5 Underdog Fantasy Football Fades with Josh Larky

by Joshua Larky · Best Ball Plays & Strategy

Below, you’ll find five players to fade in 2024 Underdog Fantasy Football best ball drafts and in fantasy football. All ADPs referenced in this article are from Underdog Fantasy Football. Fantasy points references use half-PPR, the default on Underdog Fantasy Football.

Think of these players as barely viable in stacks, but less so as standalone picks.

PlayerProfiler is home to award winning best ball rankings and tools. Our Player Rankings are second to none, and the World Famous Draft Kit contains detailed player write ups and cheat sheets to help You dominate fantasy drafts! Check it out.

WR Davante Adams – ADP 19

Davante Adams turned 31 this past December. He’s coming off his lowest yards per game (67) since 2017. Last year, peripherals were in Adams’ favor. He was No. 2 in the NFL in target share and first in air yards share. Unfortunately, he was still just the WR17 in half-PPR fantasy points per game. This was thanks in part to the Raiders poor offense. 

This upcoming season provides minimal optimism. New QB Gardner Minshew was among the NFL’s worst starters last year. There’s also a slim chance Aidan O’Connell once again starts games. Add in enhanced target competition in the form of rookie TE Brock Bowers. Bowers led Georgia in all major receiving categories each of the past three seasons while playing with fellow rookie WR Ladd McConkey

Adams is an aging receiver competing for targets with WR Jakobi Meyers, Bowers and TE Michael Mayer, while playing with what is most likely bottom-tier QB play. It’s tough to see the upside here when there are younger, ascending WRs in better offenses like Jaylen Waddle and Nico Collins going slightly later in Round 2.

Promo code UNDERWORLD gets new Underdog Fantasy users a 50% deposit match up to $250. So, if you deposit $250, you’ll then get $125 in bonus cash, ending with $375 in your account.

TE Sam LaPorta – ADP 34

It feels weird fading the guy who just gave us the best fantasy TE season of all time. However, much of that was fueled by 10 receiving TDs. For context, Evan Engram had 28 more receptions than LaPorta and scored only four TDs. 

LaPorta’s target share ranked No. 6 at the position. He was targeted on 24-percent of his routes, No. 5 at the position. Generally, second-year TEs expand their role, but it’s difficult to work the math out in LaPorta’s favor. WR Amon-Ra St. Brown is a superstar. Additionally, the coaching staff has been discussing ways to get WR Jameson Williams and RB Jahmyr Gibbs more involved in the passing game. 

LaPorta should be a top-five TE off the board, but it’s hard to pull the trigger when he’s the TE1 by ADP. His 86 receptions and 889 receiving yards feel attainable once again, but he’ll need a major Amon-Ra St. Brown injury or even greater TD variance than last season to pay off his current price tag – neither is a scenario I’m willing to bet on.

WR Calvin Ridley – ADP 61

Calvin Ridley is the *beneficiary* of a QB downgrade, going from Trevor Lawrence to Will Levis. He also turns 30 in December, so while his NFL career has only spanned five seasons, he’s no spring chicken. 

My biggest concern though? I’m not even sure if Ridley is the WR1 on his own team. DeAndre Hopkins goes a round later, and he posted the 12th highest target share, while being targeted on 28-percent of his routes (No. 9). Ridley had the league’s 30th highest target share last season while being targeted on just 21-percent (No. 39) of his routes. 

Hopkins is just over two years older, so the age difference isn’t all that stark. Plus, Hopkins already has rapport with Levis from last season. After Ridley disappointed last year, it’s strange that the best ball community now views him as a better pick than Hopkins, who quietly had strong peripherals last year.

WR Jordan Addison – ADP 68

The history of rookie QBs and throwing TD passes is damning, and Jordan Addison will likely play most, if not all, of the 2024 season with rookie J.J. McCarthy or Sam Darnold. This is an important point because Addison was elite in only one area as a rookie: scoring TDs. His 10 receiving scores were only topped by Mike Evans (13), Tyreek Hill (13) and CeeDee Lamb (12).

Turning to his targets and yardage, at first glance, 108 targets and 911 receiving yards are very strong numbers for a rookie. However, Addison was No. 12 in the NFL in routes run (581), so finishing No. 26 in targets is actually slightly worrisome. Digging deeper, he was targeted on just 18.6-percent of his routes, 63rd among WRs. 

Justin Jefferson‘s injury-riddled 2023 campaign is giving drafters false hope with Addison, who is a fairly expensive No. 2 pass game option for an offense that should score a below average amount of TDs through the air.

WR Khalil Shakir – ADP 108

Curtis Samuel, not Khalil Shakir, projects to be the team’s primary option at slot after signing a 3-year deal for roughly $9 million annually this offseason. 

“But Khalil Shakir improved down the stretch last season!”

Yes, that he did. However, his end of season surge is probably far less impressive than you remember. Stick with me for a minute. For the season, Shakir was targeted on just 14.2-percent of his routes, No. 86 at the position. And, his average target depth was only 8.9 yards downfield (No. 77). In a nutshell, Shakir was rarely targeted, despite running routes close to the line of scrimmage. Usually, for a player with a low target depth to score lots of fantasy points, he needs extreme target volume.

Snap Share

Shakir’s snap share was under 40-percent through Week 7 before it jumped to 65-percent in Week 8. From that game onward, he never dipped below 40-percent again. This change coincided with TE Dawson Knox‘s injury, as the Bills began playing TE Dalton Kincaid and Shakir in the slot. For the remainder of the season (playoffs included), Shakir ran 325 routes and was targeted a paltry 48 times. That’s a target on just 14.8-percent of his routes, which is nearly identical to his season-long numbers. Put another way, Quentin Johnston was within half a percentage point of Shakir (targeted on 14.3-percent of his routes) from Week 8 onward.

Shakir is behind Kincaid and Samuel for slot reps, and he simply hasn’t shown target-earning ability at the NFL level. Shakir had a few decent fantasy games last year from efficiency, with the highest yards per target in the entire NFL (13.6 yards). Unfortunately, that’s not a sticky stat, meaning there’s almost zero predictive power, season to season. Let someone else draft Buffalo’s overpriced backup slot receiver in Underdog Fantasy Football drafts.

For more from Josh Larky, check out this article – Los Angeles Chargers Football – Fantasy Football Values vs ADP (playerprofiler.com)