Morning Coffee: A FanDuel Best Bet for Thursday Night Football
The Los Angeles Chargers were a top-10 choice to win the Super Bowl at FanDuel when the season started.
Three months later, only four teams have a worse record.
I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but at some point during this season a certain class of football fans started to turn on franchise quarterback Justin Herbert as the scapegoat for L.A.’s struggles.
In reality, it makes a lot more sense to point the finger elsewhere.
Herbert won’t be available for the Chargers when they visit the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday Night Football. Neither will the NFL receptions leader Keenan Allen.
On the Raiders side, head coach Antonio Pierce told reporters on Wednesday that he has not decided whether it will be Aidan O’Connell, Jimmy Garoppolo, or Brian Hoyer who starts at quarterback.
Essentially, all of this adds up to potentially the worst-case scenario for fantasy football managers with the playoffs set to get underway.
Hopefully we can take advantage of the information at our disposal and find an edge with a FanDuel Best Bet for tonight’s prime-time showdown.
This is the Morning Coffee for Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023.
Injuries lead to significant movement at FanDuel for Thursday Night Football
The Chargers were a 3.5-point favourite on the lookahead line for tonight’s AFC West showdown.
However, Herbert suffered a season-ending fractured index finger on his throwing hand in Sunday’s loss to the Denver Broncos, opening the door for 2019 fifth-round pick Easton Stick to make his first career NFL start.
That led to the line flipping from L.A. -3.5 to Las Vegas -3.5 at FanDuel.
While neither team has officially been eliminated from playoff contention, only the Washington Commanders, Arizona Cardinals, New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers have worse records than the Chargers and Raiders entering Week 15.
At this point, the best-case scenario for both teams might be to lose out and secure a top-five draft pick.
Meanwhile, the total for tonight’s contest has also come crashing down from 42.5 to 34.5 at FanDuel.
The Chargers and Raiders are tied for the highest percentage of games to the under in the NFL this season with both teams at 10-3.
With the fantasy football playoffs set to begin tonight, fantasy managers will have some tough decisions to make.
Herbert and Allen are both out for Los Angeles. We don’t know who will start at quarterback for Las Vegas. It’s still difficult to trust Davante Adams as a starter.
For this column, my focus is on finding a betting edge that is worth outlining for tonight’s game.
I believe I have found one worthy of a FanDuel Best Bet for Thursday Night Football.
A FanDuel Best Bet for Thursday Night Football
For my FanDuel Best Bet, I’m locking in Quentin Johnston 25 or more receiving yards at -120.
The rookie first-round pick has been a major disappointment so far this season.
The Chargers took Johnston one pick before the Baltimore Ravens selected Zay Flowers, two picks before the Minnesota Vikings selected Jordan Addison, and four picks before the Buffalo Bills selected Dalton Kincaid.
The latter three pass-catching options have all put up better numbers than Johnston this season.
However, the speedster out of TCU flashed in last week’s loss to the Broncos, finishing with three catches for a team-high 91 yards, including a 57-yard reception.
stick 🤝 QJ pic.twitter.com/kMkRg1Jna9— Los Angeles Chargers (@chargers) December 14, 2023
In fact, Johnston has registered one catch of 27 yards or more in each of his previous two games.
The fact that he had two catches for 79 yards with Stick at quarterback in the fourth quarter last week gives me hope that he can build on that performance tonight, especially with Allen out for the Chargers.
I’ll lock in Johnston 25 or more receiving yards as my FanDuel Best Bet for Thursday Night Football.