FanDuel Fades Week 8
There are several reasons you might not want to roster a certain player in a given week of NFL DFS. To truly be a “fade”, in my opinion the player has to be projected to have decent ownership, e.g. no one is “fading” a WR4 on the LA Rams. I’ll always provide the argument for and against a player in this column.
Also, fading a player doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have zero exposure. If you’re a DFS player who plays on multiple sites with multiple lineups in various contests, fading might mean you use that player in just one or two tournament lineups while other DFS players are using him in a majority of their lineups.
In the case where you want to fade a player due to projected high ownership (see more on this below), perhaps you fade him in tournaments but continue to roster him in cash games. Having an idea of whom you don’t want to roster as well as whom you do makes navigating salary decisions in the lineup construction process a little bit easier.
So in Week 8, I’m fading…
I’m not buying into a resurgent Bears offense with Jay Cutler at the helm story this weekend. If I own Alshon Jeffrey in season long fantasy (I don’t), I’d of course start him and hope for the best. But in DFS, none of the Bears have made their way into my lineups, even beloved Cameron Meredith and Zach Miller. I am, on the other hand, buying the Minnesota defense.
New Orleans Saints:
Why pay up for Drew Brees when Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, Andrew Luck, Andy Dalton, Jameis Winston, Aaron Rodgers and others are in much better spots? Because he’s at home? I know the splits, but we are talking about an elite defense that has held opponents to 14 points per game. Even Mark Ingram is off the table for my DFS lineups, as Seattle has allowed just 72 rushing yards per game and two rushing touchdowns all season. The one man in gold and black I’ll be using is Michael Thomas, who is thriving in matchups with good defenses who are giving most of their attention to Brandin Cooks, Ingram, and Coby Fleener. Thomas is still too cheap to fade given his recent production (three touchdowns and over 300 receiving yards in the last four games) and even though I won’t own much Brees, I do believe the passing attempts will be there. The Seattle defense knows this game rests on their shoulders (see next) so I think they’re going to be very aggressive.
To lead with the positives, Christine Michael is a safe play for Seattle in this most generous fantasy matchup. I’ll also have some exposure to Jimmy Graham--revenge game and all, but on a serious note, I am concerned about the Seahawks ability to move the ball through the air with a Wilson who is clearly not 100% healthy. Given what I said above about the alternatives to Brees, I just can’t see trusting Wilson as much as Vegas apparently does and that extends to his receivers.
I tend to avoid injured players as a rule. If there’s someone nearly equivalent in terms of talent and matchup, I’m not taking a chance on a gimpy hamstring or weak shoulder. A few other thoughts: Detroit has yet to allow a rushing touchdown (re: Miller). The Eagles have allowed one receiving touchdown in each of the last three games, but is Bryant automatically going to be the first option if he plays? WR1 coming off injury are sometimes used as decoys and Dak Prescott has shown he’s quite comfortable with the guys he’s been throwing to. Moncrief is one that I’d use in a tournament with Luck if he’s healthy because the Chiefs are such a fantasy friendly matchup for wide receivers and I believe Luck will throw a ton in this game. Cobb has seen so many targets the past few weeks and Jordy Nelson will probably draw Desmond Trufant’s coverage, so if he is good to go, I won’t completely fade him. I do like the versatility of Ty Montgomery for Green Bay though. The Bills would be crazy to risk McCoy again this week, but as of Friday afternoon haven’t ruled him out. I’m avoiding no matter what.
In Week 8, players with high projected ownership, based in part on Thursday ownership percentages, are Devontae Booker (probably 70%), Spencer Ware, Christine Michael, Ty Montgomery, Jacquizz Rodgers, T.Y. Hilton, Devonta Freeman, Matt Ryan, Jameis Winston, C.J. Fiedorowitz, Mike Evans and Julio Jones. I think Game Theory is useful in DFS to an extent; obviously we can’t all win with the same players. But time and again it’s proven that big GPP winners can and do win with chalk plays in their lineups. One or two highly owned players that live up to their expectations (e.g. score a ton of points) won’t hurt you nearly as much as fading those guys in favor of lower-owned, lesser-producing players will. The trick is to find the low-owned, productive guys to mix in around them.