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Players to Fade on FanDuel: Week 2

Sep 13, 2018

Aaron Rodgers’ injury and tough matchup could make for a rough outing this week

How was your Week 1 in NFL DFS? Did you listen when I told you not to play Mike Evans or Saquon Barkley? It’s true! Some of the fades did alright, some even scored touchdowns. After all, if you can’t admit you were wrong, how can you possibly have any accountability?

But as a whole, you probably did OK if you avoided the players I told you to. I’ll still say those were both the right calls, especially Barkley, where one play made his day. Oh well, on to Cincinnati…er, Week 2 rather. As usual, we’ll check out some of the higher-priced studs to see who could mean the difference in a pitfall or a win-fall.

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Aaron Rodgers (GB): $8,700 vs. MIN
There are several reasons I’m fading Rodgers this week. First, he admitted he suffered a sprained his knee last Sunday. Based on the secret contraption he wore in the second half against the Bears, I think he’s a little more hurt than what he’s leading on.

Second, the Vikings defense presents a brutal matchup. In fact, it’s arguably the worst matchup you can get; they were the best passing defense in 2017 by many measures, and they limited Jimmy Garoppolo on the way to his first ever career defeat. Third, he is priced like he’s not facing the Vikings, so for $100 more, you might as well go with Drew Brees at home against Cleveland.

Running Back

David Johnson (ARI): $8,400 @ LAR
The Rams defense is the real deal. After letting the Raiders hang in there for the first quarter, they gave Derek Carr and company fits. L.A. gave up a decent amount of chunk yardage plays to the tight end as Jared Cook feasted, but the run game was shut down for the most part. Any unit the features All-Pro Aaron Donald and former All-Pro Ndamukong Suh is one that you have to take seriously. Unless the Cardinals offense under Mike McCoy can do anything better than last week, Johnson may get some effective touches, but for now, I’m staying away, especially when he’s dealing with back issues. Like Rodgers, he’s too expensive in a bad matchup while nursing an injury — all major negatives.

Derrick Henry (TEN): $6,200 & Dion Lewis (TEN): $6,500  vs. HOU
I said it last week, and I’ll go back to that very same well again this week, I hate this backfield. Last week’s game was weird, after all, it’s not every year we get a 1:00 pm EDT kickoff that finishes after the NFL RedZone channel is off the air. Henry proved to be ineffective early in what looked like a game where he’d dominate the share of touches. Then, after several delays, it was suddenly the “Dion Lewis Show.” My dislike of this backfield isn’t skills-related at all. It is about the fact that it will be very unpredictable all year as there is a “hot hand” approach here that isn’t related to game script.

Wide Receiver

Mike Evans (TB): $7,900 vs. PHI
I didn’t expect Evans to ball out last week in a Ryan Fitzpatrick smash festival but he out-muscled Marshon Lattimore on a nice play to get into the end zone. I think he could be a little hampered with a stiff back so don’t be surprised if he pops up on the injury report later in the week after he took a really hard shot in the back in this game and also in the preseason against Detroit. The real reason I think he’s a bad play is the matchup versus Ronald Darby and the defending champs. Darby held his own against Julio Jones last week, but there is only so much you can do against Jones. I think he’ll fare much better against Evans this week with the Bucs in a huge letdown spot coming off that explosive win over the Saints. He’s just too pricey for my likes considering the matchup.

Amari Cooper (OAK): $6,900 @ DEN
Nothing about Cooper’s game interests me. Jon Gruden has now publicly called out his quarterback since Monday’s defeat. Gruden was quick to blame Carr for some of the “Silver and Black’s” struggles, but Cooper should get some of that blame as well. The guy is simply non-existent when he isn’t specifically schemed into the offense or used out of the slot. In his last 13 games, he’s been held to single-digit receiving yards in six of them. For those keeping track at home, that’s no bueno.

I didn’t even get into the matchup versus a stingy Broncos passing defense. I’ll take a hard pass. This team is a total mess, or as I like to say, a “disasterpiece.”

Chris Hogan (NE): $6,200 @ JAC
Hogan surely didn’t capitalize on having Julian Edelman out on suspension and Brandin Cooks out of town. If you thought last week was bad, this week will likely bring more of the same for Hogan. The Jags’ top-notch pass defense will be put to the test in a rematch of last year’s AFC title game, but I don’t think Hogan will play a huge role. Much like last week’s game, I expect some heavy usage of Rob Gronkowski once again. The passing targets will likely elude Hogan as most of the remaining grabs will surely go to some concentration of running backs.

Tight End

Jimmy Graham (GB): $6,000 vs. MIN
Graham is still priced like he is a significant factor on the field and that’s just not true. I see the same thing we saw out of all the other Green Bay tight ends in the past, which is low production and maybe a couple good games every year. Remember Martellus Bennett and Jared Cook? In general, we usually want exposure to an Aaron Rodgers’ pass catcher, but again, the Vikings pass defense is an elite unit.

I know George Kittle had a good game against them in Week 1. He was one drop away from being the TE1 last week. But Kittle is better than Graham, who will likely finish the season close to his paltry four yards per catch range. He looks done to me as his only value is in the red zone, but even that is in question at the moment.

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Josh Dalley is a DFS correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Josh, follow him on Twitter @JoshDalley72.

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