Week Eight: Players to Avoid

Daily fantasy football isn’t all about who you are going to use. Sometimes it’s just as important to determine who you aren’t going to use. That way, if the salary happens to fit for your last spot, you’ll know which names to disregard in order to produce the greatest overall fantasy point output. Here are the guys to cross off your list heading into the eighth week of the NFL season.

Brian Hoyer, Texans, $10,800 – I know what you’re probably thinking here: “Brian Hoyer? Who would use him?” Actually he has been on quite the roll lately having thrown for at least 273 yards and two TDs in three straight games. During that stretch, he has scored at least 21.92 fantasy points in each game. The offense has taken off since the switch back from Ryan Mallett, who was released on Monday for a multitude of reasons including his bad attitude (and a missed flight). Unfortunately this may be the week his remarkable run comes to an end therefore making him a player to fade despite the cheap price. The Tennessee Titans have allowed the fewest passing yards of any team overall and the second least per game (allowing just three passing yards more per contest than the Denver Broncos). DeAndre Hopkins will likely get his against just about any defense, as did Julio Jones against the Titans last week, but it’s not a favorable matchup whatsoever for the QB. If you want a piece of this offense, Hopkins is your man.

Latavius Murray, Raiders, $12,100 – It is impossible to run on the New York Jets. Just look at LeGarrette Blount last week: three carries for negative three yards. The Patriots as a team ran it nine times for 16 yards or 1.8 yards per carry (YPC). No team has allowed less rushing yards overall nor per game and they allow seven yards less per game than second place Atlanta. This is a situation where I may just fade the whole Oakland offense as good as they have looked in recent weeks. Derek Carr will have a tough time finding open receivers against the Jets’ great corners (Darrelle Revis will likely shadow Amari Cooper) despite how excellent Carr has looked recently, and he will not have a run game to fall back on. The Raiders offense simply doesn’t offer much value this week besides maybe expecting the emergence of Clive Walford this week but that strategy would be left for tournaments only.

Alfred Blue, Texans, $9,800 – Only three teams have allowed more rushing yards than the Tennessee Titans and Alfred Blue is the rightful heir to the Texans’ running back (RB) throne. So why would I be off Blue? Well, in my opinion, he really isn’t simply “the next man in line” because I think Chris Polk is the better back. At some point, Coach Bill O’Brien is going to realize we’ve seen enough of Blue’s mediocrity and he’s going to start using Polk more. The Texans (2-5) are only one game behind the division leading Colts (3-4 and no that’s not a typo) so there’s certainly motivation. I don’t believe it’ll take long for O’Brien to realize Polk gives them a better chance to win and I think they start splitting carries as soon as this week. That limits the value of a player with an already capped upside and deems him not worthy of using anywhere.

Anquan Boldin, 49ers, $8,700 – Colin Kapernick isn’t the ideal fantasy (nor reality) quarterback (QB) for any player but Anquan Boldin’s role as the top target by default still earns him weekly consideration. St. Louis’ defense, led by defensive-minded Coach Jeff Fisher, is only allowing 19.8 points per game and 351 total yards per game (both rank in the bottom 12). Three of Kaepernick’s last five games have been complete duds; in each of those games he threw for 160 yards or less with zero combined passing TDs. I repeat: he has not thrown a passing TD in three of his last five games. Matched up against a good defense, this essentially makes it impossible to trust any option in San Francisco’s passing game regardless of target totals. Sometimes Boldin may be worth the shot but on the road in St. Louis’ home dome is essentially a death trap.

Antonio Gates/Ladarius Green, Chargers – Philip Rivers is red hot and he loves his tight ends (TEs), but the team faces a Baltimore Ravens team allowing the second least amount of fantasy points to the position. This is because they have been absolutely roasted by WRs; they’ve allowed 1498 yards and 11 TDs to the position, which both rank second to only Kansas City. Basically I think Rivers will enjoy plenty of success spreading the ball around to his WRs Keenan Allen, Malcolm Floyd and Stevie Johnson to the point where he won’t need to rely heavily on the TEs. I’m not advocating avoiding the San Diego offense whatsoever because I again think they are one of the best overall plays. Instead, I think the game plan will not heavily include the TEs (at least not enough to justify their prices) so they’re the ones to leave out of a Chargers stack.

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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