The Fade returns for Week 14 to take a look at the week’s top fade candidates at each position. Before walking through this week’s selections, let’s take a look at some of the factors that will heavily impact ownership percentages, starting with some potential high-scoring affairs.
This Week’s Projected High-Scoring Games
- Buffalo Bills @ Philadelphia Eagles. Even, 47. The return of LeSean McCoy to Philadelphia highlights what should be an entertaining game between two teams trying to keep their playoff hopes alive.
- Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals. Bengals -3, 49 ½. The Bengals will look to put an exclamation point on their AFC North supremacy for 2015 while Ben Roethlisberger and the high-powered Steelers offense try to keep pace in the Wild Card chase.
- New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Buccaneers -4, 50 ½. The Buccaneers receive the pleasure of facing off with the porous defense of the Saints, who put quite the scare into the undefeated Panthers last week.
- Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers. Panthers -8 ½, 47 ½. A week after holding off the Saints to remain undefeated, the Panthers will face off with another NFC South foe looking to knock them off their mantle.
- New York Giants @ Miami Dolphins. Giants -1, 46 ½. The Giants have found several creative ways to lose this season but remain in the hunt for the NFC East crown. They’ll look to right the ship against a competitive Dolphins team in the Monday Night affair.
We can expect the above games to be heavily targeted by the masses, with several situations receiving some extra attention. The aforementioned return of McCoy to Philadelphia will be a hot target, as will the Buccaneers offense for their matchup with the Saints. We also have three quarterbacks in projected high-scoring games that have been playing at an extremely high level in Ben Roethlisberger, Andy Dalton and Cam Newton. All three quarterbacks will have their fair share of supporters for Week 14.
Popular Matchups to Exploit
- Saints vs. QBs. The Saints have been torched by numerous opposing signal callers and have allowed 35 passing touchdowns so far this year.
- Falcons vs. RBs. The Falcons have struggled mightily against the run over their past two games by allowing 345 yards and three scores on the ground.
- Colts vs. WRs. The Colts were absolutely torched by Steelers receivers last Sunday Night in front of the whole nation.
- Jaguars vs. TEs. Over their last four games, the Jaguars have allowed six touchdowns to opposing tight ends.
- Rams vs. DEF. Due to their recent ineptitude on offense, the Rams are becoming a popular target for DFS purposes.
We can safely assume that any competent team’s offensive players that receive the privilege of facing off with the Saints will be highly-owned. This week will be no different and we can expect to see Buccaneers players littered across many lineups. Of the remaining matchups, Jonathan Stewart is coming off of a solid 19.3-point outing heading into his matchup with the Falcons and should be a popular choice at a reasonable salary of $5,800. Fresh off their torching on Sunday Night Football, the Colts secondary will look to regroup and contain Allen Robinson, who exploded for 10 catches, 153 yards and three touchdowns last week. It’s pretty safe to say that Robinson will be fairly popular this week, even at a relatively hefty price tag of $8,000.
Last Week’s Heroes
- SEA QB Russell Wilson. In a week filled with several stellar performances by quarterbacks, Wilson again stood out as one of the best with four total touchdowns.
- BAL RB Javorius Allen. The Ravens came up short last week against the Dolphins but through no fault of Allen, who contributed 170 total yards and a score.
- JAX WR Allen Robinson. We touched on Robinson earlier, who had an outstanding day in a highly-entertaining game against the Titans in Week 13.
- GB TE Richard Rodgers. Beyond the game-winning Hail Mary catch heroics, Rodgers had himself quite a day against the Lions with eight catches on eight targets for 146 yards and a score.
- Philadelphia Eagles DEF. The Eagles delivered one of the more startling defensive performances in recent memory against the Patriots last week.
Wilson has a date with a porous Ravens defense up next on the docket, which will lead to him being one of the more popular quarterback selections in Week 14. The enthusiasm for Allen may be tempered a bit for a matchup with the Seahawks, while Robinson will be a trendy selection against a shaky Colts secondary. Those looking for an exact replica of Week 13’s performances for Rodgers and the Eagles may walk away disappointed, but many will still hope to ride the wave for another week.
On to this week’s fade candidates, we can expect the below players to be among the most popular at their respective positions for Week 14. You don’t have to fade them all, but if you find your rostered littered with nothing but highly-owned chalk plays, you may want to consider fading a few and looking for some hidden gems instead.
Russell Wilson, $6,300
Wilson has been on an absolute tear over the past three weeks and has a fantastic opportunity to keep his hot streak going against the Ravens. Over the past three games, Wilson is averaging 32.55 points and has 12 combined touchdowns, while the Ravens are hoping to finish the season without suffering any more devastating injuries. We can expect many DFSers to be riding Wilson’s coattails and banking on similar production, which makes Wilson a top fade candidate for Week 14.
Wilson looks to be in line for another solid week, but the fact that the Seahawks are huge favorites deserves some consideration in our decision making process. The peaking Seahawks will likely have their way with the Ravens and could be inclined to call the dogs off, limiting Wilson’s potential upside. We could be looking at some solid stat-building early in the game from Wilson and Co. leading to some solid points, but not the kind of production we can’t live without. We’ll take a pass on Wilson and look for a quarterback with similar upside and a lower ownership percentage in a potentially closer game.
Jameis Winston, $5,500
Winston and the Buccaneers have a date with the Saints, the darlings of the DFS world on a weekly basis for the opportunity provided to opposing offenses. The Saints have been absolutely torched by opposing quarterbacks in 2015 to the tune of 35 passing touchdowns allowed and an average of 301.4 yards per game surrendered. An improving Winston could have a field day on Sunday and will be a popular choice, leading us to consider him as one the week’s top fade candidates. The affordable price is extremely tempting, but there is a ton of value available this week (and every week) that allows you to zero in on your quarterback of choice. We’ll look for a lesser-owned quarterback in a solid spot to help separate our lineups from the pack.
LeSean McCoy, $6,100
The return of LeSean McCoy to Philadelphia is one of the top narratives of the week. Although it’s impossible to get inside of a players’ head, we can fully expect McCoy to be properly motivated to face off with his former squad. Beyond the intriguing backstory, we have a back who has been playing very well at a very reasonable price in a potentially high-scoring game. This qualifies as one of the week’s situations that are pretty tough to pass on. Revenge-type games can lead to some off the chart performances - see Steve Smith vs. Carolina Panthers in Week 4 of 2014 – so taking a pass could lead to some serious regret. If you’re in love with McCoy this week, get him on your roster but know that you’ll have a bunch of company.
Thomas Rawls, $5,800
Rawls is another Seahawk playing at a very high-level that will have plenty of supporters this week. He’s reasonably priced, receiving all the work he can handle and has found the end zone in each of the past three games. We’ll need to look elsewhere for some uniqueness for our lineups as the heavily-favored Seahawks will be littered across many lineups this Sunday. To make passing on Rawls just a little bit easier, consider the recent play of the Ravens. Despite suffering a plethora of injuries, the team has remained competitive in winning three of their last five and has done a solid job in holding opposing running backs in check. Like the rest of the Seahawks, Rawls may have a nice day on Sunday – but not the kind of production you can’t live without.
Odell Beckham Jr Jr., $9,100
The second-year pro continues to amaze and strike fear into the hearts of opposing corners and cause many sleepless nights for defensive coordinators. Perhaps the scariest thing about Beckham Jr. is that this Monday Night will mark only his 25th game as a pro – how much better will he get with a little more seasoning? Thankfully, we can buckle-up and enjoy the ride as we get to witness a truly special player blossoming before our eyes. In terms of this week, we can safely assume that the Dolphins have slept restlessly in anticipation of attempting to mitigate the damage caused by Beckham, who has a strreak of five games with 100+ yards in progress and has found the end zone six times over that span. Beckham projects to be one of the highest-scoring receivers of Week 14 and also among the highest-owned, making him a solid – albeit difficult – fade candidate.
Allen Robinson, $8,000
One of last week’s heroes, Robinson was electric in an entertaining game against the Titans. He hauled in 10 of 15 targets for 153 yards and three touchdowns, good enough for a cool 46.3 points. We can expect many DFSers to chase last week’s performance and be in Robinson’s corner, especially for a date with a Colts team that was just torched in a primetime affair. Moving beyond a projected high ownership percentage, Robinson still makes for an excellent fade candidate as his price has finally crept up to match his potential output and he comes in as the fifth-most expensive wideout of Week 14. Allen Hurns looks to be ready to return for this week’s game, which should eat into Robinson’s targets. We’ll look for Robinson to produce a decent line but fail to provide the return necessary to pay off an $8,000 salary.
Richard Rodgers, $3,900
As we mentioned when discussing last week’s heroes, Rodgers had himself quite a day against the Lions. He caught all eight of his targets for 146 yards and a touchdown which you just may have seen the highlights of. A reasonable price coupled with his late game heroics will have plenty of DFSers looking his way in Week 14, making him a solid fade candidate. Week 14 saw Rodgers reach season-highs in both catches and yardage. While the masses hope for a repeat, we’ll pivot to a less-popular tight end with more predictable production.
Delanie Walker, $5,600
Walker has been one of the most consistent producers at the tight end position in 2015. He’s averaging 16.0 points per game and coming in off of a 23.2-point pouting last week against the Jaguars. The Titans face off with a Jets team that has been pretty solid against opposing tight ends with only two touchdowns allowed to the position all season. That shouldn’t dampen enthusiasm for Walker too much as he will be heavily targeted and can more than make up for a failure to reach the end zone via catches and yardage. We’ll look for a less popular tight end than Walker and save some needed salary cap space while capturing a little uniqueness.
Seattle Seahawks, $3,500
The Seahawks make their third appearance on the fade list for Week 14 and the defensive side of the ball just may have more upside than either Wilson or Rawls. It looks like they’ll be matching up with a Ravens squad led by Jimmy Clausen, who they already had the privilege of facing off with in Week 3 while he was a member of the Bears. That game didn’t work out too well for Clausen, who completed nine of 17 for 63 yards. Similar production may be in order this week and although it’s pretty hard to call a shutout in the NFL, we can’t entirely scoff at the possibility. Needless to say, the Seahawks defense will be highly-owned and you’ll need to look elsewhere for some differentiation.
Philadelphia Eagles, $2,500
Just as everyone expected, the Eagles defense dominated the Patriots in Foxboro and were the top defensive play in Week 13. By everyone, we of course mean Chip Kelly and possibly a few of his relatives. The Eagles shocked many, disrupted the leaderboards and produced three return touchdowns. Many will chase last week’s performance in hopes of catching lightning in a bottle and assume they have purchased the 1985 Chicago Bears defense for $2,500. Don’t be like those DFSers. Take a pass on the Eagles for Week 14.
That takes care of The Fade for Week 14. As always, we have some tough choices in front of us, but if we hope to separate our lineups from the pack, we’ll have to make the tough calls of passing on some seemingly sure things. To paraphrase a wise man from Omaha – be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful. Sage investing advice and certainly food for thought for DFS purposes. Best of luck this weekend!