Conference Championship DFS fades and players to avoid

Mike Tagliere identifies players to steer clear of in this week's two-game DFS field.

| 4 months ago
(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Conference Championship DFS fades and players to avoid

We made it, friends. We are on the brink of Super Bowl LI. But first, we have one last week of typical DFS. Last week was one where it paid to do your research, which started right here, in the fades of the week. Ben Roethlisberger played precisely as we thought he would, finishing with fewer fantasy points than Alex Smith. LeGarrette Blount hasn’t played well as of late and that continued against the Texans, while Dion Lewis succeeded. If there’s anything to be said for last week, it was that we are leaving this season on a high note.

Considering there are just two games being played, the fades and locks of the week will be a bit shorter, giving you one player from each position to focus in on. These are players who I believe will perform below expectations, or should at least be avoided in your cash game lineups. As I’ve stated before, you may need to take an oddball chance on certain players in tournaments, hoping that they pop off at low ownership, but these are the players who are less than likely to do so. But you don’t want names, you want reasoning, which you’re going to get.


Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (at Patriots)

Look, you know the story by now. Roethlisberger is not nearly as good a quarterback on the road. We’ve established that. But it’s important to recognize each game individually and assess the matchup. Going back through his game logs, I decided to pull each of his 25 road games over the last three years (playoffs included) to see what the matchups were and how it may have affected his outcome. As you all know, PFF grades every team in all categories, including pass coverage. Roethlisberger has played eight games against teams that we had ranked in the top-12 for pass coverage, and here were his totals:

  Games Comp/gm Att/gm Comp % Yds/gm TD/gm INT/gm Fantasy Pts
Road vs. Top 12 8 24.8 39.8 62.2 296.6 0.63 0.88 13.5
Road vs. Bottom 20 17 22.7 34.4 66.1 255.7 1.12 0.94 13.8

While that gives you a snapshot, it’s important that you know he didn’t throw more than one touchdown in any of the games against top-12 pass-coverage units. Why is all this important? Because the Patriots ranked No. 1 in PFF’s pass-coverage grades this year. They’ve also allowed a league-low 15.6 points per game to opponents. There are three other quarterbacks on the slate who would consider 275/2 a bad game, but Roethlisberger would be playing out of his mind to achieve those numbers on the road. He should be nowhere near your cash teams.

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  • SteelByDesign

    Does the Pats amazing pass coverage grade account for the fact that they’ve played like 1 or 2 competent passing teams all year?