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.
Players I’m fading for Week 1 include:
Kyler Murray – QB – Arizona (at San Francisco)
I love Murray as much as the next person, but going overboard with him as your cash game QB this week is riskier than necessary. The 49ers are expected to reign again as one of the league’s best defenses (PFF has them graded No. 1 for 2020), and last year they allowed the fourth-fewest overall fantasy points to opponents. My enthusiasm for Murray will resume in Week 2, but for now, I’m fading him, Kenyon Drake and DeAndre Hopkins. Christian Kirk will undoubtedly make into one of my lineups this week, but his salary and lesser defensive attention help me justify it.
Alvin Kamara – RB – New Orleans (vs. Tampa Bay)
Projected by some sites to be rostered at a rate of up to 50 percent, I don’t see it for Kamara this week. No team was worse for fantasy running backs than the Bucs last year…a fact that Drew Brees and Michael Thomas certainly appreciate, as they shredded the Bucs pass defense last year both times. Paying up for RB is a fine strategy this week – just target Josh Jacobs and Christian McCaffrey instead of Kamara in most of your lineups.
Miles Sanders – RB – Philadelphia (at Washington)
Sanders was one of the hottest prospects for Week 1 DFS, but a hamstring injury that has lingered this long is a huge red flag. Boston Scott is waiting in the wings, and the Eagles should not need to test Sanders in what should be a fairly easy win over Washington (Vegas has them as 5.5-point favorites). As of this writing, I expect to see Sanders in action Sunday, but he won’t be in any of my lineups.
Davante Adams – WR – Green Bay (at Minnesota)
Adams appears in this space more as a personal preference statement than a true warning. You can only spend up on WR a certain amount. In my cash games, I’m splurging on Michael Thomas, and targeting guys like Terry McLaurin, D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Boyd, and Hunter Renfrow or Henry Ruggs III. The matchup with Minnesota isn’t a great one, though Adams is beyond excessive matchup analysis when healthy (and was great against the Vikings last year), but the Packers are road underdogs in a potentially low-scoring game. The upside of Thomas, Julio Jones and Chris Godwin in better matchups for the same-ish salary is just where I prefer to go at this position.
Mike Evans – WR – Tampa Bay (at New Orleans)
Kenny Golladay – WR – Detroit (vs. Chicago)
Significant injury concerns mean I won’t be risking my cash game lineups on Evans or Golladay, but it also means that I am higher on Godwin (always) and Marvin Jones Jr. this weekend. It will be interesting to see whether Detroit actually can cobble together a functioning backfield, but that too, is a scene to fade for DFS. The Lions vs. Bears might be the only game I’d recommend avoiding completely this week.
Ravens D/ST (vs. Cleveland)
DraftKings is pretty reasonable on the Ravens’ salary, but this is the second-most expensive unit on FanDuel, and third on Yahoo. I wouldn’t have bothered with this blurb otherwise. Since D/ST is so cheap anyway, many people don’t mind spending for a top option. That argument works for New England and Buffalo this week, who both expect to dominate their AFC East opponents in low scoring games, but although the Ravens are 8-point favorites, I don’t see this being a defensive win for them. Cleveland is as or more capable than any team of underachieving, but I’m giving Baker Mayfield, Odell Beckham Jr., Austin Hooper, Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt the benefit of the doubt. With all that talent, can the Ravens D shut it all down? I’m letting someone else find out the hard way.
Players I like, but who are expected to have high ownership in Week 1 include: Drew Brees, Michael Thomas, Henry Ruggs III, Lamar Jackson, Mark Andrews, Josh Jacobs, Russell Wilson, George Kittle, Marvin Jones Jr., Joe Mixon, Julio Jones, D.K. Metcalf, Chris Thompson, Christian McCaffrey, Joe Burrow, Tyrod Taylor, New England D/ST, Indianapolis D/ST, and Buffalo D/ST. You might consider deviating away from this player pool and pivoting in large GPPs.