When setting your weekly NFL DFS lineups, it can be just as helpful to have an idea of whom you DON’T want to include as whom you do. Every Friday we’ll highlight a few players that you might want to fade. When a player appears here, it mainly refers to fading him in cash games. If you play in a lot of large field, multi-entry tournaments, you might consider just being underweight on these players relative to the field rather than not using them at all.
At this point in the season, this article gets really hard to write. Everyone is on a playoff caliber team, all the studs are worth rostering. It comes down to personal preference and lineup construction. So, I’ll give you the justification for some players that are not making it into the majority of my lineups.
Players I’m fading for the Divisional Round of the Playoffs include:
Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns
With so many quality options, this one should come as no surprise. Even though he’s as cheap as can be, Mayfield is too close in salary to Drew Brees, whom I prefer. For one thing, the Browns are 10-point underdogs on the road, and I don’t think their defense is going to bail them out as it did with Pittsburgh last week. I know Mayfield has had his moments this season, but think the Chiefs are going to dominate time of possession. The Browns are going to need some big plays from Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt to stay competitive in this game, and I believe they’ll hesitate to put it all on Mayfield even if they get down early. As a long-shot tournament play, ok, but most lineups should be Mayfield-free this weekend.
I think both receivers will be active and ready to play this weekend, and Jared Goff should be that much healthier as well. So this fade isn’t about injury concerns, nor is it about price, because all of the Rams are very reasonably priced. It’s more a preference for guys like Marquise Brown and Antonio Brown in their range. I just think the Rams, who are the lowest-scoring team left in the playoffs, will struggle against a rested and at-home Packers team. Not only because Aaron Rodgers and the gang will control the clock, but because the Packers Defense has only allowed more than 16 points once in their last five games. In that span, they recorded 17 sacks. A final reason that I won’t roster a Rams WR too often is that I’m fairly high on Cam Akers and for reasons given, don’t want to rely too much on the Rams this week.
Not only is New Orleans the absolute worst fantasy RB matchup, we are dealing with a time share situation that has frustrated DFSers almost every week this year. Last week, Fournette was clearly the guy, and an active Ronald Jones didn’t see the field. You’re gambling no matter what if you roster one of these guys, and it’s a low upside scenario. The Saints allowed 86 yards rushing vs. the Bucs in Week 1, and an almost unbelievable eight rushing yards in Week 9. I’m going to use some backs in time shares, like Kareem Hunt or Gus Edwards, but I have a reasonable idea of what the usage split looks like with those guys. This situation is a big avoid for me.
Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints
The last time I faded Kamara he had six touchdowns on Christmas Day. So fair warning. It’s just that if I’m spending up at the position this weekend, I keep going with Chubb. In his two games with Tampa Bay, Kamara has averaged about 50 total yards. He scored in Week 1, which was nice, and had enough short yardage catches to make his PPR fantasy lines palatable, but the Bucs have done a very good job of shutting him down. When you can get Chubb for $1100 (DK) or $800 (FD) less, do it. On Yahoo, they are a mere $1 different, making the decision to fade Kamara much harder.
Players I like, but who are expected to have high ownership this week include: Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes, Nick Chubb, Travis Kelce, Stefon Diggs, Marquise Brown, Packers D/ST, Chiefs D/ST. You might consider deviating away from this player pool and pivoting in large GPPs if you’re after a more unique lineup.