FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 6 Monday Night (Cardinals at Cowboys)
These two teams facing off would normally all but guarantee fireworks given their offensive efficiency and tempo, but the Cowboys will be starting Andy Dalton at quarterback instead of the injured Dak Prescott.
However, the spread is just one point, and the over/under is 54.5 points. We should still expect big offensive output.
Which plays, then, stand out for the single-game slate?
Before we dig in, don't forget to brush up on some single-game perfect lineup trends and leverage our Sharpstack single-game optimizer for correlated lineup plays. Let's dig into overall strategy and MVP considerations and flex possibilities, as well.
Using numberFire's projections as the base, Kyler Murray ($16,500) has the best odds to finish as the slate's top scorer at 31.1%, and his MVP roster rate will probably get around that number, so there isn't a ton of leverage there. Similar top-scorer rates belong to Andy Dalton ($12,500) and Ezekiel Elliott ($15,500) at 20.4% and 20.0%, respectively. Given that it's Dalton, he'll probably be treated as an MVP afterthought, so there's a good chance to get a leg up here on the field by going with Dalton instead of Murray or Zeke at MVP.
DeAndre Hopkins ($15,000) looks like a really stellar MVP play for two reasons: he finished as the top-scoring player in 11.6% of the simulated slates, and receivers are usually rostered as MVPs less frequently than they should be. Hopkins has a 29.3% target share (10.6 targets per game).
The Cowboys' receivers have a lot tougher of a path to the top score due to their target shares and downgrade from Prescott to Dalton. Amari Cooper ($13,500) does lead the slate 5.8% of the time and should be another leverage play away from even Hopkins if going with a receiver as your MVP. Cooper's got a 23.2% target share, making he and Hopkins the only players with at least a 17.0% target share. That works out to 11.0 targets per game, including 1.4 downfield targets per game (Hopkins has 1.2).
This slate is a little more interesting than others because there are tertiary plays with paths to the best in-game score. Two receivers have elite downfield work and average depths of target: Christian Kirk ($10,000) and Michael Gallup ($11,000). Kirk has a 15.7-yard average depth of target with 2.3 downfield targets, 5.3 total targets, and 82.3 air yards per game. Gallup has a 16.9-yard average depth of target and is averaging 2.0 downfield targets, 5.6 total targets, and 94.4 air yards per game. Those profiles can lead to eruption games.
That's not to overlook CeeDee Lamb ($11,500), who has a 16.9% target share (8.0 targets per game and 79.4 air yards per game with 1.8 downfield targets per game). Lamb projects better as a median outcome than either Gallup or Kirk by about two full points. Are either of these three playable at MVP? Yeah, of course. Should they be core MVP plays? Probably not, no, based on their target shares and historical trends (only 19.4% of MVPs had a salary of $11,500 or lower over 124 perfect lineups last year).
Kenyan Drake ($12,000) and Chase Edmonds ($9,500) are definitely interesting due to their projected popularity. Drake has been a massive letdown but is still playing snaps: an average of 67.0% through five games. He's got the better role than Edmonds, but Edmonds has the third-down work (4.6 targets per game to Drake's 1.2). With their workloads, neither really should be priority MVP plays, but Drake is still the better play.
The kickers -- Zane Gonzalez ($9,000) and Greg Zuerlein ($8,500) -- finished with top-five sores shy of 10% of the time in the simulations, and with so many skill position players with strong roles, it's hard to envision a kicker making the optimal lineup unless you're playing for a full-on under or that all the touchdowns get dispersed.
Larry Fitzgerald ($7,000) exemplifies the risk of spending down. He is really low salaried here, yet he ran 81.6% of the team's pass routes in Week 5, second-best on the team, and that included 7 targets. He has had two games with at least 7 targets (at least an 18.0% target share in them) but hasn't cracked 50 yards. We'd be looking for just a touchdown. Low-upside plays (e.g., receivers without yardage upside) need multiple scores, generally, to be super relevant on a small slate. Andy Isabella ($7,500) is an easier play to justify. He ran just half of the pass routes last week but had 3 targets on those 19 routes, including an average depth of target of 10.3 yards. His downfield work can lead to big yardage, something Fitzgerald doesn't offer unless through volume.
Dalton Schultz ($8,000) has seen his snap rate climb from the upper 60s to 76.8% and 87.9% in the past two games. He's averaging 6.2 targets per game on the full season and has three downfield targets over the past three games. He ran 82.9% of the pass routes last week.
Cedrick Wilson ($7,000) ran just six pass routes last week but had four targets and does get some creative looks, including two red zone targets.