3 Daily Fantasy Football Players to Avoid in the Wild Card Round
We have loads of pieces on numberFire dedicated to helping you figure out which plays you should target in your daily fantasy football contests on FanDuel and DraftKings. And you should definitely check them all out!
But an underrated aspect of the DFS process is figuring out who you shouldn't play. Narrowing down your short list of potential plays by avoiding those who are overpriced and/or in tough matchups goes a long way towards ensuring that you create optimal lineups.
Let's go through three guys to consider fading on this week's DFS main slates.
Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans
FanDuel Price: $8,100
DraftKings Price: $6,400
If you are playing this weekend's four-game slate, it's always tough differentiating yourself. Among the quarterbacks who are likely to be somewhat popular, Deshaun Watson may be the one to fade
Watson has enjoyed an outstanding season in terms of Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back. His 0.19 Passing NEP per drop back clocks him in 11th among the 39 passers with 150 or more drop backs. That's the good.
Here's the scary part -- the defense he will face, the Buffalo Bills, is one of the league's elite. The Bills rank eighth in total defense and ninth against the pass, and only one team, the Dallas Cowboys, has surpassed 300 passing yards against Buffalo.
There's also the issue of Will Fuller's health as the speedy wideout is reportedly a long shot to play. Fuller sitting would be a big deal for Watson's outlook. Per our Brandon Gdula, in nine games this season in which Fuller has played at least half the snaps, Watson has averaged 0.35 Passing NEP per drop back. Without Fuller for at least half the snaps (six games), Watson is at -0.02.
The Bills also did a solid job getting pressure on the quarterback, ranking 13th in Adjusted Sack Rate. With options like Drew Brees and Russell Wilson in smash spots and this game featuring the lowest over/under on the slate, it's tough to play Watson, especially if Fuller sits.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings
FanDuel Price: $8,000
DraftKings Price: $7,800
Despite Dalvin Cook carrying his lowest price tag of the season since Week 3, it isn't easy to use him this weekend.
While the over/under is the highest of the weekend, the Minnesota Vikings' implied team total of 21.00 points ain't great. And consider this -- the high-flying New Orleans Saints carry the moniker of an offensive juggernaut, but their defense solid, especially versus the run as they sport the fifth-best run D, per our metrics.
Even with Minnesota a 7.5-point underdog, the money is pouring in on the Saints -- 79% of bets and 74% of cash is backing the home team, per our oddsFire tool. This is a Saints team that has allowed the seventh-fewest FanDuel points to opposing running backs, so a big day may not be in store for Cook. Spend elsewhere.
A.J. Brown, WR, Tennessee Titans
FanDuel Price: $7,700
DraftKings Price: $7,400
If you live in Boston or are just a fan of the Patriots, this could feel like the end of the dynasty. But A.J. Brown and the Tennessee Titans' passing attack just may not be the ones to deliver that fatal blow.
While Brown has enjoyed a breakout season, racking up 1,051 rushing yards and 8 scores, this isn't some ordinary defense he takes on this week in New England as the Patriots rank first overall and against the pass, per our numbers.
Prior to their Week 17 setback against the Miami Dolphins, this New England D had not allowed a single team to eclipse 300 passing yards against them. Toss in an ugly 19.00-point implied total for Tennessee, and Brown doesn't make for a stand out choice. Look for the Titans to try to pound Derrick Henry early and often as they hope to spring the upset.
Matt Kupferle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Matt Kupferle also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username MKupferle. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.