DFS Fades Week 12
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 WR on the Buffalo Bills (or, rather, everyone is). 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 12, I’m fading…
Ryan Tannehill: There are high priced QBs I like and low priced QBs I like, and Tannehill, though cheap, feels impossible to trust. For instance, I’d rather start Eli Manning, Josh Rosen, Nick Mullens and maybe even Case Keenum over him this week. Moreover, the Dolphins WRs are questionable and underwhelming even when healthy, but the final nail is that I think Indianapolis is going to dominate time of possession. Capable of sustaining long drives and with both the run game and pass game poised to keep rolling, the Colts are ready to beat the spread this week.
John Brown/Michael Crabtree: So, Baltimore gets a delightful matchup with Oakland, at home, and Lamar Jackson says he’s going to throw the ball more. Those are reasons to consider these two WRs, but when it comes down to it, they aren’t making it into my Sunday lineups. They shared four targets in Week 11, and Willie Snead looked like the pass-catcher Jackson was most comfortable with. We can also expect another healthy dose of the run game -- fingers crossed, with Gus Edwards (Alex Collins was a limited practice participant, but seems to be at least somewhat bothered by his foot still).
Rob Gronkowski: It’s always news when Gronk returns, and he’s a tough player to fade given that I think New England comes out hungry in this game after being embarrassed by the Titans on MNF. However, with Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, and James White holding down the fort and gobbling up double-digit targets, I think Tom Brady will treat Gronk as a secondary option. I see a 4/50 game from the former star TE, and he simply costs too much for that level of return when Zach Ertz and George Kittle are steadily out-producing him.
All the Jets, Bills and Jaguars (except Leonard Fournette and the two D/STs): In what Vegas has as the lowest point total of the week, we get two awful offenses and very good defenses. The Bills D/ST made the bargain column this week thanks to their significant discount from the Jaguars, but I think both units should be owned this week. Any hopes that Josh Allen can do anything positive for the Bills have to be tempered as he returns from a six-week absence to face the formidable Jags pass defense. As far as the Josh McCown-led Jets, it’s sort of anyone’s guess where the fantasy points end up, if there are any. With no obvious ringer there, I can find high upside bargains from any number of other teams.
Melvin Gordon: I will be heartbroken if Gordon can’t play this week. Of course the Chargers should do whatever is in his best interest health-wise as they gear up for a playoff run, but this is such a great matchup for Gordon (Arizona is top 4 in fantasy points to RBs). If Gordon does miss the game, Austin Ekeler is essentially a must play.
Doug Baldwin: Baldwin doesn’t look good to me. Not practicing all week with the injury history he has from earlier this season doesn’t bode well. That makes Tyler Lockett a super interesting option at $6300 (FD) or $5200 (DK), as well as David Moore for even less ($3700 on DK).
Sony Michel: Michel looks ready to play despite his questionable tag on Sunday, and like I already said, I think the Patriots come out to score 40 points this week. Monday Night Football was a bad look for them and they’ve had two weeks to stew over it. I see a big game for Michel and at least some of the passing game (as above).
A.J. Green:Definitely one to keep an eye on, but I’d be surprised if he plays. The Browns’ inconsistent defense just held the Falcons in check last week, but that may say more about the Falcons… At any rate, Tyler Boyd and Joe Mixon are the Bengals I want this week, but I prioritize Nick Chubb the most from this game.
Devin Funchess: Labeled doubtful heading into the weekend, Funchess’ absence would make D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel interesting bargain plays. Moore is already coming off a breakout game, and Samuel is too, except that his 5-55-1 game was overshadowed by Moore’s 7-157-1 monster in Week 11.
In Week 12, players with high expected ownership areMike Evans, Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Cameron Brate, Matt Breida, George Kittle, and Jaguars 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.