DFS 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 WR3 on the Miami Dolphins. 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 3 I’m fading:
Of all the QBs to be out this week, I think Brees is the most impactful for his teammates. Teddy Bridgewater has played only sporadically over the years, and the team claims Taysom Hill will be involved. The Saints are on the road, which is always a minor enthusiasm dampener, but they’re in Seattle, of all places. It’s hard for any opponent to find a rhythm there, and with two backup QBs shifting in and out…I don’t think these Saints are going to meet salary expectations.
LeVeon Bell, New York Jets vs. New England
How brutal has the Patriots Defense been this season? Even against Miami and Pittsburgh, it’s scary. Now they get the Jets, who have lost two QBs in a week, and are huge home underdogs, with just a 10.5 implied team total (per MyBookie). This is probably going to be a gross game, and I’m using the Pats D/ST in pretty much every lineup, so Bell, even at a pretty reasonable salary and being the one bright spot on this offense, isn’t making it into my rosters.
Andy Dalton has thrown for 729 yards this season, second most behind Patrick Mahomes, of course. That’s pretty incredible, and it came against Seattle and San Francisco. Buffalo’s pass defense is way above them, however, and I expect Dalton to have hands in his face, batted balls, interceptions, maybe a fumble? Not good. And if Dalton doesn’t have time to throw, Boyd and Ross, in particular, are going to struggle mightily to reach value. The Bengals have one of the lowest implied totals of the week (19.5 points, per MyBookie).
LeSean McCoy, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Baltimore
Running on Baltimore is a fool’s errand, and when you’re old and banged up like McCoy, it’s darn near futile. Now, McCoy has looked much better than Damien Williams with a similar workload, though it was Williams scored in Week 1. Though both Chiefs back have been on the injury report, McCoy is in line to play this weekend while Williams is newly ruled out. This is a game I love, but I’m targeting both passing offenses and fading the running backs entirely.
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants at Tampa Bay
To be honest, I do have Barkley in two tournament lineups that are Giants stacks, but I’m more bearish than bullish in general. Tampa Bay, allowing the second-fewest fantasy points to running backs so far, has held the San Francisco running backs and Christian McCaffrey in serious check. In both cases, when not playing against the Bucs, McCaffrey and Matt Breida looked great. It’s an extremely small sample size, but it’s worth noting at Barkley’s price this week. Also, I tend to think Daniel Jones is going to be more aggressive than Eli Manning was, and that the team will want to see if they can rely on its pass game. Evan Engram is my favorite play here, but with Sterling Shepard getting back on track and in line to play Sunday, he’s intriguing too.
In Week 3, players with high expected ownership are Patrick Mahomes,Lamar Jackson, Dalvin Cook, Austin Ekeler, Sammy Watkins, Marquise Brown, Mark Andrews, Evan Engram, and Patriots 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.