Sorry, I have not been around to provide whimsical, overthought fantasy advice. I have been battling a pneumonia, which is as pretty as you can imagine. The research is thorough, but this content will be lighter, as I am still not 100%.
This is a week to be cautious. The value is unstable, the chalk is in price ranges with better plays, and Vegas is confused. Lower your cash volume, raise your tournament volume, but play cheaper. The variance will be strong with this one.
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, whichFanDuel 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 Game Fade of the Week: Falcons at Eagles
This game opened tied with the highest over-under on the board (49.5) and has risen to 50-50.5 along with the Cowboys-Steelers game (49.5 to 50) and the Broncos-Saints (47 to 49.5).
The Falcons are going to be paced down. They are running plays every 29.8 seconds to the Eagles’ 33.7 seconds. The game is in Philadelphia and projecting the pace to lean more toward the home team’s regular pace is best—especially when the road team is a dome team like Atlanta. Already, this is a downtick for the Falcons offense.
The Eagles are 19th in fewest fantasy points allowed to QBs, but have the best DVOA against the pass and the second-best against WR1s. Matt Ryan is boasting a league-leading 9.3 ANY/A and Julio Jones may be the best in the business, but they are not priced down to match these environmental downgrades.
Devonta Freeman is tempting in a slower game where Jones’ ceiling is capped. The Eagles are 25th in DVOA against RBs in the pass game, which is also huge for Freeman. But the return of Tevin Coleman in a paced-down game caps his potential volume, as well. The saving grace is that he is a safe price (7.0k/6.8k/13.7k) where we get a full PPR, but is an absolute no-go on the TD-dependent FD, where we can save money on the Saints timeshare in a faster game against a much worse Broncos run defense.
The Eagles should put up points, but good luck guessing from where they come. Carson Wentz looks great in a bubble, but with Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton, and Dak Prescott all under $8k on FD and Trevor Siemian in the same range on DK/Draft, Wentz’ risk of the game slowing down too much lowers his floor.
Desmond Trufant coming back for this game takes away Nelson Agholor, narrowing down the receiving options to consider. The problem here, again, is the price ranges. Jordan Matthews (5.9k/5.9k/11k) should be fine. Rishard Matthews has a similarly great matchup one of the most efficient red zone passing offenses and is far cheaper across the industry (5.8k/4.2k/8.4k). Playing both Matthews’ and paying up at RB and TE is an option, but we then sell ourselves short on how we stack our rosters.
If there is a place where we want interest in this game, it is Darren Sproles (5.1k/4.3k/8.1k) on the full PPR sites. He has dominated the market share in this offense recently. If we want exposure to this game without sacrificing value, go with the best bet on volume in Sproles to help us pay up at WR and TE and keep David Johnson in our core.
This game is not a trap. There are cash plays here. The higher ceilings in these players’ price ranges just make the pivot plays too easy.
EDIT: Within an hour of publication, Coleman and Trufant were ruled out. This makes Freeman a great full PPR play, but the Eagles more difficult to predict across the board, as Sproles, Matthews, and Agholor will see targets spread out and Dorial Green-Beckham
getting dropping red zone looks.
Carson Palmer vs SF (7.9k/6.5k/12.3k)
Marcus Mariota vs GB (7.4k/5.7k/11.2k)
The Cardinals are projected to score the most points on the slate against the worst defense on the slate of a team which allows its opponents the most plays to run. What’s the problem here?
There is a legitimate concern that Palmer is old and bad now. That Bruce Arians is in the survival mode with him that the Broncos endured last season with the aged Peyton Manning. When Arizona gets up big, does Palmer stay in? Will that matter?
Palmer has always had a turnover problem. In an easy game, Arians will keep it simple and let the RBs and WRs do the work, so let’s get our exposure to this game with the volume guys more likely to smash value in David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and maybe the value play of the week in J.J. Nelson (5.6k/4.2k/8.3k)
Mariota should be fine, but I don’t trust the 49.5 over-under as far as I can throw a medicine ball with my bad arm. He is too cheap to fade in cash on DK and Draft, but an INT-prone QB against a ballhawking turnover-chasing defense is the last thing I want capping my ceiling in GPPs. Again, on FD, Ben, Cam, and Dak are all under $8k, under 7k on DK, and under 13k on Draft. Don’t throw away your vote on the fourth party.
On the fence with Drew Brees vs DEN (8.2k/6.9k/12.9k)
I am of the mind that Brees can drop 350 and four TDs on anyone in NOLA. I am one of the last men standing on the island of few believing Sean Payton is not stupid.
Denver is 2nd is DVOA against the pass and 20th against the run. They have gashed on the reg recently via the run game. Payton attacked the funnel at home against the Seahawks a couple of weeks ago. 15-plus touches for both RBs can weigh down the volume Brees needs to smash value.
And, again, Ben, Cam, and Dak are all under 8k on FD, under 7k on DK, and under 13k on Draft. Brees may have a good game, but this is too much ground to cover for that good game to be the best game.
Ezekiel Elliot at PIT (8.9k/7.9k/14.9k)
The Cowboys offensive line is still the best in football, but they are regressing toward the mean a tad. Their once north of 5.0 adjusted line yards (ALY) has fallen to 4.45 in recent weeks. Also, the Steelers being 27th in fantasy points allowed covers up that they have an average DVOA against the run.
In a game where the Cowboys are on the road against one of the best home QBs in the NFL as underdogs, Elliott’s volume ceiling is not the 30-plus we normally project. This is why I throw Dak into the bunch I cannot resist and think is a legitimate consideration, despite his price range containing Ben and Cam.
Elliot’s price range includes Jay Ajayi and Melvin Gordon against worse run defenses with more guaranteed touches and Le’Veon Bell on the other side of this game, who has positive TD regression written all over him. Like Brees, there are too many players in better spots who need to fail for Elliott to be the best play.
On the fence with Ty Montgomery at TEN (6.2k/6.5k/12.3)
The answer to the following questions will win and lose all of the money this weekend:
- Can going all value at WR get enough points?
- If not, is paying all the way down to Sproles enough?
- If not, do we take a stand on one of the Saints RBs?
- If not, will Montgomery dominate the GB offense in Tennessee?
Randall Cobb will be back for all of Week 10, but Mike McCarthy has called Montgomery a three-down back. Is this the safest and best play? My lean is to take a stand on Mark Ingram. The only thing upon which I can firmly stand is that taking a stand on these questions here is the best play. Hedging is spending twice the money on half of the profits or worse.
Ignore the historical data and projections with these question. Play the more abstract logic game in this spot, as it will make or break your week.
Stefon Diggs at WAS (6.7k/6.2k/11.7k)
In cash, Diggs has the 8-plus catch projection on DK and Draft to be a must-play. In GPPs, the ceiling is too low, as he will have to do too much after the catch that cheaper options like Michael Thomas and the aforementioned Nelson and the Matthews’ guys won’t. The TD-upside in a game with a 42 over-under puts him lower on this ladder.
If you want to attack the average Washington D because Minnesota has an abysmal run game the points have to come from somewhere, just spend down to Cordarrelle Patterson (5.5k/3.4k/6.7k) with the better one-on-one matchup. Washington is 18th in DVOA against WR1s and 31st against WR2s. Patterson has more skills below the waist to make plays after the catch, if he gets them, at a far lower ownership.
The play being missed by touts which is baffling me the most is Doug Baldwin, who is cheaper on DK and Draft and only $200 more on FD. The Patriots are 26th against the pass in DVOA and only slightly better than Washington in DVOA against WR1s (16th). The Seahawks-Pats game on Sunday Night has a deceptively high 48-49 over-under, flying under the radar.
On the fence with Mike Evans vs CHI (8.5k/9.0k/16.9k)
The Bucs should have Doug Martin back, but not sure that matter too much for Evans’ volume. The problem here is paying for Evans when Antonio Brown (8.6k/8.9k/16.7) is the same price at home in a game with a higher total with Ben throwing him the ball all day. Not to mention, Rob Gronkowski (8.0k/6.9k/13.k) is cheaper than both and has a higher ceiling. Playing Evans, Brown, and Gronk kills us at RB, where we really want to spend, so the trade-offs make no sense.
That said, where Ben is faded, the pivot from the Steelers is Evans, keeping the same core of our Ben-Brown stacks. Cam-Johnson-Evans-Gronk may be a doable contrarian lineup with all of the value to be had at WR. Where we are fine with Sproles in our logic problem, this roster is possible.
Forget the fades. Just play Gronk or punt.
Don’t overthink this and get cute with Jordan Reed is probably the best advice on a fade.
On the fence with Greg Olsen (7.2k/5.9k/11.k)
Kelvin Benjamin is my go-to for Cam stacks, but maybe I am overthinking this and obsessing too much on having exposure to the Seahawks-Pats game. KC is below average against both WR1s and TEs and are far worse on the road than at home. Cam-Benjamin-Kelce is probably the go-to for a Cam contrarian stack, though. It feels so obvious, though, that I’m nagged that I am missing an obvious Cam-Olsen stack where we can go super-contrarian with Baldwin and Julian Edelman for the Seahawks-Pats exposure.
Cam and Benjamin are just too cheap to ignore, so they can’t be. Will they be ignored enough, though, that fading Olsen comes with the territory?
Texans at JAC (4.7k/3.8k/7.4k)
Playing a DST against the Jags and moving on is fine, but it ignores a spot that is underthinking the position. The Cardinals will face a worse offense with a scrambling QB (sacks) which runs the most plays, giving more shots for sacks and INTs, and therefore defensive TDs.
Where we want to save, leveraging against the chalk QB we have written off is the ultimate tournament play. The Packers are picking off every QB on a regular basis. Why not Mariota? All things being equal, Green Bay breaks the tie with Houston when ownership is considered.
If you really want to go off the board, the industry is silent on the Rams. The Jets are a complete disaster without a QB and Matt Forte may be incognito.
Stats via Pro-Football-Reference.com and FootballOutsiders.com.