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Earlier today for the main slate we spent a lot of time going over the playoff implications for various teams as well as the scenarios of which certain teams could make the playoffs. Well for Sunday Night Football tonight, the playoff implications are simple. Whichever team wins, is in. That’s it.
So on the surface the short answer on who to play in Draft Kings showdowns seems easy – uh, play everyone – I think we can dive a little deeper to find some solid Captains picks and some values to help you #BuildaBetterLineup.
Austin Ekeler $17,400 Captain. In Week 4 against the Raiders Ek took 15 carries for 117 yards and a touchdown. He also caught 3 balls for 20 yards and another score. The Raiders coincidentally are allowing a hair over 116 yards on the ground and what is the best way to neutralize a solid pass rush, quick passes to the running back. Since Week 2 there isn’t a single game where Ek has seen at least 3 targets and in that Week 4 game against the Raiders he saw 5. Austin Ekeler tops my list for Captain choices tonight despite 15% ownership. He will be a more popular choice in the Flex at close to 40% ownership, which has me leaning his direction at Captain more.
Josh Jacobs $11,700. This has not been the season we all hoped for from Josh Jacobs, I get it. However when healthy (which to be fair he is Qyestionable for tonight as of this writing) there is arguably no player on this team guaranteed to see opportunities each week than Jacobs. In 5 of his last 6 games Jacobs has seen double digit rushing opportunities and in 10 games this season he has seen 4 or more targets as well. If the Raiders are going to have a shot at slowing the Chargers offense down, it will have to start by establishing the run with Jacobs so I’ll take a shot on him at Captain especially at 8% ownership. At 34% ownership in the Flex he becomes slightly less appealing. If Jacobs is out by the way, I think Peyton Barber becomes a viable flex play at $1,500.
Keenan Allen $15,600. The clear #1 WR Target on the Chargers, Allen will need to get going early tonight. I think the biggest knock on Allen at Captain has always been that he is more of a possession receiver out of the slot than a big play threat, but lately Allen has flipped that script a bit. Last week he nabbed a beautiful TD grab. Week 15 against Kansas City he took 6 catches for 78 yards and a score. Against a tough Denver defense he took 7 catches for 85 yards. While not my favorite Captain play, he is worth a mention at 12% ownership. He’ll be 40% owned in the flex so yeah, I prefer him at Captain.
Darren Waller $13,800. Waller is expected back tonight and man have the Raiders missed this big guy. Week 4 against the Chargers he had 50 yards and a score and before he went down in Week 12 he had recorded 3 games of 90+ yards and 2 touchdowns. Sure that doesn’t inspire certain greatness but we also just had back to back weeks where Noah Fant and Travis Kelce put a hurting on this defense. I think Waller fits nicely between Noah Fant and Travis Kelce on the rankings. His 6% ownership at Captain is very appealing, but it may rise if the Raiders drop that Q tag this afternoon. I also like him in the flex at 24% ownership.
Mike Williams $10,800. This is more of a dart throw at Captain since Mike Williams is more of a dart throw but that really spectacular game winning touchdown last week has to be cause for alarm. I think if the Chargers are really going to put this game away it will be with deep shots at Williams early and often. Week 4 against the Raiders was the outlier in Mike Williams’ amazing first 5 games where he was going bananas. Week 1 82 yards and a score. Week 2 91 yards and a score. Week 3 122 yards and two scores. Week 5 165 yards and 2 scores. If Williams puts up anything close to those finishes, you will need him at Captain to cash. He will be a popular flex play at 30% so again, much like Williams – I am all or nothing, Williams at Captain or on my bench.
Hunter Renfrow $12,600. It will remain to be seen if Renfrow maintains his role in this offense with Waller back. Since week 12 Renfrow has seen 9 or more targets in 4 of 6 games. But what leads me to believe he isn’t “going away” is that in the first 12 games with Waller on the field he saw 7 or more targets in seven games. He also had a touchdown in Week 4 against this team, something he has also done in back to back weeks in Weeks 16 and 17. He is a popular flex play at over 35% so hi 7.5% ownership at Captain really appeals.
Justin Herbert $17,100. Herbert will be the most popular pick at Captain and it isn’t hard to figure out why. In Week 4 against the Raiders he threw 3 TD passes and no INTs. He is averaging 35.5 passing attempts per game with a +71% completion rating. Only 5 games this season has he attempted less than 4 rushes and he has seen NO GAME this season where he didn’t throw at least one Touchdown Pass. He will be the most important piece to a Chargers victory – most likely – an despite the ownership, he makes a great Captain pick. He will be 50% owned in the Flex as well.
Derek Carr $15,000. Carr will see roughly 18% ownership at Captain. Carr has thrown nearly as many Interceptions as he has Touchdowns this season and has not gone over 300 yards passing since Week 12. Oh wait, that is the last game that Darren Waller played before he got hurt. Oh and Darren Waller is back tonight. And the find a way to win Raiders are at home with the playoffs on the line. Call it a guy feeling but I like Carr at Captain. He’ll be close to 40% owned in the flex for what it’s worth.
STRATEGY & DART THROWS
If you are using Ekeler, Allen or Williams at Captain I think you need a stack with Herbert in the flex. I would consider a double stack with another of the big 3 too. Ekeler + Herbert + Allen will be popular. So I prefer Ekeler + Herbert + Williams to be different. I wouldn’t sleep on TE Jared Cook here either as a low owned Chargers Flex Play.
I also don’t mind using the Chargers DST in stacks with Ekeler at Captain. If you have a pass catcher or Herbert at Captain, I also like sticking the kicker Dustin Hopkins in. In non-Ekeler Lineups taking a dart throw at RB2 Justin Jackson is a smart play to be different. A couple other Chargers Dart Throws to mention are WR3 Jalen Guyton and a desperation deep dart on WR4 Josh Palmer.
From the Raiders Side, I don’t think you need Derek Carr if you have Josh Jacobs at Captain. I like the Jacobs Raiders Defense + Chargers Kicker as a primary stack. I also like Jacobs + Waller or Renfrow + another Raiders WR like Desean Jackson or Zay Jones or a deeper dart throw at Bryan Edwards.
If you are using Waller or Renfrow at Captain stacking with Carr in the Flex is a priority and then a double stack with another Raiders Pass Catcher + the kicker Daniel Carlson.
This is an interesting high stakes game on Sunday Night Football. There are a lot of ways you could play but these are my takes.
GOOD LUCK IN YOUR CONTESTS!
PS I’ll be at the WWE Supershow at the Boston Garden tonight so if you see me say HELLO!