Top NFL DFS Picks for Sunday Night Football: Meeting No. 5 for Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert

Who are the best NFL DFS picks for Sunday Night Football's Chiefs vs. Chargers battle? Hint: Austin Ekeler and Jerick McKinnon made the cut.

If you’re looking for Los Angeles Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs NFL DFS picks for Sunday Night Football in Week 11, 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 a mess, though all is not lost. Their defense continues to disappoint, which puts more pressure on their offense. In other years, that’s been a boon for their players’ DFS prospects, particularly their elite passing attack.

MORE: NFL Week 11 Picks and Predictions

But with Mike Williams sidelined, and with Keenan Allen sidelined a lot longer, Justin Herbert has had to lean on Josh Palmer, DeAndre Carter, and Gerald Everett, which has elevated these normally secondary and tertiary options into primary point scorers — albeit with lower ceilings than we’d like to see with DFS investments.

As shared repeatedly this season, the running game has been deceptively poor. Yes, Austin Ekeler is the No. 1 in RB fantasy points per game. Incredible. And for our purposes, this is key to understanding how L.A. might try to upset the Chiefs.

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However, outside of a blow-up Week 5 performance against Cleveland (16-173 rushing line), he’s averaging merely 3.2 yards per carry. And not the good kind of 3.2. He’s actually at 3.15.

I believe that for the Chargers to win, they need to do what Derrick Henry did against Green Bay, and what Brian Robinson Jr. mostly did against Philadelphia: pound the ball. Keep the clock moving and out of their high-flying opponent’s hands.

Chiefs Considerations

Kansas City has challenges of its own, with sizable impacts on DFS player valuations. Their backfield consists of a DFS-friendly Jerick McKinnon and TD-dependent Isiah Pacheco. All season I’ve been on the “anyone but Pacheco” bandwagon in fantasy and betting. Love the rookie. Great addition. Works hard. And . . . not someone I’d trust in betting competitions that favor pass catchers and scorers.

Through the air, Mahomes certainly won’t let us down. But with JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman out, will there be any dent in his otherwise elite production? And what if the Chargers somehow control the clock, lowering the Chiefs’ possessions by one or even two below average?

MORE: Steelers vs. Bengals Player Props

It’s a lot of what-ifs, and it’s also important to work through. Because in DFS, we can’t afford Herbert, Ekeler, Mahomes, and Travis Kelce unless we go ultra-cheap elsewhere. We might not even be able to swap out Kelce for the surprisingly (but not surprisingly) expensive Kadarius Toney, who’s expected to be Mahomes’ No. 1 WR this week.

We’ll need at least two relatively cheap options, and perhaps three. Fortunately, the Chiefs have plenty to choose from.

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: RB Austin Ekeler, Chargers ($16,500)

Despite his struggles on the ground, no RB has been better through the air. The Chiefs have surrendered the third-most RB receptions and fourth-most RB receiving yards. They’re giving up space in the short game. Ekeler will seize it.

Flex: QB Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs ($11,400)

Rule No. 1 in DFS: pick players who are active. Rule No. 2: lean into players with proven 30+ point abilities. Check, check.

Flex: QB Justin Herbert, Chargers ($10,400)

I’m a bit torn here. We could use this money elsewhere, for sure. With Kelce priced at $10,600, it comes down to which guy is a better bet for 20+ points. Since Allen and Williams are working their way back, I’m comfortable betting on Herbert to pick his moments and justify this expense.

Flex: WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Chiefs ($5,400)

A middling price for a boom-bust receiver. Not bad.

Flex: RB Jerick McKinnon, Chiefs ($4,600)

A trusted safety valve for Mahomes and an adept, experienced playmaker. The Chargers have given up the league’s most RB targets inside the red zone. I’m expecting at least one scoring opportunity for McKinnon.

MORE: Vikings vs. Cowboys DFS Picks

Flex: WR Justin Watson, Chiefs ($1,400)

With only $1,700 remaining, we’ll roll with Justin Watson, whose big-play ability should serve him (and us) well against such a vulnerable pass defense.


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