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Fantasy Football Picks: Cowboys vs. Buccaneers DraftKings NFL DFS Wild Card Showdown Strategy

Garion Thorne preps you for Monday’s NFC Wild Card contest between the Cowboys and the Buccaneers with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images

If I’m being 100% honest, my expectations for this past weekend’s slate of football were relatively low. The presence of Skylar Thompson, Tyler Huntley and the AFC South can have that effect, I guess. However, the Wild Card games have been fantastic through two days, and this round will hopefully culminate with another classic between the Dallas Cowboys and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Fingers crossed. Let’s dive into it.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $2.25M Monday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st] (DAL vs TB)


Captain’s Picks

CeeDee Lamb ($15,900 CP) - After an underwhelming start to the season, Lamb has been nearly unstoppable with Dak Prescott ($10,400) healthy and back under center. Since the beginning of Week 10, among all wideouts, Lamb’s tied for most 100-yard receiving performances (5), while he also sits third in receptions (65) and eighth in catch rate (81.3%). Not surprisingly, this stretch has translated into Lamb earning the second-most DKFP of any wide receiver with 199.8 — as the former first-round pick trails only Justin Jefferson. That’s some pretty nice company to have. It’s not a terrible time to be a WR1 going up against Buccaneers D/ST ($3,400), either. Since Week 15, Ja’Marr Chase (7-60-1), DJ Moore (6-117-1) and Drake London (6-120-0) have all posted huge stat lines versus Tampa’s secondary. Really, the only contest where the Buccaneers were able to stop a team’s No. 1 receiving option was Week 16 in Arizona, yet that likely had more to do with Trace McSorely than anything else. Feel free to pay up for Lamb.

Tom Brady ($15,000 CP) - It’s certainly been an odd year for Brady in so many ways, yet I find myself drawn to him in this spot. While the veteran pivot only managed to exceed 20.0 DKFP in five games this season, volume has never been an issue. In fact, Tampa Bay finished Week 18 with the NFL’s highest passing rate at a whopping 66.7%. From Week 12 to Week 17 — a stretch that removes Brady’s final truncated start — the 45-year-old racked up 289 passing attempts, a figure which was 43 higher than another other QB within that same span. Obviously, Brady hasn’t been hyper-efficient with his drop backs when it comes to DFS output, but at some point, that level of opportunity has to matter. Cowboys D/ST ($4,800) is a tough matchup; however, Dallas did surrender an underwhelming 7.5 yards per opponent pass attempt over its final three contests of the regular season. Brady might be able to take advantage of a slumping secondary.

FLEX Plays

Michael Gallup ($5,000) - You might not be too inclined to use Gallup if you’ve already dropped Lamb into the Captain’s spot; however, the 26-year-old feels like an asset that could go overlooked on this slate. To be fair, it’s not like Gallup has set the world on fire as of late, as he’s failed to exceed even 7.0 DKFP in four of the Cowboys’ past five games. Yet you don’t have to squint too hard to see Gallup’s potential upside. Not only has he logged at least an 84% snap share in each of his past four starts, but Gallup’s also tied with the aforementioned Lamb when it comes to red zone targets this season (12). With a price tag that’s never been lower, this just screams buying window.

Ryan Succop ($4,000) - I’m not generally someone who rushes to suggest rostering a kicker, but this seems like it could be a perfect storm for Succop. First and foremost, the veteran has been heavily used this season, as Succop finished Week 18 with an NFC-high 38 field goal attempts. So, we’re working with a pretty nice volume base even in a vacuum. What makes Succop particularly tantalizing on this slate is the Cowboys’ stout red zone defense. No NFC squad managed a lower TD/FG ratio throughout the regular season (0.94), while Dallas also conceded a paltry 4.48 points per opponent red zone trip — the sixth-lowest mark in the entire league. I could see a scenario where the Buccaneers are left settling for a few field goals on Monday evening.


Leonard Fournette ($7,200) - Prior to a mid-season injury, Fournette could lay claim to one of the highest offensive snap shares in the NFL at his position. However, since returning in Week 13, Fournette has seen his role decrease and his touchdown rate dry up completely. The latter isn’t totally symptomatic of the former — luck and sequencing have more to do with trips to the end zone than we’d like to admit — but losing series to Rachaad White ($5,400) certainly isn’t helping. To add to Fournette’s recent woes is an extremely difficult matchup against the Cowboys. Dallas has allowed the third-fewest DKFP per game to opposing RBs and is the best defense in the NFL according to unadjusted VOA. To put it simply, this doesn’t appear to be bounce-back spot for Playoff Lenny.


On the one hand, Dallas has been a better team than Tampa Bay in almost every single statistical capacity this season. On the the other hand: Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. With all respect in the world to his resume, I’m going to have to side with the Cowboys on Monday. The Buccaneers are 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 games and 1-6-1 ATS at home. In fact, no team failed to cover as often as Tampa. Gross.

Final Score: Dallas 24, Tampa Bay 19

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $2.25M Monday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st] (DAL vs TB)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.