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Fantasy Football Picks: Dolphins vs. Chargers DraftKings NFL DFS SNF Showdown Strategy

Pearce Dietrich gives his top DraftKings NFL Showdown picks for Sunday Night Football.

The Week 14 Sunday Night Football contest features a matchup between the Miami Dolphins and Los Angeles Chargers.

Let’s look at this game from a DraftKings NFL Showdown perspective.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.25M Sunday Night Showdown [$300K to 1st] (MIA vs LAC)


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Captain’s Pick

Tua Tagovailoa (CP $15,600)

Don’t worry about last week. The Dolphins were without two offensive lineman — the best lineman in the NFL and a former first-round pick — and they struggled against the best defense in the NFL. Their offensive line’s health remains in question and Tua is not 100% either, but the Chargers are not the best defense in the NFL. The Chargers’ defense ranks 23rd in DVOA. Even better for the Dolphins is that the Chargers rate out poorly against the pass in nearly every facet: 17th in Yards, 26th in TDs, 29th in Average Depth of Target, 22nd in Air Yards, 26th in QB Hurry%, 22nd in QB Knockdown%, 26th in Sacks and 28th in pressure. Making matters worse is that the Chargers blitz at the seventh-highest rate and they still do not get to the quarterback. Tua Tagovailoa’s weakness in the early stages of his career has been managing QB pressure. With ample time to pass on Sunday night, this should open the door for plenty of splash plays from the Fins. Needless to say, Tagovailoa must be paired with Tyreek Hill ($11,400) and/or Jaylen Waddle ($9,000).

FLEX Plays

Jeff Wilson ($6,200)

Forget about last week. The Chargers can’t stop the run — 30th in rush defense (DVOA). They have ceded the fourth-most fantasy points on the ground to running backs this season. San Francisco has the No. 2 rush defense. Forget about Wilson’s three yards on one carry. It’s DFS. Control, shift, delete. Clear. A short-term memory is necessary.

Before the San Francisco beat down, Wilson rushed for 51 yards against Chicago after one practice with his new team. He followed that game with 119 yards vs. Cleveland. His 39 yards against Houston was disappointing, but that was a blowout. This game will not be a blowout. It will be a competitive game and Wilson will have to be active for the Dolphins to come out on top.

Austin Ekeler ($11,000)

The Dolphins have an exciting offense. Their defense is exciting for DFS players, but not Dolphins fans. Their pass defense ranks 23rd in DVOA, and they have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to receiving running backs (28th DVOA). According to Football Outsiders’ advanced metrics, the Dolphins rank 28th against short passes. Everything lines up to create a perfect matchup for a receiving running back. The over/under is high, the pass defense struggles and specifically against running backs. This isn’t just a running back. Ekeler is the premier receiving running back in the NFL. The Chargers’ offensive scheme is built around Ekeler as a receiver. Also, he is flanked by three receivers that range from above average to elite and an above-average tight end. In this offense, Ekeler is a handful for good teams let alone a weak defense.

Gerald Everett ($5,000)

The Dolphins have allowed the third-most fantasy points to tight ends. Their defense struggles with short passes (28th DVOA) and passes over the middle (27th DVOA). This is where tight ends live. With Keenan Allen ($8,200) healthy and back in the slot, safeties and line backers have to turn their attention to the star receiver. Everett is set to face single and soft coverage on Sunday night. In the Week 13 matchup with Allen playing 96% of the snaps, Everett was freed up to catch five passes for 80 yards. His best games have come when either Allen or Mike Williams were healthy. Everett is a good tight end, but he’s not Travis Kelce. He needs to be buoyed by a strong supporting cast. Mike Williams may not help much this week, but Allen will, and don’t dismiss the contributions of Josh Palmer ($6,800).


Fades

Mike Williams ($7,000)

This could be a huge mistake. Miami presents an excellent matchup for opposing receivers. Williams has the potential to smash the slate. He also has the potential to miss the slate entirely. Often this season, Williams’ status has been unknown until hours before kickoff. A nagging ankle injury has cost Williams several games. He returned to the lineup Nov. 20 after a month-long absence, only to re-aggravate the ankle injury and miss the subsequent games. If Williams is good to go, how long will he go? With multiple weapons available to Herbert, how much work will Williams get? How much volume does a less than 100% receiver receive?


THE OUTCOME

The Chargers are odd. They have the talent to be championship contenders when healthy. Even with their current roster, they’re an above-average team. That said, they can’t be trusted. They lose when they should win, and win when they should lose. That’s been the story during the Justin Herbert era. The Chargers should lose and they will lose. The Dolphins have too much firepower for the Chargers’ defense.

Final Score: Miami 34, Los Angeles 23

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.25M Sunday Night Showdown [$300K to 1st] (MIA vs LAC)


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is greenflagradio2) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.