Kickoff Sunday, Oct 6th 4:05pm Eastern

Broncos (
20.25) at

Chargers (

Over/Under 45.5


Key Matchups
Broncos Run D
30th DVOA/32nd Yards allowed per carry
Chargers Run O
28th DVOA/28th Yards per carry
Broncos Pass D
26th DVOA/20th Yards allowed per pass
Chargers Pass O
16th DVOA/21st Yards per pass
Chargers Run D
22nd DVOA/12th Yards allowed per carry
Broncos Run O
14th DVOA/18th Yards per carry
Chargers Pass D
30th DVOA/28th Yards allowed per pass
Broncos Pass O
18th DVOA/25th Yards per pass

:: Seriously. Grow bankroll! Hammer the edge on FantasyDraft.

Broncos at Chargers is one of only two late games on the main slate — and with the Broncos’ offense featured in this game, and Chris Harris set to shadow Keenan Allen, and the uncertainty on the Chargers’ backfield, there is a chance this game goes somewhat overlooked.

We’ll start with Keenan Allen, who has seen monster target shares in three of four games, and whose drop in targets last week was more a result of coverage than of “blowout” (Allen has seen four and nine more targets than he saw last week in games in which Rivers threw the ball only four and six more times). Allen is one of the most unguardable one-on-one receivers in the league, and Chris Harris has started the season slowly, without his typically stellar PFF grade — though all of this comes with a couple caveats:

1) Harris has still allowed just eight catches for 96 yards through four games.

2) Teams just aren’t passing in general against the Broncos, with this defense currently facing an opponent pass play rate of only 50.42% (to put that in perspective, only the Seahawks had a lower pass play rate on offense last year; so the 2019 Broncos defense has turned their average opponent this year into the 2018 Seahawks).

These elements combine to make Allen more “hope for a big play or a couple touchdowns in a challenging matchup” than “bet on volume” at his price, and there are more attractive wide receivers at the high end of the price range this week. This should also leave Allen under-owned for his upside, however, and an Allen roster that brings back pass game pieces from the Broncos (more on this in a moment) is not a bad play in tourneys.

The number two role in the Chargers’ passing attack is a question mark right now, with Dontrelle Inman placed on I.R. and Mike Williams still up in the air for this week. If Williams plays (and is healthy), he’ll have a shot at anywhere from five to eight targets (with outlier upside for more) against the softer matchups in the Broncos secondary — making him interesting in tourneys. If Williams misses, maybe we see some two-back sets that get Austin Ekeler and Melvin Gordon on the field together, while Geremy Davis would carry some viability based on his low price and the available volume in this offense.

The Denver defense had been fairly average against the run before getting whacked last week by Leonard Fournette in Denver. Vic Fangio is too good to allow a repeat of that sort of effort, but this is still an above-average spot for the Chargers run game. With that said: it’s fair to question how actionable this information is, as the L.A. backfield is not coming at a major discount on any sites against the high-end options, and it seems unlikely that we see Gordon slide into his typical 70% to 75% share right away. If this is anything but a 70/30 split, both backs are overpriced at the moment — leaving this backfield as a large-field-only play unless more clarity emerges. (Note: if reports come out that Gordon will play 70% of the snaps, or will play “his normal role,” he would become a bit underpriced based on matchup, role, and touchdown upside — becoming especially attractive on FanDuel, where he comes at the biggest discount.)

The Broncos offense should especially go overlooked, but there is a narrow enough target distribution on this offense for it to be viably worth considering. Through the first four games, targets among Broncos wide receivers have looked like this:

>> Emmanuel Sanders :: 34

>> Courtland Sutton :: 31

>> DaeSean Hamilton :: 15

To follow up further, here are some notable stat lines against the Chargers this year:

>> Hilton 8-87-2

>> Golladay 8-117-1

>> Hopkins 6-67-0

>> Parker 4-70-1

Last year, Sutton struggled as a rookie to convert targets into production while carrying one of the deeper aDOTs in the league at 14.4. This year, Rich Scarangello has changed up Sutton’s usage, giving him a variable route tree that has him attacking differently from one game to the next while carrying an aDOT of 10.8. Along the way, Sutton has quietly turned in target counts of 8 // 7 // 7 // 9. He failed to shake free in challenging matchups vs Chicago and Green Bay (posting solid but unspectacular lines of 4-40-0 and 5-87-0 in those spots), but against Oakland in Week 1 he went 7-120-0, and against “Jacksonville sans Ramsey” he went 6-62-2. With Casey Hayward likely to shadow Sanders and the Chargers reeling from injury behind their stud corner, Sutton sets up nicely this week.

Outside of their game against the Packers, the worst combined game from Sanders // Sutton has been 15-138-1 against the Bears — with these two performing at a remarkably consistent level, both as individuals and as a pair. Because they are in this Flacco-led offense, we have not yet seen both guys hit for a spiked week at the same time, and Sutton is about 60/40 (maybe even a trickle more than that) to outscore Sanders in this spot. But given Sanders ability to shake free in just about any matchup (and given how affordable these two are (a high-water mark of 20% of the salary cap on DraftKings, and below that on both FanDuel and FantasyDraft), you could make a clear case in smaller-field play for taking them together and just making sure you get the points.

The biggest thing that could dent the upside of this pairing is a successful ground game. Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman are in a complete timeshare, so with this matchup not really raising or lowering expectations, the biggest impact from this ground game (for DFS purposes) should be on the pass. The Broncos should be able to keep this game close enough and should be productive enough on the ground to not need to fully put the ball in the hands of Joe Flacco (still keeping volume intact for Sutton // Sanders, but not providing many paths to target spikes).

JM’s Interpretation ::

The “number two receiver” on the Chargers is playable this week (Williams for upside in tourneys; Geremy in contests of all sizes on DK/FDraft at his price for what should be four to six targets — though he’s a bit less attractive than Tate and even Coutee from a “likeliest paths to upside” perspective), while shots could be taken on Allen or even one of the backs for upside (though the paths to these guys hitting price-considered ceiling are somewhat narrow). But my main focus in this game will be the Denver pass catchers, with a high likelihood that one of these two goes for 4x salary on DK, 2x salary on FDraft, and 2.5x on FD, and with a chance that both of them do. I can’t imagine that either of these two will be particularly popular, making one (or both) interesting in tourneys of all sizes.