FanDuel NFL Picks & Optimal Lineups for Saints vs. Cowboys Single Game

Michael Thomas

Getty New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas

For those daily fantasy football players who have taken the deep dive into single-game slates, FanDuel brings multiple solid options for Week 13. An interesting matchup between the New Orleans Saints and Dallas Cowboys on Thursday Night Football kicks off the week, matching up two teams playing arguably their best football of the season.

To cover this slate, I’ll provide insight on the FanDuel single-game options between the Saints and Cowboys. This will include top picks, choices for the MVP spot and an optimal lineup. For those who haven’t played this style game yet, the rules are fairly straightforward, but here’s a quick look at the general idea behind the game.

  • Select five players (one MVP) while staying in the $60,000 salary cap
  • MVP choice will receive 1.5-times the points as regular flex plays
  • Can use any position, including kickers and defenses
  • Can play two quarterbacks if you choose to

Let’s jump in by first breaking down the top MVP plays of the slate and then roll into the optimal lineup.

Top FanDuel MVP Picks for Saints vs. Cowboys

Many fantasy players are on both DraftKings and FanDuel, and there is one big difference between the two sites when it comes to single-game slates. On DraftKings, the MVP (called captain there) costs 1.5-times the price while also receiving the bonus while FanDuel doesn’t increase the cost of the player. In turn, you’ll want to build FanDuel lineups with a top-tier option as your MVP, but also do your best to be unique to differentiate your lineup.

Here’s a look at my favorite MVP targets, listed in order:

  • Ezekiel Elliott ($16,500)
  • Alvin Kamara ($14,500)
  • Michael Thomas ($14,000)
  • Amari Cooper ($12,500)

Although I like the idea of spending down slightly as a way to get a lower-owned MVP, there’s not much reason to go below Cooper and the $12,500 price tag. I do like Cowboys wideout Cole Beasley quite a bit, so taking a chance on him in a multi-entry tournament could be worth it based on his plus-matchup with P.J. Williams.

FanDuel Optimal Lineup

  • MVP: Michael Thomas: ($14,000)
  • Alvin Kamara ($14,500)
  • Amari Cooper ($12,500)
  • Wil Lutz ($10,000)
  • Cole Beasley ($8,500)

I really wanted to get Ezekiel Elliott in the MVP spot as I think most will be worried about his tough matchup. Unfortunately, for the optimal lineup that didn’t work, but I’d recommend using him in quite a few other places on this slate. Instead of Elliott, I opted to get Cowboys exposure with Amari Cooper and Cole Beasley.

Cooper simply loves primetime games, and that goes back far beyond his superb performance in the Cowboys’ Thanksgiving victory. Although he had an up-and-down 2017 season with the Oakland Raiders, two of his best games of the season came in primetime matchups. The one that stands out most was a monster 11-catch performance for 210 yards and two touchdowns against the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday Night Football.

As far as Beasley goes, I love his matchup with Williams, and it may be the best on the slate. Although Cooper’s arrival has impacted the slot receiver to some extent, Beasley has still seen 19 targets in that four-game span. He also posted games with four and five catches prior to last week, so the targets and opportunity are there.

On paper, the Michael Thomas play may seem a bit iffy based purely on the matchup. The Cowboys have allowed just 1,594 yards and eight touchdowns to opposing wideouts. The Saints are unique when it comes to moving their star receiver around, though, and he also sees a fair amount of work out of the slot. Thomas has a huge upside and I believe the team goes to unique lengths to get the ball in his hands here.

The choice on Alvin Kamara comes down to a matchup spot with the Cowboys run defense. Dallas is without linebacker Sean Lee once again, which will open up the middle of the field a bit for Kamara as a pass-catcher. While the Cowboys have allowed just 779 rushing yards this season, they’ve also given up 66 receptions to opposing backs, so the potential to haul in multiple passes is there for Kamara.

READ NEXT: DraftKings Picks & Optimal Lineups for Saints vs. Cowboys Showdown

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