The Worksheet, a comprehensive fantasy football preview by Rich Hribar, breaks down everything you need to know about the Week 17 matchup between the Cowboys and Lions.

Find a breakdown of every Week 17 NFL game in our Worksheet Hub.

6.0 Spread-6.0
23.75 Implied Total29.75
23.724Points All./Gm19.15
60.35Opp. Plays/Gm59.94
5.83Off. Yards/Play5.57
5.422Def. Yards/Play510
40.33%11Opp. Rush %45.77%27
59.67%22Opp. Pass %54.23%6

Trust = spike production for that player


Dak Prescott (TRUST): Dak has been slowed the past three weeks for fantasy purposes, closing as the QB13 (17.9 points), QB32 (6.1 points), and QB14 (18.6 points).

This week he gets to head home against a defense that has had their share of issues slowing down the pass.

At home this season, Prescott has completed 74.0% of his passes (second) for 8.5 yards per attempt (fifth), with 20 touchdown passes (first) and just two interceptions.

Detroit is 23rd in passing points allowed per game (15.0) and has had issues over the back half of the season.

Since their Week 9 bye, the Lions are allowing 8.4 yards per pass attempt, which is 30th in the league.

They have allowed a 5.8% touchdown rate over that period, 28th in the league.

Jared Goff: Goff was 30-of-40 passing last week, but those 30 completed passes only resulted in 257 yards (6.4 Y/A) with one touchdown.

Paired with three team rushing touchdowns, Goff was held to a QB22 (14.3 points) scoring week.

32.5% of his passes were behind the line of scrimmage, his second-highest rate in a game this season.

Just 7.5% of his passes were 15 yards or further downfield, also his second-lowest rate of the season.

This is a road game for Goff, but it is another game indoors, where he has largely been fine all season when traveling. Those games have been opponent-driven, however.

Dallas is allowing 11.3 passing points per game (fifth), a 60.0% completion rate (fourth), and 6.7 Y/A (11th).

At home, Dallas has allowed a 56.8% completion rate (fourth), 6.7 Y/A (14th), with seven touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Two things working against Goff here are that Dallas does play a lot of man coverage, and they can pressure the passer.

The Cowboys lead the NFL in pressure rate (45.5%).

Under pressure, Goff is averaging 6.2 yards per pass attempt (14th) with six touchdowns and eight interceptions. His 63.4 rating is 17th in the league under pressure.

Kept clean, Goff is averaging 7.9 Y/A (eighth) with 21 touchdowns and two interceptions. His 114.2 rating from a clean pocket is third in the league.

Dallas also plays man coverage on a league-high 41.9% of passing plays. 19 of Goff’s 23 touchdown passes have come against zone coverage.

There is an upside path here if this game should turn into a shootout, but Goff carries plenty of volatility to make him a boom-or-bust option on the QB1 line. I would much rather use Goff in 2QB formats than count on his apex outcome here.

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Running Back

Lions RBs: David Montgomery started Sunday hot, but then it appeared that he was banged up in the second quarter and was used minimally the rest of the way.

It appeared that Montgomery suffered a head injury, but he did return late in the game.

In the first half, Montgomery out-snapped Jahmyr Gibbs 21-to-17 and out-touched him 13-to-5.

Then in the second half, Gibbs out-snapped Montgomery 28-to-9 and out-touched him 14-to-6.

Gibbs closed the game with 19 touches for 100 yards and two touchdowns.

Montgomery ended the game with 19 touches for 69 yards and a touchdown.

This has been par for this backfield for some time. The touch counts end up similarly here at the end of each week, with Gibbs offering more efficiency.

Since the team’s Week 9 bye, Montgomery has 111 touches for 576 yards and five touchdowns.

Gibbs has 101 touches for 624 yards and eight touchdowns.

Gibbs has showcased a ceiling for fantasy, while Montgomery has been more of a touchdown-dependent option.

Gibbs has been a top-three-scoring running back in six of his past nine games.

Montgomery has not finished higher than RB12 in a game since Week 5.

In his two games without a touchdown since returning, he has been the RB26 and RB23.

Dallas played the run better last week in Miami (23 carries for 91 yards) than the week before when they were trampled in Buffalo, but Detroit has run the ball well all season.

We have seen them run the ball successfully over the past month against Chicago twice, and Minnesota, two teams that have stoned the run in bulk this year.

Detroit running backs have combined to average 5.0 yards per carry (second in the league), with a run of 10 or more yards on 12.8% of their carries (third) and a first down or touchdown on 24.9% of those runs (fifth).

Gibbs is a ceiling-centric RB1 with Montgomery is a touchdown-based RB2.

Monty gets a boost in non-PPR formats while Gibbs gets a lift in leagues that reward receptions.

Dallas has allowed a running back to catch a touchdown pass in each of the past two weeks.

Tony Pollard: Pollard only managed 13 touches for 43 yards on Sunday.

There was a small spike of Pollard cashing in scoring opportunities, but he has been the RB36 and the RB46 over the past two weeks without a touchdown, totaling 100 yards on 26 touches.

Pollard has not rushed for 80 yards in a game since Week 3 and has done so just once this season.

This week, Pollard runs into another tough matchup.

We are going to need Pollard to get into the end zone as an RB2/FLEX.

Detroit is allowing 3.41 YPC to running backs(third) and 9.5 rushing points per game to backs (fourth).

They also are allowing just 6.9 receiving points per game (third) to backfields.

Wide Receiver

CeeDee Lamb (TRUST): While the Dallas offense was largely stifled in Miami, Lamb carried the load, securing 6-of-10 targets for 118 yards and a touchdown. He added 14 rushing yards.

Sunday was Lamb’s sixth WR1 scoring week since the Dallas Week 7 bye.

Over that span, Lamb leads all wide receivers in targets per game (12.1), ranking second in receptions per game (8.3) and second in receiving yards per game (105.4).

His eight receiving touchdowns are second in the league.

Lamb also has 80 rushing yards and two touchdowns over that span. Only Jayden Reed (121 yards) and Deebo Samuel (84 yards) have more rushing yards than Lamb among wide receivers over that period.

This week Lamb gets a great draw to stay hot.

Over their past seven games, the Lions have allowed 193.0 yards per game to opposing wide receivers, 29th in the league.

Wideouts have secured 65.5% of their targets (24th) with 1.6 touchdowns per game (30th) over that stretch.

Detroit is allowing 17.4 points per game to opposing WR1 targets, 24th in the league.

Since their bye, we have seen Keenan Allen (11-175-2), D.J. Moore (7-96-1 and 6-60-1 with a rushing touchdown), Chris Olave (5-119-0), and Justin Jefferson (6-141-1) deliver front-end weeks against the Lions as WR1 targets.

Amon-Ra St. Brown: St. Brown was busy on Sunday, grabbing 12-of-14 targets for 106 yards and a touchdown.

That was his second game in a row with both 100 yards and a score.

St. Brown ha snow had either 100 yards or a touchdown in 12-of-14 games this season, doing both four times.

As reliable as they come, St. Brown is a front-end, volume-based WR1.

He has been targeted on 28.3% of his routes this season, fourth among all wide receivers.

Dallas plays man coverage on 41.9% of passing plays, the highest rate in the league.

St. Brown has a team-high 30.0% of the team targets against man coverage, but he is averaging 1.66 yards per route run with only one of his touchdowns against man coverage.

But when Dallas does play zone coverage, they are playing Cover-3 38.1% of the time (11th in the league).

St. Brown is second in the NFL with 531 yards against Cover-3 this season.

Jameson Williams: Williams caught 5-of-6 targets for 43 on Sunday.

While he still is not someone to take more than a flyer on for cashing in a splash play, we have seen his role rise to close the season.

Williams has been second among the wide receivers in routes run in each of the past two weeks, drawing 21.9% and 15.4% of the team targets. He has seven and six targets in the past two weeks after having more than three targets just once prior.

Brandin Cooks: Cooks only had two targets and 14 yards on Sunday, but he caught his sixth touchdown over his past 10 games.

That is where we have been with Cooks as a touchdown-or-bust FLEX.

Cooks has reached 50 yards in just two games this season, hitting 100 yards just once.

If chasing a touchdown or Cooks deliver a spike week, the matchup is favorable.

Outside of all of the production that we highlighted with Lamb, the Lions are allowing 9.4 yards per target (27th) and a 5.9% touchdown rate (28th) to outside wide receivers.

Since their bye, Detroit has also allowed 13 receptions to wide receivers on throws 20 or more yards downfield, 31st in the league.

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Tight End

Sam LaPorta: A week after leading the position in fantasy scoring, LaPorta only caught three passes for 18 yards on Sunday against the Vikings.

LaPorta has been awesome in his rookie season, but he is that George Kittle range of all-or-nothing production that you just have to ride the lows with to get to the immense highs.

LaPorta has been the TE15 or lower in four of his past seven games, but his TE1 scoring weeks have been good for being the TE3, TE1, and TE1 overall.

LaPorta has been targeted more frequently against aggressive defenses, which inherently makes sense when Goff is sped up.

LaPorta is second on the team with 23.6% of the targets against man coverage.

When Goff has been pressured, LaPorta has a team-high 24.0% of the targets.

Dallas is second in the NFL in receptions allowed per game to tight ends (3.7), but when teams have targeted their tight ends this season, Dallas is allowing 7.8 yards per target (22nd) and a 7.6% touchdown rate (29th) to the position.

Jake Ferguson: Ferguson collected 4-of-8 targets for 45 yards against Miami.

While the yardage was mild, it was the fourth consectuive game that Ferguson has had eight targets come his way.

The only tight ends with more targets over the past four weeks than Ferguson’s 32 are Evan Engram (42) and David Njoku (37).

That is the type of volume we will keep pushing out as a TE1 with upside, especially with Prescott playing in favorable conditions.

The matchup is strong here as well.

Detroit has allowed 7.5 yards per target (21st) with a 5.7% touchdown rate (23rd) allowed to tight ends, allowing 52.7 yards per game to tight ends (22nd).

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