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MNF DFS Showdown Picks: Ekeler’s Return Provides a Spark in Chargers-Cowboys Matchup

The Los Angeles Chargers will play host to the Dallas Cowboys tonight on MNF. With fantasy glory and a hefty $1,000,000 (ONE MILLION DOLLARS!) on the line, it’s now more crucial than ever to assemble a winning DraftKings lineup that can dominate the competition. This article offers DFS picks insights on who should take the coveted captain slot, which core player should anchor your player pool, a value gem that can boost your salary cap flexibility, a sleeper pick with breakout potential, and one player to steer clear of – the dreaded bust. Get ready for an interesting DFS showdown on MNF.

*Disclaimer: These picks have been constructed with the mindset of building a single lineup. When building large field/multi-entry tournaments, if the player sees the field you’ll want to have a piece of him somewhere, my “busts” included.

MNF DFS Picks (DraftKings)


Austin Ekeler

DraftKings Captain Salary- $16,800

Austin Ekeler has not played since the first week of the NFL season. Since Week 1, the Los Angeles Chargers have not had a running back score a rushing touchdown. Coincidence? I think not. Joshua Kelly has been serviceable in Ekeler’s absence, but it’s clear that this offense misses him. It’s been a high ankle sprain keeping Ekeler out of the lineup. After participating in full during Thursday’s practice, it appears that Ekeler will be making his return tonight on MNF.

In his only game this season, Ekeler exploded for 117 rushing yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. A jack of all trades, Ekeler also provided 47 receiving yards on four receptions. When healthy, Austin Ekeler has always been a focal point of the Chargers offense. Even coming back from injury, I expect tonight to be no different.

Captain to consider: Tony Pollard- $14,400

Core Play

Keenan Allen

DraftKings Salary- $10,600

Whenever Justin Herbert drops back and has time to throw, you just always have that feeling that the ball is going to Keenan Allen. A majority of the time it is. Allen has been targeted 44 times this season, which is 18 more than the next wide receiver (the injured Mike Williams). After Williams, Joshua Palmer has 21 targets, and TE Gerald Everett has 14. In a game last week where he wasn’t necessarily needed, Allen received an uncharacteristically low 5 targets. With Vegas setting this MNF line at 50.5 points, this game should be different.

The last time that Allen was in a game projected to go over 50 points, was Week 3 against the Vikings. In that game Allen was targeted 20 times, catching 18 passes for 215 yards. No typo. The Cowboys DST will be without Trevon Diggs, who suffered a season-ending ACL tear in practice. Justin Herbert and Keenan Allen will no doubt look to exploit his absence.

Core play to consider: Justin Herbert- $10,800


Jake Ferguson

DraftKings Salary- $5,200

Where the (bleep) is Brandin Cooks? I’m sorry, this section is about Jake Ferguson. Jake. Okay, Jake Ferguson, what can I say? He has been super impressive as Dak Prescott‘s second option in the passing game. Yes, you read that correctly, second option. Ferguson and Prescott have shown a solid rapport so far this season. His 28 targets are good for second on his team, only seven behind CeeDee Lamb.

Dak Prescott has trust in Jake Ferguson. That much is evidenced by a single stat, red zone targets. Surprisingly enough, Jake Ferguson currently leads all NFL tight ends in red zone targets with 11. He’s caught 6 of those for 41 yards and his sole touchdown on the year. Even more impressive than the 11 targets is the fact that he’s currently commanding a massive 73.3% target share in the red zone. With that kind of volume, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Ferguson pay off his MNF DraftKings salary with a score.

Value to consider: Brandon Aubrey- $5,000


Michael Gallup

DraftKings Salary- $2,800

Let’s talk about Dak’s third option in the passing game. Michael Gallup is tied with Tony Pollard with 22 targets so far this season. As a wide receiver, you never want to be neck and neck with your running back for targets, but that just shows you that state that this offense is currently in. The Cowboys DST has carried it’s squad to this point, but the buck probably stops here with injuries to their secondary and a tough Chargers offense on tap.

When the going gets tough we’ve seen Dak Prescott resort nickel and diming. When he locks in and enters that mode, Michael Gallup is usually the beneficiary. Gallup is great at using his larger frame to box out defenders, providing a friendly target for Prescott to hit when looking for the open man. The addition of Brandin Cooks this offseason has not really had a huge effect on Gallup’s playing time seeing as he was on the field for 82% of snaps last week. Tonight’s MNF matchup should provide Gallup with the right atmosphere to stay involved.

Sleeper to consider: Cameron Dicker- $4,400

MNF Bust

Joshua Palmer

DraftKings Salary- $7,000

It’s not often that the return of a running back has a direct effect on a wide receiver’s usage. But in this case, I believe that the return of Austin Ekeler could prove detrimental for Joshua Palmer. Now that Ekeler is back for MNF, you’d better believe that Los Angeles will be dialing up more designed screens to get the ball in his hands. Anytime Herbert drops back and targets Ekeler, that’s an opportunity that Palmer doesn’t get. In addition to the designed looks Justin Herbert loves to dump it off to Ekeler when the play breaks down. We also haven’t seen Ekeler without Mike Williams. I would not be surprised to see Ekeler become the number two option in the passing game next to Keenan Allen. That would certainly make Palmer untouchable at his $7,000 price on DraftKings. You can find better ways to spend your salary.

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