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Week 8 NFL Daily Fantasy Football Tournament Fades: Drew Brees, David Johnson, & Gronk

Players to avoid in Week 8 DFS GPPs

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There are many elements to weigh when deciding to fade a player in GPPs. One is a bad matchup, one is a bad projected gameflow, another is when the rate of projected success does not surpass the projected ownership percentage.

In tournaments, having a 50% owned player who goes off and leads the position in scoring is a great guy to have in our lineups. But when our 8% owned player surpasses the value of the 50% player, we have an edge on 50% of the field.

FantasyDraft still includes the Monday Night Football game in their Main Slate, which FanDuel and DraftKings have excluded because they want us to get paid faster, which means we spend it faster. The scoring is full-PPR and salary cap is roughly double that of DraftKings, with pricing to scale. My favorite element of FantasyDraft: you can play two flexes.

Where we prefer to play on a site where pros aren’t putting in a million different lineups, FantasyDraft tournaments and 50/50s have a 30-entry limit per user, compared to the government-imposed 150-entry limit on FanDuel and DraftKings. The volume is really nice there, too, with $12k tourney for $5 per entry and a $100k for $25.

Sign up right now for FantasyDraft.com using this link, receive a 100% bonus on your first deposit, play four RBs or three TEs, and experience the more leveled playing field we desire for GPPs.

In this post are some simple assumptions on ownership and matchups to help you think about fading certain players in the FanDuel and DraftKings Sunday Main Slate.

Salaries noted are FanDuel/Draftkings/FantasyDraft.

Team Fade of the Week: Saints vs SEA

Drew Brees ($8.0k/$6.9k/$13.0k)
Mark Ingram ($6.2k/$5.0k/$9.9k)
Brandin Cooks ($7.2k/$7.3k/$13.7k)

Saints Over-Unders at Home
Week Opponent O-U Actual Total
1 Raiders" class="sbn-auto-link" data-sheets-value="{">Raiders 50.0 69
3 Falcons" class="sbn-auto-link" data-sheets-value="{">Falcons 54.0 67
6 Panthers" class="sbn-auto-link" data-sheets-value="{">Panthers 53.5 79
8 Seahawks" class="sbn-auto-link" data-sheets-value="{">Seahawks 48.0 ???


When Vegas decides to not only refuse to raise the total for a team smashing the over at home, but actually lowering the total, we have to take notice. In the previous two games, sharp money saw the inefficiency in the opening over-unders and we saw the total raise through the week. This week's Seahawks-Saints game is sitting still at 48.

The only needle moving is the spread itself, where the Saints are gaining a half-point or so, so maybe the sharp money tilting toward the Saints is reason to buy into Saints weapons this weekend. So, where?

The Seahawks are not the brick walls they once were, but they are still 5th in DVOA against the pass, 6th in fantasy points allowed to QBs, 5th in DVOA against WR1s, 4th in DVOA against the run, and are allowing the least fantasy points per game to RBs. Even if we want to adjust all of this for the Saints at home, in a ten-game slate on FD and DK and an 11-game slate on FantasyDraft, there are three games with higher totals: Falcons-Packers (52), Colts-Chiefs (50), and a pick in Tampa between the Raiders and Bucs (49).

Add the Panthers-Cardinals 47.5 O-U, the Patriots -6 against the Bills, and the Cowboys -4.5 hosting the Eagles, and the Saints could reasonably be in the bottom-half of scoring teams on the slate. Not saying they will be, but we adjust for the location because this is completely out of the range of possibilities under those other scenarios.

The biggest reasons to fade the Saints are not in their likelihood to fail, but the raised likelihood of others to be better at their positions, let alone within this same game.

Quarterbacks

Alex Smith at IND ($6.8k/$5.8k/$10.9k)
Brock Osweiler vs DET ($6.6k/$5.4k/$10.6k)

Smith is always a fade in GPPs for the same reason: no upside. This is a fantastic matchup for the Chiefs in which we want shares. The Colts are bad at everything and the Chiefs prefer to run. Indy is worst in the league in DVOA against the run and against TEs, while allowing the most fantasy points to RBs. Spencer Ware ($7.4k/$6.8k/$12.7k) is the best way to get the exposure on DK and Draft. Travis Kelce is the price of a punt-WR on FD ($5.7k) and a great way to pivot off of Jimmy Graham.

Where Smith lacks upside, Osweiler just flat-out lacks skill. As long as Lamar Miller is healthy and getting his 22'ish touches per game, the Texans seem comfortable minimizing their usage of Osweiler. The Lions are averaging seven fewer plays per game than Houston, so there is also the added risk of this being a paced-down game for Osweiler. Detroit has the worst DVOA against the pass, so cheap exposure to this pass game is desirable, but Will Fuller is the better bet ($6.6k/$6.0k/$11.3k).

Paying as little as possible for QB points is completely understandable, but the return of Josh McCown ($6.4k/$5.2k/$10.2k) is the way to do it this week against a Jets funnel defense (3rd in DVOA against the run, 31st against the pass).

On the fence with:

Aaron Rodgers at ATL ($8.8k/$7.5k/$14.1k)
Cam Newton vs ARI ($8.3k/$7.4k/$14.0k)
Jameis Winston vs OAK (7.4k/$5.7k/$10.6k)

If barns are getting burnt in Atlanta and we are fading the QBs in New Orleans, going to the 3.0-point underdog in the highest O-U on the slate in a dome feels obvious. The bellcow is on IR and the veteran handcuff is out, forcing a WR to become the primary back, so the QB should throw 50 times. The over has hit in six of seven Falcons games this season. The QB is Aaron Rodgers.

Rodgers is a top-two QB is pricing, which should suppress ownership. But there is value elsewhere. Russell Wilson has been down, but is cheaper in New Orleans. Cam Newton is down, but is about $1k cheaper everywhere than he normally is, at home, against a team that plays man defense, turning its back to the QB, begging them to run. Then, Winston's price is stupid at home against a west coast team with one of the league's worst pass defenses.

The Rodgers concern is the price leaving no margin for error. The Cam concern is that the great Zona defense adjusting well. The Winston concern is really just ownership. Full disclosure: I played Winston in cash for slates beginning Thursday.

Running Backs

David Johnson at CAR ($8.7k/$7.7k/$14.5k)
Ezekiel Elliott vs PHI ($8.5k/$7.2k/$13.7k)
Melvin Gordon at DEN ($7.2k/$5.7k/$10.7k)

Everything about Johnson says to just play him when he is under $9k and don't overthink it. He is guaranteed 25 touches with 30 40-touch upside, but Carolina is 6th in DVOA against the run and 10th against RBs in the pass game. Elliott has the same volume-upside and is a 4.5-point favorite at home against a below average Eagles run D.

These two are grouped together because Dallas and Arizona: (1) have the top-two offensive lines in terms of adjusted line yards (DAL - 4.52; ARI - 4.37); (2) both have yards per carry (YPC) far exceeding what the line is givng them (Elliott - 5.1; Johnson - 4.7); and (3) both have high odds to hit value every week against any opponent with that efficiency and volume. The problem is that Christine Michael is cheaper than Elliott on FD ($7.8k), Ware is cheaper than both, Devonta Freeman ($6.9k/$6.5k/$12.3k) is guaranteed 5-8 extra touches with Tevin Coleman out, and Devontae Booker ($5.6k/$3.7k/$7.3k). Deviating up to Johnson or Elliott is too cute.

Where does Gordon fit in? Johnson leads the slate in touches per game, Elliott is third, second is.... Gordon. Don't let that and his 3.3 YPC tempt you in Denver. Just don't.

On the fence with:

Jacquizz Rodgers vs OAK ($6.6k/$5.8k/$10.9k)
Ty Montgomery at ATL ($6.4k/$5.3k/$10.5k)

On DK and Draft where C-Mike's price is higher and Quizz-Montgomery get the boost over Booker in full PPR, Quizz and Montgomery are really hard to fade. The problem is picking whom to fade more than whether or not we want to play them. They will both dominate backfields in games with high totals at cheap prices. Quizz gets a million touches back there and Montgomery is a lock for 12-15 carries with 5-10 targets. On FD, fading them both is easier because of C-Mike's discount and Booker's lower price.

Wide Receivers

T.Y. Hilton vs KC ($7.8k/$7.9k/$14.9k)
Jordy Nelson at ATL ($7.5k/$7.2k/$13.6k)
Adam Humphries vs OAK ($5.0k/$3.0k/$6.0k)

Fading WRs in the three highest totals just happened by accident, but it happened. Hilton is a cautious fade because Phillip Dorsett and Donte Moncrief have chances of playing and taking his targets away. Jordy will be shadowed by Desmond Trufant, which matches up well for Trufant, who can slow down bigger, faster WRs. Humphries just is not in play because Mike Evans ($7.9k/$8.1k/$15.3k) is the Tampa offense.

Hilton may still get the 9-plus targets he sees every week, leading the league with 76 total targets. But Evans is facing the worse pass defense, has 75 targets, and Tampa is running 71 plays per game to Indy's 67. There is an argument for both on the full PPR sites, but we can save money on the other Green Bay and Seattle options.

On the fence with:

Larry Fitzgerald at CAR ($7.0k/$7.5k/$14.1k)
Jeremy Maclin at IND ($6.4k/$6.0k/$11.3k)
Randall Cobb at ATL ($6.8k/$6.4k/$12.1k)
Davante Adams at ATL ($6.6k/$4.9k/$9.8k)

The Panthers have been torched all year. No team is giving up more yards per game (YPG) to WR1s than them and it isn't even close (114.2). With injuries piling up and Carson Palmer's age forcing him to go to reliable options against a funnel defense, Fitzgerald is an elite play about whom no one wants to speak. The concern, of course, is that Palmer still thinks he is good enough to spread the ball around.

Maclin is tempting most on DK and Draft for the full PPR in the 2nd-highest total on the slate. He leads the team in targets, but only has 45. Worse, he only has two red zone targets. If Kelce or Ware is not on a roster, it is difficult to justify not rostering Maclin, for logic's sake.

Cobb and Adams are a question of where the ball is going to go. The Falcons are a funnel defense within their pass game. They are only allowing 52.0 YPG to WR1s, but over 70 in the slot, which is money for Cobb. But Adams can easily just get the bulk of the targets against other bad DBs. The decision between them and Montgomery is going to win people tournaments.

Tight End

Rob Gronkowski at PIT ($8.1k/$7.0k/$13.3k)

The position is so cheap. Guys at punt prices performing like top-20 WRs, so paying up for Gronk feels like a chump move.

On the fence with:

Gary Barnidge at CIN ($5.0k/$3.3k/$6.4k)

The gut says to go Graham or Kelce here because of matchup, but the return of McCown is exactly what could capture the magic of Barnidge's 2015 in this season. He is fourth among TEs in targets (40) with only one red zone target because the Browns suck. Against the Jets aforementioned funnel pass D, the TD regression in Barnidge's favor could come this week. On DK and Draft, this feels like an autoplay, but on FD, I struggle to go lower than Kelce for my KC exposure.

Defense

Eagles at DAL ($4.8k/$3.2k/$6.3k)
Patriots at BUF ($4.5k/$3.3k/$6.4k)

The Eagles are getting the sacks and INTs for shiny numbers, but Dallas is not going have the pass volume for that to be replicated. Similar can be said for the Bills, adding that instead of throwing into traffic, Tyrod Taylor runs, and instead of getting sacked, he passes the line of scrimmage. The upside is capped in both of these spots. Targeting Matthew Stafford in Houston on the road to throw a couple of picks, or even (gulp) rostering the Browns against Ryan Fitzpatrick are plays with higher upside:ownership ratios.

Stats via Pro-Football-Reference.com.