Sunday Night Football DraftKings Picks: DFS lineup advice for Chargers-Ravens Showdown tournaments in NFL Week 12

The Chargers and Ravens, two AFC teams with high-flying offenses but polar-opposite defenses, face off in Los Angeles this weekend for the latest edition of Sunday Night Football. Today we will share our optimal DraftKings Showdown lineups for this conference clash, and hopefully help you close out the weekend with some daily fantasy cash.

Both these squads know a lot about the injury bug, but it’s L.A. that has suffered the worst luck over the past couple months. The Bolts were without stud running back Austin Ekeler for three weeks earlier in the season. Two of their top receivers, Mike Williams and Joshua Palmer, are on IR. Tight ends Gerald Everett and Donald Parham have both been banged up for weeks. And now, perhaps the dagger of all daggers, Joey Bosa just hit the IR with a foot sprain.

The Ravens have navigated injuries as well, most notably losing top running back J.K. Dobbins to a season-ending injury earlier in the year and suffering some hits to their defense and pass-catchers. But Baltimore has weathered the storm nicely, sitting at 8-3 with an eye on a first-round bye in a year that has landed many AFC powerhouses in injury-ravaged peril.

Will the Ravens stomp the Chargers and put Bolts head coach Brandon Staley out of his hot-seat misery? Or, will Los Angeles hold court and save its season with a massive victory over one of the better defensive squads in the NFL? This one will almost certainly be tough to bet, but we think it’s an easy one for which to craft a DraftKings lineup.

Just like our approach with finding the best bets each NFL week, we scour DraftKings for the best DFS values ahead of every Sunday night game and assemble what we deem to be an optimal lineup. Our approach each week is simple: research, compare values, and make roster-building moves that will separate us from the rest of the DFS pack.

Before we get into our lineup and strategy, here are the key scoring settings for DraftKings Showdown contests: They’re full-point PPR and there are three-point bonuses for 300 passing yards100 rushing yards, and 100 receiving yards. The Captain pick costs 1.5 times a player’s original price, but he also gets his point total multiplied by 1.5.

MORE SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Betting preview | Top props

Chargers-Ravens DraftKings Picks: DFS lineup for Week 12 Sunday Night Football

$50,000 budget, need at least one player from each team. 

Captain (1.5x points, 1.5x salary): Gus Edwards, RB, Ravens ($12,900)

In what has been one of the surprise developments of 2023, Edwards has the third-most TDs (10) and sixth-most rushing first downs (36) of any running back. And yet, we can still get him at discount prices in DFS. Four other players in this game cost more than the Gus Bus, despite the fact that the Chargers have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points per game to RBs this season. Putting Edwards in our Captain spot allows us to still be able to afford two other elite studs in the $10K-$12K range and have over $4K left per player for our final three spots. Plus, a contrarian play like this all but assures us the ability to stand out from the pack in larger tournaments, as the majority of entries will Captain one of either Lamar Jackson, Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler, or Keenan Allen.

MORE DK SHOWDOWN: How to win a Showdown contest

FLEX Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens ($12,000)

We knew we wanted one of the two QBs in this game, and honestly the choice wasn’t all that difficult. LJax, leading the Ravens to an AFC North-leading 8-3 record, finds himself as a dark-horse MVP candidate this season. Justin Herbert, whose Chargers are an AFC West-worst 4-6, has endured arguably the most challenging season of his young career. He’s lost two of his top three receivers to injury (Mike Williams and Joshua Palmer) and his tight ends are both banged up. On top of that, the Ravens’ defense has been superb this season, while the Chargers’ D has been abysmal and just lost Joey Bosa to the IR. Los Angeles already served up the second-most DK points per game to QBs this season before losing its best pass-rusher — who knows what rock bottom will look like with Brandon Staley at the helm. LJax gon’ eat this Thanksgiving weekend!https://knowledge.acacia.red/user/lethmerrill50
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FLEX Austin Ekeler, RB, Chargers ($10,000)

As a general rule, I like to have the best PPR skill-position player in a DK contest if he costs $10K or less. Ek checks both those boxes in this case. You may argue that Keenan Allen is more valuable than Ekeler given his target volume and the Chargers constantly playing from behind. I would argue that the Ravens allow the third-fewest passing yards and the sixth-fewest wide receiver PPR points per game. Baltimore hasn’t been a pushover against the run, either, but 14th-best sounds much more appealing than sixth-best. Ek maintains the best TD-upside and highest overall PPR ceiling among anyone not named McCaffrey.

FLEX Keaton Mitchell, RB, Ravens ($6,800)

Now we feel like we’ve monopolized the Ravens’ rushing attack, as the speedy rookie Mitchell has leapfrogged veteran Justice Hill on the depth chart. If a Raven scores a TD on the ground this Sunday night, we feel very confident that it’s going to be one of our players. And with Baltimore scoring 31-plus points in a whopping five straight games, we think we have an outside shot of seeing a ton of offense from the black and purple against the Bosa-less Bolts. This kid has turned 23 touches into 241 yards and two TDs over the past three weeks — let him cook!

FLEX Isaiah Likely, TE, Ravens ($5,200)

With stud tight end Mark Andrews possibly done for the regular season with an ankle injury, it appears likely (sorry) that Likely will see a big bump in snaps, targets, and overall production. We’ve seen the second-year man out of Coastal Carolina step up before — after Andrews got hurt in Week 8 of last season, Likely caught 6-of-7 targets for 77 yards and a TD. He scored another TD a week later, and when Andrews sat again in Week 18 the rook hauled in 8-of-13 targets for 103 yards. The ceiling is high for a guy costing just over $5K.

FLEX Quentin Johnston, WR, Chargers ($3,000) 

When you’re spending $3K or less on a flex spot, you’re aiming for a high ceiling as opposed to a high floor. The typical scoring average for healthy dudes in this range is 1-6. So, why not shoot for the moon and draft a player who could easily score 15-20? Ravens top cornerback Brandon Stephens will almost assuredly spend most of his night guarding Keenan Allen. As we mentioned before, Mike Williams and Josh Palmer are both on IR and tight ends Gerald Everett and Donald Parham have both battled injuries this season. The rookie Johnston has size (6-4, 215), speed (4.5 40, 21.4 MPH max speed), and best of all, opportunity (≥83% of snaps over the past three games). He’s got double-digit DK points in two of the past four weeks and scored his first TD two weeks ago. Fire him up and cross your fingers!

Best Chargers-Ravens SuperDraft DFS Picks

As we have every week, we’re also listing our favorite single-game DFS plays on SuperDraft.

For those unfamiliar, SuperDraft’s DFS scoring involves point multipliers as opposed to traditional salary-capped or tiered contests. A winning lineup will likely feature a strong mix of stud fantasy contributors with 1x-1.6x boosts, as well as matchup-based sleepers with larger multipliers. Each player is assigned a scoring multiplier based on their value as determined by SuperDraft. Users can roster any player in their lineup with no restrictions.

MORE: Win BIG with SuperDraft! Join now and get a free deposit match of $20!

Here are the most notable scoring rules for SuperDraft NFL contests: Half-point PPRfour-point passing TDstwo-point bonuses for 100 rushing yards100 receiving yardsand 300 passing yards.

MORE SUPERDRAFT DFS: How to play SuperDraft

  • Champion (+50% points): Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens (1.5x)
  • Super FLEX: Austin Ekeler, RB, Chargers (1.75x)
  • Super FLEX: Gus Edwards, RB, Ravens (2.05x)
  • Super FLEX: Isaiah Likely, TE, Ravens (2.45x)
  • Super FLEX: Rashod Bateman, WR, Ravens (2.7x)

We employed a fairly similar approach with our SuperDraft DFS lineup, keeping four of the skill players we drafted to our DK squad. We couldn’t resist drafting Bateman with a 2.7-times boost, even though we know him and Likely are boom-or-bust options. With no salary cap, we must find sleepers to separate ourselves from the pack, so we always try to aim for at least two sleepers or potential breakouts.

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