December 20, 2022, 12:36 pm
Final score: Jaguars 40, Cowboys 34 (Jaguars covered +4, O 48)
On a day in which the Cowboys clinched a playoff berth in consecutive seasons for the first time in 15 years (as a result of the Commanders losing to the Giants), they actually lost to the Jaguars in wild walk-off fashion. Dak Prescott (256-3-2 passing, 5-20-0 rushing, 22.2 total fantasy points) delivered his highest fantasy output since Week 8, but it could have been more as he also tossed multiple picks for the fourth time in six games, the second of which was bobbled by Noah Brown before getting snatched away by Rayshawn Jenkins for the 52-yard walk-off pick-six. This game had the highest score total of the day, and yet fantasy managers with the core Cowboys skill position players (Tony Pollard, Ezekiel Elliott, CeeDee Lamb, Dalton Schultz) were left wanting more as they were all outscored by WR Noah Brown. At halftime, it had looked like Trevor Lawrence was regressing from his current hot streak, but things picked up enough for him to help Zay Jones land the hat trick.
WR Zay Jones
At this rate, Jones (6-109-3 receiving, eight targets, 31.9 total fantasy points) may not have to worry too much about battling Calvin Ridley for snaps next season. For the second time in four weeks, Jones surpassed the century mark in receiving yards but added three huge touchdowns to cap off the top WR finish of the week (pre-MNF). Perhaps the most incredible part is that Lawrence wasn’t even at his best in the first half, but it didn’t matter as he more than made up for it in the second half. In the past four weeks combined, Jones has played five fewer snaps and run five fewer routes than Christian Kirk (6-92-0, 10 targets, 12.2 total fantasy points). And yet, Jones has averaged nearly double the fantasy points per game (18.5 vs 9.6) compared to Kirk. Jones is shaping up to be a true league-winner and should be ranked above Kirk the rest of the way.
WR Noah Brown
It’s certainly been a strange few weeks for the Cowboys receiver room, which has seen plenty of media attention due to Jerry Jones’ coy courtship of Odell Beckham Jr. and the signing of veteran T.Y. Hilton last week. Michael Gallup (1-2-0) has been fairly quiet outside of the two-score game against the Colts in Week 13, but it was Noah Brown who followed up his strong 85-yard effort in Week 14 by outscoring all of his teammates against the Jags. Brown led all Cowboys pass-catchers in targets, and while he didn’t have home-run plays (longest catch was for 14 yards), he had a great connection with Prescott in the red zone. Outside of Lamb (7-126-0 receiving, seven targets, 16.2 total fantasy points), it’s hard to trust any other Cowboys receiver in the fantasy playoffs. But if you have a need a flex, Brown is a cheap way to buy stock in this prolific offense that has now averaged 36.6 points over the past month.
TE Dalton Schultz
This was a little too poetic of a performance from Schultz (2-15-0 receiving, four targets, 2.5 total fantasy points) that was truly a microcosm of navigating the tight end position all year. Schultz played on 97% of all offensive snaps and ran a route on 88% of Prescott’s dropbacks, and yet he was scarcely looked for (13% target share) and flopped in a game that combined for 74 points of offense. Undrafted rookie TE Peyton Hendershot poached a 20-yard touchdown in the second quarter to add some salt to the wound. This is now a see-saw pattern of good and bad weeks for Schultz ever since their Week 9 bye, so perhaps hosting the division-rival Eagles next week will be the boom week even though Philly allows the 7th-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends.
Want to read the rest of this article as well as get access to the rest of our premium content? You’ll need to have a FANTASYPASS membership. Click here to learn more and sign up!
Final score: Lions 20, Jets 17 (Lion covered +2.5, U 44)