NFL Showdown can be a fickle beast. These contests do not rely on median projections so much as leverage, and uniqueness. Fading the highest-owned plays can be a risky proposition. Typically, your edge is going to come by identifying the best low-owned plays and finding clever ways to pair them with the juggernauts of the slate.
This article is going to have a heavy DraftKings lean simply because the decision-making process is more interesting given the salary premium attached to the Captain spot. On FanDuel, the pricing is the same for both MVP and Flex spots. You are usually going to need the slate’s top scorer at MVP, so FanDuel strategy revolves around unique Flex builds.
Advice in this article will pertain predominantly to tournament lineups and strategy. For cash lineups, build around median projections. For head-to-head contests, continue to lean into the median projections, but if two options project closely, give the nod to the lowest rostered player.
A week after falling to the San Francisco 49ers by 6-points on Sunday Night Football, the Los Angeles Chargers will get another shot at Sunday night celebrity this week when the host Patrick Mahomes II and the 7-2 Kansas City Chiefs. Footballguys' Vegas Value Chart tells us that oddsmakers project this game as a high-scoring affair with the Chiefs coming on top by a ~ 28 to 23 point advantage. This game sets up as one of the more exciting Showdown contests of the season with a slew of players from which to choose, some of whom have not been DFS-viable in months: the Chargers look to welcome back Mike Williams and Keenan Allen, both of whom have been sidelined with injuries since Week #7, while the Chiefs are looking to names like Justin Watson and Skyy Moore due to recent injuries to Mecole Hardman and JuJu Smith-Schuster. The game theory discussion this week should be centered around whether or not you think the Chargers can pull off the upset at home--if you believe Justin Herbert can lead this offense to victory at home against a Chiefs squad missing key weapons on offense, there is an edge to be had by creating lineups skewing heavy on the Chargers' side. Add in the likely popularity of cheap options like Skyy Moore and Justin Watson and there is reason to believe that a Chargers-heavy roster could be the sharp build this Sunday night.
- Keenan Allen: Hamstring, Questionable --> Likely to play
- Mike Williams: Ankle, Questionable --> Likely to play
- Gerald Everett: Groin, Questionable --> Game-time decision
- Dustin Hopkins: Hamstring, Doubtful --> Cameron Dicker likely to play
- Mecole Hardman: Abdomen, Injured Reserve --> Justin Watson to start
- JuJu Smith-Schuster: Concussion, OUT --> Kadarius Toney to benefit
LOS ANGELES OFFENSE
Justin Herbert $10,400 – Captain or Flex
Nobody is happier entering Week #11 than Justin Herbert. Having thrown to the likes of DeAndre Carter and Josh Palmer for a considerable chunk of the season, Herbert will rejoice when Keenan Allen and Mike Williams return to the field on Sunday night. With Williams active, Herbert has thrown for 280+ yards in 5 of 7 games; the addition of Keenan Allen can only help Herbert's chances of hitting the 300-yard bonus. He becomes more attractive when one considers the fact that Austin Ekeler has 36 receptions over the past month, which means you can possibly lock up a big chunk of the Chargers offense with a Herbert-Ekeler stack. Find the salary and jam Justin Herbert into your lineup. As the home underdog with an NFL-caliber receiving corps, he should put up the numbers to justify his price tag.
Austin Ekeler $11,000 – Captain or Flex
Prior to last Sunday night's game against the 49ers, Ekeler had 20+ touches in 5 consecutive games. He leads the position in targets (81, 9.0 per game) and receiving yardage (420 yards) while also demonstrating that he can score touchdowns in bunches--in a 5-game span leading up to last week's disappointing performance, Ekeler logged 10 touchdowns. Ekeler will definitely be an integral part of this offense and has the upside to bring home a victory. The return of Keenan Allen likely downgrades his role as a receiver but not so much that you should avoid him. If you play on both major sites (DraftKings and FanDuel), focus your action on DK because of their full-PPR scoring system.
Isaiah Spiller $2,800 – Flex
Isaiah Spiller has usurped the backup RB role from Sony Michel since the Chargers Week #8 bye. That said, he would have to do a lot with the limited action he sees to merit consideration. Look for salary savings elsewhere. The volume simply is not there for Spiller--he would need to score a fluke touchdown to justify his salary.
Sony Michel $1,800 – Flex
With two touches since the Chargers' Week #8 bye, Michel is an afterthought in this offense. Easy pass. Michel can (and should) be omitted from the player pool.
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