Players to Fade on FanDuel: Week 5
It’s already Week 5 in the NFL and the season trucks along. Nowadays, DFS is harder than it ever has been so we need every edge we can get. We don’t just need to narrow it down to the best plays; we also need to be aware of who to avoid as they’re either overpriced or in a bad spot. Every week, I’ll do my best to identify some of the players that could be lineup landmines for our FanDuel squads. So far, we’ve seen most players featured here put up some forgettable performances.
Kirk Cousins (MIN): $7,700 @ PHI
Cousins has put up some solid fantasy numbers this season. I’d hope so; he’s thrown more passes than any other QB in the league to this point. With a closer look, a big chunk of his passing yardage is after the catch as he’s only gone deep on 8.5% of his passes this season. There is big play potential anytime you have Stephon Diggs and Adam Thielen, but Cousins can’t handle pressure. I’m a Michigan State guy, and Kirk Cousins is one of my favorite NFL players. He’s even the spokesperson for the company my wife works for.
However, the dude crumbles when the pocket breaks down. If you haven’t seen the Eagles depth at defensive line, go check it out real quick…welcome back. It’s absurd how much talent they have, right? No thanks!
Saquon Barkley (NYG): $7,900 @ CAR
At first glance, the matchup against the Panthers 24th-ranked DVOA run defense looks good. Carolina has also given up one of the highest per carry averages in the league. For this reason, I expect his ownership to be higher than it should be. This has more to do with the Panthers rushing offense tipping the time of possession in their favor and limiting the touches Barkley will have. The Giants offense isn’t something I’m confident in or wish to target in DFS this week. After watching last week’s game against the Saints, I get the feeling that the coaching staff in New York doesn’t know how to use their new weapon. The Giants noticeably low team total of under 19 points leads me to think Vegas feels the same.
LeSean McCoy (BUF): $6,300 vs. TEN
Your eyes may initially focus on the price tag on McCoy and think it’s a value. My eyes quickly focus on the 5.5 FanDuel points per game, and I look away. Not to mention Tennessee keeps winning games they shouldn’t, mainly because of their defense. The Titans D stacks up very similar to that of Carolina’s (25th DVOA and 27th YPC against the run) on paper.
But the same reason I dislike Barkley also applies for McCoy. The Titans run the ball more than any other team in the league, especially on first down. The slow pace of the game will likely reduce the opportunities for McCoy and the Bills who have an even lower implied team total (17.5) than the Giants do. I’m staying away from the Bills offense as a whole, probably all season.
Odell Beckham (NYG): $8,300 vs. CAR
Beckham still sees the targets, but his lack of touchdowns has been a concern for fantasy players. It’s different for Julio Jones and his massive scoring drought because he’s still putting up ridiculous yardage totals on the regular. That’s not as much of a sure thing for Big Blue and the sputtering offense. Eli Manning looks like he might be done. A lot was made of the offensive line issues, but it was mostly one guy.
They addressed that problem and Manning had a ton of clean pockets last week against the Saints. I don’t even remember him getting hit once, and yet he still missed throws. He missed Beckham a few times, and I’m not using either of them in DFS for Week 5…at least not until they appear to be more in sync. I think the Giants struggle to score 17 points this week, going under their implied team total.
Davante Adams (GB): $8,000 @ DET
Adams and his pass-catching teammates are all beat up. Randall Cobb missed last week, and Geronimo Allison is dealing with a concussion. Adams is on the injury report as well with a calf issue, and we can’t forget about Aaron Rodgers wearing a knee brace. With so much up in the air for Green Bay, I’m staying away from the high-priced passing game pieces. Adams should play, but that means he’ll see the likes of Darrius Slay for most of the day.
For the cost and the situation on the road, I’d rather pivot to JuJu Smith-Schuster or Keenan Allen at similar prices. You can get away with playing Adams in tournaments, but be sure to temper expectations as the multitude of negatives going against the Packers this week is too much to invest in.
Demaryius Thomas (DEN): $6,500 @ NYJ
Thomas has seen just a half dozen targets per game the last couple weeks, and he doesn’t look like he’s on the same page as QB Case Keenum. Keenum has shown an affinity towards Emannuel Sanders, and I’d much rather spend $200 more to get the Denver WR that has a chance at paying off his salary. The Broncos even work Sanders into the run game on occasion, which is nice considering the surprising performance of the Jets’ second-ranked DVOA pass defense this season. But that’s only if I’m considering one of the passing targets here.
I honestly don’t expect the Broncos to throw a lot unless they end up in a negative game script early on. Can’t say I blame them with a pair of young stud RBs in the fold in Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman. You can expect a heavy dose of the run game this Sunday instead.
George Kittle (SF): $6,400 vs. ARI
Kittle has the bulk of his FanDuel points for the season from two long touchdowns. Not taking anything away from him — he made it happen on both plays. The likelihood of a TE busting off another long score like he has (twice already) is minimal to begin with.
On top of that, everyone in his supporting cast is hurt. He’s the only starter not on the offensive line that’s even close to being healthy after Week 4, but he’s already been limited and likely still dealing with a shoulder injury. I can’t justify paying $6,000+ for any TE who isn’t going to get 10 targets. He might see an uptick from his average of seven targets per game solely based on attrition, but it’s a solid bet that the Cardinals key in on him as the primary passing target. Then again, Arizona’s coaching staff is probably the worst in the league, so don’t assume they know who the best player is on the field…ever.
Josh Dalley is a DFS correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Josh, follow him on Twitter @JoshDalley72.