Rather than label these “fades” we should probably call this article “fears.”
You only have eight teams to choose from and all of them are surrounded by controversy. There are injuries and issues everywhere you turn.
Isn’t that what makes playoff DFS so fun?
Here are some players that give me pause. You may have to play them, but have that “fade” button handy.
QB Carson Palmer versus Green Bay for $8,900
Carson Palmer is one of the few players in the MVP conversation, as he should be. He leads this team and makes every player believe that a championship is possible.
But part of leadership is knowing your role. Since RB David Johnson’s monster performance in Week 15 Palmer has yet to scored over 18 FanDuel points. Week 15 was also when Palmer dislocated his index finger.
Palmer is the most expensive quarterback on FanDuel this week at $8,900. David Johnson is also the most expensive running back at $8,500. I’d save the $400 and take Johnson. When Arizona faced Green Bay in Week 16 Palmer scored 16.6 FanDuel points to Johnson’s 18.7. Look for similar results on Saturday.
RB Marshawn Lynch at Carolina for $7,800
According to Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times, Marshawn Lynch was a full participant in practice on Wednesday. Lynch also came out and declared himself “ready” for the Panthers. Sadly, this is very similar to the story we heard last week and they Lynch pulled himself from the game against Minnesota at the last minute. Don’t let this happen to you!
We haven’t seen Marshawn Lynch on the field since Week 10 due to a sports hernia. Hopefully he’s at 100% but how can we know?
Possibly the most glaring reason why you would fade Lynch is due to his kickoff time. If he’s a game-time decision, that will be too late because he plays on Sunday. This also means that starting RB Christine Michael at a bargain $6,500 is too risky.
WR Martavis Bryant at Denver for $7,100
The last time the Steelers played the Broncos they certainly had the upper hand. That was the worst performance by the Denver defense by a mile.
But a lot has changed since then.
First, RB DeAngelo Williams still isn’t practicing and will likely not play on Sunday. In Week 15 he put up 14.1 FanDuel points against Denver. That was a down game, by his standards, but the Denver Broncos only allowed one 20+ point performance to a running back all year.
You can play Bryant, especially at that price. I’m simply saying that expecting a huge game from him may not be the slam dunk everyone seems to think it is. Also, he’ll likely be the highest owned WR in every contest.
Bryant could have a monster game, but it’s really hard to dismantle an elite defense two times in one year, especially when you’re missing key weapons. Antonio Brown was the only wide receiver to score more than 18.3 FanDuel points playing against the Broncos all season. Antonio Brown is a special player. The question is, do you think Bryant is at the same level? That’s what it’s going to take.
TE Rob Gronkowski versus Kansas City for $8,300
I wrote an article about the trends that emerged from the 2015 season by evaluating all of the winners of the Sunday Million. Probably the most shocking observation was that Rob Gronkowski was only in one of the 17 winning lineups.
Don’t get me wrong, Gronk had a great year. He was the top scoring tight end on the season with 219.6 total FanDuel points. When you pay up for Gronk you do it because you’re willing to pay for the consistency.
But in a daily game is consistency really worth it?
Let’s compare Rob Gronkowski to TE Greg Olsen. Olsen averaged 11.81 FanDuel points per game. Gronk averaged 14.64 points per game. To get that extra 2.83 points you would have to pay $1,800 extra this week alone.
It gets a little worse if we only look at the matchup. The Kansas City Chiefs give up the absolute fewest FanDuel points to opposing tight ends having not allowed a double-digit FanDuel performance all season. Adding to the Greg Olsen argument, Seattle gives up the 10th most FanDuel points to tight ends and the last time Olsen played them he put up 22.6 FanDuel points.
Gronk will be fine, probably in the 10-12 point range, but this week you need to spread that salary cap as far as it will go. Making room for Gronk at that price is a tall order.
This is one of the last weeks that you’ll be able to put in a FanDuel lineup. Don’t miss out!
Good luck in the Divisional Round.