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Fantasy Football Picks: Chicago Bears vs. Los Angeles Chargers DraftKings NFL DFS SNF Showdown Strategy

Pearce Dietrich gives his top DraftKings NFL Showdown picks for Sunday Night Football.

Las Vegas Raiders v Chicago Bears Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

DraftKings Fantasy Football features a showdown in Week 8. The DFS main slate may be in the books, but there is plenty of DFS action available for Sunday Night Football. Check out the NFL Showdown Slate DFS picks for the Week 8 Sunday Night Football matchup between the Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Chargers.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.25M Sunday Night Showdown [$300K to 1st] (CHI vs LAC)


Captain’s Pick

Joshua Palmer (CP $10,500)

Sunday Night Football does not feature elite defenses in Week 8. The offenses haven’t been great, but the defenses have been worse. The Bears can stop the run. Their 3.4 rushing yards per carry allowed is the best in the NFL. But they cannot stop the pass. This is a funnel. They have allowed the second-most passing TDs (14), third-most net yards per pass attempt and the third-most yards after the catch. Their quarterback pressure rate is the fourth-lowest and they’ve only sacked the opposing QB 10 times (31st).

Justin Herbert ($12,000) has struggled with consistency this season. The absence of center Corey Lindsey and Herbert’s injury to his non-throwing hand hasn’t helped. Mike Williams (out) and Austin Ekeler ($11,200) being injured also impeded the development of this offense. Help is on the way. But it’s external, not internal. The Bears are coming to town and that should be good news for Herbert. And that’s good news for Palmer. One of the few bright spots for the Chargers this season has been Palmer. Through the last five games, Palmer is averaging only four catches per game, but he’s doing a lot with those catches — 87 yards per game. He only has one TD this season, but if he can drop 133 yards on the Chiefs, then he should be able to put up a big number at home against Chicago.

FLEX Plays

Tyson Bagent ($9,000)

It’s too early to get behind Bagent on a main slate, but the showdown situation is different. The sample size is small. It’s also hard to trust an undrafted rookie quarterback that played for a Division II football team in West Virginia. In his defense, he carried that program and was considering transferring to West Virginia or Maryland. If Bagent didn’t have talent, then he wouldn’t be in the league. If he wasn’t competent, then the Bears would not have beaten the Raiders last week. It’s a far cry from competency and DFS superiority, but this is a showdown slate. Exceptions must be made. Excuses are common in the Sunday Night Showdown article. That’s the pessimist’s view. The optimist embraces the volatility and variance. Where there is risk, there is opportunity.

The Bears want to run the ball. The Chargers know this. They will be prepared and they have a decent rush defense. The Chargers — despite what Brandon Staley’s resume says — cannot stop the pass. The mystique of a Vic Fangio defense has faded. His coaching tree has rotting limbs. Either the league has figured it out or it was an overrated scheme to begin with. Either way, the Chargers can’t defend through the air, so the Bears should attack through the air.

The Chargers rank in the bottom third of the NFL in QB Pressure Rate (18.6%). They’re in the bottom five in QB Knockdowns and Hurry Rate. Los Angeles has allowed the most first downs per play. They concede 25.8 points per game (25th) and 406.8 total yards per game (31st) – 301 of those yards are through the air (32nd). Making matters worse are their mistakes. Their defensive penalties have resulted in more first downs than any other team.

This team can be attacked by Bagent. His 1.4 IAY/PA is terrifying and almost reality defying, but as his coach Matt Eberflus said, “He understands the play design. He understands where it’s supposed to go, and he gets rid of it in a timely fashion.” There’s nothing wrong with short passes if they’re complete passes. The main reason the Bears offense has struggled over the last two seasons is that Justin Fields holds onto the ball too long. The Bears’ offensive line is a great run blocking unit, but they struggle to protect their quarterback. What line wouldn’t struggle with a quarterback that holds on to the ball too long? The quick-pass system might even evolve further this week, and Bagent could become a DFS regular.

D.J. Moore ($9,200)

If Bagent is on the board, then Moore is on the top of the list. Short passes are not ideal, but there is a way that the Moore-Bagent combo works. The Chargers have allowed 871 yards after the catch (28th). D.J. Moore averages 15.9 YAC per reception. There are two receivers with over 600 yards receiving and 15 YAC per reception: Moore and Tyreek Hill (902 yards and 17.2 YAC per catch). Moore caught eight of his nine targets in Week 7 with Bagent at QB. The volume is present and the prospect of a big play exists against a porous pass defense.

Quentin Johnston ($4,800)

So far the 2023 first-round pick has been a disappointment. Johnston was not a can’t miss wide receiver draft pick. He went later in the first round, and he was expected to take longer to develop. Sunday night’s matchup with the Bears could be a big step forward in his development. The Bears have the No. 1 rush defense in the NFL (based on yards per carry). Austin Ekeler is not 100%. The Chargers will pass. They will pass against one of the worst pass defenses. It only takes one for the speedy wide receiver to hit, but he’ll get more than one chance. Johnston should get plenty of opportunities in this situation. Finally, the above-mentioned Joshua Palmer was listed as questionable. If Palmer plays, then Johnston is fine. If Palmer is out or limited, then this is a smash spot for the rookie.


Chargers DST ($5,800)

This is going to be a popular DFS pick for the Sunday NFL Showdown slate. Excluding the Chargers’ losses to the elite offenses of the Dolphins and Chiefs, the Chargers are averaging over five sacks per game. They rank in the top 10 in takeaways. Yardage allowed does not affect fantasy points. And no one expects the Bears to score a lot. On paper, it looks like a good matchup and there is the potential for the Chargers DST to be the best point-per-dollar play. The problem is that they are facing an unknown rookie quarterback. That seems very appealing, but it’s not. The Bears will likely employ a conservative approach similar to last week’s scheme. Bagent will not attempt a ton of passes and the ones that he does will be quick passes. That limits sacks and turnovers. Bagent could melt down under the pressure of prime time. Another scenario is that he plays an average game or has a sub-par game, but never really provides the defense with an opportunity to capitalize from a fantasy perspective.


It’s not officially Halloween, but tis the season. Plenty of communities host Trick or Treat on other nights. Sunday night will be the NFL’s Trick or Treat. It’s another trick for the Chargers and a surprising treat for the Bears and their rookie QB.

Final Score: Chicago Bears 20, Los Angeles Chargers 18

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.25M Sunday Night Showdown [$300K to 1st] (CHI vs LAC)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is greenflagradio2) 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.