When it comes to these single game champion mode contests, the biggest key to taking them down is choosing the perfect player in the champion slot. With the 50% multiplier boost, it gives you a huge advantage if the player you pick not only goes off but is not highly owned in that spot. This week’s Raiders-Chargers matchup has a healthy amount of offensive firepower so it is not easy to narrow down the pick for the champion slot. However, when you take a closer look at this matchup, the more clear the pick becomes for who will be the player to lead you into DFS battle as your champion.
Austin Ekeler 2.2X/Kalen Ballage 3.15X
I understand this is a bit of a cop out choosing two players here but with Austin Ekeler questionable to play in this game, Kalen Ballage will have to be ready to go as the starter and I feel confident with him in the champion slot as well. If Ekeler does play, his recent performances after coming back from injury have been very encouraging. He put 18.4 fantasy points vs the Bills in Week 12 and 19.1 fantasy points last week against the Falcons. He did only have 8.8 against the Patriots in Week 14 but that was because the Chargers fell in a hole early and Ekeler became a non-factor in the running game.
I certainly do not expect that to happen as the Raiders are favored by 3.5 points in this game and with the way they have played recently, I fully expect the Chargers to be right in this game until the end. This will ensure that Ekeler will be involved in the running game for the entire 60 minutes of play. In addition to that, is how poor the Raiders have been facing running backs this season. The Raiders are tied with the Packer and Jaguars for the 3rd most fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs. This was on full display last week against the Colts as Jonathan Taylor ran wild on the Raiders. Taylor ran the ball 20 times for 150 yards and two touchdowns which came out to be 31.5 fantasy points.
What makes Ekeler even more appealing is how big of a threat he is catching the ball out of the backfield. The Raiders have struggled to stop running backs in the passing game as well as they have given up 73 catches for 557 yards to running backs. That is the 10th most catches allowed and 8th most receiving yards allowed to opposing running backs. If Ekeler is able to go, everything points to him being a slate crushing presence at 2.2X in the champion slot.
If he is not able to go, I would go with his back up Kalen Ballage with no hesitation in the champion slot at 3.15X. Ballage played in three games in which he was the main back for the Chargers and he averaged 60.3 yards rushing and 4.7 catches for 25.3 yards receiving. This was good for an average of 12.9 fantasy points per game. When you factor in the 3.15X multiplier, the average balloons to 40.64. His best game in that stretch he had 15 carries, 69 rushing yards, 1 touchdown, and 15.4 fantasy points. That happened to be against the Raiders. If you wanna put together the slate breaking lineup for this Raiders/Chargers slate, it starts with either Ekeler or Ballage in the champion slot.
This article expresses the personal views of the writer and does not reflect the view(s) of SuperDraft in any way.