Black Cat Steals MNF Show, Cowboys Roll

Nick Mensio
Rotoworld

Wrapping up Halloween weekend, it was fitting a black cat running onto the field in the second quarter of Monday night’s NFC East showdown between the Cowboys and Giants ended up being the star of the night, stealing the collective hearts of Twitter. Prior to the feline’s appearance, the Giants were trying to spring the upset with a 9-3 lead. However, after that point, the Giants were out-scored 34-9 in what turned into a massive blowout and overall disaster for rookie signal-caller Daniel Jones, who committed three more turnovers in Week 9.

The only obvious thing missing for Ezekiel Elliott, who hung 139 rushing yards on the Giants, was a touchdown while Elliott also wasn't targeted in the pass game.  He was the best player on the field in this one, but it won't show in fantasy box scores. Elliott was consistently churning out runs of five-plus yards and was hurt more by the Cowboys scoring three long-ish touchdowns via the pass.  Zeke has strung together three straight 100-yard rushing games and will get the Vikings at home next week on NBC's Sunday Night Football.

Saquon saved his night with a 65-yard catch-and-run in the second half but was held out of the end zone overall.  Barkley's 28 rushing yards matched a career-low with the other outing coming last season, also against Dallas. Barkley caught 14 balls for 80 yards in that one.  He was able to again save his fantasy night, particularly in PPR with the 65-yard gain and actually scored more PPR points than Elliott. Barkley was stuffed on his lone goal-line carry for a two-yard loss before Cody Latimer caught the one-yard score two plays later.  Barkley gets a miserable Jets team in Week 10. He’s still shaking off the rust from the early-season high-ankle sprain.

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Things didn't start well for Dak Prescott, as he tossed an interception from his own 12-yard line to Giants S Antoine Bethea on the first offensive play of the game.  The Cowboys also settled for some early field goals before Prescott hooked up with Blake Jarwin (42 yards), Michael Gallup (15 yards), and Amari Cooper (45 yards) for air-strike touchdowns.  Jarwin and Cooper were both left virtually wide open. Prescott had one or zero touchdown passes in three of his previous four games. The Cowboys host the Vikings in Week 10 where Dak will be a QB1.

 

Injured Wideouts

Brandin Cooks suffered another ugly concussion in the Week 8 London win over the Bengals and visited a specialist during the bye week. He got overall good news in that meeting, but Cooks isn’t out of the dark. He’s going to continue to seek opinions and visit doctors. Coach Sean McVay refused to put a timetable of Cooks’ return. Consider him unlikely for Week 10 against the Steelers. Josh Reynolds should slide right into his role for however long Cooks is out, and Reynolds is worth owning in all formats as a staple in Rams’ three-wide sets.

In Philly, DeSean Jackson attempted to make his return this past Sunday against the Bears but was quickly ushered back to the sideline and now needs core-muscle surgery. It sounds like he may be dealing with a sports hernia. Jackson will be sidelined for at least 4-6 weeks and may be done for the remainder of the regular season. He can safely be dropped in all redraft formats. Mack Hollins has been a colossal bust in his absence. The Eagles will continue to rely on two-TE sets, securing Dallas Goedert’s role moving forward. Goedert is a worthwhile weekly streamer for desperate fantasy owners looking for a body at fantasy’s weakest position.

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Dolphins Lose Pair of Skill Players

Undrafted rookie sensation Preston Williams went down late in the Week 9 win over the Jets while playing special teams. A Monday MRI revealed a season-ending ACL tear. Williams’ impressive first year ends with a 32-428-3 line on 60 targets. He saved his best game for last, securing five balls for 72 yards and a pair of scores against the Jets. In his absence, the Dolphins will play out the string on their tanking 2019 season with DeVante Parker as the No. 1 wideout, followed by a combination of Albert Wilson, Allen Hurns, and Jakeem Grant. Parker has been consistently solid, not spectacular, most of the year and has WR4 value.

Williams wasn’t the only hit the Dolphins took on offense Monday. After three offseason arrests that resulted in his release from the Bengals, starting RB Mark Walton was hit with a four-game suspension for violating the league’s persona-conduct policy as a result of the arrests. Walton had been playing heavy snaps the last two weeks following Kenyan Drake’s trade to Arizona. With Walton out until Week 14, Kalen Ballage is expected to take over as the default top back. Rookie Myles Gaskin and Patrick Laird are options behind him. Perhaps Miami will also sign a free agent. Ballage doesn’t elicit excitement from a fantasy perspective, but he should at least get double-digit touches the next month until Walton returns. He’d be a desperation RB3/FLEX.

 

Arians Commits to RoJo in the Backfield

After turning in an 18-67-1 rushing line on a season-high 53% of the snaps Sunday against the Seahawks, Ronald Jones has been anointed the starting running back by coach Bruce Arians. Jones has been outplaying Peyton Barber all year, but it took until November for Arians to make the official switch. Barber was in on a season-low 14% of the downs against Seattle. Jones should flirt with 15-18 touches per week moving forward and locked in as a weekly RB3 with upside. Barber, obviously, can be released wherever he’s being held in fantasy leagues. Jones gets a tasty Week 10 draw against the Cardinals in what will be a high-paced offensive game.

 

Quarterback & Running Back Quick Slants

Josh Jacobs (shoulder) was listed as limited on Monday’s estimated practice report. He’s fully expected to play through the ailment that has limited him the past couple weeks when the Raiders take on the Chargers Thursday night. … Jacoby Brissett escaped Week 9 with a sprained MCL and has a “chance” to play Week 10 versus Miami. … The Redskins have yet to publicly decide on a Week 10 starting quarterback. … Le’Veon Bell underwent an MRI on his knee Monday. We’ll await further word on the tests. … Coach Freddie Kitchens said Kareem Hunt will “definitely have a role” is his Week 10 debut against the Bills. It’s expected to be more of a change-of-pace position at the start behind early-down workhorse Nick Chubb. … Coach Ron Rivera confirmed Kyle Allen will start Week 10 against the Packers. Cam Newton (foot) remains out indefinitely.

 

Wide Receiver & Tight End Quick Slants

Panthers claimed WR Donte Moncrief off waivers from the Steelers. He’ll compete for limited snaps behind D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel. … Colts rookie WR Parris Campbell suffered a broken hand in Week 9 against the Steelers and required surgery. … Coach Mike Zimmer suggested Adam Thielen is week to week after re-injuring his hamstring in the first quarter Sunday against the Chiefs. … T.J. Hockenson had the wind knocked out of him late in the Week 9 loss to the Raiders and should be fine for Week 10. … Coach Bruce Arians said O.J. Howard is “ready to roll” for Week 10 against Arizona after missing the previous couple games to injury. … Delanie Walker shed his walking boot Monday and should return to practice this week after missing the last two games.

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