Week 10 starts tonight as Thursday Night Football brings us a good matchup between the Raiders and Chargers. Both teams have multiple players with fantasy upside, giving us a nice variety for a single-game slate.
DraftKings Sportsbook currently has the over/under set at 49, and the Chargers favored by -1, setting us up for a close and high-scoring game.
My first bit of research for one-game slates is usually to see trends in usage over the last three games. Below you will see a table with each team’s touch distribution.
Josh Jacobs has been the touch king of this group. Probably isn’t a nickname one seeks out, but nevertheless. With Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler splitting work. Hunter Renfrow’s receptions have steadily gone up over the last two weeks, while Austin Ekeler saw a big boost last week under new OC Shane Steichen.
Touches Per Game, Week 10 TNF
In games that could turn into shootouts, quarterbacks hold good value, as there will be more passing attached to scoring. That puts both Derek Carr and Philip Rivers on our radar even though Rivers has a much better matchup, as the Raiders allow the most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks while the Chargers allow the seventh-fewest.
Those numbers have us firmly on Rivers’ side as a captain, but in one-game slates, we need to think like a contrarian might, and with a possible shootout on tap, Carr still has value.
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Josh Jacobs makes for an obvious captain, as the Raiders funnel touches his way, and the Chargers rank tenth worst in allowing fantasy points to running backs. The one worry for Jacobs is his lack of targets. Over the last three games, he’s seen just seven total, catching five for 25 yards. If the Chargers were to get a significant lead last in the game, we would likely see more of Jalen Richard, who has one more target than Jacobs in the last three. Jacobs is still a strong play for captain, though, as he will see plenty of work in a good matchup.
Captain: Philip Rivers, Josh Jacobs
Besides Philip Rivers and Josh Jacobs, we need to find the strongest plays we can to fill out our five-man lineups. The Raiders concentrate their work through Josh Jacobs while the Chargers concentrate theirs through Gordon, Ekeler, Hunter Henry, and Keenan Allen, with Mike Williams close behind.
We’ve seen Darren Waller’s touches take a nose dive the last two weeks, and that has coincided with Hunter Renfrow seeing more work. If we stick with the trend, Renfrow becomes a great play, as his price is $2,500 less than Waller.
Williams is a big play and touchdown threat, but his workload is thin compared to other No. 1 receivers. He’ll also see a lot of Casey Hayward in coverage, who has given up a 54 percent completion rate, and one touchdown to two interceptions on the season. I’m likely going to avoid Williams this week.
The other Williams, Mike, is due. Last season he had ten touchdown receptions and this year a big fat zero. Last week he caught 3-of-4 targets for 111 yards. He caught passes of 56 and 46-yards and now faces a Raiders team that has given up the most passes over 20-yards. Big Mike is a core play for me this week.
Choosing between Austin Ekeler and Melvin Gordon is tough, especially after Gordon scored two touchdowns last week to get back on track. Gordon also has seven rushing attempts inside the 10-yard line in just five games. The Raiders are strong against the run, giving up 3.96 yards per carry, but Gordon’s usage near the goal line can compensate. The good news for Ekeler is that the Raiders give up the fifth-most receptions to running backs, and the Chargers’ new OC gave him 16 touches last week, his highest since Gordon was out.
Hunter Henry has been one of the top fantasy tight ends since returning from injury and now gets a matchup with a Raiders team that give up the third-most fantasy points to the position. But his price is up there while Keenan Allen’s has dropped due to his recent inconsistencies, likely brought on by nagging injuries. Allen is still one of the top receivers in Air Yards and had a dropped touchdown two weeks back against the Bears. The opportunity is there, and this matchup is too good to dismiss Allen, who is one of the best route runners in the league.
Core Plays: Philip Rivers, Josh Jacobs, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Hunter Henry, Hunter Renfrow
Jalen Richard is someone to look toward if you think the Raiders will get behind and need to throw more, which would also lean you toward Derek Carr.
DeAndre Washington sees enough relief work for Josh Jacobs to have value at his price, but his upside isn’t high.
Zay Jones looks to be moving up the usage list each week and, much like Hunter Renfrow, is cheaper than his recent usage implies.
Foster Moreau is a reliable touchdown target, but also is extremely limited in his opportunities.
Value Plays: Zay Jones, Jalen Richard