This week is a stark difference from Week 11. Only Arizona has a Vegas team total above 26 points with many tight point spreads. Filling in for Justin Bonnema, I will follow the same format of ownership data collection and presentation in The Fade. I have included Footballguys H-Value from the Interactive Value Chart as well as the ownership, salary, and matchup information.
Per usual, the numbers presented below are taken from a Thursday night GPP. They, in no way, are meant to be used as the basis of your strategy. We use them to get a snapshot of groupthink. Even without the tangible data provided by Thursday GPPs, we’d still be able to project ownership percentages with a high level of accuracy. These numbers simply serve as confirmation.
Again, this data isn’t meant to be the foundation of our tournament strategy for the weekend. For that matter, fading any player based solely on ownership percentage is never part of the strategy. Think of this as more of a guide to tiebreakers and pivot plays. In this space, we’ll use that guide to identify a few players that should be faded and few that are worth their chalk-heavy projections. There will be a follow up piece focusing on the contrarian side of things.
Of the top-5 owned quarterbacks, Drew Brees stands out. The Saints have struggled mightily on defense, which is likely to squeeze their offensive chances. Plus, Brees is one of the higher variance home-road quarterbacks in the NFL. This year Brees is a 5837-45-10 passer (yards-touchdowns-interceptions) on a 16-game pace at home via RotoViz. On the flip side, Brees is a pedestrian 4616-24-20 on the road. In traditional fantasy the mantra has been start Brees at home and fade him on the road; DFS is the same mindset - mix Brees into your lineup card at home, but fade this week.
LeSean McCoy stands out as the fade of Week 12. McCoy is coming off a quality game on National television, but the Chiefs are a tougher task, allowing a single touchdown to running backs over the last five games and one performance of 75+ rushing yards to an opposing back all season. McCoy has sparse touchdown upside with Karlos Williams firmly in the rotation as a power option and Buffalo has the third-lowest Vegas team total of the week at 19 points. The Bills offense is not trustworthy and projecting many red zone cracks for McCoy is a low-probability play.
|Odell Beckham Jr||9100||27.3||NYG@WAS||27.3|
Of the premium-priced wide receivers, Julio Jones stands out as the fade play. The Vikings are a stingy matchup for wide receivers and have size at cornerback to line up with bigger opposing pass-catchers. Jones was held in check by Minnesota last season and Matt Ryan has struggled this season (plus of late) with six interceptions his last four games - not against top-ranked units. No opposing quarterback has throw for more than two touchdowns against Minnesota. With DeAndre Hopkins and Odell Beckham having much better matchups at similar prices, mixing in a Matt Ryan-Julio Jones stack in tournaments is not a preferred play.
Tyler Eifert as highly-owned this week is a clear fade situation. The Rams are stingy against passing games (only Carson Palmer hit 300 yards against them this season, nine passing scores total allowed). Tight ends have scored just twice since Week 1 (both by Zach Miller) and Eifert has scored five times over the last three games - a Rob Gronkowski type pace. Expect more of a run game focus for the favored Bengals and Eifert's volume (and touchdown odds) to take a dip this week.
With many similar, and low-priced kicker options this week, paying up for Stephen Gostkowski as the top-owned kicker makes less sense than previous weeks. Tom Brady continues to lose surrounding offensive pieces and this is New England's toughest defensive test yet. The Broncos are allowing 1.5 made extra points per game (lowest in the NFL) and less than two field goals per contest. Considering Gostkowski is averaging 3.6 extra points and 2.3 field goals per game, something has to give. With Denver's quarterback change and running game boost from under center, opportunities will be more limited for the Gostkowski and the triage New England offensive unit.
|Kansas City Chiefs||4500||26.5||BUF@KC||15.5|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||4300||17.8||TB@IND||5.5|
|New England Patriots||4600||24.3||NE@DEN||4.0|
|St. Louis Rams||4900||11.3||STL@CIN||1.4|
Tampa Bay is the fade for Week 12. Their Footballguys H-Value is a 'one of these things is not like the other' of the top group of high-owned options. The Colts hover around a 22-point team projection by Vegas and Matt Hasselbeck, while unspectacular in terms of upside, has thrown only two interceptions in three games and five sacks over the same span. The Bucs defense is not innately good enough to target a middling matchup like Hasselbeck and the Colts, in Indianapolis.