Chiefs-Chargers DFS Showdown: Slate Strategy Analysis

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Patrick Mahomes has the highest optimal probability on this DFS Showdown slate between the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday Night Football. His expected ownership doesn’t reflect his optimal probability, so plenty of available leverage is attached to him at a fairly reasonable price. He leads the NFL in both passing yards and touchdowns, giving us a clear vision of how his upside could present itself in a potential shootout. Essentially, you can’t go wrong backing him at the multiplier.

Justin Herbert will have his entire fleet of weapons around him healthy for the first time since the first half of their season opener. He has the tools to go head-to-head with Mahomes in a showdown while having a larger pool of talented pass-catchers to target. We’re looking for Herbert to see the most positive ownership leverage of anyone on this slate, so he certainly offers value, but Mahomes has earned significantly more trust this season.

Travis Kelce offers a clear multiplier upside regardless of the matchup, so adding in the injuries around him, who knows what Mahomes will be thinking in the pocket? Is he ready to feed Kadarius Toney WR1 targets? He might have no choice, but Kelce is the sure thing and very easily could produce a multi-touchdown game. His worthiness at the multiplier spot depends on how you view the rest of the Chiefs around him tonight, but he won’t have the added benefit of positive ownership leverage to save him. 

Austin Ekeler’s recent utilization has been through the roof, as he’s been targeted 48 times over the past four weeks while finding the endzone ten times over the past six weeks. The expected return of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams puts a damper on his receiving upside, so it is hard for us to be overly confident in Ekeler’s potential volume out of the backfield. He hasn’t seen more than 14 carries in a game this season, so if the targets aren’t there on a loaded slate like this, there is virtually no path to him being optimal at the multiplier.


Playing both Keenan Allen and Mike Williams is unlikely, so we’re going to tout Williams as we’re much more confident in how his injury has healed compared to the bumpy ride Allen has had. Williams already has a dominant showing against KC under his belt this season, so we’ll look to roster him over Allen at similar pricing and ownership.

Kadarius Toney is a little more expensive than what we would like given that he’s still unproven as a Chief, but with Travis Kelce saying, “I don’t know how he (Toney) got out of that (Giants) building,” that tells us all we need to know. He’s worth the price as there really is no one else behind him we’re confident in. Additionally, Marques Valdez-Scantling would be an affordable option, but he’ll be over-owned, with his only glimmering trait on this slate being his deep-ball upside. 

Joshua Palmer has stepped up big time recently, but we’re looking to fade him due to price alone. The target dropoff from Allen-Williams to Palmer should be rather noticeable, but we can’t say the same about his salary tonight. You’d be better up paying up for the safe premier talent available than overpaying for a WR3. 

Isiah Pacheco’s RB1 buzz is inflating his price and ownership, but unless this game turns into a semi-blowout, he isn’t going to see a ton of volume. Look to roster Jerick McKinnon who is affordable and could greatly benefit from the injuries in the Chiefs’ receiving room, as he’s already combined for 12 receptions over the past two weeks. 

Gerald Everett might be underpriced, but we don’t have a sample size on him with a fully healthy Allen and Williams in an entire game. Given the price, taking a flier on him is understandable and worthy, but we know Herbert’s confidence in Allen and Williams could be dangerous for Everett’s stock.

Despite the ownership expected to be attached to them, you’ll be able to get financial flexibility into your lineups by picking between Justin Watson and Skyy Moore. Both are minimally priced but will need to be on the field a ton, obviously. Watson already hasn’t done much with an expanded workload, so we’re going to tout Moore here given the uncertainty yet clear upside attached to him, given that they need him to be good due to his draft stock.