Last updated: October 3rd at 10:55am ET

 

Team Totals: Cowboys 25, Packers 22

 

The 3-1 Packers visit JerryWorld with extra time to prepare following last Thursday night’s nail-biting loss to Philadelphia wherein Aaron Rodgers earned his first top-15 fantasy finish of the year (QB2) on 53 pass attempts after averaging 31 throws per game in Weeks 1-3. Missing Davante Adams (toe) against a Cowboys defense that has limited enemy passers to fantasy outcomes of QB19 (Eli Manning), QB15 (Case Keenum), QB30 (Josh Rosen), and QB24 (Teddy Bridgewater/Taysom Hill), Rodgers is a tough sell as a Week 5 fantasy starter in a game Dallas should control with its rushing attack. … Jamaal Williams’ (concussion) probable absence should vault Aaron Jones into near-every-down duties at Dallas with untrustworthy late-round rookie Dexter Williams in top reserve. Albeit inefficiently against the Eagles’ proudly-impenetrable run defense, Jones logged 19 touches on a season-high 84% of Green Bay’s Week 4 offensive snaps and ran a career-high 43 pass routes. The Cowboys have been particularly generous to pass-catching backs, yielding the NFL’s eight-most receptions (25) to Jones’ position. Dallas’ run defense has been far more stout, holding enemy backs to 54/170/1 (3.15 YPC) rushing in its last three games. Volume gives Jones RB1 upside in Week 5, even as inefficiency seems likely as an underdog on the road.

Rodgers’ Weeks 1-4 target distribution: Adams 36; Marquez Valdes-Scantling 28; Jimmy Graham 16; Jones 15; Geronimo Allison 11; Jamaal Williams 9; Marcedes Lewis 8; Robert Tonyan 5; Dan Vitale 4; Jake Kumerow 1. … Adams’ likely absence shoves MVS into No. 1 wideout duties with Allison inside and Kumerow as Green Bay’s No. 3 wideout. Even if Valdes-Scantling feels tough to trust based on his boom-bust background, Rodgers may disagree after directing just 33 fewer Air Yards (344) to MVS than Adams (377) in the first month. Michael Thomas (9/95/0), Cody Latimer (3/74/0), Preston Williams (4/68/0), Terry McLaurin (5/62/1), Sterling Shepard (6/42/0), and Bennie Fowler (5/40/0) all met or beat PPR expectations against Dallas in Weeks 1-4. … Even after going catch-less in Weeks 2-3, Graham warrants serious TE1 discussion against the Cowboys. Graham logged season highs in snaps (71%), targets (9), routes run (60), and receiving (6/61/1) in Green Bay’s Week 4 loss to Philadelphia and inherits a larger red-zone role minus Adams. … Even as Kumerow feels like a fun sleeper, Allison is easily a superior Week 5 play after logging 80% of last week’s offensive snaps and parlaying his four targets into 52 yards with a score. Allison has four TDs and five games above 50 yards over his last nine games played with Rodgers.

Particularly with pass-pro extraordinaire LT Tyron Smith (ankle) sidelined, this is a golden opportunity for the Cowboys to hand their offense over to Ezekiel Elliott back home following last Sunday night’s national-stage Superdome loss. Per Sports Info Solutions, Green Bay has allowed league highs in rushing Success Rate (59.4%), yards after contact per carry (3.5), and opponent TD rate via the run (55.6%). All told, enemy backs have smeared the Packers for 99/525/5 (5.30 YPC) rushing. Green Bay has also yielded the NFL’s fourth-most receptions to backs (29). … Setting recency bias aside – Dak Prescott’s QB24 finish at New Orleans was easily his worst of the year – this sets up as another tough spot against a Packers defense that ranks No. 9 in sacks (12), No. 12 in QB hits (25), and held three of its first four quarterbacks faced to fantasy results of QB27 or worse. Even as Dak remains in QB1 contention – we’ll discuss why in a bit – ceiling expectations should be tempered based on Smith’s injury and this matchup.

Michael Gallup’s return enhances Dak’s outlook after Devin Smith managed 36 scoreless yards on six targets in two fill-in starts. Gallup is a dicey WR3/flex in his first game off meniscus surgery, but season-long leaguers should add him if he was dropped. The Cowboys face the secondary-deficient Jets, Eagles, and Giants in their next three games. … Amari Cooper has 75-plus yards and/or a touchdown in 7-of-8 home games since joining Dallas. Cooper is at some risk of commanding Jaire Alexander’s shadow coverage, although Gallup being back lessens it, while Allen Robinson (7/102/0), Courtland Sutton (5/87/0), Stefon Diggs (1/49/1), and Alshon Jeffery (3/38/1) have all delivered useful games against the Packers. Cooper will be a contrarian DFS play after Marshon Lattimore won their nationally-televised matchup resoundingly last Sunday night. … Even in a revenge game, Randall Cobb is a no-go versus Green Bay; slot WRs Nelson Agholor (0/0), DaeSean Hamilton (0/0), and Anthony Miller (0/0) have been erased by the Packers’ slot coverage. … Teams targeting tight ends against Green Bay are 19-of-23 passing for 153 yards (6.6 YPA) and one TD. Jason Witten has yet to exceed four targets in a 2019 game.

Score Prediction: Cowboys 27, Packers 21