Winning tournaments takes some luck, but you have to set yourself up for that luck to work out to a big payday. In smaller slates like these during the playoffs, predicting rostership percentages for each player and then fading the correct higher percentage players is key to winning.
Fading a player in GPPs (tournaments) doesn’t mean you don’t play him at all, but it can mean playing him on 20 percent of your lineups versus 80 percent. You can go full contrarian if you want, but hedging into the perfect lineup is fine as well.
This Sunday’s AFC Championship Game is a rematch of a Week 17 duel in which the Cincinnati Bengals bested the favored Kansas City Chiefs in a 34-31 thriller. The Chiefs, who were 4.5-point favorites then, are listed at -7 in this home game with a 54.5 over-under, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. Here are a few players to consider fading in your GPPs this weekend.
Ja’Marr Chase, WR, Bengals ($6,700)
If you’re looking to separate yourself from the pack in your tournaments, you should probably stay away from Chase. He should be one of the highest-owned players on the slate at this price, which is the lowest of the four No. 1 wideouts playing this weekend. Chase absolutely tortured the Chiefs’ defense a few weeks ago with a record-setting 266-yard outing. He caught 11 passes, scored thrice and looked like the best player on the field at times. It’s highly unlikely that Kansas City will be able to shut him down like they did Stefon Diggs last week (three catches, seven yards), but there’s no doubt that he will be the focus of KC’s defensive game plan.
Joe Burrow, QB, Bengals ($6,600)
Burrow was a smart player to fade last week as he was held to just 16.4 DraftKings points and without a touchdown in Tennessee. One major reason for his relative struggles was the Titans’ pass rush, which got to Burrow nine times during the Divisional round. The Chiefs don’t boast as lofty of a sack count as the Titans, but they did rank among the top five defenses during the regular season in hurry rate and pressure rate. The Chiefs sacked Burrow four times in Week 17. Of course, that didn’t stop the sophomore-year star from putting up 446 passing yards and four touchdowns. Forecasting a repeat on the road in a conference title game would be foolish, and the Chiefs should be able to create enough pressure to make Burrow uncomfortable. He’s another player with a cheap price, $800 less than Patrick Mahomes. But it might be worth paying up for the home QB in this game.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Chiefs ($5,300)
In his first game in nearly a month, C-E-H looked pretty good against the Bills, taking seven carries for 60 yards and catching one of two targets. You might be tempted to roster him at this price, but the Chiefs’ entire backfield is looking like a headache in the making. Beyond Edwards-Helaire, Jerick McKinnon ($5,100) has proved his worth most as a receiving outlet over KC’s past two games. And now it looks like Darrel Williams ($4,200) could be back in the fold. He missed the Divisional round due to a nagging toe injury, but he practiced fully this Wednesday. Last we saw Williams, he was being benched for a fumble against the Steelers in the Wild Card round. His activation may lead to McKinnon being a healthy scratch, but there’s also a chance that all three are available against the Bengals. The workload split here is nebulous right now. While that makes each player a possible contrarian play, you should probably go with a safer option at RB in your tournaments.