Fading Players in Best Ball

Best Ball Fantasy Football Fantasy Football

Last week I discussed my favorite picks on Underdog Fantasy this month. Now, let’s discuss the opposite…fading or having very low exposure to a player in best ball.

First, I think it’s important to understand fading in best ball or low exposure/underweight. In DFS, it’s pretty straightforward. You will have an ownership projection on a player and you can go underweight exposure to that player compared to his ownership. Or you can outright fade the player if you think he’s bad chalk.

In best ball, a majority of the players are going to be 100% owned, or very highly owned. Getting low ownership in playoffs or Finals on Underdog or DraftKings actually means that the player either was injured during the season, underperformed during the season, or underperformed in the quarter and/or semi-finals of the playoffs. So you can strategize ways to push through a “low-owned” player in playoffs. That’s a conversation and article for another day.

In best ball, even if you are drafting 150 teams, you still want to make stands. If you fade or are underweight on a player, it could be for a variety of reasons – weak team offense, injury risks, difficult schedule, difficult playoff schedule, etc. But probably the biggest reason you will fade a player in best ball is that you think he is being overvalued or his ADP is too high.

And on Underdog Fantasy and DraftKings, it is fine to make strong stands and fade players if you feel strongly they will underperform their ADP. Especially on Underdog and DraftKings, because even if a player has an amazing season but weak playoffs, your fade was correct. I faded QB Jalen Hurts and RB Josh Jacobs for the most part last year in best ball. And I still had a 27% advance rate and had a team make the BBM3 Finals. And believe me, I’m taking an L on those fades and acknowledging I was wrong on those players. But on Underdog and DraftKings it didn’t hurt me because Jacobs had a very weak playoffs overall (especially quarter & semi-finals) and Hurts was injured and out for the semi-finals and finals.

Now on Drafters best ball (season-long scoring weeks 1-17) that’s a totally different story. Because of the cumulative scoring, if you fade a player that has a massive season, you are hurting. But in Underdog and DraftKings you can even miss on a player and still have success. But one or both of these things need to happen to have success even making some incorrect fades:

-Most importantly, you have to be correct on a lot of your stands of players you have high exposure to in your portfolio

-The stud players you faded are out or have a poor best ball playoffs (Weeks 15-17)

This is all to say, don’t be afraid to make big stands or fades, especially on Underdog and DraftKings. So with that, below are the players I’m fading or underweight exposure. Now this could change for me as their ADPs change this summer, so I’ll revisit this each month as well. Also, I’m only talking about fades for the top 100 picks/very strong stands.


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Meg’s April – June Best Ball Fades:


Justin Fields – Maybe this will be Jalen Hurts 2.0. Or maybe not. This was a historically low-volume passing offense. If it’s not Hurts 2.0, you are really just relying on massive rushing games. He carries one of the biggest injury risks at the QB position given how much he runs. If I do draft more shares of him later, I will draft with two other QBs. His ADP has come down some, so I probably will grab some shares.

-Anthony Richardson – ADP is still way too high for me. I’m low on rookies overall and we wrote a whole article series with a ton of data here.



-Travis Etienne – His ADP is too high considering the Jaguars drafted Tank Bigsby and it sounds like they want to scale back Etienne’s workload.

-Jamhyr Gibbs – Simply much better DraftKings or Drafters pick in full point PPR. Not as good of a fit on Underdog and TD-hunting scoring.

D’Andre Swift Simply much better DraftKings or Drafters pick in full point PPR. Not as good of a fit on Underdog and TD-hunting scoring. Would rather take the discount on Penny or Gainwell from the Eagles’ later in drafts.

Alvin Kamara – Wasn’t impressed last season and carries a lot of risk with suspension. Now in a more crowded backfield too.



Christian Watson – He’s a big talent, but had outlier touchdowns given his targets and other data. Will things regress from Aaron Rodgers to Jordan Love? Probably. I simply like other receivers around him more.

-DJ Moore – See Justin Fields – historically low passing offense. Would have to see a massive jump in passing to take advantage of this ADP.

Brandon Aiyuk I’m high on the 49ers’ offense but Aiyuk is the 4th weapon on the totem pole behind CMC, Samuel, and Kittle.

-Michael Pittman – See Anthony Richardson. I’m not high on this passing offense at all.

Marquise Brown I would target Brown more on DraftKings. But when we’re TD hunting on Underdog, I don’t see the Cardinals scoring a ton of them, and if so, I’d rather target RB James Conner later.

-Jaxson Smith-Njigba – Unless I’m doing a Geno Smith stack, I like taking the discount on Lockett later or paying up for Metcalf.

Treylon Burks He is a raw player in a run-heavy offense.

-Zay Flowers – I have concerns he’ll be used more in gadget-type role in year 1 in Baltimore with the main targets being Mark Andrews, Rashod Bateman, and Odell Beckham.

Michael Thomas We just haven’t seen it in so long from Thomas. Maybe if his price falls further I’ll take shares.




T.J. Hockenson Honestly, if I miss on Travis Kelce or Mark Andrews, I like to wait at the TE position because I think there are great values late in the draft at the position. I sometimes take Kittle, Pitts, Goedert, or Engram, especially in stacks. But I just haven’t prioritized Hockenson in the top 50 yet.

Darren Waller -Similar to above, I either get a hero TE or usually wait. I simply like the other tight ends around him better.

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