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Week 7 Daily fantasy football picks: Fades and contrarian plays

Aug 17, 2018; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) before a preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

With a focus on our projected ownership percentages for DraftKings (here) and FanDuel (here), today we will be looking at the fantasy football players we should be fading and some we should target instead in DFS tournaments for Week 7.

However, there’s an important caveat here: Sometimes these players will be an outright fade – their ownership is too high to warrant playing them at all. Sometimes these players will only be a partial fade – their ownership is too high to warrant playing them in large-field tournaments (such as DraftKings’ Millionaire Maker or FanDuel Sunday Millions) but they’re still a good enough play on paper that I might not be fading them in smaller-field (or higher stakes) tournaments. I’ll note the differences in the analysis below.

I’ll also offer potential pivot or leverage plays below each strategy-related fade, and, at the end of the article a few lower-owned options I think should be higher-owned than from what we’re expecting.

For a more in-depth explanation on why ownership percentages matter and what a contrarian approach entails, you can read my primer here.

(Want to see Scott Barrett’s favorite DFS tournament plays of the week? Click here.)

Straight fades

If I wanted to take the easy way out, I’d say “Fade Kevin WhiteTyler Higbee, and Tavon Austin.” Instead, here are some players who will draw decent ownership, have a few variables going their way, and who I spent some time researching, but won’t have any exposure to this week.

Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts

Luck is projected to be one of our five highest-owned quarterbacks on both sites, but that makes little sense to me given the matchup. The Bills rank third-best in fantasy points allowed per dropback, fifth-best in pressures generated per dropback, and second-best in schedule-adjusted fantasy points per game allowed to opposing quarterbacks. Luck ranks fifth among quarterbacks in fantasy points, benefiting far more from volume (leads all quarterbacks in pass attempts per game) than efficiency (ranks just 23rd in passer rating). I can't see Indianapolis needing to go pass-heavy this week as 7.5-point home favorites.

New Orleans Saints running backs

Alvin Kamara is superhuman and Mark Ingram is nearly as capable as his sidekick. Both feel like dangerous fades any week, but I just can’t get behind them in this matchup. Baltimore is giving up the second-fewest rushing fantasy points per game and the fewest receiving fantasy points per game to enemy running backs.

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