Week 14 Sunday Night Football Single-Game NFL DFS: Top FanDuel & DraftKings Plays

Dec 09, 2023
Sunday Night Single-Game DFS: Eagles at Cowboys

Welcome to the showdown breakdown for Week 14 Sunday Night Football, featuring a high-stakes NFC East showdown between the Eagles and Cowboys. The Eagles—at 10-2 and after a brutal loss to the 49ers in Week 13—head to Dallas with the division and the conference lead on the line, with the Coyboys trailing Philadelphia by just a game one game. Both teams enter this clash in relatively decent health, with the Eagles bolstered by the return of standout tight end Dallas Goedert. In what’s currently the highest-total contest for the week, this is shaping up to be one of the most exciting prime-time slates of the entire season. Let’s dig into the top plays and value options, and build strategies for single-game DFS players.

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Game Environment

This chart represents the general offensive strategies for each team when the game outcome is still in question (win probability between 20% and 80%). The final two minutes of each half are also excluded. We’ll include last year’s statistics through Week 4 of the regular season. Teams in the upper-right quadrant pass more often and play faster than the average NFL team in neutral game scripts, and conversely, teams in the lower-left quadrant play slower and run more often than the average NFL team.

Eagles (+3.5, 24.25) @ Cowboys (-3.5, 27.75 ); Over/Under 52

Dallas plays significantly faster and passes more than the average team when in neutral game scripts. Maybe more importantly, however, the Cowboys have maintained that pass-happy nature whether the game is out of reach for their opponent or not. They have the third-best average score differential in the NFL at +6.3 points and still pass the ninth-most times per game in the NFL. The tempo tends to dip, though, because that’s simply the tempo offenses move at when they’re up by multiple scores. Dallas’ overall pace of play is second-slowest in the league, again influenced mainly by their typical game script. They throw the seventh most deep passes per game, and average 7.1 red zone pass attempts per game, the most in the NFL this season.

Philadelphia’s overall offensive scheme doesn’t look entirely different than Dallas’ on paper, though functionally we know that the way they structure drives is different than other teams because of the team’s otherworldly success in third- and fourth-and-short situations. Jalen Hurts still throws more, and plays faster than league average in neutral game scripts. But once again, due to a top-10 average score differential, the Eagles tamp down their aggressiveness in favor of game control. They're 21st in pass plays per game and 25th in pace of play, but still average the same number of deep passes per game as the high-flying Dallas passing attack. One area where they’re functionally very different is inside the 20, where the Eagles pass about half as much as the Cowboys, ranking 20th in red zone pass attempts per game.

Quarterback Analysis

While there may be 22 people on the field for every play, each play and game is heavily dictated by the performance of each team’s quarterback. While efficiency isn’t everything for quarterbacks, it is the best indicator of future performance, so we use a trio of metrics to suss out top performers at the position compared to lackluster ones. xDrive Success %, or True Drive Success Rate, is a measurement of a QB’s ability to turn drives into scores weighted by sample size. EPA or Expected Points Added, is a measurement of the QB’s contribution, both running and throwing, to the team’s scoring and production vs. the average NFL team. Completion % over Expected (CPOE)represents the accuracy and efficiency of a QB’s passes compared to league expectations.

Both quarterbacks have been fantastically efficient for much of the 2023 season. Though both struggled mightily against the 49ers (not to mention both defenses looked lost against Brock Purdy and company), that remains the biggest blemish for both quarterbacks in what has otherwise been a stellar season for each.

Dak Prescott is playing the best football of his career, ranking top three in the NFL in all three key quarterback efficiency metrics. He’s best in the NFL in true drive success rate, and right now it’s not particularly close. Prescott ranks third in catchable pass rate while throwing at a top-10 clip. He’s best in the league in completion percentage when pressured, and ranks top 10 in passer rating versus both man and zone coverage, feasting particularly on zone schemes, where he ranks second in the NFL. Prescott has also added two scores on the ground despite averaging just four rushes per game, barely inside the top 20 quarterbacks this season. No one has more passing touchdowns so far this season.

Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts, even while dealing with a bevy of lower-body injuries, continues to be highly effective running the unique and explosive Philadelphia offense. Despite the harsh criticism he’s taken this week after a bad loss to the 49ers, Hurts’ metrics are still fantastic across the board, ranking top-five in the completion percentage vs expected, true drive success rate, and EPA per game. He ranks no worse than two spots lower than Prescott in any of these three key performance metrics. Hurts is seventh in true passer rating and sixth in QBR. While lazily labeled as a "rush-first quarterback," Hurts' passing numbers are beyond acceptable—they’re overwhelmingly excellent. And then, when you add in Hurts’ rushing prowess; the most carries, and most red zone carries, per game among quarterbacks, the third most rushing yards, and the most rushing touchdowns at the position, it’s easy to see how Hurts’ can be an absolute game-breaker from a fantasy perspective every time he steps on the field. Hurts leads Prescott in combined rushing and passing touchdowns this season, 31-28.

Core Plays and Auxiliary Options

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