Fade 'EM - Fantasy Football Week 1
Welcome back to the Fade ‘EM edition of the Stars & Scrubs fantasy football breakdown. Week 1 is always a tough one to predict as far as who will come out of the gates hot, but I am going to do my best to warn you against overspending at each position. This isn’t a declaration that these players will be absolute busts this week. Instead, view the Fade ‘Em article as guys who are not a bargain this week at their current price tag. Let’s get right into it!
I use the DraftKings salary cap as my basis for picks, which operates on a 50k salary but I know we have many FanDuel players as well. For reference, Fanduel operates on a 60k salary, so prices will appear higher on that platform.
DraftKings Fantasy Football Sunday Slate
QB: Jared Goff @ CAR ($6,200)
Now Jared Goff is a fine QB. He’s in a great system and has excellent weapons. And he just got PAID.
My views on Goff are that his weapons are much more valuable than he is. He’s priced above guys like Matt Ryan and Phillip Rivers this week, and I just don’t think he’s a great bargain there.
Despite the reports that Todd Gurley is washed up and will never be a starting running back again (hyperbole much?!), I still think the Rams running game is effective.
The trio of wide receivers is probably the best in the league. But at a position where the gap between quarterbacks is small, it doesn’t make sense to overpay at QB. Goff scored fewer than 16 fantasy points in eight games last season. He only scored over 20 points in five games. His floor is safe, but his ceiling is limited. I’d rather take a risk on a QB with more upside for cheaper.
RB: Leonard Fournette vs. KC ($6,100)
I’ve never been a Fournette guy. I thought he was a great runner in college but wasn’t sure his style would translate to the NFL. He has had his moments, but he is a far cry what the Jaguars thought they were getting when they drafted him. This week, he faces a Chiefs offense that will push the Jags out of their run-first comfort zone and into air raid mode. Fournette is an average pass catcher, but I think the game script hurts his stock this week.
Furthermore, his price tag isn’t appealing. The three running backs on the slate directly beneath him in price are Dalvin Cook, Kerryon Johnson, and Chris Carson. I like ANY of those players more than Fournette this week. Do yourself a favor and save a couple of hundred bucks and take one of them instead. Take a page out of Macklemore's book and go thrift shopping.
WR: Tyreek Hill @ JAX ($7,600)
In most weeks, you feel pretty good paying up for Tyreek Hill. As his previous Twitter handle would suggest, he is indeed "faster than ya."
Now I think he is liable to break off a big play, even against the stingy Jacksonville defense. However, it is reported that he will be shadowed by Jalen Ramsey all game. Last season, the Jaguars limited Hill to four catches for 61 yards. They made a concerted effort to take the home run play away from Kansas City and make Mahomes throw to Kelce and Watkins.
I think the Jags run back that same game plan. All it takes is one misstep and a split second for Hill to make even the best cornerback look silly and take one 70 yards to the house. But this week, I'm not shelling out the dough for Hill.
TE: George Kittle @ TB ($6,600)
Listen. I know that he is one of the top three tight ends in the league. That’s not what we are debating here. But that price tag is a hefty one, and Jimmy G has looked underwhelming in what we’ve seen in the preseason. I need to see the connection between these two before I pay up for Kittle.
Let’s also not forget, Kyle Shanahan has two starting-caliber running backs in Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida. I believe the Niners will run the ball quite a bit, mixing in short passes and screens out of the backfield. Those are their best offensive weapons besides Kittle. Not to say Kittle won’t have a good game against the Bucs defense. He may very well have a great game. I’m just skittish on his price coming out of the gate. If I have to fade a tight end this week in DFS fantasy football, it’s going to be him because of his price and the inconsistent play of his QB so far.
Best of luck to everyone and here’s to hoping your squad balls out — and you cash out.