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 7 DFS Fades at QB, RB, WR, TE, and D/ST
Jameis Winston or Ryan Fitzpatrick at Buffalo Bills
Naturally, this is a tough spot for either quarterback on the road. The Bills currently rank third in DVOA against the pass and have surrendered just two touchdown passes on the season, the fewest in the NFL. They’ve allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks and will be completely fresh coming off their bye. If Winston plays, he’ll be powering through an injured AC joint in his throwing shoulder, something we can’t be optimistic about for production purposes. If Fitzpatrick plays, the Bills will be able to feast on a turnover-prone quarterback who hasn’t received all the first-team reps in practice. Neither suit my fancy this week.
Carson Palmer (ARI, FD: $7,000, DK: $6,600) at Los Angeles Rams
We’ve seen Palmer string together some solid outings recently, as he’s tallied at least 15 fantasy points in five consecutive games. He’ll have a relatively tough matchup on the road against a Rams’ defense that’s currently sixth in DVOA against the pass. They’ve allowed under 15 points per game to the position and are much more vulnerable against the run (most points allowing to opposing running backs). We saw Palmer’s passing attempts dip all the way down to 22 last week after averaging 44.6 through five weeks now that Adrian Peterson is in the backfield, a trend that is likely to continue this week. I don’t much upside to Palmer this week, making him a fade for me at the QB position.
Jordan Howard (CHI, FD: $6,800, DK: $6,400) vs. Carolina Panthers
The former Indiana Hoosier piled up 167 rushing yards on 36 carries in Week 6. He’ll face a much stouter run defense in the Panthers, who have allowed the fifth-fewest rushing yards per game (83.3) and the eighth-fewest fantasy points to opposing RBs. My reasoning to fade Howard goes a little deeper than just those numbers, however. He’s caught just three passes in the last three weeks, so his upside is limited compared to other dual-threat backs. Also, after exploding for 164 yards in Week 3, he posted just 73 total yards the next week. I think he’ll see a negative regression this weekend, and could easily see fewer than 20 touches if Carolina builds up any sort of lead and Chicago is forced to throw.
New York Jets Running Backs at Miami Dolphins
This backfield situation continues to get even more complicated, as Bilal Powell, Matt Forte, and Elijah McGuire look like they’ll all be active this Sunday. Beyond just the split duties, these three will face a defense ranked 2nd in DVOA against the run. The recipe for success is to throw against Miami, as they’re currently 28th in DVOA against the pass. I’ll let other players throw darts at these three and use my salary and exposure elsewhere.
Christian McCaffrey (CAR, FD: $6,800, DK: $6,100) at Chicago Bears
The rookie sensation out of Stanford is coming off his best game of the season as he hauled in 10 passes for 56 yards and a touchdown. McCaffrey has become completely reliant on his receiving output, as he’s seen just 17 carries over the last four weeks. He’ll head on the road to take on a Bears defense that’s allowed the ninth-fewest receiving yards (198) to opposing RBs this season. McCaffrey has struggled on the road this season, failing to reach 40 receiving yards in any game. I don’t see the upside in this matchup, making him a calculated fade for me this weekend.
Los Angeles Chargers Receivers vs. Denver Broncos
Denver’s secondary remains as stingy as ever, while the Chargers’ receiving options are growing by the week. The Broncos have allowed the fourth-fewest receptions and second-fewest receiving yards to opposing WRs thus far. In their Week 1 matchup, no Chargers’ receiver caught more than five passes or accumulated more than 55 receiving yards. Now with first-round pick Mike Williams in the picture, finding a WR to lock onto this week becomes even more difficult. Denver was embarrassed at home by the lowly Giants last Sunday, so I expect them to come out with high intensity and passion against a division rival.
Antonio Brown (PIT, FD: $9,300, DK: $8,900) vs. Cincinnati Bengals
It’s always a tough sell when fading the game’s best WR, but we have to take some unpopular stands throughout the season if we want to win some money. Cincinnati has allowed the fewest receptions to opposing WRs with just 39, leading to the fifth-fewest fantasy points surrendered to the position. Also, Brown has been held in check by the Bengals in his career, surpassing 100 yards just twice in 13 career regular season matchups (both outings came in 2014). The Bengals seem to have the recipe for holding Brown in check, not to mention they possess a solid overall defense (3rd in defensive DVOA). Brown will have his monstrous weeks, but this doesn’t appear to be one of them against a familiar division foe.
T.Y. Hilton (IND, FD: $7,600, DK: $6,100) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jags have been the league’s biggest run-funnel defense this season. They currently ranked first overall in DVOA against the pass and are 31st in DVOA against the run. Opposing WRs are totaling just 14 fantasy points per game, good for third worst in the NFL. Hilton hasn’t been able to overcome tough matchups this season, failing to reach double digit fantasy points against Seattle, the Rams, and Arizona. I anticipate this being another down week for Hilton, making for an easy fade, especially on FanDuel where he’s priced as the WR8.
Larry Fitzgerald (ARI, FD: $7,700, DK: $7,500) at Los Angeles Rams
The wily vet is now priced inside WR1 territory after posting his second monster week of the season in Week 6. He’ll have a much less favorable matchup against a Rams secondary that’s allowed eighth-fewest fantasy points to opposing WRs thus far. We also saw the reliance on the passing game come way down last week with Adrian Peterson leading the offense, as Palmer attempted just 22 passes after averaging nearly 45 through five games. Arizona has a mediocre team total of 21.8, but I think most of their production will come on the ground against the defense allowing the most fantasy points to opposing RBs on the season. Fitz always has a solid floor, but the upside is limited in this tough matchup so I can’t pay up for him in Week 7.
Jason Witten (DAL, FD: $5,300, DK: $4,500) at San Francisco 49ers
This should be a solid game for fantasy production, but Witten is one of the few skill players I won’t have any part of this weekend. Despite being 24th in defensive DVOA, the Niners are first overall against tight ends and have allowed a paltry 2.4 points per game to the position. Witten has shown he can disappear in the offense after catching just two combined passes in Weeks 3 and 4. I much prefer Dez Bryant, Ezekiel Elliott, and Dak Prescott in this game, so avoid Witten.
Cameron Brate (TB, FD: $6,200, DK: $4,700) at Buffalo Bills
Brate has climbed all the way up to TE3 on FanDuel, as he hauled in another TD in Week 6 to extend his streak to four games. He’s now caught seven TDs in his past nine games, but will face one of the best defenses in the league against tight ends. Buffalo has allowed just 4.9 points per game to the position, good for third-best in the NFL. They’re also one of five teams yet to allow a TD to a tight end this season. I’m worried about this offense as a whole with the uncertainty at QB and a tough matchup, with Brate leading the way as my fade candidate on the week.
Tennessee Titans (FD: $4,800, DK: $3,400) at Cleveland Browns
A lot of people will just see Cleveland as the opposition and lock in the Titans’ defense, but I’m not completely sold. Tennessee just has a bad defensive unit. They’re ranked 26th in overall defensive DVOA, and only rank in the top half of the league against WR1s, something Cleveland doesn’t really have. While we like targeting the Browns because of their propensity for turnovers and sacks allowed, the Titans have forced just seven turnovers in six games and have just eight sacks on the season, third-fewest in the NFL. They should be rather chalky do to the matchup, but I’ll look elsewhere at defense this week.