Week 11 Sunday Night Football features an AFC West battle with the Los Angeles Chargers getting most of their offensive playmakers back as they try to narrow the gap with the division leading Kansas City Chiefs.
Heading into NFL Week 11 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 11 Sunday Night Football slate featuring the Kansas City Chiefs at the Los Angeles Chargers.
NFL DFS Picks: Week 11 SNF | Chiefs-Chargers
Kansas City will be without receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster (concussion) and Mecole Hardman (abdomen), along with defensive back Chris Lammons (concussion).
Los Angeles is likely to be missing kicker Dustin Hopkins (hamstring) and defensive linemen Otito Ogbonnia (knee) and Christian Covington (chest) have been placed on the injured reserve. Receivers Keenan Allen (hamstring) and Mike Williams (ankle) are both expected to return to action on Sunday. Update: after this article was written Saturday morning Everett (groin) was downgraded back to questionable yesterday afternoon.
The Stokastic fantasy projections have Patrick Mahomes behind only Josh Allen in the full Week 11 rankings. That is actually impressive considering that Mahomes will be without JuJu Smith-Schuster (concussion) and Mecole Hardman (abdomen) who was placed on the injured reserve. Mahomes of course is able to elevate most anyone on the receiving end of his passes and the Chargers are in the bottom-third of the league against opposing quarterbacks.
Los Angeles has been wildly lucky with their schedule this season and aside from facing Mahomes in Week 2, Geno Smith in Week 7 is the only other above average signal-caller to square off against the Chargers. The 27-year-old field general leads the league with 326.2 passing yards per game and also touchdowns with 25, ahead of Allen by a whopping five. The only knock against the 2018 NFL MVP is that he does not add much on the ground, though he is nimble in the pocket and can scamper for positive yards when the defense loses containment.
Los Angeles is allowing 146.8 rushing yards per game which is the third worst in the league behind only Houston (181.8) and Detroit (160.9). Of course coach Andy Reid will still turn to passing plays frequently, but we need to keep in mind that the Chargers are even worse than last season when they allowed 138.9 rushing yards per game, which was also the third most in the league.
Nine different running backs have at least 75 combined yards against the Bolts this season and five players have rushed for 99 or more yards. Naturally Reid and company are not going to make this easy for fantasy gamers as the Kansas City backfield is wildly in flux right now. Clyde Edwards-Helaire seems to be on the outs having been on the field for just 17 and four, yes FOUR offensive plays in the two games since the bye.
Veteran Jerick McKinnon is the best receiver and pass blocking option, so he should be in the mix for at least half of the plays on Sunday Night Football. Volume is a different question entirely as the 30-year-old journeyman has only eight carries for 19 yards over the last four games. On the positive side, he does have eight targets in each of the last two and while he has a dozen receptions, it is for only 96 yards. McKinnon does look good on DraftKings in the full-PPR format as he should continue to see similar volume with the decimated receiving corps on the ropes.
Rookie Isiah Pacheco played a season high 35 snaps last week for a 56% snap share. He was solid with 16 carries for 82 yards, but he has not scored since Week 1 in garbage time. The other knock against him is that he has only three targets this season and of course if he misses an assignment or disappoints in some other way, Edwards-Helaire could easily find his way out of the dog house.
Suddenly the midseason trade for Kadarius Toney seems like a fortuitous transaction with Hardman and Smith-Schuster out of commission. The second-year receiver saw five targets on Sunday with four receptions for 57 yards and his first career touchdown. He also added 33 yards on a pair of rushing attempts and just missed out on 100 combined yards. The change of scenery moving away from the Giants where he had worn out his welcome and upgrading from Daniel Jones to Mahomes as his quarterback should do wonders. Fortunately both DraftKings ($8,000) and FanDuel ($8,500) at least gave him a semi-appropriate salary to account for the absence of his new compadres.
Marques Valdez-Scantling backers should be rejoicing as the former Green Bay Packer simply has to see an uptick in opportunities. MVS has always been a mercurial fantasy performer as evidenced by his last five games where he had 15 or more fantasy points in full-PPR formats three times, with a grand total of 2.2 in the other two games combined.
Justin Watson saw the biggest uptick in playing time once Smith-Schuster went down last week and he should again be on the field for nearly 70% of the offensive plays. Rookie Skyy Moore did not see any change in his role and he will likely continue to be in the mix for around 25-to-30% of the snaps. That same opportunity share has resulted in just one target each of the last three games.
Travis Kelce ranks ninth with 82.2 receiving yards per game and he is tied with Davante Adams with a league leading eight touchdowns. The nine-year veteran has seven or more targets in every game this season and he should flirt with double-digits on Sunday. Noah Gray is also a viable option in the single-game format with at least two targets in seven of nine games. Jody Fortson may only be on the field for a handful of snaps, but he does have two touchdowns this year with four receptions for 25 yards on a half dozen looks from Mahomes.
Kansas City has 13 sacks over the last three games, though despite their offensive line woes the Chargers have ceded just five sacks in the last three games and only a baker’s dozen on the season, which is the fewest in the league. The Chiefs are averaging just under one takeaway per game and Los Angeles just over one turnover per tilt.
This has been a rough season for Justin Herbert who has been dealing with injuries to himself and to most of his key pass catchers. The passing volume is still there as the third-year signal-caller has attempted at least 34 throws in every game including five game with 43 or more. Kansas City has allowed four different quarterbacks to surpass 300 yards with multiple touchdowns this season, including Herbert back in Week 2. The Chargers never need an excuse to throw the ball and considering they are facing the 22nd worst passing DVOA according to Football Outsiders, expect quite the aerial show on Sunday Night Football.
The Chargers have the worst running attack in the league, so even going against an average Kansas City defense is going to seem like a daunting task. Austin Ekeler will be on the field for around 70% of the offensive snaps, but he has topped 14 carries only once and it was in the “midge” game in Cleveland when turned 16 totes into 173 yards while running through the bugs. Ekeler has four different games with both a rushing and receiving touchdown and he has 10 total scores on the year.
Like it has been over the last few seasons, the second running back slot has been quite the game of musical chairs. Currently it is the well-travelled Sony Michel and rookie fourth-rounder Isaiah Spiller splitting the role. Spiller should get a handful of carries between the 20s in relief of Ekeler, while Michel is likely in line for a short yardage carry or two. However, neither are likely to see much action in the red zone with Ekeler leading the team with 32 combined rushing and receiving opportunities this season.
Keenan Allen (hamstring) has played in just two games this season, but he is expected to be a full-go tonight. After being injured in the season opener, Allen came back “too early” in Week 7, the team decided to hold him out until he was completely healthy. Mike Williams (ankle) has missed the last two games, but he practiced in full this week and will once again be a boom-bust fantasy option (four games of 20 or more fantasy points and three games with single-digit production).
The return of Allen and Williams should push Michael Bandy to the bench or even inactive status. Josh Palmer will serve as the third wideout and he has definitely earned his stripes over the last month. DeAndre Carter is a wild card, particularly with a salary that reflects the extended absence of Allen and Williams.
Gerald Everett (groin) is no longer on the injury report and he should once again be the lead tight end. While his fantasy output has been a rollercoaster of results, having the top two wideouts back should help open up the middle part of the field. Tre’ McKitty had a career high six targets in Week 10, but he is unlikely to see more than one or two in this matchup. Veteran Richard Rodgers is a $200 option on DraftKings, though he should not be considered until lineup #100 or higher and even then this is only for the true degenerates (saying this with respect of course). Update: after this article was written Saturday morning Everett (groin) was downgraded back to questionable yesterday afternoon. If he is out, Tre’ McKitty becomes a viable discount dandy.
The Los Angeles D/ST has been a disappointing fantasy unit outside of the season opener when they posted six sacks and three interceptions, both highwater marks for the season. Mahomes will take sacks now and then, but he does a great job of limiting interceptions when considering his passing volume.
Sunday Night Football Single-Game NFL DFS Strategy For Chiefs-Chargers
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 his quarterback.
Week 11 Sunday Night Football NFL DFS Rankings For Chiefs-Chargers
Top 10 NFL DFS Showdown Picks For Chiefs-Chargers
- Patrick Mahomes: Mahomies Unite!
- Justin Herbert: Getting the band back together will help.
- Austin Ekeler: Touchdown efficiency is not sustainable, but it does not have to self-correct tonight.
- Travis Kelce: In the mix for the multiplier slot on all DFS sites.
- Mike Williams: Trusting in his wobbly ankle more than Allen’s gimpy hamstring.
- Kadarius Toney: Better in the flex slot than the multiplier until lineup #50 or so.
- Jerick McKinnon and Isaiah Pacheco: Trust the veteran on DraftKings, turn to the rookie on FanDuel.
- Harrison Butker: We need salary cap relief and he is finally healthy.
- Marquez Valdes-Scantling: Savvy gamers will let the popularity difference between Toney and MVS be the deciding factor (i.e. go against The Masses for direct leverage).
- Cameron Dicker: Should fill in again for Dustin Hopkins, nailed all three field goal attempts in San Francisco, including two from 50-plus yards.
Secondary NFL DFS Showdown Picks For Chiefs-Chargers
- Keenan Allen: I want to see it before I believe it when it comes to his health, so I will accept that I may miss the boat.
- Josh Palmer: Looked good when thrust into the lead role over the last month.
- Gerald Everett: Suddenly the Chargers are teeming with receiving options. Update: after this article was written Saturday morning Everett (groin) was downgraded back to questionable yesterday afternoon. If he is out, move Tre’ McKitty into this slot as a punt option.
- Justin Watson: “Cash” viable and a better option on DraftKings ($1,400) than FanDuel ($6,500).
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire: We know Reid just loves to tinker with his running back roles, perfect set up for a prime time troll game.
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- Isaiah Spiller: Meh.
- Kansas City D/ST: Should be chances for some fantasy plays.
- Noah Gray: Savage $3,000 cap hit on DraftKings, that works out to about a grand per target.
- Los Angeles D/ST: A 70%ile outcome is for Mahomes to throw one pick and take three sacks, will that be enough to offset points allowed and make this unit a viable play?
- DeAndre Carter: It was fun while it lasted Good Sir. Still the main kick returner.
- Sony Michel: Double Meh.
- Tre’ McKitty and Jody Fortson: Backup tight ends with juuuuust enough upside to warrant their own line.
- Skyy “Butterfingers” Moore: Can we bet on a turnover? Lost punt returning duties to Toney.
- Richard Rodgers, Zander Horvath, Jason Moore, Larry Rountree III, Michael Bandy and Michael Burton: Oh hell no!
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