The Worksheet, a fantasy football overview by Rich Hribar, breaking down everything you need to know for the Week 11 Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings Sunday afternoon game.
|46.17%||27||Opp. Rush %||40.51%||9|
|53.83%||6||Opp. Pass %||59.49%||24|
- Minnesota is the last remaining team that is undefeated at home this season.
- The Cowboys are averaging 5.6 sacks plus takeaways per game, the most in the league.
- The Vikings are averaging 4.9 sacks plus takeaways per game, fourth in the league.
- The Cowboys have allowed over 200 yards rushing in back-to-back games for just the ninth time in franchise history.
- They have allowed 447 rushing yards over that span after allowing 433 rushing yards over their previous four games.
- Dallas is now allowing 1.64 yards prior to contact per running back rush, 27th in the league.
- The Vikings have 10 plays of 20 or more yards the past two weeks (tied for third in the league) after 19 total plays Weeks 1-8 (30th).
- Opponents have converted 72.0% (18-of-25) of their red zone drives for touchdowns against Minnesota, the second-highest rate in the league.
Trust = spike production for that player
Dak Prescott: Prescott had his worst outing since Week 1 in terms of efficiency, completing 58.7% of his passes for just 5.8 yards per pass attempt with two interceptions, but he was able to throw three touchdown passes to mitigate the damage and register a QB10 (19.2 points) scoring week. Prescott has now been a top-10 scorer in each of the past two weeks.
The Vikings play zone coverage on 82.5% of passing plays, which is the second-highest rate in the league. No team plays a larger rate of Cover-6 or quarters coverage on pass plays (47.7%).
That is relevant here because Prescott is 29th in the NFL in EPA per dropback against zone coverage (-0.03) compared to 11th versus man coverage (0.29). Opposing teams have played zone on 70.9% of Prescott’s passing snaps, which is 24th in the league.
Prescott has seen Cover 6 or quarters on just 22.4% of passing plays, but he has had success against those looks, completing 21-of-29 passes for 8.4 Y/A.
Prescott has a smaller sample this season due to his injury and the Vikings’ pass defense overall has not been strong in preventing fantasy points outside of generating turnovers.
Minnesota is allowing a 67.4% completion rate (26th) and 7.9 yards per pass attempt (31st). What has saved them is they have allowed a 3.7% touchdown rate (11th) but we have seen some movement there as they have allowed a 5.2% touchdown rate the past three weeks.
That is a circuitous route to take in saying that Prescott is a solid QB1 option still. This is one of the most appealing shootout potential games of the week with zero weather concerns.
Kirk Cousins: Cousins threw for a season-high 357 yards on Sunday but had his worst fantasy game since Week 4. Cousins closed as the QB19 (15.5 points) since he threw a pair of interceptions with just one touchdown pass.
Cousins was working with some magic in previous weeks because he has not played well overall. He currently has his lowest completion rate (64.1%), lowest touchdown rate (4.0%), and fewest yards per pass attempt (6.7 Y/A) as a full-time starter. That said, he still has been a QB1 for fantasy in 6-of-9 games.
This is a solid test because of the ability Dallas has rushing the quarterback.
Dallas leads the NFL in pressure rate (38.9%) while ranking third in rate of hits per dropback (20.0%). Under pressure, Cousins is completing 42.9% of his passes. That is 34th in the league while his completion rate drops 31.1% under pressure rate compared to kept clean, which is the seventh largest drop in the league.
These teams played a year ago and Cousins threw for just 184 yards and one touchdown. Cousins was pressured on 41.0% of his dropbacks in that game, completing 7-of-15 passes for 21 yards (1.4 Y/A) when pressured.
While the Dallas pressure is a concern, it is hard to outright stream for Cousins here since this game does have so much potential to pop in the range of outcomes. It makes Cousins more of a boom-or-bust option this week as a backend QB1 play, but I would have a hard time going into the streaming pool of Marcus Mariota or Daniel Jones here.
Dalvin Cook (TRUST): Cook was meandering through last week’s game before he cracked things open with an 81-yard touchdown run, the longest of his career.
After a slow start to the season, Cook has been hot the past five games. Over that span, he is averaging 20.7 PPR points per game. 15.9% of his runs have gone for 10 or more yards (sixth) over that period after an 11.1% rate prior.
Cook has also gotten some more receiving opportunities, seeing five or more targets in each of the past three games.
Dallas has gotten beaten up on the ground over the past two weeks, allowing 5.0 YPC to backs (27th) while allowing 350 rushing yards to opposing backs in those games.
Tony Pollard: Pollard continued to just deliver high-end fantasy games when he has this backfield to himself. This past week, Pollard rushed 22 times for 115 yards and a touchdown while caching 4-of-6 targets for 13 yards. Pollard has eclipsed 20.0 PPR points now in all three career games that Ezekiel Elliott has missed.
We will have to wait and see if we get another week with Pollard as the feature back here. Elliott was not put on injured reserve and appeared close to being active last week before we closed in on Sunday. Given what happened to Elliott a year ago playing through injury, it is not surprising to see Dallas take a more cautious approach this season.
Even if Elliott returns, he is only a touchdown-dependent FLEX since we do not know how healthy he is and what kind of split we will see moving forward.
In Week 7 when Elliott scored a pair of touchdowns, he rushed 15 times for 57 yards (3.8 YPC), handling 51.7% of the backfield touches. Elliott did not catch a pass, keeping his season line at six catches for 32 yards. He has handled 60% of the backfield touches in just two games this season, something compromised moving forward.
Pollard was averaging 11.1 touches per game playing alongside Elliott while he did handle 50% of the backfield touches in any of those games. I would wager he gets closer to the 15 touches per game mark when both backs are active, but Elliott’s goal line presence can be a major thorn.
16.5% of Pollard’s runs have gained 10 or more yards (fifth among all backs with 50 or more carries) while just 7.3% of Elliott’s have (41st). This offense just has more punch running through Pollard.
If Pollard gets the backfield to himself again, he is a front-end RB1. If Elliott is back this week, he is an upside RB2 option.
Minnesota has played the run well, allowing 3.75 YPC to backs (third), but they have allowed seven rushing touchdowns to backs (19th).
Justin Jefferson: Jefferson came up big again this past week for the Vikings and fantasy gamers, catching 10-of-16 targets for 193 yards and his fourth touchdown of the season. Jefferson now has 98 or more receiving yards in each of his past six games.
The most encouraging development has been his continued use downfield since the Vikings acquired T.J. Hockenson.
Jefferson has his two highest depth of target rates on the year in the past two games. He has a 31.0% intermediate target rate and a 24.1% deep target rate after an 18.3% intermediate target and 9.9% deep target rate prior. Jefferson has seven targets on throws 20 or more yards downfield the past two weeks after seven total in Weeks 1-8.
If the Dallas pressure is a problem, Jefferson has been the foxhole target for the Vikings. Jefferson has 36.8% of the team targets with his quarterback under pressure, second among all wide receivers. He has been targeted on 25.7% of his routes when Cousins has been pressured, which is fourth among all wideouts. Jefferson is at the front of the line when it comes to fantasy wideouts right now.
Dallas is fourth in the league in points allowed to opposing WR1 targets (11.9) while facing Mike Evans (5-71-1), Ja’Marr Chase (5-54-0), Cooper Kupp (7-125-1), and A.J. Brown (5-67-1) as part of that resume. Three of those wideouts still found the end zone while we just did see Christian Watson go wild against Dallas last weekend. These teams played a year ago, with Jefferson catching just 2-of-4 targets for 21 yards.
CeeDee Lamb (TRUST): All of the high-end metrics we have been highlighting for Lamb this season finally came together with increased passing volume the fantasy eruption happened. Lamb caught 11-of-15 targets for 150 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
It was Lamb’s first 100-yard game of the season and first since Week 8 of last season, when Lamb last played the Vikings. In that game, he caught 6-of-8 targets for 112 yards with Cooper Rush under center.
Lamb now leads all wide receivers in team target share (32.1%), is fourth in share of air yards (41.3%), and is third in target rate per route run (30.1%). With Dallas having a season-high 48 dropbacks last week, all of those came together for a massive opportunity.
In the five games in which Dallas has 30 or more team dropbacks, Lamb has double-digit targets in all five games.
Against zone coverage (see above with Prescott), Lamb has a 31.2% team target share, which trails only Cooper Kupp and Davante Adams.
Minnesota is allowing 9.2 yards per target (29th) to opposing wide receivers while allowing 17.1 points per game to opposing WR1 targets (26th).
Adam Thielen: Thielen secured 5-of-7 targets for 49 yards against the Bills. He now has at least seven targets in each of the past eight games. That said, Thielen has seen 17.9% and 14.0% of the team targets the past two weeks since Hockenson was added. He was seeing 20.8% of the team targets prior.
Thielen also has yet to reach 70 receiving yards in any game this season, leaving him as a floor-based WR3 option. He has not finished lower than a WR4 since Week 2, but also has just three WR2 or better scoring weeks over that stretch with zero WR1 scoring weeks on the season.
Michael Gallup: Gallup continued to run cold on Sunday, catching 4-of-7 targets for 35 yards. Gallup has yet to have 50 yards in any game this season while he has four or fewer receptions in every game this season. He has just one week as a WR3 or better, and that came along with his lone touchdown grab of the year. The silver lining is that he was still in route for 42 of the 48 dropbacks last week. If Prescott plays well, Gallup is due to run into a useable game, but he is best left as WR4/FLEX for fantasy.
Dalton Schultz (TRUST): Four games played with Dak Prescott, four games as a fantasy TE1 for Schultz. He snagged 6-of-8 targets for 54 yards and his first touchdown of the year Sunday.
More importantly, Schultz came out of the bye healthier. Schultz ran a pass route on 72.9% of the dropbacks, his highest rate in a game since Week 4. Schultz still has room to grow toward his route participation rate to open the year, but his route rate has now climbed in each of the past three games from the week prior.
With Prescott under center, Schultz has been targeted on 27.8% of his routes while posting 2.28 yards per route run. Those would be top-two rates in each category over the full season.
Minnesota is allowing a 72.7% catch rate (25th), 8.2 yards per target (25th), and a 7.3% touchdown rate (23rd) to opposing tight ends.
T.J. Hockenson: Hockenson has had nine (23.1%) and 10 targets (20.0%) come his way since joining the Vikings, posting games of 9-70-0 and 7-45-0. Hockenson had cleared seven targets in just one game with the Lions while receiving 20% of the targets just three times.
Operating with a larger target share in a better offense paired with the losses the tight position has had, Hockenson is locked into that secondary tier of tight ends behind the elites. He has more appeal in full-PPR and TE Premium formats based on the early usage we have seen so far, but those target counts are viable everywhere.
Dallas has been a stingy defense against tight ends, allowing 5.4 yards per target (third) and a 1.7% touchdown rate (fifth) to the position. Hockenson faced Dallas while with the Lions, catching 4-of-5 targets for 48 yards.
Cowboys vs Vikings Prediction for Week 11:
Based on the Sharp Football moneyline outcome model, recent trends & key matchups, we predict the Cowboys will win this Week 11 game.
More Week 11 Fantasy breakdowns from The Worksheet: