NFL DFS Fades for Wild Card Week

Renee Miller
·3 min read

When setting your weekly NFL DFS lineups, it can be just as helpful to have an idea of whom you DON’T want to include as whom you do. Every Friday we’ll highlight a few players that you might want to fade. When a player appears here, it mainly refers to fading him in cash games. If you play in a lot of large field, multi-entry tournaments, you might consider just being underweight on these players relative to the field rather than not using them at all.

At this point in the season, this article gets really hard to write. Everyone is on a playoff caliber team, all the studs are worth rostering. It comes down to personal preference and lineup construction. So, I’ll give you the justification for some players that are not making it into the majority of my lineups.

Players I’m fading for the First Round of the Playoffs include:

A.J. Brown, WR, Tennessee Titans

The main reason I’m fading Brown is that I’m spending on Derrick Henry most of the time. I think the Titans are going to go run-heavy in this game not only to highlight their best player but to kill the clock and keep the ball out of Lamar Jackson’s hands as much as possible. Brown was fine the first time these teams met, with 4/62/1, and he was great in Week 17. I’m not worried about his appearance on the injury report; he’s just not where I’m spending this weekend.

David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears

Montgomery has had a fantastic run to close out the regular season. He’s had optimal matchup after optimal matchup and taken advantage. Now he’ll face the Saints, who rank as the worst fantasy running back matchup in the league. Plus, the Saints are at home and 10-point favorites, which gives the Bears one of the lowest implied team totals of the weekend. As noted above, I’m very interested in spending on Henry, and with Montgomery’s salary having risen significantly ($8400 FD, $25 Yahoo, $6900 DK), I’m not able to justify it.

Devin Singletary and Zach Moss, RB, Buffalo Bills

If either of these guys was a dominant, bell-cow style back, I’d think about it, but they aren’t. And it’s worse than a regular time share because Josh Allen is such a goal line threat to keep the score to himself. Adding to the negative hype, Indianapolis is still a bottom-third matchup for running backs. If you’re looking to save at RB, look to Nyheim Hines, J.D. McKissic or Kareem Hunt (or Latavius Murray if Alvin Kamara cannot play Sunday).

Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns

There are really only two QBs I’m targeting and Mayfield is not one of them. I’m happy for the Browns, making the playoffs, and certainly hope they pull off an upset in Pittsburgh, but if they do, I have the feeling it will be on the strength of Nick Chubb and the run game. Mayfield had his moments this year (two games with over 30 fantasy points), and he is as cheap as you can get this weekend, but still. In two games against Pittsburgh, the second-worst QB matchup for fantasy, Mayfield has seven and 16 fantasy points. You’re going to need more from this position whether you’re playing Sunday only or the whole weekend slate. In a big-field tournament, I’m fine, but in your main lineups, stick with Josh Allen or Jackson.

Players I like, but who are expected to have high ownership this week include: Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, Diontae Johnson, Marquise Brown, Derrick Henry, J.K. Dobbins, Rob Gronkowski, Saints D/ST, Bills D/ST. You might consider deviating away from this player pool and pivoting in large GPPs if you’re after a more unique lineup.