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.
Recency bias is at its strongest in Week 1. This is due to the fact that we’re all also suffering from the Primacy Bias (the phenomenon where we weight the importance of the first item in a series higher than the rest of the items). Together, this means that we take what happened in Week 1 much more seriously (as the truth) than we take what happens any other time in the season. Some Week 1 performances are representative, some aren’t. These guys are some that I believe will be overvalued for Week 2.
Snead caught every pass thrown his way (nine targets) in Week 1, which is not something we can expect every week from anyone. Add his $800 price bump and the fact that he’s facing the Giants and probably will be covered by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in the slot, and you have a fairly risky play coming off a great week. The key in DFS is to look ahead, not back and while I’m sure Snead will have more fantastic weeks in 2016, I don’t expect it to be this Sunday.
The rookie Will Fuller burst onto the fantasy scene, proving to be one of the biggest waiver pick ups in season long leagues and lighting up the value spotlight for DFS this week. While Brock Osweiler was able to exploit the weak secondary of the Chicago Bears, I expect the Chiefs to recognize and handle the dual receiving threats Houston now has. He also sees a significant salary hike on FanDuel and projects to me as a long shot to repeat his excellent debut this weekend.
The Detroit run game is not going to be as good as it was in Week 1 very often, if at all. Both Riddick and Abdullah were amazing, racking up three TDs and over 200 yards between them. While I’m not scared of the matchup here, Detroit is a team that beats itself—they have a hard time sustaining success. Two of the three RB TDs were through the air, so if you believe this is the new reality in Detroit, you can get a pretty nice discount on Matthew Stafford and roster more reliable running backs than Abdullah or Riddick.
You’re probably not considering Doyle or Richard but just in case, these are the definition of fluky Week 1 performances. The Colts travel to Denver to face a defense I’m not willing to write off just yet, and Latavius Murray is the only back I trust in Oakland. Check out the FanDuel Bargain Bin article I write on Wednesdays for some safer alternatives.
Thomas admits he’s worried about getting hit with his hip feeling the way it does, and as much as I try not to take too much stock in player comments, it’s usually because they’re going the other way. We saw with Sammy Watkins Thursday night that even when injured players play through the pain, they aren’t their normal productive selves. Trevor Siemian rolled out a pretty conservative Week 1, which should cue us to limit our expectations with Denver overall, at least for a few more weeks. I’m getting my Denver exposure via C.J. Anderson or Emmanuel Sanders, who is predicted to see the better cornerback matchup than Thomas anyway.
Both Sanu and Julio Jones are dealing with sore ankles, though it sounds like Sanu’s is slightly more serious. I think Atlanta will be a good source of fantasy points vs. the Raiders this Sunday, and it’ll be to Julio and Freeman that I’ll be looking for production. The thing with taking the overpriced but still cheaper WR2 that produced largely on a defensive fail in Week 1 and is now nursing an ankle (Sanu) is that you’ll quickly wish you had just fit in Julio instead.
Hilton is in Denver at less than 100%. That’s a tough place to spend on a player, even though his price is actually fair. The Indianapolis tight ends won’t catch all the touchdown passes, and Andrew Luck is still looking at Hilton (12 targets in Week 1) so this isn’t me writing him off for the season at all. But Denver boasted the best defense in the league last year and with Hilton dealing with something the team hasn’t released yet, I’m steering clear.
In Week 2, players with high projected ownership are Eli Manning, C. J. Anderson, DeAngelo Williams, Odell Beckham Jr, Danny Woodhead and Tajae Sharp. 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 (Saints in Week 1?). 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. I won’t be fading any of the players listed above.