NFL

FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 13 Thursday Night (Cowboys at Saints)

In the Week 13 Thursday night clash, the New Orleans Saints and Dallas Cowboys are trying to bounce back from Thanksgiving losses.

On FanDuel Sportsbook, the Cowboys are 6.0-point road favorites in a game with a 47.0-point total. That makes the implied score 26.50-20.50 in favor of Dallas.

For those unfamiliar, single-game slates feature five flex spots with identical scoring to the main slate. However, kickers are included in these contests, and there is an "MVP" roster slot. The MVP receives 1.5-times his total fantasy points, making this spot crucial.

Our Brandon Gdula has done a deep dive on single-game strategy, and we have projections for the single-game slate if you select the game from the slate tab. It's worth checking out both of those things before you make your lineups.

MVP Candidates

The Cowboys are expected to be back at full strength, which puts Dak Prescott ($16,500 on FanDuel) in a money spot. It also helps that the Saints have been a pass-funnel D this season, one that has permitted the fifth-most FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks (20.4).

Despite not adding the same rushing element as he has in previous seasons, Prescott has scored at least 19.88 FanDuel points in seven of his past eight outings, with the exception being a 4.64-point dud at the Kansas City Chiefs. He projects as the slate's top play, per our model, as we peg him to score 20.6 FanDuel points.

As for Prescott's weapons, you can make an MVP case of varying strength for all of Ezekiel Elliott ($14,000), CeeDee Lamb ($13,000) and Amari Cooper ($11,500). With New Orleans first against the run by our metrics, Cooper -- who is expected to play but may see fewer snaps than usual -- and Lamb have better ceilings than Zeke does. We project Lamb and Cooper for 11.9 and 11.5 FanDuel points, respectively.

Taysom Hill ($7,000) is taking over under center, and he's going to be a free square. In his four starts last year, Hill averaged 52.25 rushing yards per game and totaled four rushing scores. He added 208.5 passing yards and four passing tuddies through the air. Our algorithm projects Hill for 18.3 FanDuel points. You're using him -- the only decision is whether or not you want to plug him into the multiplier spot.

With Alvin Kamara (knee) out once more, all signs point to Mark Ingram ($12,000) handling a huge workload.

With Kamara sidelined in Week 10, Ingram played 85% of the snaps and accounted for 14 of 17 running-back carries while adding seven targets. The matchup with Dallas is far from easy, but the volume is mighty enticing. Plus, Ingram probably won't see much MVP love. We have him scoring 16.1 FanDuel points, tops among the non-quarterbacks. He's my favorite MVP play.

Since Hill is $7,000, there's enough salary to stack Dak, Lamb and Cooper alongside Hill and Ingram. That might be the chalk lineup, but you can use those five and still be somewhat unique by putting Ingram, Lamb or Cooper at MVP.

Flex Breakdown

As I just laid out, you can jam in all of Prescott, Lamb, Cooper, Hill and Ingram. I think a lot of people will do that, which makes me want to do something else.

I can talk myself into Zeke, who may slip through the cracks due to his salary, recent meh outings and the tough matchup. While it's definitely a bad matchup, Elliott can overcome that if he gets good volume, which Jerry Jones said was going to happen. Also, Zeke practiced in full Tuesday, so his knee injury doesn't seem to be an issue. Our algorithm has him totaling 13.2 FanDuel points.

With all that said, Tony Pollard ($12,000) projects pretty well, too, as we forecast him to score 10.5 FanDuel points. Pollard has played at least 39% of the snaps in three of the last four games, and he's amassed a total of 28 carries and 13 targets in the past three contests. His pass-game skills could come in handy against the Saints' stiff run D.

Staying on the Dallas side, Michael Gallup ($10,500) is someone I'm pretty into. Gallup stands to benefit if Cooper is eased back after a two-game absence, and at a minimum, Gallup should be locked into the third-receiver role with Cedrick Wilson (ankle) out. Gallup, Lamb and Cooper have played just one full game together this season (Week 10), and Gallup recorded a 53% snap share, 16% target share and 31% air yards share in that one.

You can also take a shot on Dalton Schultz ($9,500). The problem is that he played just 66% of the snaps in said Week 10 game, which was his lowest snap share of the year. He had an ugly 5% target share, too. While we have to be careful putting too much stock into one game -- especially when that game was a 200-point victory over the Atlanta Falcons -- Schultz's role could be diminished with Dallas' top three wideouts healthy, assuming Cooper plays a decent amount.

For the Saints, Tre'Quan Smith ($9,000) has paced the team's receivers in snaps in four straight games. The target shares have been really spread out, though, with five players posting a target share between 12% and 17%. Smith's 17% mark leads the team, so he's a viable option, especially if you plan for New Orleans to see a negative game script.

Our model rates fellow receiver Deonte Harris ($7,500) as the slate's second-best point-per-dollar play among those with a four-digit salary, projecting Harris for 6.5 FanDuel points.

The lower the total (47.0), the more viable the kickers are -- per Brandon Gdula's single-game study -- and our projections have Greg Zuerlein ($9,000) slated for 8.7 FanDuel points, making him the top point-per-dollar choice among players salaried under $10,000. With Dallas favored in an indoor game, Greg The Leg is a fine play.