If you’re playing a Houston Texans vs. Los Angeles Chargers DFS lineup for Sunday in Week 4, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve analyzed each team’s highest-probability game scripts to assess the most likely outcomes, including which players are in line to thrive more than anticipated or fall short of expectations.
The following recommended fantasy football lineup (for tournaments, 50/50, or head-to-head competitions) aims to lock in a relatively high floor while maximizing upside.
Recommended Texans vs. Chargers DFS lineup
Today, we’re playing DraftKings “Showdown Captain Mode,” which includes one player who earns 1.5 times his scoring output, plus five flex players. The following NFL betting recommendations are based on proprietary PFN predictive analytics pulled from decades of NFL historical data.
Using this data, I’ve built dozens of models showing actionable probabilities of better-than-expected and worse-than-expected outcomes. Criteria such as age, durability, shifting personnel, schedule, and other factors help shape these final assessments.
Texans DFS considerations
Do people these days still use the term “straight dope”? Let’s assume they do, and with that, let’s get to the straight dope about Houston. Few teams’ best players have such low ceilings, and few teams have so few key playmakers. Davis Mills is one of the worst fantasy starting QBs (no offense to Mills; it’s base on stats and outlook). Brandin Cooks has regressed sharply since last year’s terrific performance and is now sitting on an abysmal 45% catch rate.
Up-and-comer Nico Collins hasn’t broken out the way some people (including me) believed he would. Often, Chris Moore and Pharaoh Brown have looked better, which is concerning given the aforementioned “low ceilings.”
Dameon Pierce currently is a lone bright spot. However, we should be wary that only 10% of his touches have occurred in the fourth quarter. If the Texans trail early and often against the favored Chargers on Sunday, Pierce could be phased out during catch-up mode.
Chargers DFS considerations
The Chargers are in trouble at 1-2, and with their franchise QB playing at less than 100%. Just as importantly, Austin Ekeler is averaging a mere 2.5 yards per carry, which is two full yards off his career average. After scoring 20 times last year, Ekeler’s scoreless through three games.
The question is whether Houston can stop anyone. While their defense might look pretty good on paper (yielding the 13th-fewest points per game), their three opponents have been a mess offensively. The Colts, Broncos, and Bears are hardly a good test of the Texans’ defensive prowess. Even at less than 100%, the Chargers should prove to be their toughest test.
With Keenan Allen getting healthy and Justin Herbert not suffering any setbacks, we should see a much-improved offensive effort for a team desperate to lock down a win and keep their early-season playoff hopes secure. This get-right matchup comes at the perfect time
Recommended DFS lineup
We’re taking several leaps with this lineup, beginning with Ekeler ($11,000 normally, $16,500 as Captain) in our Captain slot. Struggling much? Sure. But if we made DFS decisions based on recent stats, it would assume these players never change course.
Ekeler has uber upside, period. We’ve witnessed it for years. He’s still electric in the passing game. If he returns to greatness — a distinct possibility against Houston — then this lineup could be poised for a big showing.
Elsewhere, let’s ride with the hobbled Herbert ($11,400) and the fairly inexpensive Gerald Everett ($6,400). I’m assuming more quick strikes by Herbert before his pocket closes in, as he’s a higher-than-normal re-injury risk. I’d also roll with the Chargers D/ST ($4,600), assuming it’ll keep Mills comfortably in check.
That leaves two spots for Houston’s backfield, which I believe will get plenty of work in the first half, and possibly just enough work in the second half to warrant their DFS usage. It’s simply hard to trust Cooks or Collins at their relatively steep prices. Instead, I’m going with Pierce ($8,800) and Rex Burkhead ($2,200). My thinking is that one should score, and collectively, they could crack five receptions and 90 total yards. For 11,000 combined DFS dollars, it’s a safe, solid-upside play with some pop.