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Week 8 Daily fantasy football picks: Fades and contrarian plays

Dec 17, 2017; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) reacts after a turnover in the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-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 8.

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 Andy Janovich, Russell Shepard, and Tyler Higbee.” 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.

Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers

Not only is Newton dealing with an injury to his throwing shoulder (the same one he had surgery on last year) but now he has the toughest possible matchup a quarterback can face. Baltimore leads all defenses in fantasy points allowed per dropback while also ranking second-best in opposing passer rating. Of course, Newton can always do damage with his legs, but it’s hard to bank on just that with so many negatives working against him.

Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers

As much as we may want a workhorse workload for Jones, I’m not willing to put my own money down and bet that things magically change this week. As 9.5-point underdogs, it wouldn’t be a very valuable role anyway, as Green Bay is likely to stick with the pass.

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