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Week 5 NFL DFS Monday Night Showdown Preview: Chargers at Saints

The NFL DFS season continues with Chargers-Saints on MNF, and we’ve got the breakdown to help you win big money in the final Week 5 NFL DFS contests!

Introduction to Single-Game Showdowns

DraftKings calls them “Showdowns,” and FanDuel doesn’t really have a name for them other than “Single-Game Contests,” but whatever we call them they require an understanding of game narratives and game theory – which means we need to target low-ownership players that will give us the best opportunities within the narratives and game outcomes we’re expecting.

My picks will focus almost exclusively on finding GPP-winning combinations that have a chance at taking down the contests you’re entering, be they single-entry or MME. While we can’t cover all the possible combos or provide full lineups for you to deploy, the goal here is to give you the tools to win and highlight some names that will help make for profitable results.

If I enter five lineups in a large-field GPP, at least three of those lineups will focus on the most likely game outcome (based on Vegas odds, props and totals), with one or two contrarian builds. As we know, late-breaking news can have a significant effect on full slates, and that’s just amplified with single-game contests. If you have any questions leading up to lock, please consult our NFL DFS experts in Discord.

Let’s get to the game!

Week 5 NFL DFS MVP candidates (1.5x points)

Some notes on the differences between MVP on FanDuel and DraftKings: The 1.5x point boost on FD comes with no salary penalty, while and DK also bumps the salary to 1.5x – a crucial factor in deciding who we can and cannot afford on both sites. We can use this to our advantage on FD by occasionally targeting non-QBs to establish more variance and more unique lineups, and on DK it allows us to build more hearty overall stacks when we punt the MVP position with a cheap but high-upside player.

Chalk: Alvin Kamara (DK $18,000, FD $16,000)

Pivot: Drew Brees (DK $15,600, FD $14,500)

Contrarian #1: Justin Herbert (DK $15,300, FD $14,000)

Contrarian #2: Latavius Murray (DK $7,200, FD $8,000)

Some notable injuries: The story of this game will likely be told by who is available on defense for the Saints, who are one of the best defenses in the league when healthy. The injury-riddled Saints have already ruled out CB Janoris Jenkins (shoulder) and CB Justin Hardee (hamstring), and both DE Marcus Davenport (toe), and playmaking CB Marshon Lattimore (hamstring) turned in limited practices leading up to this game. DT Sheldon Rankins made an appearance on the injury report and didn’t practice on Saturday because of a thumb injury, and he’s also listed as questionable.

The Saints offensive line has some injuries too (G Andrus Peat and T Ryan Ramczyk), which could affect their RB usage in attacking the Chargers run defense. If Ramczyk plays they might pound the right side more since Joey Bosa (triceps) didn’t look great in Week 4.

On the Chargers side, we have rookie RB Joshua Kelley and the recently activated Justin Jackson handling backfield duties while Austin Ekeler (hamstring) recovers on IR. QB Justin Herbert seems ready for prime time, and he’ll be asked to shoulder a heavy load on Monday night. He makes for a solid contrarian captain pivot in this showdown.

The obvious chalk at captain will be Alvin Kamara, who has 45-point upside given the 1.5x multiplier and the fact that Michel Thomas (ankle, coach’s decision) is still out. Latavius Murray is a viable contrarian CPT choice as well, since the Saints could try to salt this thing away with traditional north-south running and goal line plunges if they jump out to a large lead.

There’s still a case to be made for Drew Brees at CPT in what may be his final game facing his old team, and that’s an interesting narrative if not a likely positive outcome. There’s some inefficiency to his game lately and the Saints would be silly not to capitalize on their strong rush offense.

Emmanuel Sanders and Tre’Quan Smith are both high-risk options but should be sprinkled throughout your lineups with the news coming this weekend that Thomas is being disciplined and kept out of action tonight. I kind of like Jared Cook (groin, probable) for his two-TD upside in GPPs at what should be relatively low ownership.

If you’re stacking Herbert with Chargers WRs, you’ll be looking at Keenan Allen and company (Hunter Henry should really eat this week, Mike Williams is questionable but trending upward, and Jalen Guyton could even be an option) in what could be smash spot against a battered Saints secondary.

Week 5 NFL DFS Utility options (and some DOs and DON’Ts)

Remember to build your team based on a narrative that makes sense, and utilize the WinDaily fantasy toolbox for cheatsheets and projections that can help you tremendously with lineup building.

DO: Build a trio (or quartet) of offensive weapons for a team that makes sense together

DON’T: Focus too much on defenses, the sub-2K on DK players (not a lot there) or the Saints passing game tonight, though it’s a viable contrarian play to stack Brees with Cook and a WR if you’re entering large-field MMEs.

DO: Use the projected team totals to shade one way or the other with your selections.

DON’T: Ignore the effectiveness of Latavius Murray this season. The Saints are a different offensive team now and Murray’s bruising style has been one of their strengths,

Now that we’ve established some narratives and MVP candidates, the best way to round out this piece is with a list of my favorite options in descending order, based on overall value (a combo of salary and projected points):

  1. Alvin Kamara
  2. Justin Herbert
  3. Latavius Murray
  4. Drew Brees
  5. Keenan Allen
  6. Hunter Henry
  7. Joshua Kelley
  8. Tre’Quan Smith
  9. Jared Cook (groin, probable)
  10.  Emmanuel Sanders
  11.  Justin Jackson
  12.  Will Lutz
  13.  Mike Williams (hamstring, questionable)
  14.  Jared Guyton
  15.  Michael Badgley
  16.  Saints DST
  17.  Chargers DST
  18.  Taysom Hill

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