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 daily fantasy lineups. 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 2 DFS Fades at QB, RB, WR and TE
Marcus Mariota (TEN, FD: $7,900, DK: $6,400) at Jacksonville Jaguars
Mariota heads to Jacksonville to take on a defense that dominated the Texans in Week 1. While the flyin’ Hawaiian presents a tougher challenge than Tom Savage or Deshaun Watson, Mariota hasn’t fared too well against elite defenses in his career. He’s averaged just 185.8 passing yards per game against defenses ranked in the top-half of pass defense. But he’s in the top 10 of quarterback salaries on both sites, so I’ll happily go elsewhere with my QB money this week.
Cam Newton (CAR, FD: $7,800, DK: $6,500) vs. Buffalo Bills
I expect Carolina to pound the running game again this weekend as Newton continues to heal from off-season shoulder surgery. They’re currently seven-point favorites against a Bills team that allowed the fourth most rushing yards last season (133.1 per game). The former Heisman winner threw just 25 passes in Week 1, his fewest since 2015. The run-and-gun stud who led all of fantasy two years ago appears to have vanished, as he’s averaged just 12.6 yards rushing in his past eight games, with only one of those rushes resulting in a touchdown.
Jordan Howard (CHI, FD: $7,400, DK: $5,900) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Howard saw just 10 more snaps than rookie Tarik Cohen in Week 1. The Bears head to Tampa Bay as seven-point dogs, so game script should favor Cohen and the passing game once again. There are much better options around Howard’s price point (Melvin Gordon on FD and Dalvin Cook/Ty Montgomery on DK), so I’ll be avoiding Howard this weekend.
Todd Gurley (LAR, FD: $7,700, DK: $6,800) vs. Washington Redskins
While this isn’t a terrible matchup for Gurley, I’m not interested in paying a premium for a running back that has averaged 3.1 yards per carry since the beginning of last season. His Week 1 output was aided by a rushing TD and five catches for 56 yards (career high in rec yards). His involvement in the passing game will likely continue with Sean McVay at the helm, but he’s not worth a top seven salary on either site (7 on FD, 6 on DK).
C.J. Anderson (DEN, FD: $7,000, DK: $4,700) vs. Dallas Cowboys
You can tell by Anderson’s depressed price on DraftKings that nearly all of his scoring is generated on the ground. He faces a Dallas defense that allowed the fewest rushes per game (21) and fewest rushing yards per game (83.7) in 2016. I thought Anderson looked solid on Monday night against the Chargers, and while I’m excited to play him down the road, he makes an easy fade for me against a Dallas team that owns the clock and forces opposing teams to air it out.
Mike Evans (TB, FD: $8,500, DK: $7,700) vs. Chicago Bears
Almost all of the top-priced WRs have dream matchups this weekend (J. Jones vs. GBP, J. Nelson at ATL, B. Cooks at NO, A. Cooper vs. NYJ). While Chicago appears to be another one for Evans, the Bears have had success limiting WR1s under DC Vic Fangio.
Despite a lack of secondary talent, Bears have dominated WR1s since Vic Fangio took over. Their results vs wideouts priced over $7500 on DK: pic.twitter.com/HryVOqrvC5
— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) September 13, 2017
As you can see, Evans finished with just 10.6 DK points on four catches for 66 yards in this same matchup a year ago. Jameis Winston has more weapons than ever this season with the additions of DeSean Jackson and O.J. Howard, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Evans have an underwhelming performance in his first game.
T.Y. Hilton (IND, FD: $7,200, DK: $5,300) vs. Arizona Cardinals
Hilton will likely remain on this list until Andrew Luck returns (unless Jacoby Brissett and Hilton can establish some chemistry). We all saw how terrible the Colts offense looked in Week 1, and they’ll face a tough Cardinals D in Week 2. Hilton should see shadow coverage from Patrick Peterson, which doesn’t help his case at all. After failing to reach double digit fantasy points last week, he’s now reached that mark in just five of 11 games without Luck.
DeVante Parker (MIA, FD: $6,400, DK: $5,400) vs. San Diego Chargers
While I love Parker’s season-long value, I have no issue leaving him out of my lineups here in Week 2. He’ll face shadow coverage from Casey Hayward, resulting in Pro Football Focus’s least favorable WR-CB matchup of the week. The Chargers defense is just legit all-around, so I have limited expectations for Jay Cutler in his first game as a Dolphin. Pivot to someone like Chris Hogan (FD: $6,200, DK: $5,600) in a much better matchup against the Saints.
Kelvin Benjamin (CAR, FD: $6,600, DK: $5,600) vs. Buffalo Bills
(See: Quarterback – Newton, Cam). Benjamin enters Week 2 with another stellar matchup after disappointing us in Week 1. He caught just one of five targets for 25 yards. I believe the Panthers will pound the rock once again in Week 2, leaving Benjamin with limited opportunities on the outside. Sure, there’s a good chance of him seeing five targets against a weak CB in EJ Gaines, but I want receivers with more upside in DFS. I can’t wait to fire him up when Newton is fully unleashed, but will sit on him until that day comes.
Dez Bryant (DAL, FD: $7,600, DK: $6,600) at Denver Broncos
This is another lack of upside fade for me. The Broncos surrendered the fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers last season. Bryant has also had a history of struggling against top passing defenses. He’s averaged just 3.5 catches and 47.8 yards in 23 games against top-10 passing Ds. While I think he’s a fine touchdown-seeking play in season long leagues, I can’t get behind him in DFS this week.
Travis Kelce (KC, FD: $6,700, DK: $5,100) vs. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to tight ends a season ago. They upheld that reputation by limiting Jordan Reed to just 36 yards on five catches in Week 1. Kelce only contributed five catches for 40 yards in the Chiefs 42-point outburst against the Patriots, so we’ve seen that KC can do it without him as the focal point. While he should see between 6-10 targets, I can’t see him having a big game here. He caught only four TD passes last season so I can’t pay the lofty price (TE2 on FD, TE5 on DK) on him this week.
Greg Olsen (CAR, FD: $6,500, DK: $5,500) vs. Buffalo Bills
I can’t pay a premium for Olsen (TE3 on FD, TE2 on DK) when I think Cam Newton won’t throw more than 25-30 times. He also faces a Bills D that allowed the ninth-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends in 2016. I’m #teamfade on the Panthers passing game this week, and Olsen is just the next name on that list.
Denver Broncos (FD: $4,900, DK: $3,400) vs. Dallas Cowboys
The Broncos are the only top-tier defense I don’t have any interest in this weekend. They face a Dallas team that was third in the league in time of possession last season. Also, QB Dak Prescott has thrown just five INTs in his first 18 career games, while only surrendering 28 sacks in those games. Without turnovers or sacks, Denver won’t be able to do much in terms of fantasy scoring.