What is Fading in Fantasy Football?
The term "fading" in fantasy football is used to describe a strategy in which a manager avoids using a particular player. Fading players involves removing them from all starting lineups and placing them on the bench, effectively preventing them from counting towards the team's total point output for that week.
Why Fade Players?
Fantasy managers may choose to fade certain players for a variety of reasons. In most cases, players are benched due to unfavorable matchups. For example, if a fantasy manager sees a running back is facing a defense that allows the least amount of rushing yards in the entire league, the manager will likely expect the running back to perform poorly and elect to bench the player for that particular week.
Fading is also a common strategy when the player in question has recently returned from an injury. Players that have been forced to miss significant game action due to injury are likely to be rusty in their first game back, heightening the risk of a low point total.
Choosing to fade certain players has everything to do with perceived risk. Fantasy managers that anticipate a player turning in a subpar performance will almost leave that player on the bench to avoid being bogged down by low point outputs.
When fading a player, having a solid replacement is key. Without a backup that can be relied upon to score a decent number of fantasy points, benching a normally reliable starter can be a costly move. Managers that lack confidence in a player's performance will often look to free agency for a temporary replacement.
Generally speaking, superstar players should never be faded. Superstars tend to be "matchup proof," delivering solid performances on a week-to-week basis regardless of the opposition's ability. Players that fit this profile include: