When setting your weekly NFL DFS lineups, it can be just as helpful to have an idea of whom you DON’T want to include as whom you do. Every Friday we’ll highlight a few players that you might want to fade. When a player appears here, it mainly refers to fading him in cash games. If you play in a lot of large field, multi-entry tournaments, you might consider just being underweight on these players relative to the field rather than not using them at all.
The App is Back! Don’t forget to download the NBC Sports EDGE app to receive real-time player news, mobile alerts and track your favorite players. Plus, now you can check out articles and player cards. Get it here!
Players I’m fading for Wild Card Weekend include:
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City
Although the Chiefs are the best QB matchup (second-most fantasy points allowed to QB) of the weekend, Big Ben is not making it into my lineups. It feels like he had his last game in Week 18, in front of the home fans, and I don’t see him being the star in this game. If anything, I think the best chance the Steelers have to keep it somewhat close is a heavy dose of Najee Harris, as long as the elbow won’t hinder his ability to play Sunday. Ben is probably in line for another 12-15 fantasy points, just not worth it on a slate with so much more upside, even for similar salary (e.g. Jalen Hurts).
Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay
There seems to be a lot of enthusiasm around Sanders probable return to the field Sunday, but not on my part. This is a crowded backfield that just now gets more crowded. Boston Scott is back off the COVID list and Kenneth Gainwell had a great game in Week 18 vs. Dallas, so there is no shortage of options if Philly keeps up their heavy run game. However, even that is a plan I question. Tampa Bay is one of the best run defenses in the league, giving up the fifth-fewest fantasy points to the position. I expect them to be playing from behind, and definitely expect the Bucs to try to force Hurts to make plays with his arm.
Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills vs. New England
The weather is going to be a killer of fantasy value in this one. Single digits with sub-zero wind chills is not the ideal for throwing nor catching passes. If you’re considering spending on Diggs, just go a little higher and get Kupp or Samuel in much better spots. An Allen-Diggs tournament stack is even questionable…more risk than necessary in my opinion. You’ll get it at very low roster percentage, but at the cost, the rest of your lineup would have to be dynamite for it to work. In this game, I’m hoping for the best from Buffalo, but building lineups relying on rushing and defense.
James Conner, Arizona Cardinals at LA Rams
Earlier in the week, I was more optimistic about Conner, but now it seems less and less likely that he’ll actually play. Chase Edmonds says he’ll play, but this is a situation to approach with caution as it ultimately isn’t his call to make.
CEH had a setback and is now ruled out for Sunday’s playoff game. Williams is also still on the injury report, but is still a possibility to take the field. Value-hunters would love to see Jerrick McKinnon or Derrick Gore take a lead role in this game, considering that the Chiefs are expected to get off to a big lead and the Steelers allow a surprising seventh-most fantasy points to opposing running backs.
Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Philadelphia
It’s a great matchup, and now that Ronald Jones is ruled out, it sounds like the Bucs might have Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Fournette and Giovanni Bernard to choose from. My guess is a committee if they have the luxury of two or three active backs, and I’d guess at Fournette leading it if he gets the start. This is a case where there is still a lot of news to come out, so don’t do anything drastic until we get more clarity.
The unrelated Harris’ are both closer to probable for their respective games and I like them both on a slate with only one very clear RB option (Joe Mixon). Just be sure to check back to be sure they’re both good to go before the games lock.
Editor's Note: Looking for an added edge? Dominate all season long with our DFS Toolkit. Use our Lineup Optimizer to come up with winning lineups for DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo! Click here for more!
Players I like, but who are expected to have high ownership this weekend include: Dak Prescott, Patrick Mahomes, Joe Mixon, Cooper Kupp, Deebo Samuel, Travis Kelce, Rob Gronkowski, Bucs D/ST, Chiefs D/ST, Bills D/ST. You might consider deviating away from this player pool and pivoting in large GPPs if you’re after a more unique lineup.