NFL DFS Picks and Analysis - Week 3: The Grind Down - Chargers vs. Panthers

Welcome to the RotoGrinders NFL Grind Down, a fantasy football advice article for DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo. This DFS breakdown is an all-encompassing preview of the week ahead in the NFL from a daily fantasy sports perspective. We’ll provide all the projections, projected ownership, picks, targets, and analysis you need to set your lineups for this week’s contests.

Every game will be broken down with a DFS-first mentality. Betting lines are shown with projected team totals, spreads, and moneyline to give you an idea of the game environment. Each contest is then analyzed team-by-team, with a focus on finding matchups to exploit and trends to follow. At the end of each section, we’ll deliver a DFS cheat sheet of stacks to build, players to target, and low projected ownership plays that can make an impact on your weekly success.

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Sports Betting Lines and Overview


Los Angeles Chargers DFS Breakdown

Team Projections

QB Team DKSal FDSal YHSal Proj Rank ProjAtt ProjYds
Justin Herbert LAC $5,900 $7,200 $27 16.09 QB26 34.54 247.99
RB Team DKSal FDSal YHSal Proj Rank ProjRu% ProjTar%
Austin Ekeler LAC $6,800 $7,500 $23 13.76 RB18 44.00% 13.50%
Joshua Kelley LAC $5,000 $5,900 $18 10.88 RB30 45.00% 5.00%
Justin Jackson LAC $4,000 $4,900 $14 0.89 RB85 1.00% 1.00%
WR/TE Team DKSal FDSal YHSal Proj Rank ProjTar% ProjTar
Keenan Allen LAC $6,100 $7,100 $20 13.91 WR19 24.60% 8.80
Mike Williams LAC $4,300 $5,700 $16 9.66 WR61 19.50% 6.97
Jalen Guyton LAC $3,400 $4,800 $10 4.97 WR100 8.00% 2.86
K.J. Hill LAC $3,000 $4,500 $10 0.82 WR139 1.00% 0.36
Joe Reed LAC $3,000 $4,500 $10 0.9 WR138 1.00% 0.36
Hunter Henry LAC $4,800 $6,000 $20 11.65 TE5 23.50% 8.40
Virgil Green LAC $2,500 $4,000 $10 3.06 TE46 2.50% 0.89
Injuries to Monitor

QB Tyrod Taylor (Doubtful)
RB Justin Jackson (Questionable)

Running Game Outlook

While many are seeing the Joshua Kelley show, I’m seeing a bit of a mess. This looks like a timeshare between him and Austin Ekeler. Ekeler took 47 snaps to Kelley’s 43 in Week 2. Kelley had 25 touches (catching both targets), but Ekeler had 20 touches (catching four targets). THE BLITZ gives the edge to Ekeler in raw points, but gauges their value about the same, as Kelley is free, and super early ownership projections are pretty equal, too.

The problem with just washing our hands off all this is that the Chargers are being drawn up to shellac the Panthers and put some points on the board in the process, despite a backup QB starting for them. This means that some significant fantasy points can come out of this backfield. There isn’t a hot take pick for you in this space. The best advice is probably to track ownership and divy up shares accordingly.

Passing Game Outlook

Justin Herbert was an emergency start and lit up the Chiefs for 311 yards with 7.0 IAY/PA. The primary beneficiary was expectedly Keenan Allen with ten of Herbert’s 33 targets with his pretty standard 10.6 aDOT and a nice 51 YAC. Hunter Henry saw eight targets himself, boosting him back to an adequate expected value, but at a not-so appealing price tag.

Offenses are becoming much more consolidated around the NFL and the Chargers aren’t immune. It’s the two guys in the backfield, Allen, and Henry gobbling up all of the volume in a blowout against a terrible defense. There should be at least three TDs, so plenty of possible fantasy goodness to go around. We should probably fade Henry’s price tag and go after Allen on DK. Herbert is free on DK, too, but tread lightly, as the Chargers should get up big early and go into cruise control.

Strong Projections: Chargers DST (but we’re payin’ for it, y’alls)

High Upside Correlations: Chargers DST + Austin Ekeler or Joshua Kelley

Strong GPP Differentiators: Austin Ekeler or Joshua Kelley (ownership-dependent), Keenan Allen

Roster Construction Punts/Values: Justin Herbert (DK)

My Expected Team Exposure: Medium

Carolina Panthers Projections Breakdown

Team Projections

QB Team DKSal FDSal YHSal Proj Rank ProjAtt ProjYds
Teddy Bridgewater CAR $5,200 $6,700 $24 15.78 QB28 34.62 251.54
RB Team DKSal FDSal YHSal Proj Rank ProjRu% ProjTar%
Mike Davis CAR $5,100 $6,000 $14 16.08 RB11 59% 11%
Reggie Bonnafon CAR $4,500 5.71 RB94 21% 5%
Trenton Cannon CAR $4,000 $4,600 $10 0.44 RB91 1% 1%
WR/TE Team DKSal FDSal YHSal Proj Rank ProjTar% ProjTar
D.J. Moore CAR $6,100 $6,700 $22 15.94 WR7 29% 10.81
Robby Anderson CAR $5,200 $6,100 $18 12.54 WR32 21% 7.82
Curtis Samuel CAR $4,000 $5,100 $13 10.18 WR55 16% 5.96
Seth Roberts CAR $3,000 $4,500 $10 0.23 WR149 1% 0.19
Pharoh Cooper CAR $3,000 $4,500 $10 0.25 WR148 1% 0.19
Ian Thomas CAR $3,000 $4,600 $10 6.07 TE28 11% 4.10
Chris Manhertz CAR $2,500 $4,000 $10 2.55 TE51 5% 1.86
Injuries to Monitor

RB Christian McCaffrey (Out)

Running Game Outlook

The Mike Davis Show is like Six Feet Under. Good enough to get there for the price, but it doesn’t make you feel great because of all the death. For cash, he’s priced up to a moderate tag, so there’s no value; for GPPs, the ceiling isn’t there in a game where the Panthers should get blown out. I’m on Team #RBsDontMatter, but Davis isn’t “stepping into the Christian McCaffrey Role,” so much as he’s gonna try to keep the seat warm. Davis isn’t gonna play 100% of the snaps as an all-purpose back threatening 150 total yards with massive red zone usage. We don’t know what he’s gonna be, but we can safely say he won’t be that.

Passing Game Outlook:

Even in a negative gamescript, it’s really hard to make the argument for Teddy Bridgewater. He’s been in a negative gamescript for most of the season, yet has only attempted six of 76 passes for 20 yards or more per PFF. D.J. Moore is probably the guy who benefits most from the absence of CMC, as he has 22 targets to the 18 of Robby Anderson with a more Bridgewater-friendly route tree (grindin’ the tape, baby!). But this team isn’t gonna score against a Chargers defense that frustrated the Chiefs in Week 2 without CMC alpha’ing the offense, so Moore is a tougher play than I think touts think he is.

Strong Projections: None

High Upside Correlations: None

Strong GPP Differentiators: None

Roster Construction Punts/Values: None

My Expected Team Exposure: Faceplant

About the Author

  • Alex Sonty (AlexSonty)

  • Alex Sonty is a part-time political science professor at the City Colleges of Chicago and a professional DFS player. He’s been playing fantasy sports since Mark Brunell and Jimmy Smith paved the way to a rookie championship in 1996. He started playing DFS in 2014 and currently specializes in MLB and NFL cash games, dipping his toes into GPP play. He’s been writing for the Chicago Tribune, SB Nation, and Rotogrinders blog networks since 2010. He holds a J.D./M.A. and L.L.M. from DePaul University.

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