FanDuel Fades Week 5
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 Indianapolis Colts. 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 5, I’m fading…
Chicago WRs: Yes, I remember how good Mitch Trubisky was in preseason. This is going to be a different story, facing a Vikings defense that is not going to make it easy on him. I could see Chicago running the ball a ton with Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen to take the pressure off their talented rookie. As if the Bears receivers haven’t been maligned enough this season, allow me to pile on and say the entire passing offense is a fade for me.
Antonio Brown: There are three reasons to potentially go all-out on Brown this week. First is the Jaguars secondary, which is allowing the fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this season. Second is that Le’Veon Bell and the Steelers defense could easily dominate this game, rendering a pass heavy game plan unnecessary. Third, his salary. I’m spending up on running backs (e.g. Bell) which makes Brown a luxury I don’t trust and can’t afford in most lineups.
Alshon Jeffrey: Jeffrey will be shadowed by Patrick Peterson this week, a situation I tend to avoid. This game has a relatively high point total, so it’s tempting to want to stack it. The Cardinals are also very effective at covering tight ends, so I’m quite low on Zach Ertz this week as well. Fortunately, Eagles receivers Nelson Agholor and Torrey Smith are super bargains. As I noted above, I’m spending on RB this week, so I need these value receivers in most lineups.
Lamar Miller: Coming off a nice week after a disappointing start to the season, Miller ought to be back in the sub-10 fantasy point range against a Chiefs defense that has been pretty brutal to opposing running backs since Week 1.
Marcus Mariota: Listed as a game time decision, I’m doubtful on Mariota this week. He still hasn’t gotten through a full practice, nor fully tested the sore hamstring. While he should be resting it as much as possible leading up to Sunday, these are nonetheless concerning facts. What’s more, Matt Cassel has been working with the first string all week, so even if Mariota does start but feels a twinge of pain during the game, Cassel is ready to take over. It’s a fade for me.
Ty Montgomery: I suspect he’ll play, but you’ll want confirmation on that Sunday morning. This game carries the highest point total of the Sunday slate by far, and Dallas gives up the seventh-most fantasy points per game to running backs this year. Expect low ownership and a decent floor if Montgomery’s a full go. I’m not playing Davante Adams even if he is active. It’s partly on principle (I’m a neuroscientist) and partly because I can’t see him being overly involved this week even if he is active with a full arsenal of receiving options for Aaron Rodgers.
Jay Ajayi: He practiced in full Friday, so he should be a go. The Titans defense is arguably the worst in the league right now, so barring any negative reports between now and Sunday, play him at will.
Carlos Hyde: Hyde will also take the field Sunday barring a setback between now and then, but while the defensive matchup is fine (Colts allow the 10th-most rushing yards per game), the low total on the game and the overall impression of the 49ers as a team that doesn’t score much is concerning. I like him as a contrarian option, but don’t go too heavy on Hyde.
In Week 5, players with high projected ownership are Aaron Rodgers, Ezekiel Elliott, Todd Gurley, Le’Veon Bell, Davante Parker, Jordy Nelson, Steelers D/ST, and Jets D/ST. 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 popular 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 and don’t just go off who dominated the week prior.