Monday Night Football DFS Showdown: Week 6 Broncos vs Chargers

NFL Showdown is not about who you play as much as how you play them. Median projections are a tool in the toolbox, but they are to be trusted far less than they would be on the main slate. This is because of the ramifications associated with a single player underproducing or overproducing relative to their projection. 

If a wide receiver who was projected for nine points instead earns 22 points, then there is a strong likelihood that his performance came at the detriment of a teammate, or even a member of the opposing team. His running back likely received less opportunity, while the opposing team’s running back may have seen a boost. In this scenario, his quarterback may have also produced well.

The game theory is much more intricate than this one example, but it gets you down the path of thinking of showdown as an if/then rather than a raw projection. 

There may be times when Cooper Kupp finishes as the best play of the slate without Matthew Stafford, and other times Jonathan Taylor may rush for 200 yards while Matt Ryan and Michael Pittman still make the optimal lineup. Showdown is non-binary, but over time sound lineup construction will reign supreme.

Most important of all:

The likeliest outcome is only one of infinite outcomes. When rostership dictates that the field has the game figured out, lean into builds around a different scenario. The term “any given Sunday” should be the mantra for successfully building Showdown lineups.

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Slate Breakdown

The Denver Broncos are heading to Los Angeles to take on the Chargers as 4.5-point underdogs. The total is set at 45.5. These Broncos Showdown slates are beginning to feel like purgatory, but at least we’ve all had plenty of practice fading Russell Wilson stacks. DraftKings did a great job pricing up the Chargers’ big three, so we’re forced to make decisions on the Denver offense.

The Chargers rank second in pass rate over expectation while Denver is middle of the road. The Broncos had been leaning heavily on the run but recently lost Javonte Williams for the season. Now we’ve got Melvin Gordon listed as questionable and Mike Boone at a moderate price tag. 

Even with Gordon injured and the Chargers leading most of the game, expect the Broncos to hold on to the run game with all their might.  

Injury Notes

Melvin Gordon – Neck/Ribs – Questionable
Eric Saubert – Thigh – Questionable

Denver Broncos Offense


Russell Wilson: $10,000

Russell Wilson has hit the 300-yard-bonus just one time this season. He’s also passed for multiple touchdowns just once, and it came in a separate game. Perhaps the only thing going for him is that he’s attempted the ninth-most red zone passes, so the opportunities have been there. He also ranks 12th in air yards, he just isn’t connecting with his receivers. His price is palatable, but he projects worse than all three of the Chargers’ primary options. Stacking Wilson while playing a competitive lineup is going to be a tall task.

Running back

Melvin Gordon: $8,200

Melvin Gordon took 56% of the snaps in his first week without Javonte Williams. Mike Boone essentially became Gordon’s one-for-one swap. Gordon handled 15 carries and three targets for just over 100 scrimmage yards. With the price difference between him and Boone, it makes enough sense to avoid Gordon’s injury and take the discount. 

Mike Boone: $4,800 

Boone played on 41% of the offensive snaps. We don’t have much of a sample size after just one week, but it seems as though Boone will receive Gordon’s old workload but at roughly $2,000 less than what Gordon would’ve cost. Boone is already a strong play but if Gordon is out, he will be a lock.


Courtland Sutton: $8,400

Courtland Sutton is ninth in the league in target share. He is Wilson’s favorite target, but they aren’t connecting often enough. Sutton is worth using as a pivot off Mike Williams for a similar projection in lineups that use a large chunk of their salary on Justin Herbert and Austin Ekeler. 

Jerry Jeudy: $7,000

Jerry Jeudy has a reasonable target share for his price, but he’s had the same issue with catchable targets. He’s had a catch rate under 40% in three of his five games. Eventually, we can expect Wilson to connect on all these air yards, and Jeudy has a large enough portion of the offense to make splash plays once they do. 

Punt Plays

K.J. Hamler: $3,000

Hamler has played a limited role most of the year since returning from injury, but he finally played over 50% of the snaps in Week 5. He was targeted only twice. With deep ball prowess, Hamler has a chance to make value on a single catch. He’s a strong punt play with a very low roster percentage. 

Eric Saubert: $2,000

Eric Saubert has been the lead tight end for the Broncos, even though they will use three each week. Last week he was targeted seven times and has multiple targets in three of five games. He’s the strongest punt play on the slate.

Favorite Stack

Courtland Sutton/ Russell Wilson / Mike Boone / Mike Williams

Courtland Sutton is just cheap enough to allow multiple high-priced options in the Flex. He has a massive target share, but he’s still better served paired with Wilson in the flex. If Melvin Gordon sits out, Boone’s ownership will be high, but he’s a strong play either way. Mike Williams would benefit from a rare fast-paced offense from the Broncos. 

Chargers Offense


Justin Herbert: $11,000

Justin Herbert has completed the fifth most passes in the NFL, and that’s without his high-volume target Keenan Allen for most of the year. He’s been the exact opposite of Wilson. He’s attempting a ton of passes and connecting with his receivers at a high rate. Herbert will be a lineup staple but stacking him is going to be the tricky part. Playing Herbert, Ekeler, and Williams in the same lineup will leave very little salary. With Herbert at Captain, pick either Ekeler or Williams to pair with him, then add at least one of Everett or Palmer. 

Running back

Austin Ekeler: $11,400

Austin Ekeler has been the top running back over the last three weeks. He’s scoring at a high rate but he’s also getting more involved in the passing game, averaging six targets a game. He’s catching just enough passes to be paired with Herbert, especially on a Showdown slate where there are fewer options. He’s the most expensive player on the slate, but he’s worth the salary as the only player with a ceiling to rival Herbert’s.


Mike Williams: $10,600

Mike Williams has reached his highest salary in recent memory, but he is still worth it. He’s been targeted at least ten times in three of five games. He’s reached the 100-yard-bonus in each of those games. Williams will likely carry less exposure than Ekeler and pairs better with Herbert. He is the slightly preferred option over Ekeler amongst the big-three Chargers.

Joshua Palmer: $5,800 

Joshua Palmer has been largely disappointing to start the year, and his exposure will likely reflect that. He was drafted highly specifically for his injury upside if Keenan Allen were ever to miss time, but Palmer has been mediocre with his opportunity. He’s being targeted at a high enough rate to warrant playing him at his price tag and provides a quality pivot off either Ekeler or Williams in Herbert stacks. 

Gerald Everett: $5,600

Gerald Everett has had similar production to Palmer thus far, but he appears to be the better option because we expected less out of him. While both are strong plays, Palmer is the preferred option in this price range. 

Punt plays

DeAndre Carter: $2,600

DeAndre Carter is the third wide receiver when Allen is out and has been playing on at least 60% of the snaps. He’s had multiple catches in each game this season. He’s a great punt for large-field tournaments as he’s just expensive enough to keep his exposure low. 

Donald Parham Jr.: $1,400

Donald Parham returned to action last week but was eased in with just 25% of the snaps. His snap share will creep closer to 35% and he’s one of Herbert’s favorite red zone targets. He’s a strong punt with touchdown upside. 

Favorite Stack

Mike Williams / Justin Herbert / Mike Boone / Gerald Everett

Mike Williams is the cheapest of the big three for the Chargers and if he receives 10 targets, he’s likely to hit the bonus. If Williams hits the bonus, we likely get a big game out of Herbert. Both Palmer and Everett fit in this build, but I’ll go with whichever carries less exposure. Everett likely takes that title with a slightly higher salary. Mike Boone is a great play with Gordon in. If Gordon sits, Boone’s projection gets stronger, but his exposure will increase as well. 

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