Welcome to the very FIRST edition of Five Fades for NBA FanDuel from FantasyCPR.com! Instead of the usual “who should I target” column you are used to seeing here, this article will take the opposite approach, and suggest players that you should NOT PLAY instead. Whether it be a bad match-up, or bad chalk, I am here to try to figure it out for you.
It becomes very tough to write NBA FanDuel DFS columns with the way the news is, and the fact that we like to be a first look website. We try to give you the best analysis possible as early as we can, and sometimes by the time you have read our articles here at FantasyCPR, a lot of what we had written can honestly be thrown out the window at times with the unexpected situations that arise throughout the day.
Take Monday for example. What a whirlwind that was. Blake Griffin rested, Giannis Antetokounmpo rested… I could go on for days here and I am sure you remember it well. I took a personal hit with my now “former” targets column, as I was all over Griffin before the news. It’s frustrating at times when you are writing for people and trying to help them, and it ends up not working out.
I think you get the idea, and I was brainstorming Monday night and watching these games, and decided to switch it up. So here we are, and welcome to Five Fades for Fanduel.
NBA FanDuel Five Fades: 12/12/18:
Here is what will happen in the next few slides. First, normally I will start with some news about tonight’s slate. We have an enormous 11-game slate tonight, and what I plan to normally do before we get to the fades, is talk about what we may already know about the slate. I am going to skip that today as we have other articles covering it for the most part, but it will be here next time.
By the time this is published, we should easily have a solid idea of who we do not intend to play. Therefore, this should work out really well, and possibly be a starting point for your future DFS research. That is the goal anyways, so I plan to bring you some solid fades.
I love to write geared toward the novice player. Maybe you just stumbled upon this and play daily fantasy sports, but don’t do Twitter or social media. Maybe you googled NBA FanDuel and found and clicked on this article, either way, you are here and you may not know what a “fade” means. Well it’s easy and it’s just DFS lingo. It simply means you won’t be playing that particular player. The term is used when a player is shaping up to be a popular play from an ownership perspective, and you decide he will not live up to his salary and expectations, and therefore you are fading him. Simple.
I will give a fade at each position. I am going to keep it to five to keep it a nice, short, informative read. The fades will be one PG, one SG, one SF, one PF, and one Center of course. To make it slightly more interesting, after I talk about why I am choosing to not play that player today, I will follow each fade up with a “pivot play”, or somebody right around the same price tag to look at instead. Sound fun? I think it does, so without further ado, let’s check out today’s five fades!
NBA FanDuel Five Fades: Point Guard – 12/12/18
Damian Lillard – Portland Trail Blazers – $9,700
My top fade at the point guard tonight will be Lillard. We have a huge slate, and as a general rule of thumb, you always want to check to see who played last night. Tired legs are a thing when these teams travel and play on consecutive days, and this is the situation we find Lillard in tonight. To add to this, I also prefer to fade all guards period on a back-to-back, especially those that are known as “jump shooters.” Sometimes those players that rely on their outside game to generate fantasy points are at a slight disadvantage than maybe some other options in that price range.
So yes, Dame and Blazers were in action last night in Houston against the Rockets, and tonight they stop in Memphis to play the Grizzlies. The Grizz have an elite defender at the point guard position in Mike Conley, but he is questionable for this game. Whether Conley plays or not, Lillard is a fade for me tonight in all formats, and if I am paying up at all, I am likely going all the way up to Russell Westbrook.
Ben Simmons – Philadelphia 76ers – $9,200
For $500 less, the best pivot here at the point guard position is shaping up to be Ben Simmons. Jimmy Butler is doubtful for tonight’s game, and Simmons and teammate Joel Embiid will likely be highly targeted today, and for good reason. Simmons was solid in the recent home-and-home battle with the Pistons, averaging right around 49 FDP between the two.
Tonight the Sixers have a juicy home match-up with the Nets, who Simmons has also excelled against. In the last two meetings between these teams, he is averaging 45 FDP with a 44.5 performance in the last meeting. Simmons could be low-owned here with all of the studs on the slate, and this is a great spot for him.
NBA FanDuel Five Fades: Shooting Guard – 12/12/18
Brad Beal – Washington Wizards – $8,700
There really isn’t a ton of high-priced shooting guards really ever besides James Harden, but there are usually a handful of solid plays in the $7-9K range on big slates like this. Beal is coming off of a 44 minute game in which he took 27 shots, but he only made 10. It appears as though teammate John Wall will be back for this one, and I think that will drastically cut into Beal’s production for tonight.
The Wizards are still a mess, and they could have a really tough time with the Celtics defense tonight. All in all, paying this much for Beal on this slate with all of these options would not be a smart idea today.
D’Angelo Russell – Brooklyn Nets – $7,100
For $1600 less than Beal, I am really liking Nets SG D’Angelo Russell. Brooklyn will clash with the Sixers in Philly, and Russell’s game has been pretty consistent as of late. He is coming off of a poor shooting game however, so that could keep his ownership down a bit, but $7,100 seems like a fair price.
Against the Knicks on Saturday, Russell was just 4-14 from the floor, and only managed nine points. He did have 11 assists, and the fact that he is becoming more than just a jump shooter is appealing. Last time these teams met, Russell was on fire. He finished with a 38-8-8 stat line, as the Nets lost a close one 127-125. This looks like the game to stack for so many reasons, and Russell is easily my top choice on this Nets team.
NBA FanDuel Five Fades: Small Forward – 12/12/18
Kevin Durant – Golden State Warriors – $10,200
Tonight we get a treat of a late game, as Durant and the fully healthy Warriors will host the 22-7 Toronto Raptors at Oracle Arena. The overall usage for KD is down a little bit as of late with the return of Stephen Curry, but both the PG and the SF here will have very tough match-up’s here, as they tangle with two of the best defenders in the league.
Kawhi Leonard was questionable all day yesterday, until he was finally ruled out long after lock. We kind have had to expect him to sit last night, as the Raptors will likely need their full arsenal in this match-up. I know Durant is one of the most talented players in the league, but on a huge slate with arguably the toughest defender in Leonard on the other side, I will pass on KD today.
Paul George – Oklahoma City Thunder – $9,100
That Nets/Sixers game looks juicy to stack, but this Thunder/Pelicans match-up in New Orleans tonight could end up being much better. The Vegas total currently sits at 232.5, and this looks like a fantastic individual match-up to target in this one.
OKC is hot, having won five of their last six, and PG13 and Russell Westbrook have been playing very well together since Westbrook returned. After a disappointing loss in Chicago to the Bulls on Friday, the Thunder bounced back to beat Utah 122-113 at home on Monday. George scored 31 points and grabbed four steals as well in that one, to finish with 49 FDP.
This game will play incredibly fast, and I think the studs in this game are the ones to target. George is red-hot, and his discount compared to Westbrook and Anthony Davis in this game make him a solid GPP pivot.
NBA FanDuel Five Fades: Power Forward – 12/12/18
John Collins – Atlanta Hawks – $8,000
I get it kind of. Just kidding. I mean his FDP has steadily increased over the last three games, and Collins is playing great. But $8,000???? Collins is healthy after missing some time to start the season, and he is playing solid basketball as of late with three straight games of 40+ FDP, including going for 50+ FDP last time out. But I just can’t pay this price for ANY Atlanta Hawk at this point. There are just much better options at this position for much cheaper.
Draymond Green – Golden State Warriors – $6,700
The top pivot play in this situation for me, has to be Draymond Green. In his return to the lineup against Minnesota on Monday, Green played 29 minutes, and was able to generate just over 30 FDP. I think this is a good spot for him to do more scoring tonight, as Curry will have his hands full with Kyle Lowry defense, and KD will be locked up with Kawhi Leonard. Green’s price remained the same as it was last game, and this is just too cheap for a player of this caliber. Green will likely be a popular cash game play at this price, but he also makes a solid GPP pivot from a much riskier play like Collins above.
NBA FanDuel Five Fades: Center – 12/12/18
Joel Embiid – Philadelphia 76ers – $10,700
Just when you thought I was going to play this whole article semi-safe and only write up the more obvious fades, I am going to go ahead and say fade Embiid in this fantastic match-up against the Nets. This will be a top recommended play everywhere you look today, and I get it because the Nets are bad at defending centers, but there are cheaper options that could also explode tonight.
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By all means fire up Embiid in cash games, as his floor is elite and he should smash here, but I say take a different route for tournaments, as he will likely be the highest owned center on the slate. Dig a bit on this one, as Embiid may actually not end up the top scorer at the position tonight either. Embiid did put up 54.4 FDP last time these teams met, but in the previous meeting he only managed 38 FDP.
Andre Drummond – Detroit Pistons – $9,500
One pivot play like here along with Drummond is Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Wolves will be on the road in Sacramento to face the Kings, where Towns exploded for 62.3 FDP in the last meeting between these teams. He had 39 points and 19 boards in that game, and while he is a solid GPP pivot, I like Drummond slightly more.
Drum has been rolling of late, and much like Towns, he finds himself in a spot that he also smashed in earlier this season. The Pistons just played three games in four days, and Drummond has averaged 49.6 FDP in that span. Tonight they will face the Hornets in Charlotte, and when these teams met just over a month ago, the Hornets couldn’t stop him. He grabbed every rebound in sight finishing with 22, and amassed 66.9 FDP. Give these guys some thought if you want to pay up elsewhere and pivot off of Embiid!
Thank you for giving this a read today, and be sure to stick around and check out all of our DFS articles from our talented writing staff here at FantasyCPR. I hope you enjoy the new format, as I think it will be a fun change of pace from the old targets format. Now that you know who not to play, and maybe who to pivot to, I wish you the best of the luck and skill on your DFS ventures this evening!