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Week 3 FanDuel Tournament Fades: Make Space to Pay Up at RB and TE

Players to avoid in your Week 3 GPP lineups

Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

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.

FanDuel has changed their interface to not show the ownership of players until their games begin, so we no longer have a Thursday preview on which to gauge Sunday-Monday ownership. Early in the NFL season, there are a lot of DFS players going after name recognition and high over-unders, so those are simple ways to have a basic take on ownership.

Here are some simple assumptions on ownership and matchups to help you think about fading certain players in FanDuel tournments this weekend:


Against the Panthers, these are hard plays to make. Jerick McKinnon ($5,300) is at a punt price, but is too much of a timeshare with their passing downs back, Matt Asiata ($4,600). There is full PPR merit to Asiata for this reason because Carolina -7 feels way too generous to the Vikings, forcing Minnesota to throw more, which brings me to Stefon Diggs ($6,400).

Diggs has caught 16 of his 20 targets for 285 yards over the first two games. He can get the six- or seven-catch volume and the yards can be around 100, but scoring is really hard when Sam Bradford is your QB in Carolina. Diggs will be a fine value play in cash, but the ownership will be way too high for a guy playing the Panthers, for my liking. Scroll down and you see enough guys I love in the $6,200-$7,100 to find a lower owned pivot.


Andrew Luck, Colts ($8,700): No Donte Moncrief and the price makes the decent matchup with San Diego a trap. The Chargers forced three turnovers to the Jaguars in a deceptively similar passing attack. Any offensive line is an upgrade to the Jags, but Luck can be very INT-prone. Only one legitimate target to move the ball in T.Y. Hilton scares me off with Aaron Rodgers ($8,900) and Ben Roethlisberger ($8,400) in the same price range.

Luck should be fine, in a vacuum, to throw two TDs and rack up yardage. That said, it is very difficult to justify forcing ourselves to spend up past Carson Palmer ($8,200) or Philip Rivers ($8,000), bringing me to the next fade.

Marcus Mariota, Titans ($7,700): The matchup against the Raiders, who have been torched in the first two weeks, is going to entice too many. The Raiders are not very good, defensively, but Drew Brees in New Orleans and Matt Ryan are going make a lot of average and below average defenses look exceptionally worse than they are. The chances of this being a regression toward the mean game for the Raiders feels more likely than an exceptional game for Mariota. Don’t fall into the price trap.

If there were more caution in the fantasy ecosphere, having one Mariota lineup out of ten could be done, but this just doesn’t make sense. If we really want to target a shootout in this price range, we can easily just go to the aforementioned Rivers or a game I love way to much for my health in Jacksonville, where Blake Bortles ($7,900) and Joe Flacco ($7,600) feel like the obvious tournament plays.

Running Backs

Matt Forte, Jets ($7,500): Paying more than $8k for a RB is hard on FanDuel, but all of the options have merit. Forte is a trap after a great game against the Bills in Week 2. The Bills are worse than Forte is good these days. The ownership will be too high.

Melvin Gordon ($7,100) is cheaper and has the “only game in town” tag to dominate a backfield in what should be a high-paced shootout. If we are going to play chalk, Gordon is far more justifiable at a lower price tag in a better matchup and we can be contrarian in triple-stacking San Diego.

T.J. Yeldon, Jaguars ($6,600): On one hand, Yeldon’s disappointments could suppress ownership. On the other, the Jacksonville line, their pass-heavy red zone game, and Chris Ivory possibly vulturing goal line snaps and touches suppress Yeldon’s success rate too much. There is a far better play in this price range.

Charles Sims, Buccaneers ($6,300): Sims may be the chalk in this price range. Chalk that is hard to avoid because of cheap success rate. Love Sims for 20-plus touches to make him a must-play in cash, but Theo Riddick ($6,400) is also on an island in a backfield where he will be highly targeted. The matchup in Green Bay is slightly better than that against the Rams, Ameer Abdullah is on IR, and Riddick’s 60% snap count can balloon up to 75%, especially if Eric Ebron is also out. In a single entry, Sims is hard to fade, but it is easy to play both.

Out of five entries, two Riddick and two Sims with one playing both seems fine. I suggest playing three, five, nine, or other numbers divisible by three for this reason. There are too many nice options for whom to pay up to completely fade paying up this week.

Jay Ajayi, Dolphins ($5,700): The price is sooo good in a game where he should closeout a blowout at home against the third-string quarterbacked Browns. Even with Arian Foster doubtful, Kenyon Drake getting his share in a blowout and the Jarvis Landry-DeVante Parker show could be what scores the points. I mainly fear that Ajayi is not very good, which is why he has never had more than nine touches in a game. Maybe, we just made the case for Ryan Tannehill ($7,400).

Wide Receivers

Everyone over $8k: Paying up at RB and stacking WRs with Palmer, Rivers, Bortles, and Flacco can have us running out of space to pay up without forcing it. Allen Robinson ($7,900), Larry Fitzgerald ($7,600), Travis Benjamin ($6,900), and Mike Wallace ($6,500) give us correllation with those QBs and exposure to the other sneaky-big games. Randall Cobb ($7,100), Jarvis Landry ($7,000), Michael Floyd ($6,900), DeVante Parker ($6,200) all give us exposure to high scoring teams at savings.

Where we group Sims and Riddick, we should probably just take a stand on Antonio Brown ($9,500) or Odell Beckham, Jr. ($8,900) without hedging. Playing them both forces the need for too much value elsewhere. Splitting them up is way too passive for what should already be limited exposure. A.J. Green ($8,300) against a stout Broncos D and Jordy Nelson ($8,300) splitting up too many targets feel like much easier Kelvin Benjamin is a laughable $7,800 in a easy spot to fade Cam Newton ($9,200) without losing points.

Tight End

Play whomever you want here. TE is so cheap. Delanie Walker ($6,900) should be the chalk where people cautiously avoid Mariota, but enough lineups will be saving at TE where paying up for Walker or Jordan Reed ($7,500) should fit into lineups with all of the value on the board. Again, when fading Cam, Greg Olsen is fine at $7,800, but we then need him to outscore Reed and Walker, which feels foolish. A Kelvin-Olsen mini-stack in 10% of lineups is a sneaky way to get exposure to Cam, while paying up at RB1 and stack up the aforementioned QB-WR combos, in a game where we cannot really trust the Panthers rushing game.


Seattle Seahawks ($5,400): The 49ers are bad, but this is a trap. Chip Kelly’s pace with Blaine Gabbert under center screams turnovers to our guts. Gabbert’s INT rate is only slightly below average (2.5%) over the last two seasons.

As fast-paced as Kelly likes to play, the Seahawks can control pace, even when they are no very good, and Gabbert will need more volume to turn the ball over and give Seattle their value. This game could be a lot closer than the 9.5-point Vegas line suggests. A 24-13 implied score may be overrating Seattle offense and the pace of this game.

The Cardinals ($5,100) will be facing Buffalo without Sammie Watkins and the Panthers ($5,000) will face Sam Bradford and no Adrian Peterson. Playing Seattle here feels too cute. The Dolphins ($4,600) will be the MAD chalk, facing a third string QB on a depth chart so bad that Robert Griffin III were the first stringer. So, playing Seattle is contrarian, but so many defenses need to fail badly for them to be a decent play.

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