Welcome to the Thursday Night Showdown Slate for NFL Week 15!
Before we start, please allow me to reiterate that while we all love having a little skin in the game, these showdown slates are basically lottery tickets. Sure, there are times when the chalk hits and everyone shares in the prizes, but more often than not, you need that random, differentiated yourself from the herd dart-throw to hit in order to claim that top prize. As a result, we are encouraged to play responsibly. Stick to the GPP contests (single-entry preferred), don’t blow your whole bankroll, and understand that, unless you are a max-entry player, you should prioritize having fun.
OK, lecture over. Let’s get to tonight’s action.
Los Angeles Chargers vs Las Vegas Raiders
Spread: Raiders -3
Weather: Dome Game
Keenan Allen , WR (Hamstring – Questionable) *** UPDATED*** Will play but be on a snap count per Adam Schefter
Austin Ekeler , RB (Quad – Questionable) ***UPDATED*** - Is expected to play tonight per Adam Schefter
Mike Williams , WR (Back – Questionable) **** UPDATED *** - Will play but be on a snap count per Adam Schefter
Nasir Adderley , S (Shoulder – Doubtful)
Bryan Bulaga , T (Concussion – Out)
Denzel Perryman , LB (Back – Doubtful)
Emeke Egbule, LB (Personal – Out)
Uchenna Nwosu , DE (Shoulder – Questionable)
Henry Ruggs III, WR (Covid-IR – Out)
Johnathan Abram, CB (Knee – Out)
Damon Arnette, CB (Concussion – Out)
Clelin Ferrell, DE (Shoulder – Out)
Nicholas Morrow , LB (Concussion – Out)
Nevin Lawson , CB (Illness – Questionable)
DVOA Defense Ranks
vs Pass: 17th
vs Run: 31st
vs Pass: 21st
vs Run: 32n
Please note that players not listed below do not mean they are a complete fade. All players listed can be used as MVP/Captain.
Austin Ekeler , RB LAC – I know he is questionable but report is that he will play. With news that Mike Williams is unlikely to play and Allen is very questionable his usage in this Chargers offense is absolutely insane. Not only is their lead running back but he also is their second most targeted receiver. The Raiders have the leagues worst run defense per DVOA. Ekeler isn’t cheap but his volume gives him tremendous upside.
Josh Jacobs , RB LV – This is a battle of two very bad run defenses and while Jacobs himself has been up and down this season we are looking at a matchup where he should cook. He is the sixth most expensive captain option also which makes him a great value.
Justin Herbert, QB LAC – The man ain’t cheap but after a few down performances this is a matchup that he should cook. Back in Week 9 we saw Herbert throw for 326 yards and two touchdowns against the Raiders and that was a game without Austin Ekeler whom is one of Herbert’s favorite targets. This matchup is prime for Herbert to throw for multiple scores with the game total of 53.5.
Derek Carr ,QB LV – If we are thinking shootout then Carr, like Herbert, is definitely in play as a captain option. Over the last two weeks Carr has been lighting it up in the fantasy point department, averaging about 32 FP while attempting over 40 pass attempts in each contest.
Keenan Allen , WR LAC – Obviously Allen is also a great captain play but you can save some money here but using him as a flex while him still possessing great upside. He is a lock for double-digit targets and in Week 9 against the Raiders we saw Allen catch 9-of-11 targets for 103 yards and a touchdown. --- ***Updated*** - Expected to be limited.
Darren Waller , TE LV – Again, you can certainly play Waller in the captain spot but he is just as viable as a flex play given this price tag. He should be another play in line for double-digit targets and while it’s unlikely he matches his 200-yard performance like we saw from him a few weeks back the upside from Waller is still tremendous. In Week 9 the Chargers largely held Waller in check as he had just five catches on 10 targets for 22 yards but he did find the end zone.
Nelson Agholor , WR LV – Coming off a 100-yard game, Agholor is set for a big showing this week against a bad Chargers defense. Helping his case is the fact that Henry Ruggs landed on Covid-IR and therefore will not be competing for any targets. In Week 9, Agholor had two catches for 55 yards and a touchdown.
Hunter Henry , TE LAC – Henry could benefit with nes that Williams is likely going to miss this game as he saw eight targets in Week 14 against the Falcons with Williams off the field. In Week 9 Henry had four catches on seven targets for 33 yards.
Hunter Renfrow, WR LV – With Henry Ruggs ruled out there is certainly a chance that the Raiders move Agholor to the outside and therefore Renfrow gets more run out of the slot. He has averaged seven targets a game over the last three weeks so his involvement in the offense is already there.
Tyron Johnson, WR LAC – With Williams forced from Week 14’s game we saw Tyron Johnson catch 6-of-7 targets for 55 yards and a touchdown while playing 74-percent of the offensive snaps. With Williams not able to play it would make sense that Johnson becomes a popular play on this slate give the pathway to playing time.
Jalen Guyton, WR LAC – Would it shock you to know that Guyton has played at least 70-percent of the offensive snaps in every week since Week 7? Unfortunately, despite being on the field as often as he is, the production has not followed suit. That said, he is a big downfield threat and we have seen him, and Herbert connect a few times this season for some big touchdown catches. He is the ultimate dart throw for a showdown slate as he could end up with zero fantasy points or 20. With Williams likely OUT and Keenan Allen very questionable, this would open up big oppurtunity for Guyton.
Michael Badgley /Daniel Carlson – We are expecting a ton of points to be scored in this one and while that usually means touchdowns it also means opportunities for field goals. For that reason, both kickers are very much in play.