For each of the featured games, typically Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football slates, we will be providing free analysis for the single-slate action on DraftKings and FanDuel. This will include team capsules, player rankings, comments and NFL DFS picks for today. There are loads of information and NFL DFS Showdown picks to get into for both DraftKings and FanDuel on this Week 4 Monday Night Football slate featuring the Los Angeles Chargers and the Las Vegas Raiders.
NFL DFS Showdown Picks: Week 4 Monday Night Football
Josh Jacobs (ankle) will be a game-time decision after sitting the last two weeks. Fullback Alec Ingold is questionable with a shoulder issue. Los Angeles is relatively healthy on the offensive side of the ball, though defensive lineman Justin Jones and linebacker Kenneth Murray Jr. will not play.
Derek Carr is off to a hot start, leading the Raiders to a 3-0 record, including two overtime victories. The extra frames have helped him roll up a league-leading 1,203 yards passing, with six touchdowns on the second-most attempts. This volume has been spread among several pass catchers, which shows that Carr is able to go through his progressions.
Last week against Miami Peyton Barber played 57% of the snaps but matched his career high 23 carries, piling up a personal-best 111 yards rushing and a touchdown. He also saw five targets, bringing in three for another 31 yards, with the ball going his way on 28 of 47 snaps. Kenyan Drake was the clear secondary option, with his playing time falling from 71% of the Week 2 snaps to just 43% last Sunday. Though, he was still active in the passing game, with half a dozen targets. If Jacobs sits tonight, Barber is the player to target in his stead.
In an interesting twist, Hunter Renfrow’s 22 targets lead the Raiders wideouts. Henry Ruggs III (19) is right behind him, with Bryan Edwards (13) seeing just a handful of looks each game. Journeymen Zay Jones (three) and Willie Snead IV (two) have been left with the scraps. This makes sense, as Carr’s preference is to work the short routes first. Ruggs and Edwards are both averaging just over 20 yards per reception, so they are very viable options on Monday Night Football.
Darren Waller leads the team with 33 targets and 20 receptions, and his 224 yards are just behind Ruggs. While he has only found the end zone once, the voluminous opportunities make him the clear top option for fantasy gamers. Foster Moreau has been on the field for just over half the snaps, as coach Jon Gruden has been running a lot of two-tight-end formations. Though he has a touchdown, he has only five targets through the first three weeks.
The Raiders have collected seven sacks, while the Chargers have allowed only five this season. In the turnover department, Los Angeles has three interceptions and a fumble, while Las Vegas has just three takeaways.
Justin Herbert has been excellent this season, both as a fantasy producer and as the Chargers field general. Herbert has led the team to two road wins, including besting Washington 20-16 in the opener and last Sunday stealing a 30-24 victory in Kansas City. He is averaging 318.7 yards passing per game on 42 attempts. The three interceptions are not great but not bad considering the volume.
It is clear that the Chargers are only going to run enough to keep the defenses honest. This is perfect for Austin Ekeler, who can easily handle that task. While it has only been three games, he has red-zone looks, compared to Justin Jackson’s two and rookie Larry Rountree III’s one. Additionally, Ekeler has 35 carries for 166 yards and a touchdown versus 20 rushes for 55 yards combined from his backups. While fantasy gamers are hoping more targets are on the way, Ekeler has 15 on the season and should trend closer to his 6.7 targets over the last two seasons.
Mike Williams has been racking up the fantasy goodness this season, leading Los Angeles with 22 receptions, 295 yards and four touchdowns. Keenan Allen has been solid as well, with 21 catches for 258 yards and a touchdown on a team-leading 33 targets. This leaves only scraps for Josh Palmer and Jalen Guyton, though Guyton did get a red-zone look in each of the first two games.
It is no surprise that Jared Cook has double the production of the other tight ends combined. Unfortunately, he is still the fourth option at best in the passing game, and at this point in his career the baseline projection is three or four targets for 30-ish yards.
Los Angeles is in the top third of the league for takeaways, but Carr does a good job limiting turnovers and sacks despite his reputation among fantasy gamers.
Monday Night Football Single-Game NFL 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, but for those taking the MME approach, remember that correlation is key. This means matching a receiver or two with a quarterback in the Captain/MVP slot. This also works conversely with pairing a Captain/MVP pass catcher with their quarterback.
Week 4 Monday Night Football NFL DFS Rankings
Top 10 NFL DFS Showdown Picks
- Derek Carr: It is a coin flip between the quarterbacks, though the logical game flow has the visiting Raiders likely trailing, which should facilitate the volume continuing for Carr.
- Justin Herbert: Projected as both the top scorer and most popular option, Herbert will be on 70%-plus of all lineups.
- Hunter Renfrow: Though he only plays on half the snaps, he is peppered with targets out of the slot. Drop him a couple spots in the rankings for the half-PPR scoring systems, though do not let him fall out of the top 10.
- Keenan Allen: Take the DraftKings ($1,400) and FanDuel ($1,500) discount over Williams.
- Austin Ekeler: The targets will increase back to his standard baseline.
- Darren Waller: Priced like the WR1 he really is for the Raiders, and he is Carr’s preferred target on most plays.
- Mike Williams: Touchdowns will ebb and flow; this is an apex salary on both sites.
- Peyton Barber: Drop him to the bottom of the secondary section if Jacobs plays.
- Daniel Carlson: Solid kicker; Gruden lets him try long ones and he has converted all six from 50-plus the last two seasons.
- Henry Ruggs: Runs most of the routes that Carr avoids. There is an argument to swap him with Edwards in large-field tournaments for the direct leverage.
Secondary NFL DFS Showdown Picks
- Kenyan Drake: Still the passing down back; disappointing that Barber is getting all the rushing work.
- Tristan Vizcaino: Bounced around practice squads the last couple years; this will be only his fifth game.
- Jared Cook: Will need a touchdown to pay off, and he is not even a top-three red-zone option on his team.
- Josh Jacobs: Hard to trust even when he is healthy.
- Bryan Edwards: Leads the receivers in snaps; runs more of the routes Carr prefers, but Waller and Renfrow are closer.
Lottery Ticket NFL DFS Showdown Picks
- Los Angeles D/ST: Slight nod for the homefield advantage. In his last 35 games, Carr has been sacked 1.8 times on average, with just under one turnover per appearance.
- Las Vegas D/ST: Sacked a little more frequently than Carr; Herbert will get better considering tonight is only his 19th career game.
- Jalen Guyton: Coach Brandon Staley tries to get the ball in his hands a couple times each game.
- Foster Moreau and Alec Ingold: Just enough touchdown equity to keep them above the dregs.
- Donald Parham, Stephen Anderson and Josh Palmer: Realistic best-case outcome is a couple catches and 20 yards, but only for one of them.
- Larry Rountree and Justin Jackson: Something needs to happen to Ekeler for them to see more than a couple low-leverage carries.
- Zay Jones, Willie Snead, Derek Carrier and Gabe Nabers: On the field just enough that they are viable when building 75-plus lineups.
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