A friend of mine called to ask for fantasy advice, per usual. We got to talking about her season-long team and how much she’s enjoying her new DFS adventures.
Daily fantasy has made her a better season-long player. Although her mantra is still to play her studs, she’s much pickier about who those “studs” really are and she’s much better at picking the players with upside when it comes to the RB2s or WR3s. Even streaming at the tight end or defense position is much easier.
And that brought us to my column.
I don’t tell you to fade mid-range players because you could make a case for starting almost anyone at a certain price point. Once a player is cheap enough, you can build a roster around them that could still win you games.
The fades article is meant to talk about high priced players that may not produce at the level that would make them worth the cost. It’s also about players that are owned in a ridiculous amount of leagues so perhaps you avoid them in GPPs. I write about those certain players because ultimately this is NOT season-long fantasy and the price of the player is vital to the success of your lineup.
Once I made my case to my friend, she said, “It takes guts to tell people to fade Julio, no matter how bad Matt Ryan sucks. But yeah, someone’s gotta do it.”
Antonio Brown versus Denver for $8,800
The floor is always high with Antonio Brown, so I understand if you still feel the desire to plug him into your cash games. His ownership numbers will be especially down when he faces off against the Denver Broncos and their nasty cornerback tandem.
Denver gives up the absolute least FanDuel points to opposing wide receivers. In fact, the Raiders decided go away from their receivers almost entirely last week and instead focused on the tight ends because they knew they couldn’t compete with the corners.
Only two receivers have gone for over 15 FanDuel points against the Denver defense all season and no one has gone over 20 points.
Big Ben isn’t going to shy away from his receivers, but will Antonio Brown get enough work to get over 20 FanDuel points and buck the trend? I don’t know. And that’s a problem because when you spend over $8,000 on a player you’re banking on them having a 20+ point ceiling. Otherwise, you paid too much.
Allen Robinson versus Atlanta for $8,100
Again with the ceiling.
Allen Robinson was a complete and utter buzzkill last week when he only caught one of his four targets for four yards and a touchdown. 6.9 FanDuel points is not what we hoped for from the No. 1 receiver on a team that put 51 points on the scoreboard.
But this is a new week, so why am I fading him? Well, Atlanta has a sneaky good secondary. Sure, Tedd Ginn Jr. shredded them last week, but he was the first receiver to score over 15 FanDuel points on Atlanta since Week 4.
Both Allen Hurns and Julius Thomas will play large roles in the offense again this week, which will cut into Robinson’s overall score. He’s a great talent on a fun, up-and-coming team, but this week I think they’re going to spread the ball around. And again, if I’m spending over $8,000 on a player, I need that 20+ point upside. You can spend that money elsewhere.
Doug Baldwin versus Cleveland for $7,400
You’ll see the Thursday night ownership percentages below, but Doug Baldwin needed his own writeup.
Doug Baldwin has at least 82 yards and multiple touchdowns in each of his last three games. I actually put him in a lineup that I filmed for Rotoworld and NBC Sports, so clearly I’m a fan. He and the entire Seattle Seahawks offense is on fire.
The Seahawks face the Cleveland Browns this week, the team that gives up the 7th most points to opposing wide receivers. It all is too good to be true! And you know what, it is. Baldwin is owned in a whopping 37.4% of lineups. You can play him in cash games to your heart’s content, but in those large GPP tournaments you might want to mix it up.
There are conflicting views on the act of fading the chalk, especially when the chalk has been so incredibly good, but it is worth noting.
Javorius Allen versus Kansas City $6,600
Poor, Javorius Allen. Last week was by far his worst outing. He went up against Seattle, Jimmy Clausen was under center, the team abandoned the run immediately… it was a disaster.
Sadly, this week isn’t going to get much better versus Kansas City. The Chiefs gives up the 5th fewest points to opposing running backs. It looks like QB Matt Schaub will be back in the lineup, but it’s hard to get too excited.
Sure, if Allen can get back to 20 touches he has a chance to make some noise this week. I’m especially encouraged by his work in the passing game. Over the last four week Allen has 26 receptions for 228 yards and two touchdowns. The real problem for Allen is that the team continues to suffer injuries and can’t get a rhythm going, at all. It’s not the right situation.
Ronnie Hillman at Pittsburgh for $6,400
Pittsburgh gives up the 2nd fewest FanDuel points to opposing running backs. Hillman hasn’t been able to post double-digit points in the last two weeks against the Raiders and the Chargers. He’s also in a time share. It’s a nightmare.
And yet, he’s still the 11th highest priced running back on FanDuel. That’s why I’m writing about him. In my opinion, fading Hillman is as obvious as fading DeMarco Murray, but Murray is $700 cheaper.
The Denver Broncos are leaning on their defense to win games. For the most part, it’s working. The Broncos want to run, but they keep doing the “hot hand” dance. It’s unpredictable. And sometimes there is no “hot hand” and the team struggles. You don’t want to deal with that in your FanDuel lineup. Stay away.
Travis Kelce at Baltimore for $6,000
Since his Week 9 bye, Kelce has only scored one touchdown. Since the Ravens Week 9 bye, they have only allowed one touchdown to a tight end. In fact, Baltimore has only allowed two touchdowns all season to tight ends.
Sure, you can make a case for almost anyone to be a contrarian play, but there’s very little you can hang your hat on in this matchup. Kelce only has five games with 10+ FanDuel points and he went over 15 points only one time this whole season… it was Week 1. And don’t tell me he just needs targets. He’s had five or more targets in 12 games.
He is NOT who we thought he was. It’s Week 15. It’s time to accept that.
According to DFSReport.com, here are the three most rostered players from the Thursday night contests:
Russell Wilson – 23.7%
Blake Bortles – 9.4%
Cam Newton – 8.5%
David Johnson – 22.1%
Adrian Peterson – 19.9%
Lamar Miller – 15.3%
Doug Baldwin – 37.4%
Tyler Lockett – 14.9%
Jeremy Maclin – 14.7%
Sammy Watkins – 14.7%
Jordan Reed – 17.7%
Rob Gronkowski – 11.8%
Antonio Gates – 11.3%
Benjamin Watson – 11.3%
There may be only three more weeks left to win in the regular season, but then there’s the fun playoff slates, so don’t get too down in the dumps. Also, there’s basketball, baseball, etc. It’s like a treasure trove of spreadsheets and over thinking. Ha!
Have a great weekend. Good luck in Week 15!