DFS Fades Week 2
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 WR3 on the Miami Dolphins. 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’twant to roster as well as whom you do makes navigating salary decisions in the lineup construction process a little bit easier.
So, in Week 2 I’m fading:
Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears at Denver
When asked earlier in the week which Week 1 offense has me most worried, I didn’t hesitate to select the Bears. I’ve haven’t been a big fan of them for fantasy anyways, and I know Allen Robinson had a nice game in the season opener, but this is a defense and run oriented team. I hope they get the run right too, because they were a heck of a lot more efficient with David Montgomery on the field than they were with Mike Davis. Either way, Trubisky isn’t going to be a high volume passer most of the time.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota
I’m not giving up on Rodgers after a slow start vs. the league’s best defense, but it isn’t going to get much easier on him this week vs. the Vikings. The real key to this fade is the salary Rodgers carries – he’s the fourth- and fifth-most expensive QB this Sunday. Per ESPN’s Mike Clay, top receiver Davante Adams has been held under 70 receiving yards with one touchdown per game in the last three meetings between these teams thanks to Xavier Rhodes’ shadow coverage. Those aren’t terrible stat lines for Adams, but with no one else near Adams’ level for Rodgers to throw to, I’m not optimistic that Rodgers can meet his salary expectation this week. As a 2-for-1 fade, I’m also leaving Aaron Jones out of lineups this week (part usage, part defense).
Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh
I love Wilson, he’s just not finding his way into my lineups this weekend. I believe in the great bounce-back spot this matchup represents for Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers, and I believe in the Seahawks’ commitment to running the ball with Chris Carson. Yes, Carson caught some balls in Week 1, but the wide receivers other than D.K. Metcalf were nearly invisible. On a day where Andy Dalton threw over 400 yards, Wilson managed just 195 passing yards and the Seahawks won the game. There’s a chance for higher volume in a shootout with Pittsburgh this week, but I’m investing in the Steelers side of it preferentially.
Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis
He’s almost cheap enough to throw a tournament dart at, but is he? The Titans looked committed to Derrick Henry, Delanie Walker, and developing rapport with their young stud, A.J. Brown. Offseason favorite of mine, Adam Humphries, and Davis were left out in the veteran cold. He’s a potential bounce-back candidate, but the path is complicated by the fact that the Titans’ plan worked so well in the win over the Browns last week. There are better options than Davis.
Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos vs. Chicago
Sutton is deservedly getting some good press and hype as a possible breakout in his second year in the league. He’s good, and he’s good deep, which is great most weeks (like against Oakland). But against the Bears, don’t bother. The risk of a 2-20 game outweighs the reward of another 7-120 this week.
George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers at Cincinnati
I’m torn about including Kittle here, because I advocated for mini-stacking him with Jimmy Garoppolo for a cheap tournament combo against the Bengals earlier this week. If that’s all you’re doing, I’m fine, but as a staple of cash game lineups, I don’t trust Kittle at his price just yet (nor any SF receiver). We need to see more from Garoppolo and more about how the 49ers plan to manage games. Kittle had a good day, catching eight of 10 targets, but Garoppolo was so conservative that Kittle only totaled 54 receiving yards. More than any of that, there are just too many cheap TE plays this week that can produce in the same range for thousands less.
Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay
There are three concerns with Diggs. One is that the Packers new-look defense lived up to or exceeded the modest hype. They sacked Trubisky five times in Week 1. Kirk Cousins has been excellent against Green Bay in the past, but if this front seven is for real, I’m worried about his finding a rhythm. Second is the Vikings amazing run game and how much they intend to rely on it. Third, although Diggs isn’t on the injury report, those hamstrings still worry me. He may have been less than 100 percent in Week 1, though he caught both his targets, and muscle injuries are so easy to re-aggravate, as Diggs himself has shown us. No need to go here this Sunday.
In Week 2, players with high expected ownership are Patrick Mahomes,Tom Brady, Lamar Jackson, Chris Carson, Austin Ekeler, Sammy Watkins, Keenan Allen, Josh Jacobs, Darren Waller, Evan Engram, and T.J. Hockenson. 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.