NFL Conference Championship DFS: The Fade List

“Boy, do I hate to lose.” Peyton Manning

Last week, I recommended fading Jonathan Stewart due to his struggles in recent times and I feel as though he read my article because three minutes into the game he had already accumulated 12+ DraftKings’ points. I was bullish on James Jones who ended up making zero catches in a great offensive matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. This week I feel like the fade list is a lot simpler to construct based on the fact that none of these players listed have proven their worth. With just two games remaining,  we are dealing with a narrow field and there is no margin for error.

This week, it is all about precision. The Steelers are no longer in the picture therefore we do not have to worry about injury reports. There are no bad defenses remaining and the majority of players on these four teams have had spectacular DFS performances during the regular season. With that said, there are some definite holes in this week’s conference championship round that experts must be made aware of. Here is my fade list for the conference championship games. Enjoy!

QB Peyton Manning $5500DK

Don’t be fooled by the low price, Manning is the lowest priced starting quarterback on DraftKings for a reason and you should avoid drafting him at all costs. Manning had the chance to prove himself against an inferior passing defense in the Pittsburgh Steelers and he struggled mightily. Manning finished the game completing 21 of 37 passes for 222 yards and failed to score any passing touchdowns. This week he’s matched up against the Patriots and if he couldn’t meet expectations against a team which allowed 272 passing yards per game during the regular season in the Steelers, then he will struggle against the Patriots who allowed just 241 passing yards per game during the regular season. In the last three games he has played, Manning has thrown six interceptions and has been held without a passing touchdown. Don’t expect him to suddenly rise from the life of mediocrity and deliver great statistics against a very solid defense.

Arizona Cardinals Running Back David Johnson (31).
Arizona Cardinals Running Back David Johnson (31).

RB David Johnson $6500DK

The Green Bay Packers did an excellent job at containing David Johnson as they limited him to 35 yards from 15 carries. The Carolina Panthers have had a solid rushing defense this season, limiting backs to just 88.4 rushing yards per game, the fourth best in the league. They also did a superb job at limiting Marshawn Lynch and forced the Seahawks to put the ball in the air. The Arizona Cardinals have a prolific passing offense and will also look to throw the ball further limiting Johnson’s workload. Keep in mind, over the last two games, Johnson has struggled averaging just 2.3 yards per carry. It’s a high price to pay for someone who will only get between 10-15 carries and has not had much success as of late.

RB James White $4600DK

You’re probably thinking James White at $4600DK is a good buy considering it’s a limited field and he does have 410 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns to his name this season. Avoid White at all costs because Denver shut him down once before and he will not be a factor in this AFC Championship game. In his last meeting in Denver, White finished with three carries for one yard and two catches for five yards. While he hasn’t had any success running the ball this season, he has been great receiving the ball when you consider his price. With that said, the Patriots are healthy again which means that White will have a limited role against the Broncos. There are better, cheaper options out there like C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman.

Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88).
Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88).

WR Demaryius Thomas $7000DK

Demaryius Thomas scored six regular season touchdowns this season and five of them were away from Denver which is the first of many reasons as to why you should fade him. In his last matchup against the Patriots, he was targeted a whopping 13 times yet he had just one catch for 36 yards. Against an inferior passing defense like the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, Thomas had just 40 receiving yards from four catches. At this stage of the season, DFS experts are hoping for some level of consistency however Thomas has proven that he’s far too inconsistent to risk $7000DK. His numbers are drastically better on the road, he was limited by the Patriots in an earlier matchup and Peyton has struggled with this passing offense which are all the reasons to fade him.

WR Danny Amendola $4400DK

For starters, Amendola didn’t have much of an impact in the divisional round besides a dirty tackle on a defenseless receiver. He has not scored a touchdown in the last four games and during the last five games he has averaged just 29.2 receiving yards per game. The Patriots are no longer banged up which leaves limited opportunities for Amendola and while Tom Brady loves to put the ball in the air, as we witnessed in the divisional round, Amendola has not been receiving much attention from his future Hall of Fame quarterback. Over the last three games, Amendola has just been targeted a combined nine times which is a drastic difference from the time the Patriots receiving core were banged up. If you’d like to take a gamble, go with Ted Ginn Jr. or even Keshawn Martin but if you select Amendola, you’re playing with fire.

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