The fading game is quite the art in daily fantasy basketball. Two days ago fading James Harden worked out like a dream. Doing so on Wednesday night, well, not so much. It can be heart-breaking and joyous and it's erratic as can be. But with how fluid the DFS realm tends to be, it's not something we can ever stop trying to perfect.
The best way to gauge who and when you should fade is by trusting your gut. If a guy's price or matchup isn't right, he might be a good player to fade. If you simply like other players better, it is often best not to force it simply because a guy is a bigger name or more expensive on daily sites like DraftKings or FanDuel.
No matter what your process is, it's always going to be dangerous to fade the top studs. A light slate like Thursday night demands it to happen, however, as the pickings are slim and it is going to be awfully difficult to fit elites like Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins on the same squad. With that in mind, let's consider a few names to stay away from tonight:
Russell Westbrook, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder
Fade Bestbrook? Blasphemy! I know, right? Maybe it is, but let's be real about something, when Kevin Durant is healthy, Westbrook is just not the monster he was for most of last season. He absolutely still can be, but it happens far less frequently and the ceiling isn't quite as good. We're still going to see many a 50-60+ fantasy point nights, but for his current price ($10.4k on DK and $10.8k on FD) he 100% needs to get you those numbers. He's fallen short now three times in his last five games. Westbrook isn't going to be a dud or single-handedly sink your team, but with value in mind, it makes much more sense tonight to go cheaper at point guard. Chris Paul just broke out with a 50-point fantasy gem last night, while the assisting mad man (Rajon Rondo) also carries 50+ fantasy point upside. I'm not going to knock using Westbrook, but on such a small slate, you can use the break in salary where you can find it.
Kyle Korver, SG, Atlanta Hawks
For a guy who consistently gets 30+ minutes per game, Korver does remarkably little. Korver has some upside if he is really letting the three's fly and he's capable of helping out just about everywhere, but his production is rather sporadic and difficult to trust. More specifically, he's topped 21 fantasy points just one time in his last five games and hasn't topped 30 fantasy points once in his last 10 outings. That's consistently average stuff we're talking about, and I just won't have it. Korver is tempting due to his cheap price tag on daily sites, but he's heading into the second game of a back-to-back set and faces a Thunder team he only produced 20 fantasy points against earlier this year. Shooting guard is thin and you may want to take the dive or punt the position, but he's really not the answer.
Carmelo Anthony, SF, New York Knicks
If we're talking about the Melo of old, the guy who jacked up 20 shots every game and was a borderline lock for 40+ fantasy points, then sure, his $7.6 price tag at DK makes him a must play value. But he's not that guy right now. Last night he produced just 21 fantasy points and has now done that (22 or fewer fantasy points) five times this year. Gross, I know. It's worse than that, actually, as his elite label is starting to rub off to the point where we can't quite make out the words. In his last 10 games, Melo has exactly one game over 50 fantasy points and one FD he has zero. He's not the elite fantasy asset we want him to be and on the second game of a back-to-back (and on the road, mind you), he could be in line to disappoint.
Nikola Mirotic, PF, Chicago Bulls
I am a fan of Mirotic's talent but the Bulls decided to randomly bench him in favor of Taj Gibson last night. And then neither guy played more than 25 minutes. Fred Hoiberg is starting to annoy me and until this shakes out to something more consistent, I'm avoiding it. I might consider Taj tonight just because he's over $1k cheaper at DK, but both guys are "at your own risk" type options tonight.
Jahlil Okafor, C, Philadelphia 76ers
Last, but certainly not least, is Duke's problem child. Okafor was surging just a couple of weeks ago, as a bright offensive talent that was even starting to hit the boards a bit. Then he got into off the court trouble, got suspended and now his run and production are all over the place. He was horrific in his last game and while he should be getting around 30 minutes going forward, something doesn't feel right. The value is there to use him, but I'm not interested until he can get back to where he was.