NFL

FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 11 Sunday Night (Steelers at Chargers)

On FanDuel Sportsbook, the Los Angeles Chargers are 5.5-point home favorites over the Pittsburgh Steelers in a game with a 46.5-point total. That makes the implied score 26.00-20.50 in favor of the Bolts.

For those unfamiliar, single-game slates feature five flex spots with identical scoring to the main slate. However, kickers are included in these contests, and there is an "MVP" roster slot. The MVP receives 1.5-times his total fantasy points, making this spot crucial.

Our Brandon Gdula has done a deep dive on single-game strategy, and we have projections for the single-game slate if you select the game from the slate tab. It's worth checking out both of those things before you make your lineups.

MVP Candidates

The trio of Justin Herbert ($16,500 on FanDuel), Najee Harris ($15,000) and Austin Ekeler ($14,000) stand out as the top MVP options.

Herbert projects as the best overall play, per our model, as we peg him to score 21.2 FanDuel points. But I'll probably go elsewhere at MVP for a few reasons.

One, I don't like to use chalky signal-callers at MVP. Two, the Steelers are a tough matchup, giving up the seventh-fewest FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks (17.4), although Pittsburgh will be without some key defensive players, including Minkah Fitzpatrick and T.J. Watt. Three, Herbert is averaging just 4.0 air yards per attempt, capping his big-play upside. Lastly, Herbert just hasn't been good of late, scoring fewer than 16.0 FanDuel points in three of his last four outings.

I have a lot more interest in Harris and Ekeler -- especially Harris.

Najee has at least 15.3 FanDuel points in every game since Week 1, and he's been a volume monster, averaging 19.6 rushes and 4.9 catches per game. The floor/ceiling combination is excellent against a Chargers run D that ranks as the worst in the league, per our metrics. Teams have picked on the Bolts' run defense all season long as LA has faced a league-high 242 rushing attempts despite already having their bye. That run defense could be even worse if Joey Bosa and Jerry Tillery have to miss this game.

It's all systems go for Harris, and we have him racking up 17.7 FanDuel points.

Harris and Herbert will likely be the most popular MVP picks. That makes Ekeler a fun option, and our algorithm projects him for 17.9 FanDuel points. Ekeler hasn't been as steady as Harris, but he's gone off for a 30.4-point game this year while Harris has a single-game high of 21.7 FanDuel points. Ekeler is averaging 16.7 touches per game, including 4.3 grabs, and he's a beneficiary of LA's reliance on short passes.

I want to give Keenan Allen ($12,500) a mention, too. Allen has seen target counts of 11, 13 and 11 since LA's bye week, and he's turned that into FanDuel point totals of 16.7, 16.4 and 13.8 while scoring just one tuddie in that span. A reliable option on a weekly basis, Allen -- who our algorithm projects for 13.1 FanDuel points -- has a ceiling game in him that we haven't yet seen if he can pair one of his customary high yardage days with a touchdown. He's scored only twice this year, and those trips to pay-dirt came in games where he had 50 and 77 yards.

Flex Breakdown

I didn't mention Ben Roethlisberger ($14,000) -- who is expected to return for this game -- in the above section because I have little interest in playing him at MVP. Taking on a run-funnel LA defense that has allowed the sixth-fewest FanDuel points per game to passers (16.0) and offering no rushing production, Big Ben isn't someone I'm that pumped about for a flex spot, either. We have Roethlisberger slated for 14.9 FanDuel points.

Diontae Johnson ($13,500) has been utilized as the clear top receiver for the Steelers, leading the squad in target share (25%) and air yards share (33%). At a projection of 11.8 FanDuel points, Johnson is an interesting play because he probably won't be all that popular if the masses load up on Harris and the Bolts' pass-game pieces.

The Chargers have given up the fifth-most FanDuel points per game to tight ends (14.0), so Pat Freiermuth ($9,500) is a fine play.

For the Chargers, the only guy outside of the ones mentioned above who we have projected for more than 7.0 FanDuel points is Mike Williams ($11,000). Williams has tanked since his red-hot start to the campaign. Following a 32.5-point eruption against the Cleveland Browns, Williams has put up FanDuel point totals of 3.7, 2.9, 6.8 and 5.3. Yikes. He's seen a mere 15% target share and 21% air yards share in that time. He does, however, project pretty well for his salary as we rate him as the top point-per-dollar play among those under $12,000.

The value range on this slate is not good. Two guys I can stomach are Jared Cook ($8,500) and Josh Palmer ($6,000).

Palmer is a dart throw with a zero in his range of outcomes, but he's logged his two highest snap rates of the year the past two weeks (30% and 31%). While he's turned that into just a combined five receptions for 44 yards on six targets, he offers the best projection of anyone under $7,500, according to our model. Cook owns a 12% target share and 10% air yards share in the three games since LA's bye. His snap rate rebounded to 58% last week after he played only 42% of the snaps in Week 9.

In the single-game study I linked in the intro, one of the takeaways was that kickers are best suited for lower-scoring games. With a 46.5-point total, this contest fits the bill. We project Chris Boswell ($8,500) for 8.8 FanDuel points and Dustin Hopkins ($9,000) for 9.4.