Jim Haslett sees Tony Romo as elite
Our weekly look at the Redskins' matchup from a fantasy football perspective.
Rather than breakdown into different sections all the ways Dallas' defenses stinks statistically, let's show the Cowboys' warts all at once:
Fantasy quarterbacks: 32nd
Fantasy running backs: 32nd
Fantasy wide receivers: 29th
Fantasy tight ends: 29th
As a reminder, there are 32 NFL teams. Yes, on paper, all your usual Redskins and even some deeper options are viable in Week 16 versus the Cowboys.
Alfred Morris and Pierre Garcon are the must starts. For the running game there is both history and current events working Washington's way. Morris averaged 131 rushing yards in three career starts versus Dallas with five total touchdowns. As for the Cowboys, they have surrounded 787 yards and seven scores on the ground over their last five games. In that stretch opposing backs are averaging nearly six yards per carry.
Garcon ranks second in the NFL with 96 receptions is one of two receivers (Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown) with at least five receptions in each game this season. Last week with Kirk Cousins at QB, Garcon topped 100 receiving yards and scored for the first time since Week 10.
The Redskins top wide out should receive some rare help this week. Santana Moss (8-61-1) and Aldrick Robinson (4-99) contributed with big plays against the Falcons brutal pass defense. Admittedly it's hard to count on either in such a pivotal spot, but Cousins showed he could find both. Most likely owners in 12-team leagues have safer options than a pair of WR4 candidates. If not or cool with following a gut call, take a shot on Moss and Robinson in PPR or standard leagues respectively.
Dallas has allowed six receptions in each of its last two games plus a TD against Green Bay in Week 15. Considering the Cowboys struggles, Logan Paulsen (9-106-2 over last three games) is a sneaky threat as a mid-TE2.
Finally, we have Cousins, who for my money is the most intriguing fantasy player in Week 16. On paper, we're talking top 5 matchup seeing as Dallas has allowed four TDP in consecutive games. In reality, we're talking about a QB making his third career start and has a penchant for turnovers. For owners playing matchups, Cousins is your guy, a low-end QB1. However sitting my usual starter (Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, Tony Romo) would be too much. I'm not waking up every day in the offseason thinking I lost the Super Bowl by sitting Brees. As for Tom Brady owners debating Cousins or their guy against the Ravens, you're on your own.
The defense and kicker
The Redskins defense had their best game in several weeks against Atlanta with three sacks and an interception, but still not enough to help owners much. Dallas allows the second fewest points to opposing defenses. ...This game likely goes high scoring so Kai Forbath looks decent. What's working against him is that because teams are scoring touchdowns against the Cowboys and not kicking field goals. Over the last seven games, teams have only twice attempted more than one field goal.
On the other side...
For thoughts on Tony Romo, we turn to Rotoworld's Evan Silva: "There was a shining fantasy light amid Tony Romo's Week 15 late-game pick-a-palooza, as Romo topped 300 yards for the first time since early November, and Dallas' passing attack generally clicked before the back-breaking fourth-quarter interceptions. Romo has posted a 14:4 TD-to-INT ratio over the past seven weeks and is back in the top-ten fantasy QB1 hunt against Washington's No. 21 pass defense. This game has some shootout potential based on the bottom-barrel defenses involved."
In addition to CSNwashington duties covering the Wizards, Hoyas and the college basketball scene, Ben writes about and ranks fantasy football players for FFToolbox.com, rated the most accurate site for the 2012 season.