Renee Miller

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FanDuel Fades Week 17

Friday, December 29, 2017


FanDuel Fades Week 17

 

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 RB3 on the NY Giants. 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 17, I’m fading…

 

Alshon Jeffrey: The Eagles have nothing to gain or lose here, and while it’s understandable that they want the starters to get more time with Nick Foles, I’m not sure Jeffrey sees enough action to be worth the salary this week. He’s one of the highest priced healthy guys at WR, but it feels like 50 yards and a touchdown in the first half is his ceiling.

 

Marcus Mariota: The Titans need a win and more to capture an AFC wild card slot, making them one of the “safe” teams to target this week. However, they face a Jacksonville team that has been brutal to opposing QBs and WRs. Mariota’s salary has fallen below $7K, but he does have three single-digit fantasy point performances, two of those in the last five weeks. I prefer Jacoby Brissett in this salary range in a far friendlier, though meaningless, matchup.

 

A.J. Green: The Ravens are playing for a wild card spot this weekend, and if they get in, it will be on the strength of their defense, as has been the case all season long. Green is coming off a decent game vs. Detroit-his best in a while, but still not a good enough return for his salary. With Baltimore ranking as the fourth-most stingy WR matchup (in terms of fantasy points allowed), Green is a very low priority for me this week.

 

Kelvin Benjamin: I want to believe in the Bills making the playoffs this week for the first time in eons, but I just don’t think they’re there yet. Benjamin is clearly not 100 percent, and this isn’t a pass-happy offense. Yes, there’s a chance he catches two touchdown passes, but the odds are exceedingly low. Tyrod Taylor has more games with zero touchdown passes than two. As with the Titans pass game, I’d rather use players from teams that have nothing to play for in good matchups with higher implied team totals. It’s also worth noting that Miami’s defense ranks 28th in fantasy points allowed to wideouts this season.   

 

Ezekiel Elliott: Elliott was a fade here last week too, so I apologize for the redundancy, but I can’t use him this week either. I know the Cowboys claim to be playing for a strong, season-ending win against division rival and top seed in the NFC Eagles, but there’s no guarantee they get it. Part of Philadelphia’s success has been a strong defense, particularly a stout run defense (they allow the fewest rushing yards per game—75—and the second-fewest fantasy points to running backs).

 

Kareem Hunt: There’s no word on the Chiefs game plan for Sunday besides Patrick Mahomes starting, but they are locked into the four-seed, so I’m taking a cautious approach. Hunt has looked like his early-season self over the last three games, but I think he’ll fall short against a still-excellent Denver defense with an inexperienced rookie QB at the helm. It’s possible that Hunt plays enough to secure the rushing title (he needs just 13 yards and both Todd Gurley and Bell are almost certainly resting), but not much more.

 

Martavis Bryant: It’s looking more likely that Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell will sit this game out. It would be a miracle if New England lost to the Jets, which is what Pittsburgh needs to happen to secure home-field advantage through the playoffs. Bryant’s salary has risen dramatically, despite the fact that he has exactly one game—in Week 2—where his production justifies such a price. I doubt he gets there with the second string surrounding him, even against the Browns.

 

 

Injury concerns:

 

Melvin Gordon: Gordon really wants to play, but the ankle sprain he’s dealing with is not a minor one. If he’s ruled out, Brandon Oliver would be a popular play, but my strategy is to stick fast with Philip Rivers and the Chargers’ pass game this weekend regardless of Gordon’s status.

 

Michael Thomas: Thomas’ hamstring is still bothering him, and though he’s gotten in light practices so far this week, he’s still questionable. I think he plays and it’s a fantastic spot for him against the league’s most generous secondary (Tampa Bay) in a game the Saints need to win to host the Wild Card round. I’m using Thomas some, but also think Ted Ginn Jr. becomes interesting as the deep threat if Thomas’ legs are not 100 percent.

 

Dez Bryant: Bryant is not healthy and as with Elliott, I’m not buying the “end the season strong” argument. There’s simply no reason to risk an aging player in a meaningless game vs. a good defense. Bryant’s salary is not nearly low enough to even warrant tournament flier status in my opinion.

 

Marquise Goodwin: Goodwin is on the injury report but should play this weekend. The 49ers are having a nice end to their season, largely thanks to Jimmy Garoppolo and Goodwin’s chemistry. While Goodwin struggled vs. the Jags last week, he should bounce back in Los Angeles, especially with the Rams potentially resting defensive starters as well.

 

Jimmy Graham: Graham has been on the injury report, but should play. He hasn’t been effective in weeks, seeing a total of 10 targets in his last four games. Seattle needs a win here, and Graham did catch two touchdowns in Arizona earlier this year, but I’m using him sparingly in risk/reward tournament lineups only.

 

 

In Week 17, players with high projected ownership are Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, Derrick Henry, Dion Lewis, Malcolm Brown, Doug Baldwin, T.Y. Hilton, Vikings D/ST, Steelers 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. 



Renee Miller, Ph.D. is a neuroscientist and has been a daily fantasy sports fanatic since 2011. She is the author of "Cognitive Bias in Fantasy Sports: Is your brain sabotaging your team?". You can find her on twitter @reneemiller01.
Email :Renee Miller



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