Last week six quarterbacks scored over 30 FanDuel points. That is absurd.
There are points to be had, but then there are points to be lost. Especially when it comes to the higher priced and big name options, you need 20 or more points to make playing them worth it. The pricing people at FanDuel were pretty spot on when it comes to pricing this week so I had a difficult time deciding on the players that needed to stay out of your lineup. You could probably make a contrarian argument for all of them, but that’s the great thing about fantasy football. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Here are some fades, some players that will have a difficult time living up to their price tag.
Philip Rivers at Kansas City for $7,600
Last week Philip Rivers failed to throw a touchdown pass and he finished the game versus Denver with a measly 7.08 FanDuel points. That sounds bad, but want to hear worse? Two weeks ago Rivers played Kansas City on his home turf and only scored 6.92 points and also did not throw a touchdown. This week he goes to Arrowhead to face a Chiefs defense that has only allowed one 20+ FanDuel point performance since Week 3. There is a slew of high upside quarterbacks in that same price range (Blake Bortles, Tyrod Taylor, Ryan Fitzpatrick, etc.) so if 6 points is Rivers’ floor, and it’s not likely he’ll go over 20 points, why would I play him?
DeMarco Murray vs Buffalo for $6,700
The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and certainly Murray has squeaked all season long about his usage, but we’re not seeing the grease. Regardless of whether or not DeMarco Murray met with ownership or the coaching staff to discuss his issues with the offense, he’s been complaining all season and nothing has been done. Last week he only got eight carries versus the New England Patriots. Even with his plummeting price tag, how can you play any back with only eight carries? To be fair, Murray has three games of 20 or more FanDuel points on the season. But he also has six with less than 10. Buffalo gives up the 14th most FanDuel points to opposing running backs, but it’s too risky.
Todd Gurley vs Detroit for $7,900
The Gurley hate has gone so far that I almost took him out of this article. It seems like no one wants to play him anymore, and for good reason. After breaking into the league with four back-to-back games with 100+ rushing yards, Todd Gurley hit a snag. Let’s call this snag “playing for the St. Louis Rams.” Gurley has only rushed for over 45 yards once in the last four weeks. He hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 11. If you watch the tape, it doesn’t look good. He’s the only player on the team worth defending. Unless Case Keenum can do a magic trick and acquire Cam Newton skills, Gurley is going to have a tough time moving forward. Also, Detroit’s run defense has greatly improved. Since coming back from their London beatdown in Week 8, the Lions have only allowed one double-digit FanDuel performance to an opposing running back. Gurley is still a special talent, but until his price tag drops considerably, you need to spend your money elsewhere.
Dez Bryant at Green Bay for $7,400
Last week on the road against Washington Bryant was held without a catch until late in the fourth quarter. But there was a sudden shift at that moment. It was almost like a light bulb went on above backup QB Matt Cassell’s head and he suddenly realized he had Dez Bryant on the team. Perhaps the two of them can build on that late game chemistry, but I want to see four quarters of connection before I plug Bryant into my lineup. Since Week 10, Bryant only has one touchdown and is averaging 3.5 catches and 44.5 yards per game. Green Bay gives up the 10th fewest point to opposing wide receivers. You could make an argument that at $7,400 you can play Bryant for upside, but it’s a stretch.
Julio Jones at Carolina for $8,800
This is all about price. Well, it’s also about QB Matt Ryan and the Carolina defense. But really, at $8,800 I need to be sure that a player will score at least 20 FanDuel points. I am not sure that Jones will score over 10 points, so I have to rule him out. Carolina’s defense looked a little leaky last week against the New Orleans Saints, but Drew Brees (at home) is a considerably better quarterback than Matt Ryan. Matty Ice has thrown 17 touchdowns on the season. He’s also thrown 13 interceptions and lost three fumbles. In fact, Jones hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 8. That’s crazy, but Julio still gets double-digit targets in every game, so there is a chance for a breakout. If Ryan can get it together, Julio is one of (if not the) best players in the league. Sadly, he depends on Matt Ryan getting him the ball. Against this defense, at this price, I’m out.
Gary Barnidge vs San Francisco for $6,200
The tight end position is extremely thin this week, so I almost didn’t do a fade at all. Gary Barnidge has been hot and cold with QB Johnny Manziel under center. I’m sure the coaching staff has stressed to Johnny that he has to get Barnidge the ball, so I’m not terribly concerned with the quarterback carousel. I am concerned about his lack of touchdowns. In the last six games he’s only scored twice. And even though we all like to use San Francisco as a fantasy punching bag, they give up the 10th fewest FanDuel points to opposing tight ends. The final “fade” straw is that he’s listed as Questionable with a rolled ankle. He suffered this injury in the game versus Cincinnati last week, but he played through it. As far as I can tell, he’ll play. But I think the ankle will limit his usage as the Browns try to get the ball down the field therefore affecting his normal volume. He’ll need a touchdown to be productive, and that makes me nervous.
According to DFSReport.com, here are the three most rostered players from the Thursday night contests:
Russell Wilson – 10.0%
Jameis Winston – 9.6%
Blake Bortles – 9.4%
Thomas Rawls – 21.6%
LeSean McCoy – 17.4%
Doug Martin – 15.6%
Odell Beckham Jr. – 20.9%
Allen Robinson – 20.9%
Sammy Watkins – 19.9%
Greg Olsen – 18.2%
Delanie Walker – 14.5%
Austin Seferian-Jenkins – 10.7%
I hope this helps you make the tough decisions when setting your winning lineup. Good luck in Week 14!