Thursday’s night game between the Los Angeles Chargers and the Oakland Raiders is shaping up to be a hard-nosed battle between AFC rivals playing on short rest. Oddsmakers have pegged the Chargers as 1-point road favorites in a game with an over/under of 47.5. I expect the running backs to take center stage in such a tight contest, but I’ll definitely be playing Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers against a weak Raiders secondary. Here are some players to watch tonight for DFS.
Josh Jacobs, Raiders RB
Despite nursing a sore shoulder, Jacobs was a full participant in Tuesday’s practice, and looks to be ready for this important matchup. The rookie from Alabama has been a workhorse this season, averaging nearly 20 carries a game with six touchdowns. The Chargers rank just 22nd in DFS against opposing running backs, so I would expect the Raiders to use Jacobs early and often.
Philip Rivers, Chargers QB
Playing in the shadow of stars like Russell Wilson and Patrick Mahomes, Philip Rivers has quietly averaged nearly 300 yards of passing per game this season. He has only tossed 12 touchdowns in nine games, which isn’t great for the DFS players who drafted him, but tonight, he faces a Raiders D that ranks 29th against opposing quarterbacks. Against such a weak pass defense, Rivers should shine brightly tonight.
Hunter Henry, Chargers TE
Henry has become more of a focus for Rivers after coming back from a knee injury. Last week against the Packers, Henry caught seven of 10 targets for 84 yards. Concerning for Henry, though, is that he’s only scored two TDs on the season. The Raiders rank poorly against tight ends in DFS (26th), so chances are better than average that Henry can find the end zone on Thursday night.
Hunter Renfrow, Raiders WR
One good Hunter deserves another. Raiders QB Derek Carr has increasingly turned toward the rookie from Clemson over the past two weeks. As a result, Renfrow has 10 catches for 142 yards and two touchdowns in that span. Because the Chargers secondary is relatively strong, I expect more dink-and-dunk passes in the slot to someone like Renfrow to move the ball down the field. He should be particularly valuable on DraftKings with its point-per-reception format, but he’s cheap and playable on either DK ($5,000) or FanDuel ($9,500).