Here’s a breakdown of one-game DFS contests for the Week 10 Thursday Night Football matchup featuring the Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland Raiders at 8:20 p.m. ET on FOX.
Cash Game Strategy
Dating back to the Chargers’ postseason loss at Foxborough in early January, Philip Rivers had thrown multiple touchdown passes in six of eight games before finding the wrong side of TD variance with only one over his past two, the last of which came despite an efficient 21-of-28, 294-yard performance in last week’s win over the Packers. Rivers figures to resume posting crooked digits against an Oakland defense that’s allowed an NFL-high 2.75 passing TDs per game this season. Oakland has drawn a tough slate of opposing QBs, but has given up a three or more passing TDs a staggering five times.
It should come as no surprise, then, that Rivers has the top projected floor, median, ceiling and Projected Plus/Minus in our DraftKings Showdown Models.
With Rivers in the Captain spot on DK, it’s still easy to fit in Josh Jacobs, Melvin Gordon, Austin Ekeler and Derek Carr by punting with DeAndre Washington. It’s tough to know exactly what to expect from Gordon and Ekeler from one week to the next with new offensive coordinator Shane Steichen taking over for the fired Ken Whisenhunt, but we saw Gordon (23) and Ekeler (16) combine for 39 touches last week — Ekeler’s first game with more than five carries since Gordon returned. In regard to Washington, he has gotten between six and nine opportunities (carries plus targets) in five of the past six games and is one of the better options in recent memory available at that price.
On FanDuel, Rivers ($14,000) is priced below both Jacobs ($14,500) and Carr ($14,500) despite being projected multiple points ahead in our models. FanDuel’s pricing and fewer lineup slots usually dictates that you can’t jam in both QBs and RBs. The half-PPR system also depresses RB/WR/TE value relative to QBs, so the optimal combo here is pairing Rivers, Jacobs and Carr with Keenan Allen and Raiders rookie tight end Foster Moreau, who has found the end zone in three of his past five.
Core GPP Plays
Note: These are in addition to the players already mentioned in the cash write-up and generally has a focus on pass-catchers, though sometimes players from the cash section will be re-highlighted as appropriate. On FanDuel, QBs generally make for the top plays in the 1.5x slot because the half PPR format creates a wider gap in scoring between QB and RB/WR/TE; on DraftKings, a RB/WR/TE who hits the 100-yard bonus is the ideal play.
RB Josh Jacobs, Raiders: Jacobs has cracked 20 carries and 120 yards in three of his last four games. The odds of another big are in his favor against a Chargers defense ranked 25th in Football Outsiders’ rushing DVOA. And per their pass DVOA vs. position metrics, the Chargers are ranked 30th on passes to running backs, the only position they’re below average against.
WR Keenan Allen, WR Mike Williams, TE Hunter Henry, Chargers: The Raiders rank 30th in DVOA vs. WR1s, 28th vs. WR2s and 22nd vs. TEs. Williams (685), Allen (677) and Henry (351) have combined for 1,713 of Rivers’ 2,298 air yards this season (74.5%), per AirYards.com.
RB Melvin Gordon, Chargers: Gordon average 23.0 touches for 165.0 yards and 1.0 TDs in two meetings vs. Oakland last season. He’s got more competition for work these days but is fresh off a get-right 23-touch, 129-yard, two-touchdown outburst against Green Bay and could easily find the paint multiple times given how efficiently the offense projects to move the ball through the air. Gordon is more of a core play while Ekeler is more game-flow dependent, having posted 62.5% of his career 20-point fantasy games in Chargers losses.
TE Darren Waller, Raiders: Tight end hasn’t been a trouble spot for the Chargers defense, but they’re 27th in DVOA on passes over the middle, per Football Outsiders. Still, this is a bet on Waller’ insane volume upside — he has five six-catch games already — and the porousness of Oakland’s own defense creating favorable shootout conditions. I’m also hoping the Tyrell Williams revenge game angle inflates his ownership by a few percentage points at Waller’s expense.
Note: Individual player correlations can be found in the player cards in our NFL Player Models. Team positional correlations can be found in our NFL Correlations Dashboard. Unless otherwise noted, all player correlation data is from the past 12 months and team correlation data is from the start of 2019.
- Allen-Gordon +0.50
- Rivers-Allen +0.43
- Gordon-Allen +0.30
- Rivers-Ekeler +0.17
- Rivers-Wiliams +0.11
- Allen-Ekeler +0.05
- Allen-Chargers defense -0.22
- Rivers-Henry -0.23
- Allen-Williams -0.44
- Allen-Henry -0.58
- Rivers-Chargers DST -0.66
When Allen goes off, he generally dominates the box score, which has shown to directly impact the production of Williams and Henry. The spot is easily good enough to offset the correlations in this case, but there could be an edge in building around what tends to be the most common scripts for the Chargers: Allen-Gordon-Ekeler dink-and-dunk.
- Carr-Renfrow +0.78
- Jacobs-Carlson +0.64
- Carr-Doss +0.71
- Carr-Waller +0.42
- Jacobs-Raiders DST +0.40
- Jacobs-T. Williams +0.12
- Jacobs-Renfrow -0.14
- Carr-Williams -0.16
- Carr-Jacobs -0.33
- Jacobs-Waller -0.38
- Carr-Raiders DST -0.41
- Waller-Renfrow -0.41
- Waller-Richard -0.44
- Waller-Carlson -0.47
- Carr-Davis -0.61
- Waller-Raiders DST -0.73
- Richard-T. Williams -0.83
The Raiders also exhibit clear game script-driven trends that have at times left the production of Jacobs and the Carr-Darren Waller connection at odds.
Players whose production would benefit owners more than expensive or highly-owned players. Kickers and D/STs generally make for strong leverage plays, but those who stand out will be highlighted below.
RB Jalen Richard, Raiders: Hasn’t quite gone away despite Jacobs posting two-plus grabs in five straight before last week. Both are running routes on roughly a third of Carr’s dropbacks. Richard has played 20-plus snaps in three separate games and been under 15 just once, so there’s a some upside here against the Chargers defense that has been exploited by backs in the passing game.
Dart Throw Rankings
Ranking the low-cost, complementary players not already discussed in the leverage section by likelihood of having a worthwhile fantasy stat line.
- WR Andre Patton, Chargers: With Geremy Davis (hamstring) doubtful to go, Patton is the odds on best bet to have a “random big game in primetime against a bad defense.” The 2017 undrafted free-agent found the end zone twice on six preseason catches and has run 27 and 28 routes over the last two games, respectively. He’s liable to post another goose egg, but the blank game logs will keep almost everyone off of him.
- WR Zay Jones, Raiders: Played 66-of-72 snaps last week and has the highest projected Plus/Minus after Rivers.
- TE Foster Moreau, Raiders: As mentioned, he’s come down with a TD in three of his last five and has a solid five red-zone targets this season, third on the team.
- DeAndre Washington, Raiders: A solid bet for a half-dozen touches and has eight red-zone carries, including five inside the 10.
- WR Marcell Ateman, Raiders: Snap counts have been in the single digits, but his 33-yard average depth of target has led to two 30-plus yard caches in the last three games.
- TE Derek Carrier, Raiders: Three multi-catch games, five goose-eggs and a 27-yard rush last week.
- Troymaine Pope, Chargers: Has flashed some big-play ability on bth offense and special teams but would likely need an injury or blowout to see meaningful snaps despite Justin Jackson (calf, doubtful) being banged up.
- TE Virgil Green, Chargers: In on roughly a quarter of pass plays but is yet to catch more than one pass in a game this season.
- FB Derek Watt, Chargers: Will get a touch here and there but has played single-digit snaps almost every week.
- FB Alec Ingold, Raiders: In there to block.
- TE Lance Kendricks, Chargers: Hasn’t run more than 5% of the routes since Henry returned.
- WR Trevor Davis, Raiders: Snaps went 57, 50, 28 and one over the past four weeks.
- WR Jason Moore, Chargers: Saw action a few weeks ago but is seemingly clearly behind Patton.
- WR Dwayne Harris, Raiders: Could put the status of Davis in doubt if active.
- WR Keelan Doss, Raiders: Has been a scratch lately.
Pictured above: Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17)
Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports