else is a low-floor roll of the dice.
Despite last week’s fast start in Philadelphia, the Redskins’ offense remains mostly a fade with Derrius Guice (knee) out indefinitely, LT Trent Williams (holdout) not back yet, and Jordan Reed (concussion) still seeking medical clearance. Vernon Davis is an exception should Reed not get the green light; Dallas’ zone defense served up the NFL’s fourth-most catches to tight ends in 2018, then got torched by Evan Engram (11/116/1) for Week 1’s overall TE1 result. Davis played 81% of Washington’s offensive snaps, tied for second on the team in targets (7), and scored a hurdling 48-yard touchdown that vaulted Davis past Shannon Sharpe on the all-time tight end TD list. … Guice underwent meniscus surgery on Thursday and should be dropped in season-long leagues. … While fill-in lead back Adrian Peterson is likely to run in place behind a dreadful line, Chris Thompson once again warrants RB3/flex discussion in PPR leagues. Thompson led the Skins in Week 1 targets (10), while Dallas permitted the league’s fifth-most running back catches per game (6.3) last year. Giants backs had seven catches against them last week. … Although rushing inefficiency seems inevitable considering the Redskins’ entirely run-unfriendly circumstances, Peterson should be rostered everywhere on volume projection alone. He averaged 16.9 touches per game, rushed for over 1,000 yards, and scored eight TDs as a starter last year. I must admit he’s at least a little bit tempting on Fanduel this week at $4,800.
Case Keenum’s Week 1 target distribution: Thompson 10; Davis, Terry McLaurin, and Paul Richardson 7; Trey Quinn 6; Guice 3; Kelvin Harmon 2; Jeremy Sprinkle 1. … McLaurin roasted Philly’s secondary for a 70-yard TD bomb in last week’s second quarter, before Keenum missed him for another would-be 60-yard score later in the game. Although this week’s matchup is far more difficult, McLaurin’s 4.35 jets, superb route running, and high opportunity share vault him into every-week WR3 discussion on a team that will play from behind far more often than not. … Richardson has now played eight games as a Skin with full-season pace stats of 48/596/4. Let’s aim higher. … Quinn led all of Washington’s wideouts in Week 1 snaps (98%) but was quiet before garbage time, managing 4/33/1 receiving. Nevertheless, Quinn’s slot role keeps him relevant in PPR leagues, where Quinn offers WR4/value versus the Cowboys.
Score Prediction: Cowboys 27, Redskins 20