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Fantasy Football Picks: Broncos vs. Chargers DraftKings NFL DFS MNF Showdown Strategy

Garion Thorne preps you for Monday’s 8:15 p.m. ET contest between the Broncos and the Chargers with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

If there’s one positive to the nightmare that is the Denver Broncos constantly being on in primetime, it’s that I’m getting really good at writing up their games. Well, I’m at least getting really familiar. This week, Russell Wilson ($10,000) and friends (?) will take on the Los Angeles Chargers in a divisional matchup.

Let’s break it all down from a Showdown perspective.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $2.25M Monday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st] (DEN vs LAC)


Captain’s Picks

Austin Ekeler ($17,100 CP) - Ekeler’s snap share has been consistently hovering around 60% in 2022, a figure that is noticeably down from last season. Still, in the past two weeks, Ekeler’s been so involved in the red zone that his overall volume hasn’t mattered all that much. To wit, the veteran running back has collected six carries and four receptions inside the 20 yard-line, which has directly translated into five total touchdowns and 36.9 DKFP per contest. With Keenan Allen ($9,200; hamstring) doubtful — and certainly far from 100% health even if he is a surprise active — Ekeler should continue to be a mainstay in Los Angeles’ short passing attack. Considering Broncos D/ST ($3,400) has surrendered 135.3 opponent rushing yards per game dating back to Week 3, Ekeler should also have little issue making an impact on the ground. He’s worthy of the highest price tag on this slate.

Mike Williams ($15,900 CP) - Simply put, with the aforementioned Allen unavailable, Williams has been a stud. Through Week 2 to Week 5, among the 68 wide receivers with at least a 50% snap share, Williams ranks fifth in targets (38), eighth in DKFP per snap (0.35) and he’s tied for first in 100-yard receiving games (3). He’s also one of the 18 WRs in that grouping to be averaging over 10.0 yards per target, showcasing his ability to not only be a big play threat, but a consistent and steady DFS asset. Yes, Denver currently owns the league’s second-best pass defense by DVOA; yet I’d look at the list of QBs this unit has faced before getting too confident. Williams has Justin Herbert ($11,000) throwing him the football. That’s a pretty massive step up in competition from Matt Ryan, Davis Mills and Jimmy Garoppolo.

FLEX Plays

Melvin Gordon III ($8,200) - While the presence of Latavius Murray ($1,600) looms, I’d be more worried about the veteran back cutting into the usage of Mike Boone ($4,800). Gordon’s overall volume wasn’t jaw-dropping in last week’s contest versus the Colts — he finished with 18 touches and a 56.2% snap share — yet he’s still clearly the Broncos’ No. 1 RB with Javonte Williams on IR. Heck, in a game where Denver didn’t even score a touchdown, Gordon racked up six red zone rushing attempts against Indianapolis. At some point, those are going to lead to an end zone trip and fantasy success. “At some point” could very well be tonight. Chargers D/ST ($4,400) conceded three rushing touchdowns to the Browns in Week 5 and, for the season as a whole, no unit is giving up more DKFP to opposing backfields. Gordon should have a field day in a great matchup with his former team.

Eric Saubert ($2,000) - Saubert isn’t a sexy name. Nor is he the type of fantasy asset that has a particularly high ceiling. However, at the end of the day, it’s not often you find a team’s top tight end priced at just $2K. Saubert’s logged a season-best 41 offensive snaps in each of the Broncos’ past two games, contests where he’s almost tripled his route rate from Week 2 and Week 3. While I doubt we see the 28-year-old match his seven targets from last Thursday, Saubert could easily be looking at 4-6 targets if Denver finds itself in a negative script. At this price? That’s more than enough to be viable.


Russell Wilson ($10,000) - I’m just not sure how much I can trust this passing game as a whole. First and foremost, Wilson’s been poor on his own terms. Entering Week 6, the former Pro Bowl QB was averaging a paltry 0.41 DKFP per drop back — a number bested by the likes of Jacoby Brissett and Zach Wilson. However, it’s not like this entire mess is all Wilson’s fault. The Broncos have dropped 13 of Wilson’s passes, which sits as the second-most of any quarterback so far in 2022. Denver’s also allowed 16 sacks, with the team’s 8.3% adjusted sack rate sitting in the bottom 10 of the league — a trend that isn’t likely to get better in the short term with starting left tackle Garrett Bolles carted off the field with a major injury in Week 5. It’s all bad. Nathaniel Hackett very much included.


The Broncos defense has been keeping them competitive, and while I do think it’s an above-average unit, they’ve yet to face an offense as talented as the Chargers. Honestly, there’s a case to be made that the Raiders are the only decent matchup that Denver has had so far in 2022, and Las Vegas dropped 32 points — almost twice as many as the Broncos have allowed in any other game this season. Los Angeles is going to score points and Denver will have a hard time keeping up.

Final Score: Los Angeles 27, Denver 17

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $2.25M Monday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st] (DEN vs LAC)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.