The Fade: FanDuel Week 12

Your weekly guide to identifying exposure and profiting in guaranteed prize pools

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.

Quarterbacks

Player Salary H-Value Matchup Own%
Carson Palmer 8100 45.8 ARI@SF 19.0
Brian Hoyer 7100 44.5 NO@HOU 12.2
Eli Manning 7700 40.7 NYG@WAS 10.0
Drew Brees 8200 37.1 NO@HOU 5.7
Jameis Winston 7300 35.9 TB@IND 5.6
Josh McCown 6300 46.1 BAL@CLE 5.4
Blake Bortles 7300 42.5 SD@JAX 5.2
Kirk Cousins 6700 34.0 NYG@WAS 4.1
Derek Carr 7400 39.2 OAK@TEN 3.2
Ben Roethlisberger 7800 34.7 PIT@SEA 3.1
Marcus Mariota 7000 38.3 OAK@TEN 3.0
Tom Brady 9000 36.1 NE@DEN 2.3
Philip Rivers 8000 34.9 SD@JAX 2.2
Andy Dalton 7900 37.8 STL@CIN 2.1
Matt Ryan 7900 33.9 MIN@ATL 1.0
Russell Wilson 7600 47.2 PIT@SEA 1.0
Matt Hasselbeck 6400 40.6 TB@IND 0.6
Alex Smith 6600 34.5 BUF@KC 0.4
Teddy Bridgewater 6500 35.5 MIN@ATL 0.4
Ryan Fitzpatrick 7200 37.2 MIA@NYJ 0.3

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.

Running Backs

Player Salary H-Value Matchup Own%
Thomas Rawls 6300 35.4 PIT@SEA 31.3
Doug Martin 7500 27.1 TB@IND 27.6
Javorius Allen 6300 22.8 BAL@CLE 15.3
T.J. Yeldon 6500 29.7 SD@JAX 13.2
Chris Johnson 6800 18.7 ARI@SF 12.2
Adrian Peterson 9000 27.9 MIN@ATL 12.0
LeSean McCoy 7600 24.8 BUF@KC 11.3
Chris Ivory 7000 19.1 MIA@NYJ 10.3
Todd Gurley 8800 25.9 STL@CIN 7.1
DeAngelo Williams 7100 30.0 PIT@SEA 5.7
Latavius Murray 6600 25.4 OAK@TEN 5.2
Lamar Miller 7200 27.8 MIA@NYJ 4.6
Alfred Blue 5900 22.6 NO@HOU 4.3
Danny Woodhead 6100 26.8 SD@JAX 4.1
Giovani Bernard 6300 18.3 STL@CIN 3.7
LeGarrette Blount 7300 19.4 NE@DEN 2.9
Spencer Ware 6100 27.1 BUF@KC 2.8
Mark Ingram 7400 25.8 NO@HOU 1.9
Ronnie Hillman 6300 16.5 NE@DEN 1.4
Antonio Andrews 5700 18.3 OAK@TEN 1.1
Tevin Coleman 6200 18.9 MIN@ATL 1.0
Jeremy Hill 6500 17.2 STL@CIN 0.9
Matt Jones 5900 17.0 NYG@WAS 0.9
Shane Vereen 5600 12.3 NYG@WAS 0.7
Duke Johnson 6000 10.7 BAL@CLE 0.6
Shaun Draughn 5600 24.9 ARI@SF 0.4
Charles Sims 5400 15.4 TB@IND 0.3
Frank Gore 6400 21.2 TB@IND 0.3
Melvin Gordon 5900 12.7 SD@JAX 0.2
C.J. Anderson 5800 9.1 NE@DEN 0.1

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. 

Wide Receivers

Player Salary H-Value Matchup Own%
DeAndre Hopkins 9400 35.5 NO@HOU 47.9
Odell Beckham Jr 9100 27.3 NYG@WAS 27.3
Larry Fitzgerald 7400 28.1 ARI@SF 26.3
Allen Robinson 7900 24.2 SD@JAX 16.1
Julio Jones 9300 30.3 MIN@ATL 12.4
Martavis Bryant 6700 22.7 PIT@SEA 11.6
Antonio Brown 9000 31.3 PIT@SEA 11.1
Brandin Cooks 7300 21.8 NO@HOU 10.9
Mike Evans 8100 14.5 TB@IND 9.0
Amari Cooper 6800 24.0 OAK@TEN 7.8
Michael Crabtree 6500 26.2 OAK@TEN 7.7
Travis Benjamin 5900 20.2 BAL@CLE 7.4
DeSean Jackson 6300 22.8 NYG@WAS 6.8
Eric Decker 7100 27.6 MIA@NYJ 6.1
Steve Johnson 5500 26.5 SD@JAX 5.4
Demaryius Thomas 7700 24.8 NE@DEN 5.2
Brandon Marshall 7800 22.1 MIA@NYJ 4.9
A.J. Green 8200 21.3 STL@CIN 4.5
Stefon Diggs 6600 21.8 MIN@ATL 4.2
Vincent Jackson 6400 15.4 TB@IND 4.0
Brandon LaFell 6900 14.6 NE@DEN 3.5
Jarvis Landry 7000 23.3 MIA@NYJ 2.7
T.Y. Hilton 6900 16.5 TB@IND 2.1
Danny Amendola 6100 9.3 NE@DEN 1.7
Willie Snead 6300 16.2 NO@HOU 1.7
John Brown 5700 18.6 ARI@SF 1.6
Kamar Aiken 6100 21.2 BAL@CLE 1.6
Sammy Watkins 6800 16.7 BUF@KC 1.6
Cecil Shorts 5600 13.4 NO@HOU 1.4
Tyler Lockett 5600 16.1 PIT@SEA 1.4
Nate Washington 5300 14.4 NO@HOU 1.1
Jeremy Maclin 6200 17.7 BUF@KC 0.9
Rueben Randle 5600 16.1 NYG@WAS 0.9
Donte Moncrief 5900 15.5 TB@IND 0.8
Marvin Jones 5400 18.6 STL@CIN 0.7
Rishard Matthews 6200 17.7 MIA@NYJ 0.7
Doug Baldwin 5300 17.0 PIT@SEA 0.5
Pierre Garcon 5700 10.7 NYG@WAS 0.5
Tavon Austin 5800 10.3 STL@CIN 0.4
Kendall Wright 5300 18.0 OAK@TEN 0.3
Emmanuel Sanders 7500 16.7 NE@DEN 0.2
Chris Givens 4500 14.9 BAL@CLE 0.1

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.

Tight Ends

Player Salary H-Value Matchup Own%
Delanie Walker 6100 21.9 OAK@TEN 21.4
Gary Barnidge 6500 21.8 BAL@CLE 15.4
Tyler Eifert 6200 19.9 STL@CIN 14.7
Antonio Gates 5700 15.8 SD@JAX 6.3
Ben Watson 5400 14.5 NO@HOU 5.5
Jordan Reed 5800 18.3 NYG@WAS 5.0
Rob Gronkowski 8400 25.3 NE@DEN 4.0
Jimmy Graham 5500 17.0 PIT@SEA 3.7
Travis Kelce 5800 19.6 BUF@KC 3.6
Kyle Rudolph 5000 9.7 MIN@ATL 2.3
Crockett Gillmore 5600 12.5 BAL@CLE 2.2
Julius Thomas 5300 10.2 SD@JAX 2.0
Heath Miller 5300 11.0 PIT@SEA 1.8
Coby Fleener 5100 10.8 TB@IND 0.6
Jacob Tamme 5100 10.8 MIN@ATL 0.5
Charles Clay 5300 9.9 BUF@KC 0.3
Will Tye 4900 9.6 NYG@WAS 0.1

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.

Kickers

POS Player Salary H-Value Matchup Own%
K Stephen Gostkowski 5200 16.6 NE@DEN 10.7
K Chandler Catanzaro 4700 22.2 ARI@SF 9.5
K Cairo Santos 4900 17.6 BUF@KC 7.7
K Chris Boswell 4500 14.2 PIT@SEA 7.1
K Connor Barth 4800 14.6 TB@IND 6.2
K Josh Brown 5100 17.0 NYG@WAS 5.9
K Nick Novak 4500 19.6 NO@HOU 4.4
K Brandon McManus 4800 14.0 NE@DEN 3.9
K Sebastian Janikowski 4600 16.6 OAK@TEN 3.8
K Dustin Hopkins 4500 15.2 NYG@WAS 3.5
K Justin Tucker 4900 12.5 BAL@CLE 3.4
K Blair Walsh 4700 15.9 MIN@ATL 2.8
K Mike Nugent 4600 19.2 STL@CIN 2.7
K Adam Vinatieri 4700 18.4 TB@IND 2.2
K Josh Lambo 4700 14.6 SD@JAX 1.6
K Jason Myers 4700 17.7 SD@JAX 1.3
K Kai Forbath 4600 15.3 NO@HOU 0.9
K Randy Bullock 4500 13.6 MIA@NYJ 0.9
K Andrew Franks 4700 14.3 MIA@NYJ 0.2

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.

Defense

Unit Salary H-Value Matchup Own%
Arizona Cardinals 5300 26.3 ARI@SF 21.9
Kansas City Chiefs 4500 26.5 BUF@KC 15.5
Cincinnati Bengals 4800 29.1 STL@CIN 7.0
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4300 17.8 TB@IND 5.5
NY Jets 4500 22.7 MIA@NYJ 4.7
Cleveland Browns 4600 27.7 BAL@CLE 4.3
New England Patriots 4600 24.3 NE@DEN 4.0
Houston Texans 4700 19.1 NO@HOU 2.9
Denver Broncos 4700 15.6 NE@DEN 2.7
Washington Redskins 4000 16.8 NYG@WAS 2.7
NY Giants 4600 21.9 NYG@WAS 2.5
Seattle Seahawks 5200 18.6 PIT@SEA 2.1
Baltimore Ravens 4600 19.5 BAL@CLE 1.9
Minnesota Vikings 4400 18.9 MIN@ATL 1.7
Jacksonville Jaguars 4300 23.4 SD@JAX 1.6
St. Louis Rams 4900 11.3 STL@CIN 1.4
Indianapolis Colts 4200 19.0 TB@IND 1.2
Oakland Raiders 4600 19.5 OAK@TEN 0.7
Atlanta Falcons 4500 18.1 MIN@ATL 0.5
Miami Dolphins 4600 21.9 MIA@NYJ 0.4

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.