Roundtable: Pick Your Fades

Give us at least two Week 2 options - a quarterback and a non-quarterback - whom you plan to fade in Week 2. Why?

Give us at least two Week 2 options - a quarterback and a non-quarterback - whom you plan to fade far more than the public likely will. Why? Is it for strategic purposes, rooted in salary and/or expected ownership? Or do you merely foresee fantasy doom for them this week?

Dan Hindery: The two popular players I am fading most heavily this week are Russell Wilson and Michael Thomas.

With Wilson, I am a believer in his talent. But he has struggled in a lot of supposedly favorable spots over the last year because his offensive line is so poor. I'm not convinced about the favorability of his matchup either. The 49ers have accumulated pretty solid talent across their defensive line and should be able to put pressure on Wilson. The Seahawks defense should dominate the 49ers offense, so there won't necessarily be a big need for Wilson to throw the ball a lot.

Michael Thomas is another player whose talent I believe in, but whom I won't play this week. The Patriots have consistently shut down their opposition's best weapon by shifting extra coverage their direction. Thomas is far and away Drew Brees' top target, so I expect him to be the player New England schemes to take away. With his high price and relatively high projected ownership, Thomas is someone who I am okay avoiding this week in favor of safer options in the same price range (like Mike Evans).

Justin Howe: Dan, it's interesting you brought up Evans, who's my top fade of the week. Evans faces the Bears, who are quietly putting together a strong defense. And with coordinator Vic Fangio on board, they've thoroughly shut down opposing No. 1 wideouts. Since the start of the 2016 season, they've put the clamps on Julio Jones (4 catches, 66 yards), Odell Beckham Jr. (5-46), Jordy Nelson (1-9), and Dez Bryant (3-40-1). I liked Evans in his doomed Week 1 matchup with the Dolphins, but won't be touching him this week.

I'm also following this Footballguys pack and generally avoiding Russell Wilson. He just doesn't consistently boast the volume And unlike the Cam Newtons of the world, he doesn't possess the contest-tilting rushing upside we like to ascribe to him, Wilson has topped 30 rushing yards in just 4 of his last 9 games (playoffs included) - and that even excludes the first of half of 2016, when he was hobbled by an ankle injury. He also doesn't see short-yardage opportunity and has run for just 2 touchdowns over his last 37 games. DFSers seeking the upside of a rushing boost are usually better served looking into guys like Kirk Cousins and Andy Dalton, both of whom are short-yardage sneak artists who crack the goal line more often. A Wilson investment requires an unexpectedly big day in both volume and efficiency, or a rushing eruption that we can see doesn't come nearly as often as we tend to think.

James Brimacombe: At quarterback, I will be fading Matt Ryan at the high price. Seeing how well the Packers contained Russell Wilson last week has me intrigued by that defense. Ryan is one of the higher-priced options at the quarterback position this week, but if I was paying up, I would rather spend a little more salary and go with Tom Brady, Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers. The Falcons passing offense always scares me with their two talented running backs in Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman demanding carries.

My other fade this week will be LeVeon Bell, who I think is a week away from being dominant like he was last season. Bell has the highest price of any running back this week and is coming off a disappointing game against Cleveland, where he only touched the ball 13 times, and now he gets a very good Vikings defense that prides themselves in stopping the run.

Justin Bonnema: I'm going to venture down a dangerous road and nominate Tom Brady as a fade candidate. As mentioned in a different thread, the Patriots are more than capable of running the ball, and the Saints are incapable of stopping the run. The #AngryBrady narrative that is going to balloon his ownership may be slightly misplaced. Brady just wants to win; stats are just stats. A five-touchdown game is certainly in the cards for him, but I can also see a few rushing touchdowns spread out among their running backs while Brady passes for a couple. And there's also a chance that the Saints offense is bad, which would eliminate volume to some degree. Note, that I'm not advocating a 100% fade, and will definitely have some lineups that are heavy Patriots. But if Brady falls well short of salary expectations, which is not difficult given his price, you can separate from the crowd in GPPs by keeping your exposure low. And for that matter, you can stack your lineup with the likes of Cooks and Gronkowski with a cheaper quarterback, without sacrificing quality at other positions. 

As if that call wasn't hot enough, I'm also going to bail on Kareem Hunt. Call me scared, but I'm using this week as a "prove it" type of week. I don't doubt that he'll have a decent game, but I do doubt he'll have 246 yards on 22 touches again. It's not necessarily fair to do this, but 55.2% of his yards came on two carries. That's not going to happen against the Eagles, who allowed only 34 yards rushing last week, and look to be picking up where they left off from last year as one of the best defenses in the league. You can find similar production and better value this week with the likes of Melvin Gordon and Ty Montgomery.

Jason Wood: I will have zero shares of Carson Palmer this week in spite of the Colts matchup. I was worried about Palmer entering the season, and with David Johnson on injured reserve, I fear the Cardinals offense could go into a shell. I wouldn't be surprised if Palmer gets hurt and/or benched at some point this season. While matchups are important, I won't invest in players simply because of the match up. I have to think the players are capable of high-level production regardless of the matchup. 

At running back, I'll flag Tarik Cohen. He's the flavor of the week after surprising usage (particularly as a receiver) in Week One. While I acknowledge the Bears are in desperate need of playmakers, I don't see why Cohen - all 5'6" of him - is going to vault into relevance on a weekly basis. I could see the Bears becoming an ineffective offense generally as quickly I could foresee Cohen becoming their new slot receiver extraordinaire.

Chris Feery: I agree with Jason on fading Carson Palmer, even if he is facing off against the Colts. He looked awful last week, and the loss of David Johnson is a massive body blow to the Cardinals offense. While he can certainly bounce back against an atrocious Colts defense, there’s more certainty at similar price points to focus on while selecting your quarterbacks for the week. I’ll have some exposure to the game via skill position players, namely Larry Fitzgerald and perhaps a GPP flier on Andre Ellington, but I’ll be passing on Palmer. 

For another signal caller to add to the mix, I’m fading Marcus Mariota against the Jaguars. The Jaguars defense looked like the real deal last week. The unit may come back to Earth in Week 2, but I’m not willing to risk my salary cap dollars on a quarterback in an uncertain matchup. 

For a skill-position fade, I’ll be passing on Amari Cooper in a cupcake matchup against the Jets. While he can certainly do plenty of damage, the game script calls for the Raiders to get up big before calling the dogs off. His ownership percentage will likely be pretty high, but I’m willing to risk missing out on his potential upside for a little differentiation in my lineups. Add in the fact that he couldn’t haul in three consecutive targets in the end zone against the Titans last week, and I’m not losing any sleep over it.