Paddy Power Fantasy: 3 players to stay away from this Sunday

Drew Brees is on the road, lowering his upside. Who else should stay planted on the bench in Week 2?


There’s plenty of pieces on Paddy Power News telling who you should pick every week in your daily fantasy contests, and it’s even useful for your redraft leagues.

But there’s a skill in figuring out who you shouldn’t play too. Narrowing down a shortlist of potential plays by avoiding those who are overpriced and/or in tough match-ups goes a long way towards ensuring that you create the best line-up possible.

Here’s who we’re down on this week:

Sep 23, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) dives for a rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

£9 entry for the million quid contest this week on Paddy Power Fantasy

Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints – £8,000

With a juicy total of 52.0 points, it seems reasonable to target the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams in a Week 2 showdown. But despite being the fourth-most expensive quarterback on Paddy Power Fantasy, Drew Brees may be a bit of a trap.

The obvious things here is Brees’ home/road splits. In 2018, Brees averaged only 217.6 passing yards in road contests while amassing just 11 scores and four picks. Those are a far cry from his home numbers of 321.6 passing yards per game with 21 touchdowns and one pick.

Also, the Rams currently rank fourth against the pass this season, and they were aggressive in getting after the passer in Week 1, racking up three sacks. Yes, it’s just one week, but the Rams are giving up the fewest fantasy points to signal-callers this season, and they also fared decently well in this category a year ago, limiting quarterbacks to 17.8 points per game, the 13th-fewest.

If this game was in the Superdome, we’d be singing a different tune. As is, we project Brees as the QB10 on this slate, so while you want to get a piece of this game, Brees isn’t the best route to take.

KANSAS CITY, MO – NOVEMBER 11: An Arizona Cardinals helmet sits on the sidelines during the second half of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on November 11, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)

David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals – £7,300

While the Air Raid offence finally opened up in the fourth quarter and overtime of the Arizona Cardinals’ opening-week game, David Johnson was held in check on the ground. For him to be a huge factor fantasy-wise, it looks like he will need to be involved in the passing game, because the ground attack certainly has issues.

The Cardinals clearly will play at a fast pace — they led the league with a mark of 21.36 seconds per play — but it was how they played that was a bit more interesting. While they were down significantly for a good chunk of Week 1, their 2.57 pass-to-run ratio opens some eyes, and when they did run, it wasn’t that effective. Among the 34 rushers with 10 or more carries in Week 1, Johnson clocked in only 19th in Rushing Net Expected Points (NEP) per carry (-0.02). In terms of Rushing Success Rate — or the rate at which Johnson’s carries generated a positive NEP — he fared even worse, checking in 22nd (38.89%).

Against the Baltimore Ravens, who boast a stout D and are a heavy favourite (-700), Johnson will likely run into a lot of the same ground-game issues he saw in Week 1, though he should be busy in the passing game once again.

Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings – £7,300

The Minnesota Vikings clash this week with the Green Bay Packers in an NFC North showdown, and this could be a game where points are hard to come by.

Peeking at the projected point totals for the week, this game sports one of the lowest totals (43.50 points) in Week 2, and the Vikings’ pace is a big reason for that. They currently rank last in the league with an average of 36.64 seconds per play. Sure, it’s just one game, but Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer wants to be a slow, run-based team, which he talked about often over the summer.

In their demolition of the Atlanta Falcons, the Vikings dropped back to pass only 11 times, and that’s likely to change in Week 2. However, the Packers showcased a very stout passing defence in their win over the Chicago Bears, and we rank that pass defence third-best so far.

Green Bay currently sits seventh in Adjusted Sack Rate (10.1%), so expect it to be a tough passing day for Kirk Cousins and the entire Vikes’ offence.

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What do you think?