Saturday, November 7, 2015

Fades and Loss Leaders: Week 9

Week 8 was a disaster for a lot of season-long rosters. Injuries are about the only thing that can ruin the NLF's product. But in DFS, those injuries create value opportunities. The Next Man Up, especially for a running back, gets an immediate boost in playing time, but his salary generally remains low. This week we have DeAngelo Williams and Jeremy Langford filling those roles. Their salaries were bumped up $1,500 and $1,700 respectively, but both are still great values at $6,500 and $6,400.

The issue we run into when we lose players to injuries is clustered ownership percentages. We are now down Jamaal Charles, Arian Foster, Matt Forte and Le'Veon Bell. Not every single one of those situations provides us with an automatic Next Man Up. Without these players to help spread out ownership percentages, we see top-heavy exposure to chalk plays.

Bye weeks and London games don't help. Thankfully, we're done with London games for the season, and we have just a few more weeks of Byes. In the meantime, we'll stick to the process of identifying fades and loss leaders. Here's an excerpt from this week's edition:

Player

Salary

Game

Own %

Player

Salary

Game

Own %

Devonta Freeman $8900 ATL@SF 25.2 Lamar Miller $6900 MIA@BUF 3.2
DeAngelo Williams $6500 OAK@PIT 24 Adrian Peterson $8400 STL@MIN 2.8
Todd Gurley $9000 STL@MIN 14.4 LeSean McCoy $7800 MIA@BUF 2.6
Christopher Ivory $7500 JAC@NYJ 12.4 C.J. Anderson $6000 DEN@IND 1.8
Mark Ingram $7700 TEN@NO 12.2 Shane Vereen $5700 NYG@TB 1.5
Dion Lewis $7400 WAS@NE 11.3 T.J. Yeldon $6400 JAC@NYJ 1.4
Doug Martin $7100 NYG@TB 11.2 Melvin Gordon $6100 CHI@SD 1.2
Darren McFadden $6500 PHI@DAL 9.7 Antonio Andrews $5700 TEN@NO 1.2
Jeremy Langford $6400 CHI@SD 7.5 C.J. Spiller $5500 TEN@NO 1.2
Ronnie Hillman $6400 DEN@IND 6.2 Eddie Lacy $6700 GB@CAR 1.1
Danny Woodhead $6000 CHI@SD 5.7 Frank Gore $6700 DEN@IND 0.5
LeGarrette Blount $6400 WAS@NE 4 Ryan Mathews $5600 PHI@DAL 0.4
Jonathan Stewart $6600 GB@CAR 3.7 Darren Sproles $5500 PHI@DAL 0.4
DeMarco Murray $7500 PHI@DAL 3.5 Matt Jones $5800 WAS@NE 0.2
Latavius Murray $7000 OAK@PIT 3.2 Alfred Morris $5400 WAS@NE 0.1

After averaging 26 points per game through the first six weeks of the season, Devonta Freeman has scored 14 and 16.1 points over his last two. The Falcons offense as a whole has slowed down, which would explain why Freeman hasn’t found the endzone recently. That should change against the 49ers, who are allowing 22 fantasy points per game to running backs over the last three weeks. This contest doesn’t promise much in the way of a shootout, so volume and pace overall will be low. But that means more Freeman and less Julio Jones. His salary is tough to build around and his ownership is nearly prohibitive for tournaments, but a multi-touchdown game looks to be in order.

It feels like a long time ago but during the first two weeks of the season, with Le’Veon Bell serving suspension, DeAngelo Williams was our No. 1 scoring running back. An unfortunate injury to Bell has once again pushed Williams to the top of the depth chart. His salary and opportunity has pushed him to the top of the exposure chart as well, making him our second most popular option of all players as of Thursday night. As much as we’d like to take advantage of his salary while it’s low, the Raiders run defense has been quite good. They’ve yet to allow a 100-yard rusher and have allowed a total of five touchdowns to running backs all season. The Steelers offense is capable of changing that, but it’s more likely that they’re forced into a high volume passing attack in what could be a shootout.

Todd Gurley is justifying the Rams gambling a top-10 pick on him. Since getting a full workload in Week 4, he is averaging 141.5 yards per game on the ground and has contributed another 68 yards as a receiver. There were major concerns about this offensive line, and this offense in general, but he has quelled those concerns in true Adrian Peterson style. This week he’ll face a team that knows all about having their entire offense go through a game-changing running back. The Vikings, after being gashed by Carlos Hyde in Week 1, have allowed only 485 yards on the ground and one rushing touchdown. So this will be an interesting test for Gurley as they are sure to load the box and dare the Rams to throw. We’ll let the crowd swallow his $9,000 salary and chase surer game scripts.


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