Game Overview ::
- Bradin Cooks and Austin Ekeler are the two big COVID questions to watch.
- If Cooks sits, Nico Collins is a possible WR1 priced like a punt play.
- If Ekeler sits, Justin Jackson becomes an obvious play.
- The main thing holding the Chargers offense back is the Texans ability to keep up.
How los angeles Will Try To Win ::
The 8-6 Chargers come into Week 16 off a heartbreaking overtime division loss against the Chiefs that all but assures Kansas City will win the AFC West. The Chargers are left battling among four 8-6 teams all vying for three wild card spots. This is a must win game. Coming off the “mini-bye,” the Chargers should have most of their starters back from the COVID list with the most notable exception being Austin Ekeler. The Chargers play fast in all situations, and Ekeler’s status shouldn’t change much about the way they attack the Texans defense.
The Texans defense has been poor against the run (27th in DVOA), but better against the pass (10th in DVOA), which is a setup that should tilt the Chargers coaching staff towards the ground. Ekler’s availability should not significantly change the game plan, as the Chargers were already looking more comfortable giving Justin Jackson the between the tackle carries the past two weeks. Expect the Chargers to come out with their usual fast-paced, aggressive approach, while leaning on the running game more than usual to exploit the Texans sorry run defense.
How houston Will Try To Win ::
The 3-11 Texans have entered evaluation mode and are trying to figure out what they can work with next year. They may have found something in Davis Mills, who has looked much better than other rookie QBs drafted well before him. The Texans play slow (21st in situational neutral pace), but are willing to speed up when chasing points (4th in pace during the second half) and are likely to be down on the scoreboard in this game. The Texans care more about finding out what they have for next year, than they do about the results of the games, and they have every incentive to let David Mills be aggressive.
The Chargers defense has been decent against the pass (12th in DVOA) but hasn’t been able to stop anyone on the ground (31st in DVOA), presenting as one of the clearest run funnel units in the league. The Texans set up exceptionally poorly to take advantage of their opponent’s weakness, as they lack anything resembling a power run game. The Texans care more about getting an extended look at Mills than they do about winning, and they should continue to utilize a balanced offense, rather than trying to relentlessly run against the relative weakness of the Chargers defense. They are also likely to be chasing points, which means passing from the Texans is coming one way or another.
Likeliest Game Flow ::
This game has a moderate total of 46 because the Chargers offense is likely to score against the talent deficient Texans defense and the Texans offense has shown signs of life recently with Davis Mills under center. Even with Mills looking better than expected, the Texans offense is still a talent deficient group that is projected to score under 20 points. The Chargers are one of the few teams that play fast in all situations, never dropping out of the top ten in pace regardless of point differential or half. The Bolts are likely to stay aggressive late into this game, winning confidently by multiple scores.
TOP PLAYS OF THE WEEKEND
SORTABLE GREEN ZONE TOUCHES
TEAM & PLAYER DK POINTS
DFS+ Interpretation ::
By LexMiraglia10 >>
- After losing all of his first 7 starts, Mills won HOU their 3rd game with a 2nd win over JAC (30-16)
- Loss margins of those other 7 games: 15, 40, 3, 28, 26, 16, 20
- In 5 games of action vs CLE (0.5), CAR, BUF, IND, ARI, IND (0.5), Mills TOTALED 33.06 DK pts with just one game of 200+ yds
- In 3 games vs NE, LAR, SEA, Mills scored 27.7, 24.4, 21 DK pts and threw for 300+ yds in all three
- Mills had his first “middling” game last week with 209:2:1 vs JAC
- Mills’s only four scores over 11 DK pts have come in 22-25 L to NE, 22-38 L to LAR (down 38-0), 13-33 L to SEA, and 30-16 W vs JAC (only of 3 below 20 DK pts)
- LAC has given up an average 18.9 DK pts/g to QBs
- Mayfield, Burrow, Mahomes are the only QBs to throw for 300+ vs LAC
- LAC ranks 12th in def pass DVOA
- LAC has 11 INT (16th most); Mills has thrown 10 TDs to 9 INT
- Cooks in 8 games with Mills: 4:28:1 (half) // 9:112 // 5:47 // 3:23 // 9:89 // 5:21 // 6:83:1 // 3:38 (half) // 8:101 // 7:102:2
- 60+ yd games: Cooks (7) // Moore, Conley, Collins (1)
- 13 WRs have 60+ yds vs LAC in 14 games
- LAC has allowed the 6th fewest WR rec yds and the 4th fewest WR DK pts/g
- Cooks has six 20+ DK pt scores (21.2, 22.8, 23.7, 20.3, 21.1, 32.2)
- Cooks also has five sub-10 DK pt scores (9.7, 5.3, 7.1, 3.8, 8.4)
- Cooks’s 118 tg are trailed by Collins’s 44
- WRs with 8+ tg vs LAC: Lamb (81) // Renfrow (45:1) // Meyers (37) // Jefferson (143) // Diontae (101:1), Claypool (93) // Higgins (138:1), Chase (52) // Golladay (15) // Tyreek (148:1)
- If Cooks remains on COVID list, the main HOU WRs will be Collins, Conley, & Dorsett
- Rush att leader since trading Ingram (6g): Burkhead (71) // Johnson (35) // Freeman (17)
- Ingram’s 14.5 DK pts in W1 on 26 rush att is the highest score from a HOU RB this year
- QBs with 20+ DK pts vs HOU: Lawrence (332:3) // Darnold (304, 2 rush TD) // Allen (248:2:1, 41 rush yds) // Kyler (261:3) // Stafford (305:3) // Tanny (323:1) // Russ (260:2)
- Herbert has scored 20+ DK pts in 9/14 games (5 straight), and 8 of those 9 were 24+ DK pts
- Herbert has thrown the 3rd most pass att and 4th most pass yds in 2021
- HOU has faced the 7th fewest pass att/g, but allowed the 19th most pass yds/g
- WRs with 70+ yds vs HOU: Chark (86:1), MJJ (77:1) // Moore (126) // Diggs (114), Sanders (74) // Hilton (80) // Kupp (115:1), Van (88) // Waddle (83) // Westbrook (107) // Pittman (77) // Lockett (142:1)
- HOU has allowed six 20+ DK pt scores to WRs
- HOU has allowed the 3rd highest success rate to WRs
- Since his hot start, Williams has more games under 10 DK pts (6) than over (3: 20.7, 19.1, 12.1)
- In the first five games, Williams had 7+ rec four times and scored 6 TDs
- Williams has not reached 7 rec again and has scored just once (9 g)
- Williams has 70+ yds just twice in those games
- Keenan has 10+ tg in 9/13 games, and 8+ tg in three of the other four
- Keenan has 70+ yds in 9/13 games, with three 100yd games
- Keenan has maxed out at 25.4 DK pts and has just four games of 20+ DK pts (22, 25.4, 23.2, 22.4)
- The scores of those four games: 20-16 // 27-24 // 41-37 // 41-22
- Ekeler’s status is currently up in the air due to COVID
- 21 RBs in 14 games have topped 50 total yds vs HOU
- 6 RBs have topped 90 total yds vs HOU
- Total yds from last 5 backfields vs HOU: 166 // 150 // 218 // 171 // 105
- Ekeler’s touches since the Bye: 21 // 20 // 17 // 18 // 20 // 19 // 16 // 16
- Ekeler has scored 15+ DK pts 11 times, 20+ DK pts 7 times, 30+ DK pts 3 times
- Ekeler has scored at least one TD in 11/14 games
- Rush att last three weeks: Jackson (6, 9, 13) // Kelley (–, 10, 7)
- HOU ranks 27th in def rush DVOA
- HOU has allowed the 3rd lowest success rate & 2nd lowest yds/att on RB targets