Thursday Night Showdown
By Chris Emrick
Chargers @ Raiders (-3.5) O/U 52.5
This game doesn’t exactly fit the bill in terms of a marquee match up by most definitions. However, for some reason, it’s a compelling game that I’m somewhat excited for. Not just from the game level but the discussions that I’ve seen in the industry for how these lineups need to be built. I tend to find weeks or slates that have consensus builds are some of the easiest to take advantage of. Let’s look at some of these situations and figure out who from the chalk core we want, and who we can pair it with that might be a bit different.
Austin Ekeler ($10,400) 70%
From a fantasy perspective, there isn’t a lot to not like about Ekeler in this spot. He’s been the focal point of this offense since his return, the Raiders D is missing 4 starters and the Chargers offense has it’s other pieces out or hampered in this game. If you roster Ekeler you won’t be alone, he’s likely the most popular captain and highest overall ownership. I’m going to be okay with eating this chalk and will have him on 80-90% of my teams.
Josh Jacobs ($8,800) 65%
I’m less bullish on Jacobs. He has been hindered by injury in recent weeks and as such his workload has been reduced. For purposes of this slate his price has not been and that’s an issue. He’s projected as the second-highest owned player and you can thank a super soft Chargers run defense for that. It’s one of those situations that if we knew Jacobs was going to get a full workload then I’d be happy to roster him. However, since I suspect we see more of a snap share situation with Richard and Booker seeing significant run I’m going light in my exposure. I wouldn’t completely eliminate him, because I could be wrong.
Derek Carr ($10,000) 65%
Come on! You guys know I love me some Derek Carr. I’m for sure going to have a bunch of him here as I think that you can deduct that he’ll have a good game throwing the ball if they’re limited on the ground due to injury or lack of talent. The Chargers have done a decent job this year limiting QB production. Most of that is a by-product of them doing a poor job of limiting RB. However, I think the public may be a bit heavy here on Car. I’m more in the realm of 40-50% lineup construction here for him.
Herbert ($11,800) 70%
Perhaps one of the spots that I’m most likely to diverge from the public. Herbert has come down to earth after a fantastic start to the year. This can be blamed on a tougher schedule or perhaps it’s due to Ekeler’s return and a change in offensive philosophy or play calling. If it is indeed truly the latter of the two, then having a banged-up WR group probably won’t help. I’ll have some Herbert but his price seems a bit higher and recent production suspect, I’ll be more along 20-30%
Darren Waller ($9,400) 60%
Aside from Ekeler he’s my favorite high-profile captain and play. Every one of my lineups will either have Austin or Darren, and most will have both. They present to me the fairest price for expected ceiling level production.
Keenan Allen ($11,000) 20%
The word is that Allen will play, but is still dealing with an injury that will limit him during the game. I want to take that seriously but also have enough shares that if he does indeed come out and have a dominant performance that I’m still there on him. The challenge is that the price tag on Allen will severely limit your roster construction. I’m looking for 15% exposure.
Nelson Agholor ($7,400) 40%
If you aren’t playing Waller or Jacobs then you’re likely stacking Agholor. One of those three guys will need to be in your lineup as they’ll consist of much of the Raider’s offense tonight. Agholor will probably be my second highest owned Raider given his price and leverage. I’m thinking 60% or so.
The other guys
Tyron Johnson ($5,000) 7 targets last week in place of Mike Williams. Looks to get the start again with Williams missing the contest.
Jalen Guyton ($2,800) Big play ability and has seen as many as 6 targets in a game. Hasn’t been able to really put up a good fantasy score without a long touchdown. Consider him highly volatile and boom or bust.
Hunter Henry ($5,800) Consistent source of 6-7 targets may see increased work with Allen out. Fairly priced for his floor/ceiling. Should register 25% ownership, I’m likely to have 50% or more.
Hunter Renfrow ($4,800) Kind of the Hunter Henry version of player for the Raiders. I’m not going out of my way to put him in lineups but won’t mind if he fits. Ownership projection around 25% and I’m likely to match the field.
Bryan Edwards ($400) – Super cheap. Might get some added work with Ruggs out that allows you to stuff a bunch of other guys in.