This article is part of our DFS NFL series.
The Colts are in their fourth consecutive stand-alone game, including their second appearance on Monday Night Football in their last four games. They face the Chargers, who can clinch a playoff appearance with a win. The game features a fairly significant 45.5-point total with the Chargers a surprisingly narrow four-point favorite, leaving them with an implied total 24.75 and the Colts 20.75.
The top of the pricing is the same on both FanDuel and DraftKings, with Justin Herbert ($10,400 DK, $16,000 FD) at the second-highest point. Compared to preseason expectations, it would probably be fair to call Hebert a disappointment, though he's reached at least 20 DK points in four of his last five games. That number is slightly lower on FD — he's reached at least 18.1 points in four of his last five games — but the point remains the same in that Herbert has a fairly safe floor without the ceiling of the elite fantasy quarterbacks. The Colts have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks in the last five weeks, though that number is heavily influenced by Kirk Cousins 32-point explosion last Saturday. The most likely outcome is another decent floor performance without a ton of ceiling potential based on matchup.
The Colts continue to rotate their starting quarterbacks, with Nick Foles ($9,000 DK, $14,000 FD) the latest to gett the chance to stabilize the offense. His last start came Week 17 in 2021, and he put a solid 16.8 fantasy points. Obviously, there is considerable risk to playing him. That risk is ratcheted up by a tough matchup against a Chargers defense that has allowed only Trevor Lawrence, Kyler Murray and Patrick Mahomes to surpass 20 fantasy points this season. Foles is priced more fairly on DK, below each of the Chargers' projected top contributors.
Austin Ekeler ($11,00 DK, $16,500 FD) is the top-priced player on both sites, and his season-long results suggest he's worth paying up for. He's seen inconsistent use the last several weeks, including 16 or fewer touches in four of his last six games. The Chargers have incentive to win this game, so presumably Ekeler will get optimal use in this matchup. One reason to believe the team could limit his touches would be a lingering shoulder injury, though few players in this game have anywhere near the ceiling of Ekeler. All told, I'm willing to take my chances on him, barring additional reports prior to kickoff. For those fading Ekeler, it makes sense to play Joshua Kelley ($5,200 DK, $7,000 FD). Kelley has established himself as the backup to Ekeler and has 23 touches in his last three games. If Ekeler isn't 100 percent healthy, Kelley could realistically enter the game as a goal-line back.
Indianapolis is without Jonathan Taylor, who missed a substantial portion of the team's Week 15 loss. That one-game sample suggests Zack Moss ($7,000 DK, $12,000 FD) will take over as the lead back, but it's worth remembering that the Colts played from ahead nearly the entire game. Assuming the Colts play from behind in this game, there could be a nice opportunity to buy Deon Jackson ($7,600 DK, $11,000 FD) and get leverage on those who assume Moss will once again serve as the lead back based on last week's usage. Even if Moss remains the lead back on the ground, the expectation should be that Jackson is more involved as the pass catcher. Jordan Wilkins ($200 DK, $6,5000 FD) was also signed to the Colts' active roster earlier in the week and is worth sprinkling onto rosters as a punt play for those building multiple lineups.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Mike Williams ($9,400 DK, $12,500 FD) has been back for two games. He saw his snap rate jump from 65 to 87 percent and his targets increase from six to eight from the first to second matchup. Williams' return hasn't taken much opportunity away from Keenan Allen ($9,800 DK, $13,500 FD), who had 20 targets in his last two games combined. While Williams has the reputation as a big end-zone target, he has zero red-zone targets since his return. Meanwhile, Allen was targeted five times inside the 5-yard line in his last five games. On paper, Allen is the better play without a significant increase in price. However, Williams has topped 20 DK points in five of his 10 games, while Allen has just two such performances in seven games. This is all to say, both are solid plays with Allen providing a safer floor while Williams has the better chance to produce a slate-breaking score. Joshua Palmer ($6,400 DK, $10,000 FD) has predictably seen his volume fall since the return of both Williams and Allen. He's remained efficient, recording nine receptions on 11 targets for 102 scoreless yards in his last two games combined. There's no reason on paper to play him. DeAndre Carter ($2,400 DK, $7,500 FD) has seen his role completely disappear, as he has only two targets in each of his last three games. Gerald Everett ($4,800 DK, $8,500 FD) has occupied a comparable role to Palmer in recent weeks, but he comes at a considerable discount.
Michael Pittman ($8,200 DK, $13,000 FD) is the only reliable pass catcher in Indianapolis. However, even he has reached 60 receiving yards in only three of his last eight games. He comes at a significant discount as compared to Williams and Allen on DK, but he's a more difficult sell on FD due to the comparable price points to the duo in Los Angeles. On DraftKings, pairing Pittman with Williams makes a lot of sense. Parris Campbell ($5,400 DK, $9,000 FD) remains the second-most targeted wide receiver and has been very inconsistent. He has less upside than Palmer, but he does come at some discount. Alec Pierce ($2,800 DK, $8,000 FD) is the Colts' big-play threat, and has 23 targets in his last four games. He has at least five targets in three of those four games. Despite inconsistent results, I'd be willing to take a chance on Pierce given his cheap price. If he hits, he'll have the chance to provide the best value of any player in the pool. Shifting to tight end, Kylen Granson is out, which leaves Mo Alie-Cox ($200 DK, $6,000 FD) and Jelani Woods ($2,800 DK, $7,000 FD) as other potential values. Woods has been far more involved in the offense, so I'd look for a way to pay up for him.
One final potential punt option is Donald Parham ($400 DK, $6,500 FD), who returned from injured reserve in Week 15. He played only 21 offensive snaps but was targeted three times. His role could grow modestly against the Colts, and if it does Everett would likely be the player to lose opportunity.
The game is being played in a dome, which makes kickers more appealing. Since taking over as the Chargers' kicker, Cameron Dicker ($4,200 DK, $9,000 FD) has scored at least eight points in six of eight games. Chase McLaughlin ($4,000 DK, $9,500 FD) has also had a lot of opportunity, racking up at least nine points in eight of his 12 games. When deciding whether to roster a kicker, the question will be whether either (or both) outperform cheaper options such Woods, Pierce, Everett, Parham and Kelly (on FD).
Perhaps unsurprisingly due to the quality of their quarterback play, the Colts have surrendered a high rate of both sacks and interceptions this season. The Chargers ($4,600 DK, $9,000 FD) haven't been prolific at forcing sacks or interceptions this season, so rostering them is a question of whether they can take advantage of the matchup. Also based on matchup, the Colts ($3,400 DK, $9,000 FD) are a tougher sell. However, they've put up two spike performances this season that would go a long way to winning tournaments (23 points in Week 15, 14 points in Week 5) and are superior to the Chargers in both sack and interception rate.