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Raiders vs. Chargers Monday Night Football Showdown Game Breakdown & NFL DFS Picks

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Welcome to the NFL Showdown Matchups Showdown Highlights for Week 4 Monday Night Football. Here we will provide a quick overview of the game’s key storylines and highlight some of the key insights from Awesemo’s world-class suite of tools to find the best NFL DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel showdown lineups. Let’s dive into the NFL DFS picks today for the Week 4 Raiders vs. Chargers Monday Night Football matchup.

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Week 4 Monday Night Football NFL DFS Showdown Picks

After needing overtime to take down the Dolphins in Week 3, the undefeated Raiders head to Los Angeles to take on the 2-1 Chargers, who are fresh off a surprising upset of the Chiefs. Derek Carr has been playing some of the best football of his career, but now he will face a Chargers defense that stymied both Patrick Mahomes and Dak Prescott in back-to-back weeks. Vegas has been no slouch on the defensive side of the ball either and ranks ninth in EPA allowed per play. Despite a 52.5 Vegas total, the range of outcomes in this game is extremely high.

Start with Double Quarterbacks in Cash

While some one-game slates present alternatives to capturing floor and ceiling by rostering high-volume skill players, tonight it is worth rostering both quarterbacks in a majority of cash and small-field lineups. Particularly on FanDuel, both Carr and Justin Herbert are must-plays, ranking as the top two value plays and the two highest projections on the slate. Salary complicates things a bit on DraftKings, where Awesemo favors Herbert, but Carr is a fantastic alternative at a $400 salary discount. Through three weeks, Carr ranks second in the NFL in pass attempts, first in attempts of 20-plus, total air yards and yards passing.

Austin Ekeler is Getting Fed

Herbert threw zero passes Ekeler’s way in Week 1, but since then Ekeler has been one of the most heavily utilized running backs in the NFL, particularly in the receiving game, where he has a history of breaking huge plays. Ekeler has averaged 17.5 opportunities per game over the past two weeks and has caught all 17 of his targets during that span. He has topped 100 yards from scrimmage and 22 PPR points in both games as well. On FanDuel Ekeler projects as the top value play of any of the game’s premium-salary skill players. He is third in that same metric on DraftKings but has a much higher floor compared to the Chargers receiving options.

Mike Williams Is the Chargers’ WR1 … So Far

Through three games Williams has been nothing short of spectacular, ranking sixth in the NFL in total targets, second in red-zone targets and turning the increased opportunity into four touchdowns. His 22 receptions are fifth among all receivers, his 295 yards receiving rank sixth, and he ranks top five in yards after the catch, but the Awesemo projections still suggest his teammate Keenan Allen is the slightly stronger play both in terms of projected points and value. Allen is a clear positive-regression candidate and leads the league in total red-zone targets, but he only has one touchdown. Allen also ranks top 10 in the league in targets, receptions and yards.

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Darren Waller’s Salary Makes Him Tough to Roster

Waller has had a strong start to his 2021 season, ranking first at his position in target share, air yards share, deep targets and red-zone targets, but considering that league-best opportunity, Waller’s one total touchdown and fourth-best ranking in fantasy points per game is somewhat of a disappointment. Waller is performing nearly 5 fantasy points below expectation. If he were to make up that margin, he would be the highest-scoring tight end in the league. This week he will be facing the Chargers defense that has been susceptible to chunk plays, albeit rarely resulting in touchdowns. Los Angeles ranks league average in yards allowed per pass attempt and 22nd in defensive DVOA. On DraftKings his $9,200 salary is more manageable, and he makes for a strong Captain play in tournaments. But on FanDuel, despite an excellent projection, Waller’s $13,000 salary places him near the bottom of Awesemo’s value projections.

Anyone Interested in Some Kicker Action?

While kickers are rarely must-plays in tournaments since tournament-winning scores are quite rare from the position, both the Chargers’ Tristan Vizcaino and Raiders’ Daniel Carlson are popping in the value metrics. Their modest salaries — $4,000 for Vizcaino and $3,800 for Carlson — could be the key to fitting multiple premium-salary players. On FanDuel, where the salary discount for the kickers compared to the skill players is slightly less steep, they are less important to roster. But with such a high implied team total for both teams, both have a solid probability of 11-plus fantasy points, which would get them right to 3x value on DraftKings.

The Raiders Running Back Room Is in Flux

It sounds like Josh Jacobs is a true game-time decision, which indicates he is far from 100% healthy. It also means it is tough to trust Jacobs in anything but large-field tournaments. If Jacobs sits, the combination of Peyton Barber and Kenyan Drake will share the Raiders backfield touches, immediately bringing both players into consideration. Barber’s salary is not much of a discount from Jacobs, as his salary has been strategically set for the possibility Jacobs would be unavailable. But after a fantastic Week 3 where Barber turned 28 opportunities into 142 total yards and a touchdown, he becomes the clear first choice if Jacobs misses this week, and Barber would likely become a must-start in cash games. In larger-field tournaments, Henry Ruggs, Hunter Renfrow, Bryan Edwards and Jared Cook are better plays.

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The Bottom Line

This matchup feels different than those of seasons past. With Carr playing some of the best football of his career and Herbert looking even better than he did in his rookie season, both teams have the potential to run up the scoreboard in any situation. But there is the potential for a playoffs-style defensive slugfest. The Los Angeles defense has the highest potential to surprise, as Jon Gruden has never faced a Brandon Staley defense, but the Chargers’ metrics have been middling compared to Las Vegas’. Both defenses are sure to have their hands full guarding each offense’s bevy of offensive weapons, and ultimately this one will likely come down to who gets the ball last.

Week 4 Monday Night Football Prediction: Chargers 28, Raiders 27


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If you’re interested in other DFS NFL plays for multiple game slates, head over to NFL DFS ownership projections, Awesemo's NFL Data Central, NFL DFS rankings, and NFL DFS stacking. Take a look at our NFL lineups, inactives and depth charts for NFL games.

A middling athlete who was offered his first sports analytics position at age 14, I've been working on NFL and fantasy football data science since 2017. With a particular passion for data visualization and dashboard building, I love to make data accessible by using graphs and charts to communicate ideas that are difficult to explain with words alone. You can contact me by e-mailing [email protected]

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