NFL Week 1 DFS Fades: DraftKings and FanDuelBy Mark Dankenbring | Published: September 8, 2017 at 12:00 pm
Deciding which players to fade each week goes hand-in-hand with selecting the players you do want. We’re faced with tough decisions every week regarding who to plug into our lineup. Throughout the NFL season I’ll be here every week to help you with those tough decisions, listing players at each position that I’m fading for the weekend.
DraftKings and FanDuel NFL Week 1 DFS Fades at QB, RB, WR and TE
Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers): FD: $8,200, DK: $7,300 at Cleveland Browns
In this same matchup last season, Big Ben threw for just 167 yards and zero touchdowns. While I expect him to outperform that horrible game, I think the offense will run primarily through Le’Veon Bell. Roethlisberger’s road splits are also unfavorable, as he’s thrown 14 TDs against 17 INTs on the road in the last two seasons. He’s the fifth-most expensive QB on FanDuel and second-most on DraftKings. I don’t expect him to live up to those expectations, and think Bell is the play in Cleveland.
Drew Brees (Saints): FD: $8,600, DK: $7,200 at Minnesota Vikings
Brees draws a tough Week 1 matchup against a Vikings defense that allowed just two top 12 fantasy QBs in 2016. Willie Snead is suspended, Brandin Cooks is gone and Michael Thomas will be shadowed by Xavier Rhodes, who allowed the fifth-least yards per target last season, so the options are limited for Brees in the passing game. With a team total of just 22.2 and a tough matchup, I can’t pay up for him this week as the second and third most expensive QB on FD and DK, respectively.
Bengals Running Backs vs. Baltimore Ravens
Cincinnati will enter Week 1 with a crowded backfield, as Jeremy Hill, Giovani Bernard, and rookie Joe Mixon will all factor into the game plan. It’s unclear how the touches will be distributed, but it doesn’t really matter in my opinion. Baltimore allowed the fifth-fewest rushing yards per game (89.4) in 2016, and the game total is relatively low at 42.5. I’m going to stay away from Bengals backs until we see how the ball distribution shakes out, and don’t think they are worth rostering in DFS this weekend.
Leonard Fournette (Jaguars): FD: $7,100, DK: $5,700 at Houston Texans
I don’t think the Jags stand much of a chance heading into Houston on Sunday. The Texans will want to bring happiness to the city and a distraction from all of the devastation caused by hurricane Harvey, like the Saints’ emotional performance after Hurricane Katrina. Jacksonville is a 5.5-point dog and could end up playing from behind much of the game, particularly if Blake Bortles turns the ball over. The Jaguars averaged a dismal 8.8 points in the first half in 2016. Therefore, I don’t see the opportunity for Fournette to have much success on the ground, and T.J. Yeldon along with Chris Ivory will likely see more action in the passing game. Fournette will have his time to be rostered, but avoid him this weekend against the Texans.
Marshawn Lynch (Raiders): FD: $6,900, DK: $5,300 at Tennessee Titans
I expect great things from Lynch in Oakland this season, but not in Week 1 against Tennessee. The Titans allowed the third-fewest rushing yards per game (88.3) a season ago, and really struggled against the pass, allowing the fourth-most passing yards per game (269.2). I expect Marcus Mariota and the Titans offense to put up points, meaning Derek Carr will have to air it out to keep pace. At his price point, I much prefer Carlos Hyde ($6,800) on FD and Christian McCaffrey ($5,400) on DK.
T.Y. Hilton (Colts): FD: $8,000, DK: $6,900 at Los Angeles Rams
I certainly won’t be the only one telling you to fade Hilton this weekend. The Colts have averaged eight fewer points per game in Andrew Luck’s 10 career missed games. Hilton has scored double digit fantasy points in just half of those games, averaging 4.1 catches, 63 yards, and just 0.2 touchdowns per game in Luck’s absence. Indy has the third lowest point total at 18.8 points, so wait to use Hilton in a better matchup.
Odell Beckham Jr. (New York Giants): FD: $8,800, DK: $8,300 at Dallas Cowboys
Beckham hasn’t completed a full practice with the Giants in a couple weeks due to an ankle injury suffered in the preseason, but that’s not the reason I’m fading him this weekend. In his last four games against the Giants, Beckham has averaged just four catches and 61.5 yards per game. He’s only reached the end zone once in those four contests, so the upside really isn’t there for someone who is the third most expensive receiver on both sites. You’ll be able to roster him plenty this season, so no need to force him into your lineups Week 1.
Michael Thomas (New Orleans Saints) FD: $7,900, DK: $7,400 at Minnesota Vikings
Thomas finds his name on this list alongside his QB. He’ll be shadowed by Xavier Rhodes, who allowed just 5.7 yards per target last season, the fifth-best mark in the league. As a team, the Vikings allowed the third fewest passing yards per game and fourth-fewest fantasy points to receivers that lined up on the outside, where Thomas found himself on 87% of snaps last season. Amari Cooper is cheaper on both sites and in a much better matchup, so if you feel inclined to click Thomas’s name, just move a few spots down to Cooper.
Dez Bryant (Cowboys): FD: $7,800, DK: $7,500 vs. New York Giants
Bryant caught just two passes for 18 yards in two games against the Giants last season. He was targeted 14 times, so it’s not like Dak Prescott wasn’t looking his way. Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie still patrol the sidelines for the Giants, so I don’t expect Dez to suddenly have success against them this Sunday night. I would have some interest if Ezekiel Elliott was serving his suspension in Week 1, but I expect Zeke to see a huge workload as he’ll be resting for the next six weeks.
Alshon Jeffery (Eagles): FD: $7,000, DK: $5,700 at Washington Redskins
Josh Norman is expected to shadow Jeffery on Sunday. This same matchup happened last season with Jeffery on the Bears, and he finished as WR29. Per Pro Football Focus, Carson Wentz threw at Norman just three times in 62 passing attempts last season, so Jeffery likely won’t see much action come Sunday.
Jordan Reed (Washington Redskins): FD: $7,100, DK: $5,900 vs. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends last season, and Reed has failed to reach 40 yards receiving in five of six career games against the Eagles. A divisional game against an opponent that has held Reed in check in the majority of their contests makes him an easy fade for me this Sunday.
Martellus Bennett (Green Bay Packers): FD: $5,700, $4,100 vs. Seattle Seahawks
Bennett will face a Seattle defense that allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to tight ends a season ago. He’s making his Packer debut, so his chemistry with Aaron Rodgers doesn’t come close to guys like Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Davante Adams, and Ty Montgomery. He’s not super expensive on either site, but there are much better options at tight end this weekend. Zach Ertz, Delanie Walker, and Jason Witten all have better matchups and are around his price point, so avoid Bennett this week and plug in someone more reliable.