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 football lineups. Throughout the NFL season I’ll be here every week to help you with those tough decisions, reviewing players at each position that I’m fading for the weekend.
DraftKings and FanDuel NFL Week 4 DFS Fades at QB, RB, WR, and TE
Ben Roethlisberger (PIT, FD: $7,800, DK: $6,000) at Baltimore Ravens
Big Ben has become a good bet to make this list when he’s slated for a road matchup. That’s because he’s finished as a QB1 just twice in his last 20 early start games on the road (1:00pm ET games). Not only that, but Roethlisberger hasn’t had great fantasy success against the Ravens in his career. He’s never surpassed 300 yards passing against Baltimore. Big Ben sports just a 9:12 TD:INT ratio in nine career games against the purple division rival. Why expecting those numbers to change this week against a defense that’s allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to QBs through three weeks?
Derek Carr (OAK, FD: $7,900, DK: $5,800) at Denver Broncos
We see Carr priced down on DraftKings due to the matchup, but he’s still not cheap enough for me to roster him against a tough Broncos defense. The fourth-year QB has struggled against the No Fly Zone in his young career, finishing as QB22 or worse in four of five meetings, with his best performance being a QB17 finish. He had a much friendlier matchup in Week 3 against Washington, but managed just 118 yards on 19-31 passing. Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree will see even tougher coverage this week lining up against Aqib Talib, Chris Harris Jr., and Bradley Roby. Denver has been more vulnerable against ground games than through the air. Carr’s an easy fade for me this weekend, especially on FanDuel where he’s priced as the QB6.
Melvin Gordon (LAC, FD: $7,500, DK: $7,000) vs. Philadelphia Eagles
After seeing 23 touches in Week 1, Gordon received 33 combined in the next two games. He’ll now face an Eagles defense that has allowed the fifth-fewest rushing yards to opposing running backs with just 164. He missed practice Wednesday with discomfort in the same knee that was surgically repaired in his rookie season. He played on just 42% of the snaps against Kansas City last Sunday, so I’m not optimistic about his workload increasing against a tough rush defense. Philly has been much more susceptible to the passing game, as they’ve allowed 266 passing yards per game (eighth-most) and have surrendered five passing touchdowns through three weeks. Philip Rivers has averaged 37.3 passing attempts per game, so I expect the Chargers to attack Philly through the air, leaving Gordon as a fade.
Carlos Hyde (SF, FD: $6,800, DK: $6,600) at Arizona Cardinals
Hyde has been great through three weeks of the season, currently sitting at RB6 in fantasy. I’m less optimistic about his performance this Sunday, as he’ll square off against a Cardinals defense that’s allowing just 2.8 yards per carry this season, third-best in the NFL. They were tops in that category a season ago as well and held Hyde to just 14 yards on 13 carries in Arizona last season. The fourth-year back has struggled with injuries in his career (missed 14 games) and was limited in practice on Wednesday with a hip injury he suffered in last Thursday’s game against the Rams. This just isn’t a matchup I’m interested in targeting at all considering the circumstances, so I’ll be fading Hyde this weekend.
Amari Cooper (OAK, FD: $7,500, DK: $6,000) and Michael Crabtree (OAK, FD: $7,400, DK: $6,200) at Denver Broncos
This double fade is a companion to the Derek Carr fade. Cooper and Crabtree have combined for just one touchdown in four career games against the Broncos. Cooper has caught just 14 of 28 targets for 142 yards in his four career matchups, while Crabtree (as a Raider) has reeled in just over half of his targets (15 of 28) for 147 yards in his four matchups against Denver. There just seems to be no upside for these two in this matchup, so I’ll happily fade them this weekend and find production elsewhere.
Mike Evans (TB, FD: $7,900, DK: $7,400) at New York Giants
Evans finds himself with a suffocating CB matchup for the second week in a row after taking on Xavier Rhodes in Minnesota. He’ll now face Janoris Jenkins and the Giants’ secondary. The G-Men have been stingy against top WRs since the beginning of last season, allowing just three WR1 performances in that stretch. They’ve held Dez Bryant, Golden Tate and Alshon Jeffery to quiet fantasy weeks this season, as they finished as WR48 or below in their respective matchups. Evans will still be a constant target for Jameis Winston after seeing 21 targets in two weeks, but I don’t see much upside here for a WR priced in the top 10 on both sites. There will be plenty of weeks to fire up Evans as a solid WR1, I just don’t think this is one of those.
Pierre Garcon (SF, FD: $6,600, DK: $5,500) at Arizona Cardinals
It will be a tough week for Garcon as he’ll be shadowed by stud corner Patrick Peterson. The Niners’ offseason WR addition performed well against the Panthers and Rams, catching 13 passes for 223 yards, but he struggled in a tougher matchup against the Seahawks, hauling in just three of five targets for 26 yards. I expect this week will resemble the Seattle matchup, as Peterson held Dez Bryant to just two catches for 12 yards on Monday Night (although Dez did impressively muscle and YAC his way into the end zone). Brian Hoyer isn’t the kind of quarterback that can overcome a tough matchup and force-feed Garcon to a successful fantasy week, so it’s best to just avoid him in this spot.
Sammy Watkins (LAR, FD: $7,200, DK: $5,900) at Dallas Cowboys
I’m not sold on the idea that Watkins will be a big part of the Rams offense moving forward. He had seen seven targets all season before hauling in six of seven in Week 3 for 106 yards and two scores. He’s still pretty expensive on FanDuel as the WR16, and even though he’s cheaper on DraftKings, he doesn’t offer the catch volume that we like to see out of our receivers in the PPR format. It’s a solid matchup against a defense that’s allowed the 12th-most points to opposing wide receivers thus far, but I expect Zeke Elliott and the Cowboys to dominate the possession in this game. If Watkins is able to break out on the few amount of targets he sees I’m okay with that, but I’m not optimistic that will happen after he caught just 7 passes for 88 yards in Weeks 1 and 2.
Delanie Walker (TEN, FD: $6,500, DK: $4,900) at Houston Texans
The Texans have consistently held Walker in check in their nine career matchups. He’s averaged just 3.5 catches for 30.4 yards in those meetings and has reached the end zone only twice. He’s struggled when the games are in Houston even more, surpassing two catches in just one of five opportunities and eclipsing 35 yards receiving just once as well. Houston still brings a powerful pass rush so I don’t see why this matchup would magically change things for Walker, so I won’t be including him in any lineups come Sunday.
Jason Witten (DAL, FD: $5,700, DK: $5,000) vs. Los Angeles Rams
Dak Prescott shouldn’t have to feature Witten much this weekend against the Rams, as the offense should run through Ezekiel Elliott. It’s also not an ideal matchup for Witten, as the Rams have allowed just 111 yards (fifth-fewest) to opposing tight ends this season after allowing the fifth-fewest fantasy points to the position a season ago. He was held to just one catch for three yards against Arizona, and has a solid chance to bust once again as a top eight priced tight end on both sites. Prescott will look to Witten plenty throughout the season, but I can easily fade him this weekend against the Rams.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (FD: $4,800, DK: $3,400) at New York Giants
Tampa Bay had a huge week in their first game against the Bears, but got destroyed by Case Keenum and the Vikings in Week 3. They’ll now head to New York to face a Giants offense that scored more than 20 points for the first time since Week 12 last season. Eli Manning was able to exploit Philly’s beat up secondary and throw for 366 yards and three TDs, and I like his chances of having a solid performance once again this weekend. Tampa Bay will likely be without some of their key defenders, as Lavonte David suffered a medial ankle sprain in Week 3 and stud DT Gerald McCoy left the stadium in a boot. The Giants should be able to find success if they can protect Eli in the slightest, so I’m not interested in paying a premium for the banged up defense.