Fantasy News & Analysis

Premium Content Sign Up

Week 4 DraftKings Monday Night Football Showdown: Los Angeles Chargers vs. Las Vegas Raiders

Landover, Maryland, USA; Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) passes the ball to Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams (81) as Washington Football Team cornerback Torry McTyer (35) defends in the fourth quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The changing DFS and fantasy football landscape is shifting toward single-game contests. At DraftKings Sportsbook, the biggest is their Showdown Captain Mode format. The format blends the ease of focusing on a single game with the ability to differentiate yourself from the competition by choosing six players.

The biggest wrinkle of the format is the ability to choose one captain (CPT), who costs and is scored at 1.5 times the standard values. The CPT designation opens up another layer of strategy while exponentially increasing the number of possible lineup combinations, which is important for reducing duplicate winners and split prizes. I wrote a primer on playing this format, with details on historical positional trends and salary usage.

Click here for more PFF tools:

Rankings & ProjectionsWR/CB Matchup ChartNFL & NCAA Betting DashboardsNFL Player Props toolNFL & NCAA Power Rankings

This season, I will analyze all of the NFL’s “island” games (TNF, SNF and MNF) and playoff matchups, utilizing PFF’s weekly projections, current betting lines, and millions of simulated historical combinations to identify the best and worst values for an upcoming matchup.

There are five main components to this Week 4 Showdown slate analysis that you’ll find below:

1. A breakdown of methodology and the most similar historical matchup to Los Angeles ChargersLas Vegas Raiders as an illustration of the matching process: 2020 Week 7 Tampa Bay BuccaneersLas Vegas Raiders, featuring Tom Brady as Justin Herbert and Derek Carr playing himself.

2. Optimal lineup allocations (CPT and total roster) for both teams based on the results of similar historical matchups.

3. Comparison of player ownership projections for FLEX and CPT produced by a model trained on 2018-2020 Showdown contest results to optimal allocations.

4. Recent CPT ownership trends illustrated for both starting lineups.

5. A table showing the most common players on optimal lineups for each player. This lets you see which other players are commonly found on the same optimal lineups as a player you’re interested in rostering.


To analyze this specific Showdown slate, I looked through thousands of NFL matchups from 2014 to 2021 and found the closest analogies to this contest according to the following parameters: Betting spread, over/under and average fantasy points scoring for the top-ranked positional players of both rosters (QB1, RB1, WR1, TE1).

I won’t detail every matchup that falls into the top 100 for this game, but for illustration purposes, let’s look at the most similar matchup:

Historical Current
Player Pos Team Player Pos Team
Tom Brady QB TB Justin Herbert QB LAC
Ronald Jones RB TB Austin Ekeler RB LAC
Mike Evans WR TB Mike Williams WR LAC
Rob Gronkowski TE TB Jared Cook TE LAC
Derek Carr QB LV Derek Carr QB LV
Josh Jacobs RB LV Josh Jacobs RB LV
Hunter Renfrow WR LV Henry Ruggs III WR LV
Darren Waller TE LV Darren Waller TE LV

The spread and over/under are similar in these matchups (Buccaneers -4, 51.5 O/U versus this matchup at Chargers -3, 51.5 O/U). All the players aren’t perfect matches, but that’s why we use 100 similar matchups and not just the single most similar.

The optimal roster for that historical matchup, assuming positional salaries equaled what they are for this showdown slate, would have been:

Player Team Position Roster Position Fantasy Pts
Tom Brady TB QB CPT 39.9
Scotty Miller TB WR FLEX 25.9
Nelson Agholor LV WR FLEX 24.7
Chris Godwin TB WR FLEX 23.8
Derek Carr LV QB FLEX 19.3
Rob Gronkowski TB TE FLEX 17.2

For this game and 99 other similar matchups, I calculated every possible combination that fits with Showdown rules (one CPT, at least one offensive player from each team) and would fall under the $50K salary threshold, assuming the salaries for the historical similar matchups are the same as those for this contest.


The most unique part of the format, and therefore the biggest opportunity for a competitive advantage, is choosing your CPT. Should you always choose a QB who typically has the highest absolute fantasy scoring? Are defenses and kickers viable options? RB versus WR?

Subscribe to PFF+ to continue reading

Already have a subscription? Sign In

You've got the first pick with your finances. Western Southern Financial Group.

Fantasy Featured Tools


Unlock all tools and content including Player Grades, Fantasy, NFL Draft, Premium Stats, Greenline and DFS.

$9.99 / mo
$79.99 / yr