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Chargers at 49ers NFL DFS Picks: Will Christian McCaffrey Get the 49ers to the Postseason?

Eric MacPherson



Cardinals-49ers DFS Picks: Christian McCaffrey + James Conner

Week 10 Sunday Night Football has a decimated Chargers squad looking to survive in San Francisco. On the other side, Christian McCaffrey looks to keep the momentum going for the 49ers. Let’s dive into some NFL DFS picks for SNF including McCaffrey, Austin Ekeler, Justin Herbert, Deebo Samuel and more.

Heading into NFL Week 10 Sunday Night Football, Stokastic is bringing plenty of NFL DFS tools and information for all of the different slates, game formats and sites.

This column will provide a free analysis of the single-slate action on DraftKings and FanDuel. It includes team capsules, player rankings, comments and NFL DFS picks. There is loads of information and NFL DFS Showdown analysis to get into for both DraftKings and FanDuel on this Week 10 Sunday Night Football slate featuring the Los Angeles Chargers at the San Francisco 49ers.

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NFL DFS Picks: Week 10 SNF | Chargers-49ers

Once again, the Chargers will be without their two best wide receivers in Keenan Allen (hamstring) and Mike Williams (ankle), plus backup tight end Donald Parham (hamstring) is out as well. Kicker Dustin Hopkins (hamstring) will be missing a third consecutive game as well. Linebacker Chris Rumph II (knee) is doubtful while offensive linemen Trey Pipkins (knee) and Brenden Jaimes (shoulder) are not expected to suit up.

The 49ers are still banged up on defense, even coming out of their bye week with defensive back Jason Verrett (knee) and defensive lineman Arik Armstead (foot/ankle) ruled out. The defensive line is likely to be without Samson Ebukam (quad) and future hall of fame offensive tackle Trent Williams is questionable.

Los Angeles Chargers: 18.75 Points


The Stokastic fantasy projections are calling out Justin Herbert as a mediocre play at best without Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. Currently he is just outside the top 15 quarterbacks, behind such non-luminaries as Kenny Pickett, Marcus Mariota and even John Wolford. Volume on short passes, with a couple long completions could edge him towards the 300-yard passing bonus on DraftKings, but it is a stretch.

Herbert rarely runs, and on the season he has just 51 yards on 22 totes with nary a score. Over the last six games, the third-year signal-caller has managed only seven touchdowns, though the four interceptions are an acceptable outcome considering he is averaging just shy of 45 pass attempts during this stretch.

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Running Back

Austin Ekeler is going to be the focus of the San Francisco defense, but he does enough in the passing game that he too could offset this extra attention on volume. The 49ers boast the fourth best rushing DVOA per Football Outsiders and Ekeler has topped 50 rushing yards only twice this season. Over his last three appearances, Ekeler has been the focus of the passing game, averaging a dozen targets per tilt in this timeframe. Four of his last five games have resulted in at least one rushing and one receiving score, which is essentially what Ekeler will need again tonight to be a relevant fantasy option.

Even with Ekeler on the field for two-thirds of the snaps over the last few games, the rest of the running backs have been a disappointment. Sony Michel and Isaiah Spiller should each be on the field for around a dozen snaps, but neither is likely to receive any high value looks. Zander Horvath will sneak his way into the mix for a couple of plays on offense, but he has just one opportunity over the last three games and 10 for the season on 67 snaps.

Wide Receiver

Josh Palmer, DeAndre Carter and Michael Bandy each played 80% or more of the snaps last week and that is what we should expect tonight. Palmer and Carter at least are NFL-caliber receivers who would at least make most rosters. Bandy is an undrafted rookie, though he did get eight targets last week and six in the game prior to the Week 8 bye and he is only $2,400 on DraftKings.

Tight End

Gerald Everett has 24 targets across the last three games with the rest of the tight ends combining for five. Donald Parham Jr. (hamstring) was placed on the injured reserve, though Tre’ McKitty is expected to be available tonight and serve as the backup tight end. Veteran Richard Rodgers did get two targets last week, but that was mostly due to him being the TE2 and those were his first looks since the opening game.

Defense/Special Teams

Los Angeles is averaging nearly 2.4 sacks per game and despite their run-heavy approach, San Francisco is ceding just over two sacks per game. The Chargers are in the middle of the pack with 11 takeaways while the 49ers have allowed 12 turnovers themselves.

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San Francisco 49ers: 26.25 Points


Jimmy Garoppolo is two spots ahead of Herbert in the Stokastic quarterback rankings this week, which is just wild considering San Francisco did everything but release the erstwhile field general prior to the season. Though there really is no point in bestowing the multiplier slot on Garoppolo, he should still be a mainstay of our lineups as he has a pair of touchdowns in four straight games and a fully healthy set of pass catchers.

Volume is the wild card for Garoppolo; however, he does have a reasonable path to 30 pass attempts and 250 yards anytime he is under center. Los Angeles has the 10th best passing DVOA, though they have the fourth worst rushing DVOA. This should allow play action passes to be effective and everyone who will be on the receiving end has above average after the catch production.

Running Back

Christian McCaffrey should be on the field for 80% of the snaps and likely will keep Deebo Samuel in a wide receiver only role aside from a few snaps to give the Chargers a different look. Jeff Wilson Jr. was traded to Miami, so the backup should be Eli Mitchell, who is rumored to be ready to return from the injured reserve and is at the minimum salary on DraftKings ($200) and just above it on FanDuel ($6,000). It is hard to expect more than a handful of touches, but that could be enough to land him in the optimal lineup.

If Mitchell does not suit up, then some combination of veteran Tevin Coleman (yes, that Tevin Coleman) and rookie Tyrion Davis-Price will serve as the backups. If this is the case, then it does open the door for Samuel to get a few snaps out of the backfield. Kyle Juszczyk will be in his usual fullback role and is likely to get an opportunity or two under the primetime lights.

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Wide Receiver

Deebo Samuel and Jauan Jennings are expected to return after missing last week and neither should have any limitations. This makes for a crowded wide receiver corps as Brandon Aiyuk is the co-WR1 along with Samuel. Plus, with McCaffrey in the fold, that is one more outstanding pair of hands and someone who will keep Samuel in the wideout role. Ray-Ray McCloud III will be around as the fourth wideout and returning kicks, but he is an afterthought on this fully healthy offense.

Tight End

George Kittle has seen 30 targets over the last four weeks and should be in line for half a dozen tonight, as it seems that coach Kyle Shanahan remembered that he is one of the best receiving tight ends in the league. Ross Dwelley will be the backup, and it could be Charlie Woerner serving as the third tight end with Tyler Kroft questionable while attending to some personal matters.

Defense/Special Teams

Despite their vaunted defense, San Francisco has just nine takeaways, which is the same number of turnovers suffered by Los Angles. The 49ers do have multiple sacks in all but one game this season, but Herbert has been sacked barely more than once per tilt.

Sunday Night Football Single-Game NFL DFS Strategy For Chargers-49ers

The rankings below are best utilized for building out single-entry and three-max lineups, and for head-to-head and three-man formats. They provide a nice barometer for player value. However, those taking the MME approach should remember that correlation is key. This means matching a receiver or two with a quarterback in the Captain/MVP slot. That also works conversely, pairing a Captain/MVP pass catcher with their quarterback.

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Week 10 Sunday Night Football NFL DFS Rankings For Chargers-49ers

Top 10 NFL DFS Showdown Picks For Chargers-49ers

  1. Christian McCaffrey: The do everything running back is an excellent option at the top.
  2. Austin Ekeler: In the mix as the top play, but facing the 49ers defense nearing full health is a detriment.
  3. Jimmy Garoppolo: Best off in the utility slot, but he should be on a majority of our rosters.
  4. Michael Bandy: Solid salary saver that should produce.
  5. Eli Mitchell: Better option on DraftKings at $200 we have our pick of the remaining players, just do not fall into the “common” lineup build when going this route.
  6. Deebo Samuel: Proverbial nose for the end zone, but now he has a boatload of competition.
  7. Josh Palmer: Just one broken play and he could become a difference-maker.
  8. Justin Herbert: Still a viable option, but without his top two targets, this matchup will be an uphill battle all night.
  9. Gerald Everett: Should get half a dozen looks, of course linebackers Fred Warner, Dre Greenlaw and Azeez Al-Shaair will be waiting for him.
  10. George Kittle: Needs a touchdown or a 30-yarder in order to “return a profit” at this salary.

Secondary NFL DFS Showdown Picks For Chargers-49ers

  1. Brandon Aiyuk: Easily could swap spot with Samuel in these rankings.
  2. DeAndre Carter: Does not get the same volume as Palmer and Bandy, but on the field as much or more and he could be the beneficiary of being lost by the defense. Also returns punts and kickoffs.
  3. Robbie Gould: Still golden from inside of 45 yards, turns 40 years old in three weeks.
  4. San Francisco D/ST: Good but lacking in splash plays; that could change tonight.
  5. Cameron Dicker: Played for Philadelphia in Week 5 and Los Angeles last week, perfect on his kicks (four PATs and four field goals).

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  1. Jauan Jennings: Odd man out in a crowded and methodical offense.
  2. Los Angeles D/ST: Stranger things have happened.
  3. Isaiah Spiller: Best chance at backing up Ekeler.
  4. Sony Michel: Veteran battering ram, hard to see him with more than a handful of meaningless carries.
  5. Ray-Ray McCloud III: Returns punts and kickoffs, could wander onto the field during an offensive series.
  6. Tre’ McKitty, Richard Rodgers and Ross Dwelley: Backup tight ends, with a chance at a target or two – bonus of this being an island game.
  7. Tevin Coleman: Only viable if Mitchell is not ready, in that case move the veteran up to the top of this section for his salary savings.
  8. Tyrion Davis-Price: Only in play if Mitchell is out, would also need Coleman to be inactive before he really warrants consideration.
  9. Zander Horvath, Willie Snead IV, Jason Moore, Larry Rountree III, Danny Gray, Charlie Woerner and Tyler Kroft: If they beat us, so be it.

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Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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