Each week, The Fade offers you a list of players that should be among the highest-owned selections at their respective positions. Taking a pass on some of the week’s chalk plays and instead selecting a less popular selection with similar upside can produce some solid results for your lineups if everything pans out correctly. Of course, fading a chalk play that ends up as one of the top producers for the week can have the opposite effect and leave you to question your decisions for that particular slate of games.
Reflection on your lineups – both the good ones and the bad ones – is one of the key steps you can take to push your DFS game to the next level. There are no infallible DFS players and even the top players have their fair share of rough weeks, whether it be due to games following a course that no rational projection system anticipated, coaches’ decisions on playing time for a can’t miss player or the dreaded injury bug striking one of the must plays for the week. Taking a look back at your results can help you decipher the good decisions from the bad ones and which ones are simply bad luck that can spring up no matter how solid your research process may be.
By simply taking a look at the previous week’s results (a fun process when you knock it out of the park, not so much when you pull an 0-fer), you force yourself to analyze your lineup decisions. Of my top plays of the week, who panned out and why? Who flamed out and was there anything I missed that could have steered me away from him? Was my reasoning and process solid behind all of my decisions for the week or did I take some unnecessary risks?
We can perform a similar assessment of the top-scoring lineups for the week to further dig in to how the week played out. For the top-scoring lineups, what players are present that were nowhere near my radar for the week? What did these DFSers see that I missed? If the player was on the radar but you ultimately took a pass – what made you decide to take a pass on them? A little reflection can be a key addition to your DFS research tool belt and ultimately help to improve your decision making, spur you to find any leaks in your game that you may have missed and help point you to any necessary tweaks to your research routine and process.
On to this week’s list of fade candidates, we have our usual assortment of chalk-type plays for the week. They come from games with high projected totals, players in tasty looking matchups and some of last week’s top performers. All of these factors weigh heavily in the general public’s decision making for their weekly lineups and can impact ownership percentages for a given week. Sometimes these plays will pan out and if we fade them, we may go on to regret that decision. Other times, our fade calls will work out beautifully and the can’t miss play that we took a pass on goes out and lays an egg for the week.
We can determine the success of our fade calls for the week when we go do a little reflecting as the final step of the Week 11 research process. In the meantime, here are some players that you may want to consider for your fade list for this week, starting with the quarterback position.
Carson Palmer, $6,700
The Sunday Night tilt between the Bengals and Cardinals will attract both a ton of eyeballs to the screen and a bunch of interest for DFS purposes. Carson Palmer gets his long-awaited matchup with his former employer and will certainly be looking to make a statement, not to mention the fact that we get treated to a matchup between two of the top teams in the league. The game is also projected to be one of the highest-scoring games of Week 11 with a projected total of 48 points. For these reasons, we can expect Palmer to be a popular choice this week and a solid candidate for the fade list.
Although Palmer looks to be a solid option at first glance, there’s another factor in play besides ownership percentage that could point us to taking a pass on him. The Bengals have been pretty solid against opposing signal callers and have not allowed multiple passing touchdowns since Week 3 or a 300-yard passing performance since Week 4. Palmer could still deliver an inspired performance against his former club, just maybe not enough to justify his popularity for this week.
Aaron Rodgers, $7,500
We can expect Rodgers to have his fair share of supporters for a crucial divisional battle between the Packers and Vikings. Outside of the furious comeback attempt against the Panthers in Week 9 that ultimately fell short, Rodgers and the Packers offense has simply looked out of sync. Many are waiting for the Packers to kick it into gear, but they may have to wait another week as the Vikings have been playing some solid football and will surely not let their chance to put a stranglehold on the division lead slip away easily. Also, Rodgers comes in as the second most expensive quarterback for this week. There are several lower-priced quarterbacks that may be in better spots for Week 11. Take a pass on Rodgers, save some salary and use the savings to beef up another position.
Devonta Freeman, $8,400
Freeman had a ridiculous stretch of games between Week 3 and Week 6 that saw him average 39.38 points over the course of those four games. His salary is still paying the price for that level of production. While Freeman has still produced fairly well, he has only eclipsed the 20-point mark on one occasion since then. Freeman is the most expensive running back for the week and will still have plenty of supporters as the Falcons are coming in off of their bye week, playing at home and a decent favorite against the Colts for what projects to be one of the higher-scoring games of the week. While the week off may provide the jolt the Falcons needed and allow Freeman to return to his high-scoring ways, there is plenty of value at running back this week to help offset the risk and possibly provide a similar or better return on investment.
Charcandrick West, $4,500
Speaking of value, West looks to be criminally underpriced on DraftKings for this week. For $4,500, you can purchase a back that will carry the ball 20+ times, receive a few targets and produce solid numbers. Yes, please! Unfortunately, West is no longer flying under the radar and should be one of the more popular selections at running back. He has seized control of the Chiefs backfield and is averaging 25.73 points per game since taking over the lead back role. The misprice will not go unnoticed by many as West is being widely touted as a must-play for Week 11. At $4,500, it’s pretty hard to argue against that moniker and West looks like a tough player to fade.
This screams out as being one of the selections that will cause a ton of reflection when all is said and done. Perhaps let the rest of your lineup for this week be your guide. If you have several high-priced players that you just have to have, West may be a no-brainer as he’ll produce and provide you with a ton of flexibility. On the other hand, if you have some under the radar low-cost gems that you’re all about for Week 11, take a pass on West and be prepared to explain your decision when it comes time to reflect on your lineups for the week.
Julio Jones, $9,300
We have another high-priced Falcon to consider fading for this week. Jones will sway many people to his side in spite of his hefty price tag. He offers tremendous upside as evidenced by three games of 36+ points in 2015. But can we guarantee he’ll produce enough to cover his hefty price tag? Of course not. To simply reach 3x value, Jones will need to score 27.9 points – a mark he has only touched four times through nine games played this season. That’s a ton of salary to put on the line while banking on a return that exceeds his season-long average of 26.5 points. There are several lower-cost wide receivers that could have some nice upside this week. In fact, you could easily find two at a lower price in solid matchups that could provide a nice return at roughly the cost of 1.5x times the amount it would cost you to roster Jones for this week. Take a pass on Jones and use the savings to balance out some other weak spots in your lineup.
Danny Amendola, $4,000
We have another player that looks to have bypassed the salary cap police. Danny Amendola was targeted 11 times last week and hauled in ten of them for 79 yards. He will continue to be a huge factor in the high-powered Patriots offense with the absence of Julian Edelman, yet he still remains on the discount rack. The Patriots offense is always a popular target for the world of DFS and a projected high-scoring Monday Night affair against the Bills will only add to the enthusiasm. Similar to West, this pricing anomaly will not go unnoticed by many and we can expect Amendola to have a healthy ownership percentage for this week. Also similar to West, this is one of those situations that will cause a ton of reflection when all is said and done. We’ll call this another situation in which we’ll let our overall roster construction for the week be our guide as to whether or not we should fade Amendola.
Greg Olsen, $6,200
In Greg Olsen, we have the top receiving target for an undefeated team that is playing at home as a big favorite against Washington. There’s a pretty solid chance that Olsen will have a hand in building up the lead if it comes to fruition and also a solid chance that he’ll be among the most popular tight ends for Week 11. Olsen is averaging 17.5 points per game over the last three weeks, but Washington has actually been pretty solid against opposing tight ends and even held Rob Gronkowski in check back in Week 9. We can save some money at tight end this week and find a less popular selection with similar upside.
Antonio Gates, $4,800
Gates is very reasonably priced this week and will continue to receive a ton of targets as the Chargers wide receiver corps continues to resemble an infirmary unit. Although not as tough of a call as it is with West and Amendola, his reasonable price and expected involvement in the passing game will make it tough to take a pass on him. One factor that may sway things the other way and make you feel more comfortable about leaving Gates on the sidelines: this week’s opponent. The Chiefs have been tough on opposing tight ends all season and have been playing some extremely solid defensive football over the course of their three-game winning streak. Interestingly enough, the Chargers have struggled against opposing tight ends of late and have allowed four touchdowns to the position over the last three games. For $100 less, we can take a look at the Chiefs Travis Kelce, who just may have similar upside this week.
Seattle Seahawks, $4,000
The Seahawks come in as the most expensive defense of the week for what looks to be a tasty matchup against the 49ers. As 12 ½-point favorites and facing off against a team that has allowed some big performances to opposing defenses this season, we can expect the Seahawks to be a popular target for DFSers this week. Placing the ownership percentage aside, this just seems like too much of a price for a defense that is not performing at the high-level of years past. The Seahawks are averaging 11.1 points per game – less than 3x their current salary – and have produced less than ten points four times this season. This is another fade candidate that will also allow us to save some much needed salary cap space.
Carolina Panthers, $3,400
The Panthers look to be in a great spot as big home-favorites over Washington and could easily make value this week at a salary of $3,400. But to really make some noise on the leader boards, we have to find the under the radar defense that delivers. There are several intriguing candidates for sleeper defenses this week, several of which come in at a price of less than $3,000. A couple of situations that look particularly intriguing are the inordinate amount of new starting quarterbacks that are slated to take the reins in Week 11. Which ones will shine and which ones will melt under the pressure? Answer that question and you may be on the right track to finding this week’s top scoring defense.
That brings The Fade to a close for Week 11. There are plenty of chalk plays in front of us this week that deserve consideration, just remember to fade the ones you are comfortable taking a pass on and don’t just fade for the sake of being different. There are must-plays that pan out and can’t misses that miss, the key is to be on the right side of the ledger more often than not with your fade and/or contrarian decisions. Best of luck this weekend!