Cowboys vs Saints: Fantasy Football Worksheet, Week 4

The Worksheet, a fantasy football overview by Rich Hribar, breaking down everything you need to know for the Week 4 Dallas Cowboys vs New Orleans Saints Sunday night game on September 29, 2019 at 8:20 pm ET.
DallasRank@New OrleansRank
24.75Implied Total22.25
14.74Points All./Gm27.326
6316Opp. Plays/Gm65.323
30.7%3Opp. Rush %40.3%17
69.3%30Opp. Pass %59.7%16
  • Both the Cowboys and Saints are facing 12.3 red zone plays per game, ahead of only the Dolphins (16.0 per game).
  • Dak Prescott leads the league in completion rate (74.5%) over expectation (64.6%) at plus-9.9%.
  • Prescott has completed 11-of-13 passes (84.6%) in the red zone, the highest rate in the league.
  • Ezekiel Elliott leads the league with 10 carries of 10-plus yards.
  • Alvin Kamara played a career-high 87.9% of the team snaps in Week 3.
  • 69.3% of Teddy Bridgewater‘s passing yardage has stemmed from yards after the catch, the highest rate in the league.

Trust (spike production for that player)

  • Dak Prescott: He’s had a cushy start against the Giants, Washington, and Dolphins, but the Saints have been giving on the fantasy end to all of Deshaun Watson (30.7 points), Jared Goff (19.1) and Russell Wilson (41.3) to start the season while allowing 8.9 yards per pass attempt (27th). 
  • Ezekiel Elliott: He’s had 21 and 25 touches the past two weeks with 139 and 120 yards of offense. The only blemish is that Elliott has just five catches through three weeks and has just 7.5% of the team targets after receiving 19% of the team targets in 2018. The Saints have opened the year sixth in points allowed to opposing backfields after ranking fourth in 2018. Elliott totaled 135 yards and a touchdown in this same matchup a year ago.
  • Amari Cooper: He’s opened the season with four touchdowns, giving him 11 touchdowns in 14 games with the Cowboys. The Saints have been hammered by opposing lead wideouts, allowing big games to DeAndre Hopkins (8-111-2), Cooper Kupp (5-120), and Tyler Lockett (11-154-1).  

On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s average)

  • Alvin Kamara: If Kamara is going to play the number of snaps and receive the number of touches he did a week ago, then it doesn’t matter who his quarterback is. But we’ve seen the Saints use Kamara a ton one week and then revert to sparingly using him the following week. It just happened from Week 1 to Week 2 this season as well. The one significant change for Kamara with Bridgewater is he’s getting targets closer to the line of scrimmage. Kamara’s average depth of target was actually behind the line of scrimmage (minus-1.7 yards) last week, meaning he created 104 yards after the catch on his own to total his 92 receiving yards. Again, that doesn’t matter much if he’s commanding 37% of the team targets like last week. The Cowboys are 24th in receiving points allowed to backs through three weeks to aid the Saints in using Kamara heavily once again. 
  • Michael Thomas: Thomas has five or receptions in eight consecutive games, the longest streak in the league. Like Kamara, Thomas is still receiving volume (26% of the team targets last week), but his depth of target under Bridgewater (7.5 yards) has plummeted. 

Bust (down-week production for that player’s standards)

  • Teddy Bridgewater: Players don’t change their stripes often in the NFL and Bridgewater with the Saints has been the same thing he was with the Vikings, which is a low-leverage passer who plays the role of caretaker of an offense rather than a creator. Averaging just 6.0 yards per pass attempt and a 5.1 yard depth of target, Bridgewater has just been Gardner Minshew on a better team.
  • Other Saints: So far through two games, everyone outside of Kamara and Thomas has been nuked. Kamara and Thomas have combined for 250 yards receiving the past two weeks, while Tre’Quan Smith (49), Jared Cook (32), Latavius Murray (16), Ted Ginn (15), and Josh Hill (four) bring up the rear over the past two games.
  • Jason Witten: He’s fine if you solely want to chase a goal-line target, but when he doesn’t catch a short touchdown, his floor (TE18 last week) is just too low to count on.

If You Must (intriguing bench option or deeper league play) 

  • Randall Cobb/Devin Smith: Cobb (four targets) and Smith (five targets) each only had two receptions a week ago. Cobb did have a 74-yard catch and run for a touchdown called back on a penalty, but each run into another good matchup with the Saints ranking 31st in receiving yardage allowed per game (247.3 yards) and 31st in yards allowed per target (11.1) to opposing wideouts.

More Week 4 Fantasy breakdowns from The Worksheet:

PHI at GB | TEN at ATL | KC at DET | OAK at IND | LAC at MIA | WAS at NYG | NE at BUF | CLE at BAL | CAR at HOU | TB at LAR | SEA at ARI | MIN at CHI | JAX at DEN | DAL at NO | CIN at PIT