In this weekly series, we will highlight seven players we think will under perform for our fantasy teams. The players highlighted in this weekly series will consist of one quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, and one tight end. These are the players we are staying clear of in all DFS contests for the week. Now, we are not saying sit these players in your fantasy leagues, but just temper expectations for the week.
Daniel Jones (Versus the Pittsburgh Steelers)
It is no secret that Daniel Jones has arguably the toughest schedule at the position through the first half of the season, and that growling stretch starts week one. Daniel Jones and company will be taking on our number one ranked fantasy defense for 2020, the Pittsburgh Steelers. This Steeler defense is loaded on every level, from the defensive line all the way back to the secondary. This defensive unit lived in their opponent’s backfields last season, ranking first in that category. This type of ferocious pass rush does not bode well for old Danny Dimes, who struggled last season with ball security when under duress.
(Finished the week with 17.36 FP)
Nick Chubb (At the Baltimore Ravens)
Chubb figures to be a key piece to this new Stefanski led run heavy offense in 2020. Chubb also lit this defense up last season during a week four trip to this very stadium. In that game Chubb turned heads with his 20-165-3 rushing line, while adding 3-18 in the passing game. Not to mention the last time this defensive unit was on the field Derrick Henry was completely dismantling them to the tune of 30 carries for 195 yards. That’s just it Henry completely exposed this defenses weakness, which then prompted GM Eric DeCosta to address this area of concern aggressively this off season. DeCosta went and brought in two solid defensive lineman in Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe. You add these two giants to Brandon Williams, who was this defensive fronts anchor last year, and what you have is a defensive front that will not only be able to get pressure up the middle now, but also one that will make running the rock efficiently damn near impossible. Not to mention Chubb will be sharing the backfield with Kareem Hunt, who will no doubt eat into Chubb’s opportunity. As was the case in the week 16 meeting between these two clubs, where Chubb put up a terrible 15-45-0 rushing line, and did not contribute at all as a pass catcher. There is no denying Chubb is a solid running back who will produce in 2020, we just caution his fantasy owners to temper expectations in week one.
(Finished the week with 5.6 FP)
Alvin Kamara (Versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Alvin Kamara has a tough test in week one, as he will face the number one ranked rush defense from 2019. This unit in year one under Todd Bowles got better as the season went on, and now entering year two in the Bowles’ system figures to be even better. This unit allowed an average of 73.8 yards on the ground last season, which was way above the number two ranked Jets in this category. In fact, this defensive front only allowed one rusher to surpass 100 yards on the ground, Chris Carson (105) who needed overtime and one 59-yard run to achieve it. In the two meetings last season, Kamara failed to score and averaged 68.5 yards on the ground, but did, find success in the passing game against the unit catching 16 out of 17 balls for 89 yards combined in those two meetings. However, week one we historically see offenses struggle to keep up with defenses so we feel a good defensive struggle may ensue in this week one clash, contrary to those who feel this will be a high scoring affair. Also, let us not forget what this defense did to the league’s best running back last season, holding Christian McCaffrey to under a 100 total yards, TWICE! Again you're not benching Kamara just temper expectations for week one.
(Finished the week with 23.7 FP)
Mike Evans (At the New Orleans Saints)
In week one Tom Brady’s new X receiver has a date with a familiar division foe. Mike Evans will once again be battling with PFF’s fifth ranked corner in Marshon Lattimore. In their last five meetings, Evans saw 35 targets catching 17 for 301 yards and one touchdown. The thing is, 41% of that production came back in 2018 during a week one contest that saw Evans put up a 7-147-1 receiving line. This means that Evans averaged 2.5 catches a game for 38.5 yards in the other four games, signaling that the young corner has pretty much had Evans number. We also like Lattimore to take another big leap forward in 2020 making the afternoon even tougher for Evans. So, with Lattimore projected to be even better in 2020 coupled with the defensive struggle we spoke about above, we feel Evans gets off to a slow start in 2020, and is a player we should fade in week one.
(Finished the week with 7.2 FP)
Terry McLaurin (Versus the Philadelphia Eagles)
Finding McLaurin on this list may be a bit surprising, especially to those who remember what he did to this club twice last season, putting up a 5-125-1 line in week one, and a 5-130-1 line in week fifteen. Here is the thing that was last season when the Eagles secondary was a punching bag to opposing quarterbacks and wide outs. The team went out and bolstered this deficiency at corner back by acquiring a solid slot corner in Nickell Robey-Coleman, as well as PFF’s eleventh ranked corner in Darius Slay. Slay likely will be the corner who is tasked with slowing down McLaurin, who essentially is Washington’s entire passing attack. This will not be the first time these two square off either, as the two met last season during a week 12 tilt. After this game Slay had some high praise for McLaurin saying he was one of the best wide outs he ever faced. In this week 12 match up, McLaurin put up a decent 5-72-0 line. This line is OK but it took 12 targets to get it there. We should mention in all fairness to McLaurin, Haskins over threw him twice for what would have been two easy touchdowns making this line much better. Regardless, this will be a fun one to watch that will pit one of the league’s best young wide outs against one of the league’s best corners. McLaurin could be completely shut down in this contest, or he could continue to be that Eagle killer we saw last season. We just don't know who will come out on top, and is why McLaurin is a fade for us in week one.
(Finished the week with11.1 FP)
DeVante Parker (At the New England Patriots)
For all you Parker truthers out there close your eyes because you won’t like what you read here. Parker’s long overdue reality check is coming in week one. All off season we have heard how great of a wide receiver he is, well guess what he will get to prove it in week one against a guy he shredded last season in week 17, when he put up a 8-137-0 receiving line. That’s right he has a rematch with the Patriot’s top shutdown corner Stephon Gilmore. This time Gilmore will be fresh and hungry to prove that Parker’s big performance was a fluke/ bad day for the corner. In addition, another player will be on the field that wasn’t in that meeting and that is Preston Williams, who was severely outperforming Parker before missing the second half of the season with a torn ACL. Oh ya, and let’s not forget Parker has been dealing with an injury that has forced him out of practice the last few weeks. So when we add up the brutal match up, missed time, and return of Williams it is easy to see why Parker is a fade for us in week one.
(Finished the week with 8.7 FP)
Austin Hooper (At the Baltimore Ravens)
Hooper has been getting a lot of hype during training camp, as videos of him scoring touchdown after touchdown in team scrimmages keep showing up on our screens. However, he starts his stint as a Brown against a very tough defense, which is chalk full of talented defenders. Last season this group allowed only two tight ends to surpass 50 yards receiving, showing just how dominant they are at defending the position. It is possible the Browns find themselves down early in this contest, forcing first year head coach Kevin Stefanski to abandon his run heavy attack, which could mean more opportunity for Hooper. Many will look to last season where Hooper saw a lot of volume in this type of game script, where Matt Ryan would feed him underneath. The only problem with that comparison and reasoning is Cleveland isn’t the same as Atlanta. Hooper will be competing with Jarvis Landry out of the slot and Kareem Hunt out of the backfield for those underneath looks. So the tough match up and the competition for targets underneath has us backing off of Hooper and tempering expectations for week one.
(Finished the week with 3.5 FP)