Cowboys-49ers DFS Picks: Will Christian McCaffrey + Rookie Wunderkind Brock Purdy Keep The Winning Streak Intact

Sunday Night Football brings two longtime foes into battle once again. Over the years there have been many great postseason games between these two storied franchises and tonight looks like another worthy chapter in the Cowboys and 49ers saga.

The Divisional Round should bring a plethora of excitement, and Stokastic is bringing plenty of NFL DFS tools and information for all the different slates, game formats and sites, featuring these Cowboys-49ers DFS picks.

This column will provide a free analysis of the single-slate action on DraftKings and FanDuel. It includes team capsules, player rankings, comments and NFL DFS picks. There is loads of information and NFL DFS Showdown analysis to get into for both DraftKings and FanDuel on this Divisional Sunday Night slate featuring the Dallas Cowboys at the San Francisco 49ers.

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NFL DFS Picks: Divisional Round | Cowboys-49ers

Dallas Cowboys: 21.25 Points


The Stokastic NFL DFS projections have Dak Prescott with the lowest projection for all quarterbacks in the Divisional Round. Of course, that is no slight, considering the 49ers formidable defense. San Francisco has the second-best rushing DVOA and the fifth-best passing DVOA per Football Outsiders. Last year the Dallas postseason run was ended after one game, by the Niners, who held off a 10-point fourth quarter flurry from the Cowboys, eking out a 23-17 victory in Dallas.

Prescott and company handled their business in Tampa Bay on Monday, ending the season for Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. It was a methodical victory that saw a relatively even split between the run and pass, with four passing touchdowns being the highlight. Of course, the lowlight was kicker Brett Maher missing four extra points after converting 50 of 53 point after touchdowns attempts in the regular season.

Only Patrick Mahomes (423) and Jarrett Stidham (365) notched more than 295 aerial yards against San Francisco this season. Mahomes is not a surprise and Stidham is a bit of an asterisk since it was his debut and he had nothing to lose by going for it. Last Saturday, the 49ers settled down in the second half and held Geno Smith and the Seahawks to just 253 passing yards.

Running Back

Ezekiel Elliott is the lead back in name only and his starting role seems to be more honorary, or indicative of the massive contract given to him by Jerry Jones. Tony Pollard managed to be named to the Pro Bowl, despite coming off the bench and getting less carries than Elliott in most games. Fortunately, Pollard is very efficient and can break off a long game at any time. We only have to look at the box score from the last game where Elliott rushed 13 times for 27 yards and Pollard had 50 more yards on 15 carries.

Neither back is going to find this to be an easy matchup as the two best rushing performances against the Niners were posted by Josh Jacobs with 69 yards in Week 17 and Kenneth Walker clawing his way to 63 yards in the Wild Card round.

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Wide Receiver

CeeDee Lamb is far and away the best receiver in Dallas and one of the best in the league, earning Pro Bowl honors for the second consecutive year. During the regular season, the former Oklahoma Sooner was in the top 10 with 156 targets, 107 receptions, 1,359 yards, 24 plays of 20 or more yards and nine touchdowns. He is going to have the full attention of the best defense in the league so it will be up to his teammates to try and help out wherever they can.

Michael Gallup started off slowly as he recovered from a knee injury, but he finished the season on a strong note and is the clear WR2. Noah Brown was able to carve out a decent role; however, he has seen T.Y. Hilton cut into that, despite being unsigned by every team in the league, until Dallas took a chance on him barely a month ago.

Tight End

Dalton Schultz has quietly become the second-best pass catcher on the Cowboys, though he will not be overlooked by fantasy gamers after his 95 yards and two touchdowns under the prime time lights Monday. Schultz dominated the targets for the position and also had the second most on the team. Jake Ferguson is on the field a fair amount and while it seems like his name is called often on island games, he had just 22 targets on the season. Yes, last week he did have 34 yards, but that was on his lone look from Prescott.

Defense/Special Teams

The 49ers have put their rookie quarterback in a position to succeed, but he still has been sacked a dozen times in the last seven games. The run-first offense of San Francisco tends to limit turnover opportunities.

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San Francisco 49ers: 24.25 Points


Talk about a fairy tale start to a career, rookie Brock Purdy has yet to lose a game after being the final selection of the 2022 NFL Draft. It took injuries to Trey Lance and then veteran Jimmy Garoppolo, but somehow the stars have aligned and brought is an amazing story. Purdy has been absurdly efficient with a 7.6% touchdown rate that is nearly 50% higher than Garoppolo. This, of course, is unsustainable, but we have seen a red-hot quarterback carry a team to the Super Bowl more than once over the years.

Dallas has the fifth-best rushing DVOA and the third-best passing DVOA for a defense almost on par with San Francisco. The Cowboys had 10 more sacks than the 49ers, while leading the league with 33 takeaways. They were fourth in points per game allowed (20.1), while the Niners led the league, allowing only 16.3 points.

Running Back

Christian McCaffrey is arguably the most well-rounded running back in the league. Heck, this season he even had a game where a ran, threw and caught a touchdown. This is the first time he has played in every game since his 2019 All-Pro season when he had 1,387 rushing and 1,005 receiving yards along with a league leading 19 combined touchdowns.

San Francisco has elected to try to keep him fresh and not overworking him in meaningless situations. Still, in his 11 games since the trade, the former Stanford stalwart has six rushing and four receiving scores along with the aforementioned touchdown pass. Coach Kyle Shanahan does an excellent job of setting up his offense to feature the abilities of his key playmakers, so 100 combined yards and a touchdown is very much in play for McCaffrey on Sunday Night Football.

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Wide Receiver

Deebo Samuel is like the wide receiver version of McCaffrey and we have seen him moonlighting as a “wide back” the last couple of seasons. He is also one of the best in the league at producing yards after the catch and despite missing four games, he was 11th in the league with 493 of his 632 yards coming that way. In a fun note, McCaffrey ranks second, though as a full time running back, that is not a major surprise.

Brandon Aiyuk also does a great job after the catch with almost 40% of his 1,015 yards being accounted for in that fashion. This will go a long way to helping take the pressure off of their rookie quarterback.

It will be interesting to see how many times Purdy ends up throwing, but Shanahan definitely has turned him loose when necessary. The rookie now has seven straight games with at least two touchdown passes, so even without major yardage totals, there could be above average opportunities for his pass catchers to produce.

Tight End

George Kittle has had a nice connection with Purdy and in the final four weeks of the regular season, they connected for seven touchdowns. Volume is no longer the name of the game for Kittle, who has been getting by on efficiency for the bulk of the last two seasons. He is also a phenomenal blocker and seems to be more valuable in that role to the 49ers, than as a Travis Kelce/Tony Gonzalez type tight end.

Defense/Special Teams

San Francisco averaged 2.6 sacks per game which was in the middle of the pack, while Dallas ceded 27, which was the fifth fewest in the league. The 49ers allowed the fewest points this season, but that does not always correspond with a dominating ball hawking defense, well unless it is the Legion of Boom.

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Divisional Round SNF Cowboys-49ers Single-Game DFS Strategy

The rankings below are best utilized for building out single-entry and three-max lineups, and for head-to-head and three-man formats. They provide a nice barometer for player value. However, those taking the MME approach should remember that correlation is key. This means matching a receiver or two with a quarterback in the Captain/MVP slot. That also works conversely, pairing a Captain/MVP pass catcher with his quarterback.

Divisional Round Cowboys-49ers DFS Rankings

Top 10 NFL DFS Showdown Picks for Cowboys-49ers

  1. Christian McCaffrey: Should be in the middle of everything on Sunday Night Football.
  2. Brock Purdy: Mr. Irrelevant is one of the best point-per-dollar options, but at some point his luck is going to run out.
  3. Dak Prescott: Can he keep the momentum rolling and avenge last year’s post season loss?
  4. CeeDee Lamb: Does have 20-plus fantasy point upside, even in this matchup.
  5. Dalton Schultz: Will not be overlooked this weekend.
  6. Tony Pollard: Efficiency is amazing, could he get volume over Elliott as well?
  7. Robbie Gould: The 40-year-old is still nails inside 50 yards.
  8. Brandon Aiyuk: If the defense loses track of him for one play, he could be a slate breaker.
  9. Deebo Samuel: It is all about the touchdowns and the 49ers offense does not support steady passing volume these days.
  10. George Kittle: Pretty much the same assessment as with Samuel.

Secondary NFL DFS Showdown Picks for Cowboys-49ers

  1. Ezekiel Elliott: Fantasy goodness is few and far between these days.
  2. Dallas D/ST: They should have the opportunity for at least one splash play against the rookie.
  3. T.Y. Hilton: Better on DraftKings with full-PPR, afterthought on FanDuel.
  4. San Francisco D/ST: Prescott has seen it all, though he won’t be rattled, he may press his luck.
  5. Michael Gallup and Noah Brown: Snap count versus salary discount makes this a close decision.

Lottery Ticket NFL DFS Showdown Picks for Cowboys-49ers

  1. Brett Maher: Hopefully he can put last week behind him, but that is a tall order.
  2. Eli Mitchell: Needs to break off a 20 yarder, otherwise he is well down the red zone postseason pecking order.
  3. Kyle Juszczyk: Just needs one draw play or a fullback circle route.
  4. Jauan Jennings: It would be a surprise if he sees more than four targets.
  5. Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot: Cowboys offense does feature tight end wheel routes, though most are designed for Schultz.
  6. KaVontae Turpin: Returns punts and kickoffs, with the occasional offensive play.
  7. Ray-Ray McCloud III: Returns punts and kickoffs, with the occasional offensive play.
  8. Tyler Kroft, Malik Davis, Danny Gray, Ross Dwelley, Jordan Mason, Tyrion Davis-Price and Sean McKeon: Hard pass.

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Eric MacPherson
Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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