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Fantasy football start/sit advice, projections Week 4: 49ers/Cowboys

Last minute fantasy football projections and sit/start advice for 49ers/Cowboys.

The 49ers and Cowboys are set to play for the 34th time on Sunday
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys kick off at 1:25 pm PT. Niners Nation is here breaks down the fantasy football implications of the matchup.

Fantasy scoring algorithms are surprisingly down on this game, for both teams. San Fransisco and Dallas both field defenses that have performed poorly overall, and should be viewed as favorable matchups for a handful of players.


Despite only producing one TD pass in three starts, Dak Prescott is currently the 13th highest scoring QB in fantasy. That qualifies him a borderline, matchup based starter. Facing a very poor 49ers pass defense, now missing CB Jimmy Ward, means he’s got a favorable matchup. Start Prescott.

Blaine Gabbert is a bad NFL QB. Blaine Gabbert is also a bad fantasy football QB. The sky is also blue, and water is, in fact, wet. Still, he faces a Dallas defense that just allowed Brian Hoyer to put up the 9th best point total among QB’s. With defenses this bad, it’s tempting to think this game could be a shootout, and Gabbert could be a sneaky good play. But remember how Blaine Gabbert is a bad NFL QB? Sit Gabbert.

Need a QB? Trevor Siemian’s 33 point performance in Week 3 would make him a hot commodity on the waiver wire even if his upcoming opponent wasn’t the worst scoring defense in the NFL. Siemian is the most added QB this week, but he’s still available in 80% of leagues. projections:
Blaine Gabbert: 219 yards passing, 1 TD, 22 rush yards, 17.15 points (15th best QB)
Dak Prescott: 235 yards, 1 TD, 10 rush yards, 15.95 points (16th QB)

Running backs

The Dallas Cowboys have a decent run defense, ranked 12th in the NFL, but Hyde should be a lock every week. Start Hyde.

As much as it hurts to say, the 49ers have a bad run defense. They’ve allowed 100 yard games to waiver wire fodder like Fozzy Whittaker & Christine Michael. Ezekiel Elliot is a must start.

Need a RB? With Jeremy Langford out for 4-6 weeks, Jordan Howard moves into the Bears starting RB role. He’s available in 55% of leagues. projections:
Carlos Hyde: 72 rush yards, 1 TD, 12 receiving yards, 14.4 points (9th best RB)
Ezekiel Elliott: 80 yards, 1 TD, 14 receiving yards, 1 fumble, 13.4 points (13th RB)
Shaun Draughn: 11 rush yards, 1 TD, 6 receiving yards 7.7 points (35th RB)
Alfred Morris: 19 rush yards, 2 reviving yards, 2.1 points (60th RB)

Wide Receivers

Dez Bryant has a hairline fracture, and is unlikely to play Sunday. Cole Beasley was already the Cowboys most targeted, and most productive WR. The loss of Bryant, and the 49ers middling pass defense, makes him a very favorable play. Start Beasley. Beasley is also a great waiver wire target, available in 85% of leagues.

With Bryant out, Terrance Williams should also see an uptick in production, and is a decent start as well. Start Williams.

79 wide receivers have better projected stat lines than a single 49er WR. Call it the “Gabbert Effect.” This should be a plumb matchup, as the Cowboys field a bottom-10 pass defense. It’s highly probably that Kerley, Patton, and Smith outplay their projections. One of them will undoubtedly put up starting caliber fantasy points, but it’s hard to trust any of them with Gabbert at the helm. Sit all 49ers WR’s. projections:
Dez Bryant: OUT
Cole Beasley: 49 yards, 1 TD, 10.7 points (24th best WR)
Bryce Butler: 41 yards, 1 TD, 10.1 points (31st WR)
Terrance Williams: 55 yards, 5.5 points (70th WR)
Jeremy Kerley: 39 yards, 3.9 points (80th WR)
Quinton Patton: 39 yards, 3.9 points (81st WR)
Torrey Smith: 35 yards, 3.5 points (87th WR)

Tight Ends

No Tight End in this matchup has made a big fantasy impact this season. Jason Witten has been relatively quiet this season, and at 34 years old it’s fair to question if age is catching up to him. Still, the TE position is weak in fantasy this season, making Witten a borderline start.

For the 49ers, Vance McDonald and Garrett Celek have both been limited in practice, and are both questionable to play. Blake Bell could see a lot of playing time, but not necessarily targets. Sit all 49ers TE’s.

Need a TE? Kyle Rudolph is the 2nd most targeted TE in the NFL, and is available in 55% of leagues. projections:
Garrett Celek: QUESTIONABLE 14 yards, 1 TD, 7.4 points (14th best TE)
Jason Witten: 41 receiving yards, 4.1 points (29th TE)


Given the poor defenses on both sides, the kickers will likely be productive in this matchup. Start both Phil Dawson and Dan Bailey. projections:
Phil Dawson: 12 points (3rd best Kicker)
Dan Bailey: 6 points (17th K)

Defense/Special Teams

The 49ers are quietly a Top 10 fantasy defense, boosted by eight turnovers. The Cowboys, however, have been very good in the turnover battle. Dak Prescott has been particularly careful with the ball, not yielding a single INT or fumble. Despite a solid points projection, sit the 49ers D/ST.

The Cowboys defense is as bad in fantasy as it is in reality, ranking 20th in fantasy points. Sit the Cowboys D/ST. projections:
49ers D/ST: 6 points (6th best)
Cowboys D/ST: 4 points (20th)