The final Saturday game of the NFL regular season goes down at Jerry's World tonight as the Cowboys host the NFC North champion Detroit Lions. Dallas will look to end a late-season two-game skid while also trying to keep pace with the Eagles in the NFC East.
Although Detroit has already wrapped up their first NFC North title in 30 years, they still have a lot to play for. The Lions can still get the top seed in the NFC if they win out and Philadelphia and San Francisco stumble in the final two weeks of the regular season. Unlike a lot of this season's college bowl games, this late-season tilt will have both teams fully engaged as both squads get ready for the postseason which means the DFS play will be scorching hot!
While most will have stat machines like CeeDee Lamb and Amon-Ra St. Brown on their DFS rosters, I've got a few players worth rostering that hold great price value for this highly anticipated Saturday night NFL matchup. Let's get into it!
Hunter Luepke, RB, Dallas Cowboys
Yes, Hunter Luepke was involved in a botched running play near the goal line of last week's Cowboys game in Miami and yes, he was pretty much absent from the game after that. Yes, Hunter Luepke has barely touched the ball over the course of his rookie campaign with the Cowboys, but yes, I am recommending him as a value DFS play. The reason for the play is two-fold.
Dallas' backup running back Rico Dowdle has been ruled out for this game with an ankle injury leaving only Luepke and fellow rookie Deuce Vaughn, who hasn't seen the field since Veteran's Day weekend, to back up Tony Pollard in the backfield.
Pollard is going to get breaks and unless Dallas is going five wide somebody has to step in at running back. This is also a situation where size does matter. Luepke is a solid 6-foot-1 and 236 pounds and is listed as a fullback on the depth chart. Luepke's fellow rookie-in-arms Deuce Vaughn on the other hand is 5-foot-6, 176 pounds.
Luepke is likely to get snaps over Vaughn just for his blocking ability in both the run and passing game. The former North Dakota Bison does have a rushing touchdown on his resume from the Patriots game in Week 4 to go with three catches on four targets throughout the season so it's totally conceivable that he'd be an option in the short passing game, especially near the end zone.
Aside from Dallas using Luepke completely out of necessity which could turn into some surprise fantasy points, Luepke carries a DFS price of only $800. With a player at that cost on your DFS roster you'll have plenty of money to spread around on more "sure thing" stat sheet fillers.
Brandin Cooks, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Unlike Luepke, wide receiver Brandin Cooks is a well-known entity throughout the NFL and has a good opportunity at home to right his own statistical ship versus a Lions pass defense that ranks in the bottom third in the league in yards allowed per game (234.9) and has given up the fourth-most touchdowns (19) to wide receivers.
Cooks has been in a bit of a slump lately as he's only managed two receptions in each of the last three games. Much like most of his teammates, Cooks bottomed out two weeks ago in the Buffalo game finishing with two catches for just 10 yards. The veteran wide receiver managed to salvage another paltry week on the stat sheet versus Miami in Week 16 as he scored a TD in another two-reception game on just two targets.
Since his breakout game of the season in Week 10 versus the Giants where Cooks was targeted 10 times resulting in nine catches for 173 yards and a touchdown, Cooks has steadily been targeted 5.14 times a game by Dak and it's going to be all guns blazing at AT&T Stadium which should be a good thing for Cooks.
Like Luepke, Cooks could benefit from Rico Dowdle's absence as there's a good chance Dallas includes their receivers in the running game. On the season Cooks has four rushes for 32 yards. Brandin Cooks' price tag on DraftKings sits at $5400.
Jameson Williams, WR, Detroit Lions
By now we all know that Detroit's passing attack runs through wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown and tight end Sam LaPorta, but after them it's been a challenge for the other Lions receivers to perform in the shadows of their top-tier teammates.
Enter former first-round pick, second-year receiver Jameson Williams. After barely seeing the field in his rookie campaign, Williams has been taking advantage of his recent opportunities. Williams was absent from the stat sheet the first four games of the season, but from Week 5 to Week 12 he was getting a few targets a game and hauling in two catches per game (except for the Week 7 game in Baltimore where he had zero catches on six targets) scoring two touchdowns and surpassing forty yards receiving three times. After two cold games in Weeks 13 & 14, Williams has had a late season revival of sorts as QB Jared Goff has targeted him thirteen times over the past two games. Williams has converted those targets into nine receptions for 90 yards. Williams seems to be stepping up where guys like Josh Reynolds haven't been able to.
Jameson Williams also has a rushing touchdown on the season so like Cooks, he could be a threat in the running game via a reverse or sweep. As Detroit prepares for what Lions fans hope is a deep postseason run, Williams could turn out to be a big part of their playoff plans. Jameson Williams carries a very favorable price tag of $3400 on DraftKings.
This final Saturday Night NFL matchup should be a good one! Good luck out there!