Chargers vs. Dolphins Sunday Night Football DFS Picks: Lineup Includes Jaylen Waddle and Austin Ekeler but not Mike Williams

    The game is afoot -- or, for Tua Tagovailoa, an arm. Here are the top Chargers vs. Dolphins Sunday Night Football NFL DFS picks for Week 14.

    Chargers vs. Dolphins Sunday Night Football DFS Picks: Lineup Includes Jaylen Waddle and Austin Ekeler but not Mike Williams

    If you’re looking for Los Angeles Chargers vs. Miami Dolphins Sunday Night Football NFL DFS picks in Week 14, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve analyzed each team’s highest-probability game scripts to assess the most likely outcomes, including which players are in line to thrive more than anticipated or fall short of expectations.

    The following recommended fantasy football lineup (for tournaments, 50/50, or head-to-head competitions) aims to lock in a relatively high floor while maximizing upside.

    Chargers Considerations

    The Chargers are finally back to full strength — at least mostly on offense. Defense is a whole other issue, and we’ll get to that shortly.

    Our DFS considerations need to factor in the strong possibility that L.A. and Miami could combine for 60+ points. The Dolphins’ defense has been horrendous on the road, and the 6-6 Chargers should finally perform like the playoff-caliber team they are (or at least can be).

    This has the makings of a 4-2 Chargers-Dolphins DFS split, assuming L.A. will eke out a win at minimum. Kickers and D/STs are irrelevant for our purposes. Sixty-plus points equate to massive ceilings for 10-12 players.

    For the Chargers, that means leaning into Justin Herbert and (possibly) Austin Ekeler. For Herbert, it’s all about whether he throws for scores. In a statistical oddity for the ages, none of his receivers have more than three touchdowns. Injuries are primarily responsible, leading to a spread-the-ball passing attack most weeks.

    Ekeler has accounted for 12 of the team’s 28 offensive scores (43%). As expensive as he’ll be, he might be too tempting to pass up.

    The question, then, is which receivers we might deploy. Can we afford Mike Williams or Keenan Allen? Could we get surprising value from the far cheaper Gerald Everett or even Joshua Palmer?

    Dolphins Considerations

    Our dilemma regarding Los Angeles reflects Miami’s top-heavy offense. We can’t afford to leave out Tyreek Hill, who could single-handedly carry the Dolphins tonight. The same can’t be said for the customarily expensive Jaylen Waddle, who’s returning from a fibula injury. Ah, but his high ceiling can’t be entirely ignored.

    Should we go all in on Tua Tagovailoa? On the one hand, it makes sense. On a per-pass basis, the Chargers’ defense has yielded the fourth-most passing TDs. And L.A. is missing a host of key defensive playmakers, opening the door for an electric performance for the Dolphins’ franchise QB. Yet, he’ll cost a lot, and the dollars have to add up right.

    MORE: Dolphins vs. Chargers Prediction, Odds, and Picks for Week 14

    The backfield remains a bit of a cluster. If it’s once again Raheem Mostert starting and Jeff Wilson Jr. “supporting,” then all bets are off. Both guys will be fairly pricey, and both need to score to justify their inclusion in this slate.

    That leaves Trent Sherfield and/or perhaps a deep flier like River Cracraft. No wait: Cracraft is doubtful for this one. Do we dare dig even deeper for (brace for it . . .) the ultra-cheap dart throw?

    If we want a truly top-heavy lineup, there’s no other way.

    Top NFL DFS Picks for SNF

    Today, we’re playing DraftKings “Showdown Captain Mode,” which includes one player who earns 1.5 times his scoring output, plus five Flex players.

    The following NFL betting recommendations are based on proprietary PFN predictive analytics pulled from decades of NFL historical data. Using this data, I’ve built dozens of models showing actionable probabilities of better-than-expected and worse-than-expected outcomes.

    Captain: QB Justin Herbert, Chargers ($16,200)

    OK folks, hold onto your mittens. We could approach this lineup any number of ways. But I’m banking on four guys with incredible ceilings to break through. If they end up being the four highest scorers, we might have yet another great story to share with family around the holidays.

    It begins with Herbert. Lest we forget, he started this season with back-to-back 23-point outings. With relatively healthy receivers last year, he accomplished this feat eight times, including, hitting 30+ four times. He’s a solid DFS Captain.

    Flex: WR Tyreek Hill, Dolphins ($11,400)

    Of course. Hill is No. 6 in yards after the catch and No. 3 among WRs. He could slice up the Chargers’ secondary on 4-5 receptions. Of course, he’s more likely to tally 7-10.

    Flex: RB Austin Ekeler, Chargers ($11,000)

    Three sentences ago, I referenced Hill’s after-the-catch brilliance, which happens to total 431 yards. Where does Ekeler stand? No. 1 in the league with 678 yards after the catch. Incredible. His ground-game struggles aside, Ekeler can dominate tonight on an achievable 5-7 catches and one or two scores.

    Flex: WR Jaylen Waddle, Dolphins ($9,000)

    I believe most DFS competitors will fade the high-priced Waddle. Mike Williams ($7,000) and other strong-upside talents are far more affordable.

    However, I like zigging on this move while others zag. Waddle played hurt last week, and Miami crushed their opponents in his two previous outings when he averaged only 4.5 catches for 76 yards.

    MORE: NFL Playoff Odds Week 14

    But in seven of eight competitive contests this season, he’d been somewhere between “terrific” and “elite.” Tonight should be competitive. A seemingly healthy Waddle is poised for another strong output.

    Flex: RB Alec Ingold, Dolphins ($1,400)

    If two of those four guys flop, this slate is toast. If all four thrive, we’re in business.

    With only $2,400 remaining for two more players, we’re going touchdown or bust on a couple of tertiary options. Cracraft’s injury opens the door for one guy (below), and the Dolphins’ penchant for shaking things up opens the door for this guy: Alec Ingold.

    Ingold has eight receptions in his last three games. He’s not some random plug-in. A longshot to hit 8+ points? Sure. But again, if the four guys we’ve picked above are the four highest scorers, Ingold might put us over the top.

    Flex: WR Cedrick Wilson Jr. ($200)

    And if he doesn’t put us over the top — if Ingold is held off the stat sheet — then Cedrick Wilson Jr. is a terrific hedge. Different position. Different iPhone ringtone (I imagine). But Cracraft’s injury gives Wilson a higher ceiling than his $200 price tag suggests.

    Whatever you decide, good luck tonight.

    B.J. Rudell is a betting and fantasy analyst at Pro Football Network. You can read all of BJ’s work here and follow him on Twitter: @BJRudell.

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