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Packers vs. Cowboys Fantasy Advice: Start the Cowboys Defense, Sit Andrew Quarless

When the Green Bay Packers travel to Big D to take on the Dallas Cowboys in a Week 15 match-up that's as important to both teams as it is to fantasy owners, the points will be had by each team's studs and not elsewhere.

Jonathan Daniel

If you're reading this, you're more than likely in your fantasy league's semifinals. One more win will propel you to your league's championship game. And if you were going up against any Broncos this week (except for Bubba Caldwell), things are probably looking up for you. But that doesn't mean you should make any drastic changes to your lineup Sunday morning.

So your opponent had Peyton Manning and Demaryius Thomas, and now you might be a favorite to win your match-up. Does that mean you should play it safe and insert Johnny Paycheck Rashard Mendenhall over Jordan Todman (who should start for the Jags)? Hells, no! Your matchup isn't over. Don't over-evaluate over one NFL game. There are still 15 more to be played this week. Go with your gut--it was right often enough to get you to this spot. and if you think about any lineup decision long enough, I promise you this: You will feel better about going one way than the other. There are no ties. And if you think there is, hit me up on Twitter and tell me. I'd be happy to break the tie for you. Here's what I see this Packers game doing for your fantasy teams.


So it looks like Matt Flynn is competent again. But Mike McCarthy knows that the way to beat the 'Boys is gashing them with Eddie Lacy through their now Sean Lee-less defense. Flynn should be more of a caretaker this game, and I don't see him making any plays other than what Dallas gives him on a silver platter. The opposite is true of Tony Romo. I think Dallas slaughters this Packers D, and Romo is the linchpin. He is going to shred, he's as close to a must-start as there is this week.

Flynn: 250 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, 5 rushing yards
Verdict: Bench in almost every league

Romo: 300 passing yards, 3 touchdowns
Verdict: Start in almost every league


Even if you've been reading this column all season here, you still are probably waiting for me to write one bad thing about Eddie Lacy. That column may come, but it won't be this week. He is the best shot the Pack has at a win. I think he is much more likely to get 25-30 touches than 15-20. This is the week to play him if there ever was. Big Mac is going to run him hard to keep Romo off the field and the pressure off Flynn. DeMarco Murray is going to be very good in his own right against a hapless Green Bay defense headed by a (potentially) lame duck DC in Dom Capers. If you have these two as your two running backs this week, you are probably going to be playing for a title next week.

Lacy: 125 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns, 4 catches, 30 yards
Verdict: Start in every league

Starks: 35 rushing yards, 2 catches, 15 yards
Verdict: Bench in most leagues

Murray: 95 rushing yards, 1 touchdown, 4 catches, 25 yards
Verdict: Start in almost every league as a rock solid RB1

Joseph Randle: 20 rushing yards
Verdict: Bench in all leagues


Green Bay won't attack with its wideouts this week. But they will be in play when Dallas sells out to try and stop the run. When the plays are there to be made, Flynn will make the throws, and Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Jarrett Boykin will benefit. I just don't see enough opportunities to give these guys a resounding yes this week. On the other side of the ball, if you own any Cowboys receiver not named Dez Bryant, they shouldn't sniff your starting lineup this week. And you can probably read any Week 15 fantasy advice article, and it will state the same thing.

Nelson: 6 catches, 75 yards
Verdict: Start in most leagues

Jones: 5 catches, 60 yards, 1 touchdown
Verdict: Start in most leagues

Boykin: 4 catches, 45 yards
Verdict: Start as a WR4 in PPR leagues

Bryant: 8 catches, 115 yards, 2 touchdowns
Verdict: Start in every league

Terrance Williams: 3 catches, 35 yards
Verdict: Start as a desperation flex in 12- and 14-team PPR leagues

Miles Austin: 3 catches, 25 yards
Verdict: Start as a desperation flex in 12- and 14-team PPR leagues

Cole Beasley: 2 catches, 20 yards
Verdict: Bench in most leagues


How 'bout that Andrew Quarless performance last week! Don't expect a duplicate in Week 15, though. Sure the defense in Dallas is bad, but Quarless is simply not a special tight end. One week does not outweigh a career of futility. Bench him and you won't regret it. Jason Witten should be in your starting lineups, though. Over the years, he's always had more than his share of difference-making plays against the Pack. Coupled with my projected big performance from Romo, and you have a fantasy stud on your hands.

Quarless: 2 catches, 15 yards
Verdict: Bench in all leagues

Brandon Bostick: 2 catches, 15 yards
Verdict: Bench in all leagues

Witten: 6 catches, 60 yards, 1 touchdown
Verdict: Start in almost every league

Gavin Escobar: 1 catch, 10 yards
Verdict: Bench in every league


In a game with the total approaching 50, I can wholeheartedly recommend both kickers here. Each of them has had a very good 2013, and this is another chance for both of them to put up some points. Don't look elsewhere for a better playoff kicker people--these guys are just fine.

Mason Crosby: 2 field goals, 2 extra points
Verdict: Start as a top-10 kicking option

Dan Bailey: 2 field goals, 3 extra points
Verdict: Start as a top-10 kicking option


Here's where things get interesting. Obviously you're not going to play the Packers defense on the road against a very good offense in a game with your fantasy season on the line. But what about Dallas? I know that Sean Lee is missing, but they still have plenty of playmakers like DeMarcus Ware, Bruce Carter and Brandon Carr. (Justin Durand is no slouch either, people.) I foresee a good performance from this unit this week, and it's one that you can feel comfortable starting with everything on the line.

Packers: 2 sacks, 27 points allowed, 430 yards allowed
Verdict; bench in every league

Cowboys: 5 sacks, 1 interception, 1 fumble recovery, 20 points allowed, 415 yards allowed
Verdict: Start as a low-end defense in 10-team and 12-team leagues

There you go. Best of luck to everyone who's in the playoffs and Go Pack Go!