FanDuel Fades Week 3
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 WR4 on the LA Rams. 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 3, I’m fading…
DeMarco Murray: Not only an injury concern, but also facing the Seahawks defense this weekend, and Murray has been a non-factor so far this season. This trifecta of doom makes Murray an easy fade this weekend. Unfortunately, this was an obvious trajectory, and back-up Derrick Henry is just $100 cheaper than Murray in the same bad matchup. I’m also not rushing to load up on Henry with better value plays at RB this week.
Odell Beckham Jr.: Clearly not 100 percent, OBJ is too expensive for me this week. With a porous offensive line and Eli Manning playing at the lower end of his spectrum so far this season—likely due in part to both Beckham’s injury and his poor line—I’m fading all of the Giants this week, and in fact wrote up the Eagles D/ST in my Bargain Bin article earlier in the week.
Mike Evans: Evans is in line to see a significant amount of Minnesota corner Xavier Rhodes, who was effective in limiting Michael Thomas and Antonio Brown in consecutive games. While Evans and his 9-11 targets per game plus frequent red zone looks is one of my favorite players, at $8600 I’m sitting this week out. I can envision a scenario where the Vikings defense is on the field for most of the game without Sam Bradford, tiring Rhodes to the point of ineffectiveness, but even in that case, will Jameis Winston need to air it out to Evans? I think Evans will be fine this week, but lacks the upside to win tournaments given his price and game flow expectation.
Jordan Howard: Off the injury report, but still likely to be inhibited by both the Steelers defense and Tarik Cohen, Howard is a tough sell in a range including Ty Montgomery, C.J. Anderson, Christian McCaffrey and Mike Gillislee this week. I expect all four to receive more volume and easier sledding than Howard.
Mark Ingram: This fade is less about the time share Ingram finds himself in with Adrian Peterson (not a factor) and Alvin Kamara, and more about the Panthers run defense, which stifled LeSean McCoy last week. In addition, the Saints haven’t been so successful through the air this season either, which hampers the run game even more as it’s caused them to be playing from behind in consecutive games. Use Ameer Abdullah or Lamar Miller in a similar price range but better opportunity.
LeSean McCoy: I mentioned McCoy’s struggles in Carolina last week; it’s not likely to improve in Denver this Sunday. His best hope is to be a factor in the short passing game again, but my expectations are low for the fifth-most expensive running back on FanDuel.
Cam Newton: Will play vs. New Orleans, which means he’s a definite consideration for DFS lineups, especially tournaments. He’s an interesting alternative to the super-popular Derek Carr, who is priced just $300 higher and will be much higher owned in Washington on Sunday.
Melvin Gordon: Worrying because he’s a late addition to the injury report, it sounds like Gordon will play Sunday. The Chiefs have been one of the better all around defenses in the league though not formidable against the run. Gordon has been solid in both of the Chargers first two games, but until I hear more about his knee, I’m limiting my exposure somewhat.
Randall Cobb: Trending toward a game time decision, Cobb doesn’t need to practice in order to play, but it’d be nice to see him get through a session before trusting him this Sunday. With Jordy Nelson’s injury being nothing but a Charlie horse, he and Davante Adams are the Packers receivers I’m targeting in a game in which Aaron Rodgers could easily throw four touchdowns.
Jordan Reed: Already dealing with multiple injuries, Reed is also looking like a game time decision. While he’s been a big disappointment given his price or ADP in season-long leagues so far, the matchup with Oakland is one that begs for redemption. He’s worth a tournament lineup spot if he’s a go on Sunday, but you can find more trustworthy alternates in cash games, remembering that he’s the kind of player who could start but leave after one series with a painful tweak of his ribs, shoulder, or even foot.
In Week 3, players with high projected ownership are Matt Ryan, Derek Carr, Kirk Cousins, A.J. Green, Rob Gronkowski, Michael Crabtree, Terrelle Pryor Sr., Ty Montgomery, Ameer Abdullah, LeVeon Bell, Jarvis Landry, Jack Doyle, Denver D/ST, New England D/ST, and Pittsburg 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 and don’t just go off who dominated the week prior.