The Philadelphia Eagles go on the road in Week 14 looking to bounce back from a beatdown, while the Dallas Cowboys enter aiming to make things interesting in the NFC East title race. Fantasy managers will have their eyes set on this one as a pair of star quarterbacks in Jalen Hurts and Dak Prescott take the field.
Those same managers are the ones tasked with making vital decisions on who to put in their lineup and who to keep on the bench. Let's dive into some start/sit options for this intense divisional clash.
Start: DeVonta Smith, WR (Philadelphia Eagles)
Volume is king in Fantasy football and wide receiver DeVonta Smith has been seeing plenty of volume as of late. The 25-year-old is averaging 7.4 targets per game over the last five weeks. Smith has also tallied at least 99 yards or scored a touchdown in every matchup in that span. Talk about consistency.
Smith is being relied on to haul in deep passes and run for yards after the catch on short routes. That means he is a threat to score at any moment. The Alabama product has scored four touchdowns in five career matchups against Dallas, which is more than he has scored against any other opponent.
It's hard to forget what Smith did the last time he visited AT&T Stadium as he caught eight of his 12 targets for 113 yards and two touchdowns. He finished as the No. 3 WR in PPR-scoring leagues that week and another top-five outing may be on the horizon if an offensive battle breaks out as expected.
Start: Jake Ferguson, TE (Dallas Cowboys)
It was obvious in the first clash between Dallas and Philly that tight end Jake Ferguson had no trouble exploiting mismatches in pass coverage. He was getting open left and right as he totaled 91 yards to go along a touchdown on seven receptions (10 targets). Expect more of the same on Sunday night.
The Eagles have allowed an opposing tight end to haul in at least four passes in five straight games, so Ferguson's floor in Week 14 is relatively safe. The fact that he is scored four touchdowns on 11 red zone targets in the last six weeks goes to show he has one of the highest ceilings at his position, too.
Dallas is putting up the 10th-most pass attempts per game (35.9) and now faces a Philly defense that gives up the fourth-most passing yards per game (260.3). Managers should be eager to put Ferguson in a starting spot as anything but a pass-heavy game plan by the Cowboys would come as a shock.
Sit: Kenneth Gainwell, RB (Philadelphia Eagles)
There was some disgruntlement within the Philly fan base after Week 13 as running back Kenneth Gainwell played more snaps than D'Andre Swift for the first time since Week 1. Playing from behind, Swift's late injury scare and head coach Nick Sirianni's trust in Gainwell's blocking all made an impact.
It's important to note Swift is still the best option in the Eagles backfield, though, as long as he stays healthy. It would take either a large lead or a large deficit for Gainwell to gain a noticeable edge in the workload. After all, he has only drawn an average of 2.0 carries per game during the last five weeks.
Gainwell remains a change-of-pace back as well as a valuable handcuff to stash on a Fantasy bench. With that being said, his lack of touches combined with the fact that Dallas allows the fifth-fewest Fantasy points to opposing ball-carriers means he should not be on anyone's starting radar.
Sit: Dallas Cowboys D/ST
Sitting the Cowboys D/ST is going to be a tough pill to swallow for Fantasy managers as it has been the highest-scoring option at the position this year. However, there's not much going in Dallas' favor here as the Eagles have given up the eighth-fewest points to opposing defenses through 13 weeks.
Keep in mind head coach Mike McCarthy's squad is coming off a subpar defensive showing as it conceded 35 points to the Seattle Seahawks and posted only one sack of quarterback Geno Smith. It served as the second time the Cowboys defense scored negative Fantasy points (Week 5 at SF).
Avoiding turnovers played a key role in Philly's toppling of Dallas back in Week 9. It was one of only two games in which the Cowboys failed to log a takeaway. Look for the Eagles coaching staff to focus on ball security once again, leaving Fantasy managers with much better D/ST streaming alternatives.