It’s a holiday bonanza!
Through the end of the season everyone will be bombarded with parties and obligations. We’ll be with our family and battle crowds almost everywhere we go. Great movies will come out. Terrible movies will come out.
But don’t let all of the hub-bub distract you. This is when FanDuel gets really fun!
There’s a lot of strategy that will go into this week and next week’s slate. Who is still playing for something? Will someone get pulled from the game to save them for the playoffs? To save them from further injuring themselves if the game is meaningless?
Paying attention to details will put you ahead of the pack. And knowing who not to play is just as important as knowing who to play. So here are the players that you should consider fading in Week 16.
Doug Baldwin versus St. Louis for $7,700
Last week I told you Doug Baldwin would be the one of the highest owned players and if you hate that, you’d want to fade him. And he was the No. 1 owned player in all of FanDuel at 35.8%. However, I said I wouldn’t fade him. Again, as I should state in this article every week, fading often is about personal strategy.
This guy is on fire. He’s scored 10 touchdowns in his last four games. He’s clearly Russell Wilson’s No. 1 target and this week he’ll face the St. Louis Rams in his home stadium. Even though the Rams started off the season strong against the pass, the have allowed a 20+ FanDuel performance to a wide receiver in three of their last four games.
HOWEVER, sometime between Sunday and Wednesday Doug Baldwin tweaked his hamstring. Right now he’s Questionable, and a game-time decision. And of course, his game time is 4:25pm ET. If you’re playing in those large 1pm ET tournaments you will risk playing a guy that may not play.
If you play in the later slates and it’s announced that Baldwin will play, then go for it.
Tom Brady at New York Jets for $8,800
Brady will do just fine against the Jets, but ‘just fine’ isn’t enough.
When you play a guy that costs $8,800 you’re looking for 20+ FanDuel points. At quarterback, you want closer to 30 points. That’s going to be hard to come by at the Meadowlands.
There are a few reasons for this, but let’s start with Brady himself. Over the last seven games Tom Brady has gone over 20 FanDuel points only twice.
The New York Jets give up the 11th fewest points to opposing quarterbacks. Brady stands on his own, so the matchup on face value doesn’t scare me. Also, those two games where Brady went over 20 FanDuel points over the last seven weeks? He played Denver and Philadelphia. A good and a bad matchup.
Really, it’s about the injuries. The only reason Brady’s numbers have gone down is because he lacks weapons. This week he may have his fewest weapons yet. Thankfully, it looks like Gronk is healthy as an ox, so Brady’s floor is secure. But the wide receiving corps is a mess.
Julian Edelman is questionable with a foot injury that has held him out since Week 10. He’s unlikely to play, but it’s a great sign that he’s practicing. Danny Amendola is also questionable with a knee injury that took him out of the game last week. It doesn’t look good. Brandon LaFell is questionable with a foot injury. He will likely play, but so far this season he’s only managed to catch 50% of his targets. Literally. There’s a chance that Keshawn Martin will get more involved with the game plan, but it’s safe to say this is a bad situation.
Chris Ivory versus New England for $6,900
The beginning of the 2015 season was fantastic for Ivory. He went for 20+ FanDuel points in three of his first four games. Double-digit points in six of his first eight outings.
Recently Ivory has lost touches (and FanDuel points) to fellow running back, Bilal Powell. While Powell has scored a touchdown in each of his last three games, Ivory has scored only one touchdown in his last six games. Powell is also a large part of the passing game with five or more catches in four of his last five games.
The Patriots are good against the run and give up the 11th fewest points to opposing running backs. The one way that backs have been productive against New England has been with the short pass. And as I pointed out before, that’s Bilal Powell territory. A bad matchup and a timeshare situation leaves Ivory in no man’s land and a risky play in a divisional game.
Julio Jones versus Carolina for $8,600
Like most of you, I’m quite tired of talking about the Odell Beckham Jr. and Josh Norman debacle. However, no one can deny that cornerback Josh Norman is a polarizing figure, can play defense, and will get under the opponent’s skin.
There’s been trash talk back and forth between Norman and Julio and even Roddy White. It’s ridiculous.
Julio’s price tag is a hefty one, and when these two teams met up two weeks ago he caught 7 of his 10 targets for 88 yards. That was 12.3 FanDuel points. And although that’s not terrible, that’s not the amount of production that we need from a guy that costs over $8,000.
Even after missing five weeks, Peyton Manning still lead the league with 17 interceptions. Sad. But Matt Ryan is No. 2 with 15 interceptions on the year. Josh Norman wants to feast on Ryan almost as much as he wants to mess with Julio Jones. It’s hard for me to imagine Matt Ryan forcing the ball to Julio Jones when covered and it not ending with an interception. That’s why I’m avoiding Julio in Week 16.
Larry Fitzgerald versus Green Bay for $7,300
Larry Fitzgerald hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 8. Since Week 10 his yardage numbers have decreased at an alarming rate. He hasn’t cleared 60 yards in his last three performances.
All of this coincides with his fellow receivers getting healthy, and getting hot. Both John Brown and Michael Floyd are lighting it up. Even though the Packers have given up the 10th fewest points to opposing wide receivers, Floyd and Brown are still upside options because both of them cost well under $7,000.
Green Bay is especially strong at defending the slot which will hinder Fitzgerald. Also, quarterback Carson Palmer dislocated a finger last week. He popped it back in during the game like a boss and he will play in Week 16, but look for him to lean on their emerging running back, David Johnson. They need Palmer to be as close to 100% in the playoffs as humanly possible.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins versus Chicago for $5,500
Last week Seferian-Jenkins scored his first touchdown since Week 1. That score salvaged his day on FanDuel because other than that he caught 3 passes for 29 yards.
And frankly, three catches for around 30 yards is all he’s done over the last three weeks. Over and over.
Since coming back from a shoulder injury, Seferian-Jenkins has not dominated in the way that many hoped he would. He’s dropping passes. He’s on a snap count. He’s making mistakes, committing penalties. If you watch the tape, it’s hard to get excited.
The Bears give up the 6th fewest FanDuel points to opposing tight ends. In fact, only one tight end has scored a touchdown on them since their Week 7 bye.
Tampa Bay has a green tight end paired with a rookie quarterback in a bad matchup. I’d look elsewhere.
The great thing about FanDuel is that you can almost justify playing anyone. Any bad situation can get turned into a “contrarian pick” and there’s always a chance for a holiday miracle. But please, please make informed decisions.
That’s my holiday wish for you.
Good luck in Week 16.