FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 6 Monday Night (Broncos at Chargers)
The Chargers are 4.5-point home favorites over the Broncos on Monday night, and the two teams are combining for a reasonable 45.5 over/under. While Denver's offense clearly remains a giant question mark, the overall game environment generally projects well from a pace and pass rate perspective.
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.
Justin Herbert ($17,000), Austin Ekeler ($15,500), and Russell Wilson ($15,000) rate are the top projected players in numberFire's model tonight, and there's no question that the Chargers duo will be popular at MVP.
Although Herbert is up against the seventh-best adjusted pass defense, per numberFire's metrics, he's generally performed well this season, averaging the sixth-most Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back. Combining that efficiency with the fourth-most pass attempts per game (40.0) has helped him score 20-plus FanDuel points in three of five starts.
Meanwhile, Ekeler got off to a slow start to the year but has now come up with back-to-back 30-point efforts. While the running back comes off the field more often than we might like (57.7% snap rate), he's still averaging 12.2 rushes and 6.6 targets per game, and the Broncos aren't as stout against the run, ranking 16th in adjusted rush defense.
Clearly, it wouldn't be shocking to see either player lead the slate in scoring, but we may need to consider alternatives at MVP to avoid the chalk.
And, unfortunately, that's where Wilson comes in. Quarterbacks tend to be popular in the multiplier slot, but Wilson's woes should drop his MVP percentage well below Herbert and Ekeler.
There's no question that he's been dreadful. Among quarterbacks with at least 50 drop backs, Wilson ranks 23rd in Passing NEP per drop back, and he's exceeded 20 FanDuel points only once. It also doesn't inspire confidence that he's dealing with a shoulder issue that required a procedure after Denver's last game.
And yet, by nature of the position, Wilson's still averaging the third-most FanDuel points on the slate. He doesn't have to be perfect to post a top score, and the Chargers are just 18th in adjusted pass defense.
With Keenan Allen expected to sit out again, Williams remains the leading man among L.A.'s pass-catchers, owning a 25.5% target share and 45.2% air yards share in four games sans Allen. He's seen double-digit targets three times over that span, cracking 100 receiving yards in all three instances.
On the other side, Sutton tops the Broncos' wideout group with a 28.2% target share and 41.1% air yards share. Predictably, he hasn't had gaudy results in this offense, but he's still managed to post double-digit FanDuel points in three of five weeks.
Gordon may very well be the most intriguing of this group, though, and that's due to his matchup. The Chargers rank 22nd in adjusted rush defense and have given up the most FanDuel points per game to opposing running backs.
In his first game following Javonte Williams' season-ending injury, Gordon logged a season-high 54.9% snap rate with 15 carries and 3 targets, and he also tallied 6 of 7 rushes in the red zone (85.7%).
It's worth noting that Latavius Murray ($8,000) is expected to join this running back committee, which could put a dent in Gordon's workload moving forward. But the matchup is such that it could still lead to a big score from the lead back.
In the four games where he's played over 50% of the snaps, Jeudy has averaged a 19.4% target share and 27.7% air yards share, putting him firmly behind Sutton in the pecking order. That being said, he's easily the next-best Broncos pass-catcher and may even deserve fringe MVP treatment in lineups that assume a bounce-back performance from Wilson.
In Week 5, Boone played on 42.3% of the snaps and recorded a respectable 7 rushes and 3 targets as part of a committee with Gordon. That's a viable flex role if this type of usage continues, but as noted earlier, the potential emergence of Murray adds risk to rostering Boone.
Of the remaining Broncos, wideout K.J. Hamler ($7,000) and tight end Eric Saubert ($5,000) were the only other offensive players to log over 50% of the snaps last week. However, Hamler has only seen four targets total this season, while Saubert is in a muddled tight-end group that could now add Greg Dulcich to the mix. Both are dart-throw plays at best, and perhaps Murray falls under the same category.
Excluding Week 4 when Palmer dealt with a mid-game ankle issue, he's posted a 19.2% target share in the three other games with Keenan Allen out. Meanwhile, Everett's logged a 15.9% target share in his four games without Allen. Both players have hit double-digit FanDuel points multiple times this year.
Carter is fifth on the totem pole behind Williams, Ekeler, Palmer, and Evertt, and he hasn't seen more than four targets in a game. But he's logged a 66.0% snap rate and 70.8% route rate since Allen was sidelined, keeping him around as a borderline play.
Kelley saw a season-high 37.7% snap rate backing up Ekeler last week, suggesting he's the Chargers' new RB2 ahead of Sony Michel ($5,500). It led to a season-high 10 carries (and 2 targets) for Kelley, so he could make some noise if he finds the end zone.
Given the decent total for this game, this doesn't necessarily profile as a big game for kickers and defenses. That being said, if Denver's offensive struggles continue, it could open the door for the Los Angeles Chargers D/ST ($10,000). Wilson has the league's ninth-highest sack rate (8.6%), and the Broncos just lost left tackle Garett Bolles for the season.