NFL Daily Fantasy Football Picks for Denver Broncos vs Los Angeles Chargers: Melvin Gordon can flash ability on MNF

Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon III (25) celebrates after his touchdown carry in the third quarter against the Detroit Lions at Empower Field at Mile High.

Monday Night Football is here and so is your NFL Week 6 DFS Showdown excitement. Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers play host to Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos with the teams trending in opposite directions. The Chargers have won their last two games while riding the back of Austin Ekeler, but the Broncos have lost their last two and have an offense that’s stuck in the mud.

While we hoped this season’s AFC West games would be wild shootouts, that doesn’t seem to be the case this week as both teams have incredibly strong pass defenses and a clear lack of run-stopping ability. That tends to slow down the pace of a game but with two gunslingers under center, you never know. Building a winning DFS Showdown lineup could be tricky tonight, but as we always say, you’re going to want to let the trend be your friend.


Austin Ekeler, Chargers running back

 Over the last two games, Austin Ekeler has been phenomenal, rushing for a total of 233 yards with 3 touchdowns while also catching 10 of 11 targets for 75 yards and 2 more scores. Granted, those numbers came against Houston and Cleveland, but Denver’s run defense isn’t too far behind the others. They allow an average of 112.4 rushing yards per game, they’ve given up 2 rushing touchdowns and we just watched unheralded rookie Deon Jackson rush for 4.8 yards per carry while Josh Jacobs completely carved them up the week before. Ekeler should have no problem producing tonight.

Melvin Gordon, Broncos running back

 This is Melvin Gordon’s third season with the Broncos, but you never forget your first, right? If he is healthy, and we may not even know his full availability until game-time, then look for Gordon to take his old team to the woodshed tonight. The Chargers run defense was torn up by the Browns last week to the tune of 213 rushing yards and they have now allowed an average of 165 rushing yards per game over their last three. If Gordon is playing without limitations, you may just want him in your top spot tonight.

Mike Boone, Broncos running back

If Gordon is limited or if we suddenly get word that his neck and rib injuries are just too much, then Mike Boone is likely to step in as the Broncos’ lead back. Yes, they have Latavius Murray and we’ll get to him in a moment, but Boone will get the edge as he should take on the bigger role, especially as the pass-catcher from this backfield. Not only are the Chargers allowing an average of 130.4 rushing yards per game with 5 rushing touchdowns allowed this season, but they also rank 30th in DVOA against running back pass-plays. If the Broncos are playing from behind, which they usually are, then Boone should see plenty of snaps and touches.

Be sure to check out our full Denver Broncos vs Los Angeles Chargers predictions

Mid-Tier DFS Plays

Latavius Murray, Broncos running back

So here is where it could get a little weird for the Broncos and why you’re going to have to watch pre-game warm-ups like a hawk. If Gordon can’t go tonight then the workload will be shared between Boone and Murray. Obviously, Murray profiles as more of a lead back with Boone handling the third-down work, so if Gordon is out, having both Boone and Murray in your Showdown lineup could be a good thing. Again, the Chargers’ run defense is incredibly soft, so if this game grinds to a halt like almost every other Broncos game, using multiple running backs could be your winning ticket.

Justin Herbert, Chargers quarterback

This should be an interesting game for Justin Herbert, who is coming off a fairly quiet performance against the Browns last week. Denver’s secondary has been strong this season and we expect a heavy dose of rushing from Ekeler. But you don’t own a Ferrari to keep it in the garage which means Herbert should be out there slinging the rock enough to be worthy of using in your Showdown lineup. The Broncos play a lot of Cover-2 which Herbert should be able to carve up, but they do flip back and forth to some man coverage as well, which will complicate things somewhat.

Mike Williams, Chargers wide receiver

The Chargers are going to have to get creative and make sure that Mike Williams isn’t lining up opposite Patrick Surtain the entire time. When he is on the other side, facing either Damarri Mathis or Darius Phillips, he’ll have that trademark physical advantage Williams has over most cover corners. Without Keenan Allen, things have been a little tough for Williams, but he’s come through for back-to-back 100-yard efforts and has 2 touchdowns through his first 5 games.

Russell Wilson, Broncos quarterback

It’s an amazing time when you have to say that Russell Wilson makes for an interesting contrarian pick and it’s because of his performance, not his price tag. Wilson and his receivers have had tremendous difficulty getting on the same page and this offense looks like it is perpetually stuck in the mud. We’ve been waiting for the breakout, but have left virtually every Broncos game wanting more. If you think the breakout comes tonight, you will definitely have the contrarian advantage.

Courtland Sutton, Broncos wide receiver

If you believe in Wilson tonight, then you should pair him up with Courtland Sutton who, at least on paper, has a distinct advantage over Chargers cover corners Asante Samuel and J.C. Jackson. He’s got the size and speed to beat both, whether it’s stretching the field or coming over the top in traffic. He has posted good but not great numbers, but, like Wilson, you definitely feel a breakout coming at some point. If this is that day, then get on board.

DeAndre Carter, Chargers wide receiver

If there is a weakness in this Denver secondary, it is against the slot receiver. K’Wuan Williams doesn’t grade out well in coverage and he certainly does not have the speed to keep up with Carter. Denver ranks 17th in DVOA against the opposing slot receiver, so if you think Williams is going to be blanketed by Surtain, we like the pivot to Carter.

Joshua Palmer, Chargers wide receiver

Filling in for Keenan Allen isn’t so easy, is it? Palmer has stepped into the No. 2 receiver role for the Chargers, but the results have been middling at best. Just 7 targets over the last 2 games might have more to do with Ekeler’s stellar performances than anything else, but Herbert just doesn’t lean on Palmer like we would if Allen were playing. One thing working in Palmer’s favor would be a potential absence or limited performance by Damarri Mathis. If the Broncos have to turn more to Darius Phillips, it could help a bit.

Gerald Everett, Chargers tight end

It has been an up-and-down season for Gerald Everett so far. He’s looked great in 3 games, averaging 62 yards per game and scoring twice and then he’s fallen off the proverbial cliff in another 2 games, amassing just 27 yards on 3 catches. The Broncos rank 5th in DVOA against tight ends and are allowing the 4th-fewest fantasy points per game to the position. Not great, Bob. Not great…

Jerry Jeudy, Broncos wide receiver

Again, if you think Wilson and his receivers will find themselves on the same page tonight, then Jerry Jeudy is worth a look, specifically on DraftKings because of its full-point PPR format, Jeudy has averaged just over 6 targets per game and has 3 red-zone looks in the last 2. He’s played second-fiddle to Sutton for the most part, but this situation feels more like a 1 and 1A as opposed to a 1 and a 2. Again, probably more of a contrarian play these days, but it’s not like Wilson isn’t going to have to throw the ball at some point.

Get our best Monday Night Football touchdown scorer bets 

Dart Throw DFS Plays

Joshua Kelley, Chargers running back 

Joshua Kelley is a bruising back who does a good job between the tackles when the Chargers need a little more ground and pound and less finesse. He’ll never supplant Ekeler as the No. 1, but he does find his way into some touches, he’s had some red-zone carries and Denver’s run defense is bleh.

Eric Saubert, Broncos tight end

The Chargers rank 16th in DVOA against tight ends and are allowing the 2nd-most fantasy points per game to the position. He’s actually cheaper than Albert Okwuegbunam, which works in our favor because if he is healthy, he’ll see the targets. But that questionable tag stands out, so if you are planning to use him, be prepared to pivot to Okwuegbunam.

For additional NFL DFS Week 6 coverage, check out our full coverage on Fantasy Alarm

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