Thursday Night Football Info
Time: Thursday, December 17th @ 5:20 PM Pacific
Location: Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada
Weather: 57f Clear
TV: Fox, NFL Network, Amazon
Spread: Las Vegas -3
Odds courtesy of MyBookie.ag *Promo Code SGP*
It’s a Thursday night battle in the AFC West this week. Justin Herbert brings his Chargers to Las Vegas for a week 9 rematch. There, he hopes to exact some revenge and hand the Raiders a home loss this time around. In their first meeting, he and Derek Carr both threw for two touchdowns. The difference though, came by way of the meager 165 yards Carr accrued versus the 326 amassed by Herbert. The ground game for both teams came through as Kalen Ballage, Devontae Booker, and Josh Jacobs all found the endzone.
This game figures to be about the same as the over/under here is set at 53 points. This is only 4 points less than the 57 they totaled in their first matchup. Many of the same faces will be the major players in this game as well. One that was not there could factor in if he is not forced to miss this one as well. With the stage set, I will do my best to give you names I think are worth a look for your DraftKings Showdown Picks.
As always, the players below are not meant to be considered a “core four.” These are simply players to consider as you are building your lineups. Play one, play them all, it is entirely up to you. My job is to help you see the reasoning behind selecting these players and how they can help you win.
DraftKings Showdown Picks: Raiders vs Chargers
1. Darren Waller – Captain $14,100; Flex $9,400 TE Las Vegas
Understand that I don’t necessarily add the more obvious plays in this column every week. But, both of these teams have their favorite targets. This does two things; makes the obvious play the right play, and makes finding value a little harder. This is where Waller comes into play. He is far and away the best pass catcher on the team. He gets the most looks, he has the most yards and tied for most touchdowns. The only reason you will want to fade him is if you want to go straight contrarian in a tournament lineup.
He is facing a tough Chargers pass defense which could impact his ceiling, but his floor is enough to overlook that. So far this season, he has only failed to reach double digit fantasy production four times. He’s put together six games with over 15 points including a monster 48 point outing against the Jets. It doesn’t seem as if Derek Carr will slow down in his reliance on Waller so locking him into your roster, while it might be obvious, is the right move to make.
2. Nelson Agholor – Captain $11,100; Flex $7,400 WR Las Vegas
If you’re an embattled Agholor owner in season-long fantasy like I am, seeing his name here might make you angry. In weeks where he was on your bench, he blew up. When you had him in your lineup, he caught one pass for eight yards. So why the inclusion in this write-up? For one, he is by all rights and accounts, the number two pass catcher on the Raiders. Hunter Renfrow is the sexier name being tossed around in that capacity. But while the two are neck and neck in the statistical category, Agholor has the experience and the higher big game potential of the two.
The Chargers, while suffering in the overall standings, have a top 10 defense against the passing game. As is the case with Waller, this could take a bite out of his overall value. But, if you are looking to roster a Las Vegas receiver, Agholor is the choice this week. He is continuing to get the target volume you are looking for in your lineups. And here is your weekly reminder that opportunity is what you want in your DraftKings Showdown Picks.
3. Tyron Johnson – Captain $7,500; Flex $5,000 WR Los Angeles
Keenan Allen is the king of the Chargers receivers. It’s almost difficult to make a case for anyone else. Mike Williams sat as the distant second to Allen, but it is likely he will not suit up Thursday night. This leaves Johnson jockeying for looks with Jaylen Guyton as the number two wideout. Guyton certainly has the flash of big play potential. That said, Johnson might have earned his quarterback’s confidence after some solid play last week. Against the Falcons, he caught 6 of 7 targets for 55 yards and a touchdown. One of those grabs set up his team for their win.
In the last meeting between these two teams, Justin Herbert threw for 326 yards and 2 touchdowns. Johnson accounted for 50 of those yards on his sole reception of the afternoon. Williams accounted for 7 targets, 5 catches, and 81 yards in that game. It is looking like Johnson will gain if Williams is sidelined for this game. If that happens, the opportunity is there for you to get solid production at a deeply discounted price tag.
4. Kalen Ballage – Captain $3,600; Flex $2,400 RB Los Angeles
The return of Austin Ekeler brought with it the drop in value for anyone below him on the depth chart. This includes Ballage who had done well as the lead back in Los Angeles. Now that Ekeler is back, Ballage has seen that production fall off considerably. But this week, there may be no Ekeler on the field, which would put Ballage back in play. Ekeler was a non-participant in Monday’s practice with a quad injury. This is certainly something to keep an eye on going forward. Should he sit out, you can fire up Ballage for some inexpensive fantasy production for your DraftKings Showdown Picks.
His first game as a Charger came in week nine against these very same Raiders. He enjoyed what would be his best fantasy outing so far in that game. In it, he carried the ball 15 times for 69 yards and a touchdown. He added 2 receptions for 15 yards on three targets for a total of 16.4 points. Las Vegas is allowing 128 yards per game on the ground. There is a better than average chance that Ballage, even with Ekeler in the game, stands to give you a respectable return on investment.