It’s hard to believe that we’re already six weeks into the season, but here we are! There have been a nice number of breakout performances, but also an irrational amount of injuries. Unfortunately, injuries effect other player performances i.e. Antonio Brown. Some of these fades are based on situtations that may be outside of the player’s hands. Let’s dive right in a look at the injuries, opportunities, ownership percentages and matchups that put the following players on the fade list.
Josh McCown versus Denver - $7,000
McCown will be a popular contrarian play. I know that is an oxymoron, but let’s look at why McCown will be just that. He’s still cheap. Normally, if a quarterback has three back-to-back games with 300+ passing yards and multiple touchdowns, you jump on him at that price. Let me stop you: the Denver Broncos are too good for you to chase points and bet against them. They give up the absolute fewest FanDuel points to opposing quarterbacks AND wide receivers. They are weakest against the run, but they still only give up an average of 78.0 rushing yards per game. Some people will give you the line, “They lost DeMarcus Ware, so McCown won’t see the same pass rush as the quarterbacks before him.” Well… Ware’s fill-in is Shaquil Barrett, and he already has two sacks and two forced fumbles on the season. Don’t take this bait. The Denver defense is why the Broncos are winning games and if anyone is going to expose the Cleveland offense, it’s them.
Carlos Hyde versus Baltimore - $7,000
The most positive part of the San Francisco offensive performance last week was that they finally gave Carlos Hyde 20+ carries. Inexplicably, they hadn’t done that since his Week 1 breakout performance. The matchup is the reason I’m not playing him this week. He’s still a bargain if we simply consider his talent, but Baltimore gives up the 9th fewest points to opposing running backs. They’re just going to stuff the box and dare Kaepernick to throw. Normally I would say that daring a team to throw isn’t smart for the Ravens, who give up the 2nd most FanDuel points to BOTH opposing quarterbacks and wide receivers. But we’re talking about Kaepernick…
Demaryius Thomas at Cleveland - $8,300
Thomas hasn’t had a bad season, per se. Even in Week 5, he caught five passes for 55 yards. Not terrible, but certainly not worth $8,300. The fact remains that Thomas has yet to have a 20+ point FanDuel performance this year and I don’t see that changing this week against the Cleveland Browns. First of all, the Browns give up an average of 147 rushing yards per game, and although the rushing game in Denver has been practically non-existent, you have to believe that Coach Kubiak will try to get the ground game going in an easy matchup. This comes down to price. I’m not paying that much for a guy averaging 12.9 points per game in a struggling offense. If I’m going with any receiver in this situation, it’s Emmanuel Sanders. Sanders is averaging 14.2 points per game and will cost you $7,900. Clearly, Sanders is the better deal.
Antonio Brown versus Arizona - $8,600
Michael Vick. If you play season-long fantasy you’re very upset about the turn of events that has led you down the path of destruction. Poor Antonio Brown. Luckily, in FanDuel you can completely side-step this situation and simply not play him until Ben Roethlisberger comes back. Even a 50% healthy Roethlisberger can hit Brown down the field. Great news: Roethlisberger is practicing! He won’t play this week, but next week we can take Antonio Brown out of FanDuel jail and plug him into as many lineups as our hearts desire. For now, you can assume that he’ll follow the pattern of 45 or less yards and no touchdown to match the rest of his production while Michael Vick has been under center.
Jimmy Graham versus Carolina - $6,300
I raised a few eyebrows in the preseason when I predicted a 30% decrease in Graham’s total production. Ends up, I may have been too generous. There is a distinct possibility that Graham could score a touchdown in any game, but can’t you say that about a lot of tight ends? Tight ends that will cost you considerably less? The Seahawks give up a league-high average of 4.4 sacks per game, and this week they face the tough Carolina Panthers defense. They will need Jimmy to block. Well, they’ll need him to block as well as he can. Seattle does play at home, but this still doesn’t feel like a Graham breakout game that people desperately want to see. This is a run-first team. Sorry.
All of the Patriots
“Deflate Revenge Game” is all over your television. It’s on your radio. It’s in your paper. Your kid probably came home with a “revenge game” assignment from school. I’m telling you, everyone and their grandmother is going to play Tom Brady and stack the heck out of their lineup with every Patriot they can find. If you’re playing cash games, I’m all about playing Patriots all over the place. But it is extremely difficult for me to imagine a world in which the people playing Tom Brady & Co. will win the big prize. According to DFSReport.com Brady was only owned in 18.5% of lineups on Thursday night. That’s lower than the 25%+ he’s been getting, but I think the lower number for the Thursday night lineup will simply convince people that there is a backlash and more people will play him! And why do I think that? On Thursday night Dion Lewis was the highest owned running back at 20.7%, Julian Edelman was the highest owned wide receiver at 34.6% and even Rob Gronkowski is 10.9% owned with his $8,200 price tag. Patriots are on the mind. I think you need to get creative this week. I’m not saying Brady won’t score points. I can’t say that. I know football. But I AM saying that he’s an obvious option in a week filled with bargains.
Go out there and get creative. Find the deals and steals. Our own Renee Miller writes a great article each week with some bargain highlights.
The options are plentiful. Good luck!