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Week 2 Daily Fantasy Football Games to Fade

By Paul Wilson in Tips & Tricks / Strategies
| September 17, 2015 12:00 am PDT
New Orleans Saints Stadium

A lot of elements go into a successful week of daily fantasy football. Paying attention to injury news and player roles all week is huge, learning about the top values or sleepers can give you an edge, and researching rankings and start/sit columns to gauge the top performers and potential busts all helps you get ready for the week.

But there’s nothing like a deadly matchup or a game that has failure written all over it. Going into week one, you probably weren’t going to want to pick a lot of players in games between the Panthers and Jaguars, Chiefs and Texans, Rams and Seahawks or Redskins and Dolphins.

That was largely safe to assume thanks to questions under center, bad offensive lines, injuries or defensive rankings. You would have been wrong in some regards, as several Chiefs players went nuts, and the Rams and Seahawks combined for 65 points in an unlikely overtime thriller.

There will be misses in daily fantasy football, no matter which angle you take. Still, those four games were games to avoid (or fade) on the surface. Anyone can go off at any given time, but in daily fantasy football, you really should only be taking necessary risks. Avoiding those painful defensive battles is key in building a winner. Your weekly fantasy football lineup only gets so many options anyways, so why fill it with red flags?

To help you get away from those duds, let’s focus on four games to fade in week two:

Houston Texans @ Carolina Panthers

The Texans and Panthers both have stout defenses and neither have very good offenses, two facts that serve as the “duh” pieces of information to warn you about this game. Ryan Mallett offers some upside after being named Houston’s starting quarterback over the benched Brian Hoyer, but he’s on the road against a solid Carolina defense and has no threat in the running game. On the flip side, Cam Newton has no passing weapons beyond Greg Olsen and will be trying to out-smart J.J. Watt and a pretty good Texans defense.

The only daily fantasy football option in this game you can truly feel good about is DeAndre Hopkins, and even he could be dicey. This is a game you simply might want to fade.

Miami Dolphins @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Ryan Tannehill and the Miami offense wasn’t at its best in week one, when they produced just 10 points in a close win over a bad Redskins team. The decisive touchdown came from their special teams, which has this would-be elite offense looking shaky in week two. A big reason why is Jacksonville’s underrated defense, which held the Carolina Panthers offense to 13 true points last week (their other touchdown was a pick-six). The Jaguars tend to play better defense at home, too, so this has the makings of a defensive battle.

Miami does have loads of potential on offense, so it remains possible Ryan Tannehill, Lamar Miller, Jarvis Landry and Jordan Cameron all make some noise. But it’s a questionable road matchup and the Jags don’t have much to get excited about on the other end. Fading this game completely isn’t a bad idea.

Tennessee Titans @ Cleveland Browns

Marcus Mariota and the Titans poured it on thick last week, but we have to face the facts: they did it against a bad Buccaneers defense and got a ton of help out of the turnover machine that is Jameis Winston. The reality is that Tennessee’s defense isn’t very good and their offense hasn’t been tested yet. In week two they go up against a good Browns pass defense and the mediocre Bishop Sankey is a tough bet to do well for the second week in a row, even against a shaky Cleveland run defense.

There is some upside to this game if the Titans and Browns both run all over each other, while Johnny Manziel (if he starts) could also get the hype train going. Overall, though, this is a messy situation filled with poor matchups and players that are very tough to trust.

St. Louis Rams @ Washington Redskins

The Rams surprised us all last week by beating the Seahawks, but they were at home and they needed special teams help and some gadgetry from Tavon Austin. Now they’re on the road against a suddenly improved Redskins defense that largely held the Dolphins in check. St. Louis brings the defense, too, as they sacked Russell Wilson 6 times last week and contained Beast Mode.

There is absolutely potential in this game with guys like Nick Foles, Jordan Reed and Alfred Morris, but this is a bad game for running backs and both quarterbacks (especially Kirk Cousins) could turn the ball over like crazy. Very likely a defensive battle that ends up being low-scoring, this is a game best faded in week two.

You’ve heard the arguments and know the games that offer the least amount of upside. Now it’s up to you to decide whether to fade those games entirely, or gamble and pick the few options in those games that might pan out. Good luck with your risk-taking in daily fantasy football leagues this week.

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